taste Buds

LOCALE Magazine Editorial Style Guide

LOCALE Magazine Editorial Style Guide

Please refer to the guidelines outlined below when writing and submitting work for LOCALE Magazine. We utilize AP Style, with a few exceptions to the rules. We recommend that you have your own AP Stylebook (as it is beneficial for aspiring journalists such as yourself) for detailed explanations and other subjects that we might not have covered. If you already have one, you’re a rock star! If not, don’t worry, that’s why we created this guide for you. We encourage you to have this guide open when you’re writing or reviewing your work. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the editors. Thank you! 


Submission Guidelines

-Please submit ALL stories HERE

-At the top of the document, please follow this header format:

Market | Month | Year 
i.e. OC July 2019
Story Name 
i.e. Foodie Feature: [Restaurant Name]
i.e. Foodie, Shoppe, Alive or Escape

Written By:

-Please meet the word count assigned to the story (especially for print stories)—no more than five words over or under the word count limit.


Style Guide


-Make sure to include the correct information for businesses mentioned in the story that’s associated with the subject. This is our template:

LOCALE Magazine
2755 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

-Abbreviate street suffixes for numbered addresses and do not use periods 

i.e. 602 Fourth St

-Spell out non-numbered addresses along with numbered streets nine and under 

i.e. Fourth Street

-Do not spell out the street direction

i.e. 123 S Alphabet Ln

-For print stories, put business address(es) at the top of the document after the byline. For web stories, put the business address(es) at the very bottom of the document. 



-Our rule is to keep the word after the colon lowercase even though AP Stylebook says otherwise, whether or not what follows is a complete sentence

i.e. When you visit LA, you’ll find out why it’s the best: the city births diversity, food, fame and fortune.

-Colons go outside of quotes unless it’s part of the quoted statement.



-We do NOT use the Oxford comma 

i.e. They will serve nachos, sliders and fries.



-Use figures and spell out, no abbreviations

i.e. It’s a 21 square-foot venue.
The sign is 4 feet long.
She was 5 feet and 7 inches tall.



-Lowercase for directions on a compass

i.e. north, south, east, west

-When referring to a specific coast/region, always capitalize

i.e. The West Coast is the best coast. 
His family moved to the East Coast. 

-Capitalize regions in the US

i.e. Northeast, Midwest, etc.


Fashion Credits

-How we should generally receive the credits:

i.e. Look #1

(blue dress)
Apparel Provided By:
Hidden Jewel

(silver bangles)
Accessories Provided By:
Made in Earth

Look #2
(pink skirt & white top)
Apparel & Accessories Provided By:

-If apparel and accessories for each look are provided by multiple brands, then make it more specific (Top Provided By / Hat Provided By / Shoes Provided By).



-Spell out numbers less than one in copy, use a hyphen

i.e. One-third of the group went to the left side of the room.


Cities, States, Countries

-No periods when abbreviating

i.e. US, LA, SD, GPS, SD

-Do not capitalize “downtown” for cities, but abbreviate after the first mention

i.e. downtown Santa Ana, downtown Los Angeles



-Leave names of food items lowercase unless it’s the name of a specialty dish

i.e. He loves fried chicken and waffles.
The Bacon Bomb is full of flavor.



-Use a hyphen for compound adjectives before a noun

i.e. Well-kept yard
15-year period
Back-breaking work

-The following words are either hyphenated/non-hyphenated 

Laid back



-Spell out the word “cents” and use numerals for amounts less than a dollar

i.e. 12 cents

-Use dollar sign and decimal system for above one dollar

i.e. $1.50



-Always in italics—put in pink font color in document to ensure the format transfers

i.e. La La Land



-Only use first and last name the first time referenced. All other references after, use last name. Do not use courtesy titles like “Mrs.” or “Mr.”



-Spell out one through nine, use figures for 10 or above and whenever preceding a unit of measure or referring to ages of people, animals, events or things. 

-Exceptions include: 

  • Addresses
  • Ages, but not for inanimate objects
  • Cents
  • Dollars (do not include a period and two zeroes when referring to an even dollar figure)
  • Dates
  • Dimensions
  • Highways
  • Millions, billions
  • Percentages
  • Speed
  • Temperatures
  • Times (do not include a colon and two zeroes when referring to an even hour)

-Hyphenate when expressing ages as adjectives 

i.e. 6-year-old girl

-Spell out numbers when they begin a sentence

i.e. Thirty participants showed up for the event. 

-Use periods for phone numbers—no parentheses around the area code and dashes. 



-If the sentence is complete inside the parentheses, leave the period in. If incomplete, leave the period outside of the parentheses. 



-Always spell out “percent.” Never use the symbol %.


Photography Credits

-If there is one (or more) photographer that photographed the whole story, the credits should be as follows:

i.e. Photographed By: Josie Gonzales


-If there are multiple credits from gathering stock photos, the credits should be as follows:

i.e. Subject: Photo Credit
LOCALE Magazine: Erik Hale


Photoshoot Location

-When there are multiple locations for a business, the photoshoot location goes first and then the others follow:

i.e. Photoshoot Location:
Native Poppy
South Park
3009 Grape St
San Diego, CA 92102

Solana Beach
144 S Cedros Ave
Solana Beach, CA 92075



-If they have the same number or website, list them separately from the addresses as shown in the example above. 



-When a plural or name ends with an “s,” do not add another “s” after the apostrophe

i.e. We visited the Jones’ house this weekend. 
It’s worth hearing out the students’ testimonies. 



-Punctuation inside quotes

i.e. “He said he wants to go.”

-When a subject quotes someone else or in a Q&A, use single quotes

i.e. “It was a blast. My husband said, ‘This is the best day of my life.’”
John Withers: I love to cook. My mentor always said, ‘Always do your best.’

-Do not use single or double quotes for emphasis.


TV Shows/Albums

-In quotes

i.e. “Orange is the New Black”
“thank u, next”


Social Media

-Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube

-When mentioning follower count, it’s okay to use “150k followers” instead of “150,000 followers”—looks cleaner this way.


Special Words

-Barbecue (unless the restaurant specifically spells it out as “BBQ”)
-Farmers Market (lowercase and no apostrophe)
-Happy Hour (lowercase)
-Pastime (one word)
-Taste buds (two words)



-Always leave a.m./p.m. lowercase with periods separating the letters and use a space between the number and abbreviation

i.e. Four o’clock in the afternoon.
The event starts at 4 p.m.
3-10 p.m.

-Do not use a double period if the sentence ends with a.m./p.m.

-Use “noon” and “midnight” instead of 12 p.m./a.m.

-Abbreviate months accompanied with figures except when the month and year are only mentioned

i.e. Feb. 8 and Jan. 4, 2008
February 1994

-When writing LOCALEndar, always spell out the months.

-Do not use “st, nd, rd, th” after figures

i.e. The event takes place Sept. 3, 2019. 

-For years and decades, the rule of thumb: the apostrophe precedes numbers

i.e. Class of ‘13, the ‘60s, 1980s

-Never spell out years even if it starts the sentence

i.e. 2019 proved a complicated year for many. 


i.e. 21st century
Fifth century



-Capitalize formal titles when they appear before a person’s name, but lowercase if they are after a person’s name or informal

i.e. Marketing Director Alexis Wright
Mark Rogers, marketing assistant

-When conducting interviews, always include first and last name of the contact as well as their credentials/job titles. 

-When creating story titles, do not capitalize “a,” “an” and “the,” or conjunctions or prepositions—unless it’s four letters or longer

i.e. This Will Be a Year to Remember



-Always include “www.”

-Make as short as possible and take out slashes when necessary.

-Do not include “https://” when typing out the business’ website. If you are submitting a web story, hyperlink the business name to their website.


LOCALE Magazine Terminology

Native Knowledge is like a fun fact or local advice. This should not be information that we can find on the Internet. Think of it as an insider’s tip. 

-A sidebar is essentially the same as NK, but it’s a term we use for print stories. The formatting and content of a sidebar varies depending on the type of story assigned, so please make sure to read the writing directions thoroughly. 

Skip to content