H appy holidays! Once again it’s time for my periodic invitation to take advantage of the many opportunities to con- tribute to the Journal . Occasionally friends will tell me that while they enjoy reading the magazine, they wonder why we decided to devote an entire issue to a topic that they don’t find particularly relevant or interesting. But some- how, I don’t think anybody will feel that way about this month’s focus on the Middle East and, specifically, the Israeli-Palestinian dispute! Of course, that is not to say that our treatment of this thorny subject will satisfy everyone; in fact, I’d be willing to bet it won’t. But as always, we have tried to put together a range of commentaries and analyses from a variety of perspectives, including several contributions by authors from the region. So whatever your stance, we hope you will at least find our coverage thought-provoking. I also hope you will share your reactions, positive and negative, not only to this issue but to what you read every month, by contributing to our Letters section. Just bear in mind that, as with all periodicals, the briefer and more focused your letter, the more likely we’ll be able to print it in full. (In general, 200 to 400 words is a good target.) Each issue of the Journal features a focus section examining various facets of an issue related to the Foreign Service or international af- fairs. We commission most of these articles, but warmly welcome contri- butions from FS personnel. On the next page you will find a list of the focus topics our Editorial Board has identified for the coming year (subject, of course, to revision). Most of these themes relate directly to Foreign Service professional and lifestyle issues, so I hope many of you will consider sharing your insights and expertise. Do note, however, that because of our lead time for publication, and the requirement for Editorial Board approval, we need to receive submis- sions at least two months (and preferably longer) prior to the issue’s release date. Thus, we have already lined up authors for the January and February issues, but there is still time to submit manuscripts for later months. Submissions should gener- ally be between 2,000 and 3,000 words, though shorter pieces are always welcome. If those choices don’t grab you, or if you feel we have not devoted enough space to a professional con- cern or functional issue, please con- sider writing a feature article (also generally 2,000-3,000 words long) on a topic of your choice. Our annual fiction contest is now in its second decade. As we did this summer, instead of devoting an entire issue to it (as in past years), we will publish the winning story in the July-August 2007 double issue, and the runners-up in other issues throughout the year, space permit- ting. The rules and timing are basically the same as before, with one impor- tant exception. Entrants are still restricted to one story of 3,000 words or less, which must be e-mailed to Journal Business Manager Andrew Kidd at firstname.lastname@example.org . However, the deadline for submissions is now March 1 (not April 1 as in past years). For more details, see the ads elsewhere in this and the next sever- al issues, or contact Andrew directly. We invite those of you who expect to publish a book between now and next fall to send us a copy, along with promotional materials, for inclusion in our annual compilation of recently published books by Foreign Service- affiliated authors, “In Their Own Write.” Sept. 1 is still the deadline for inclusion in that roundup, which will run in November as our main feature. For more information, con- tact Senior Editor Susan Maitra at email@example.com . Share Your Insights We take seriously our mission to give you “news you can use” — e.g., D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 6 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 19 L ETTER FROM THE E DITOR B Y S TEVEN A LAN H ONLEY There are many ways you can share your insights in our pages. Let us hear from you.