From the Web Site:
Our readers are knowledgeable and experienced backpackers, therefore we accept only authentic, well-researched, well-crafted stories (see the section on “Accuracy,” below). We’re not interested in slavish imitations of stories we’ve already done. As always, you should carefully study several issues of the magazine before submitting a query. The best articles have style, depth, emotional impact, and take-away value for the reader.
Good BACKPACKER articles contain the following attributes:
- Foot-based travel: BACKPACKER primarily covers hiking. When warranted, we cover canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and other human-powered modes of travel.
- Wilderness or backcountry: The true backpacking experience means getting away from the trailhead and into the wilds. Whether a dayhike or a weeklong trip, out-of-the-way, unusual destinations are what we’re looking for.
- North American destinations: We only occasionally cover foreign locales. Our defined market is North American destinations.
- Advice for improving the backcountry experience: Our readers want to know how to, when to, where to, and with what. Every BACKPACKER article incorporates one or more of these things. We write not merely to inspire our readers to do something, but to help them identify and research new places to go, techniques and skills to use, or the gear to take.
- While a portion of BACKPACKER is written by staff and regular contributors, we encourage freelance authors to submit query emails for features and departments. Approximately 50 percent of our features and more than half of our departments are written by freelancers. Please note that it’s rare for a writer new to BACKPACKER to break into the magazine with a feature assignment. Direct your efforts toward establishing a working relationship with us via department assignments first.
BACKPACKER features usually fall into one of several distinct categories: destinations, personality, technique, or gear. Gear features are generally staff written. In order to make the grade, a potential feature needs an unusual hook, a compelling story, a passionate sense of place, or unique individuals finding unique ways to improve or enjoy the wilderness.
Destinations: BACKPACKER uses pieces that go beyond a mere description of a trail or place. Our destination stories are almost always first person and based upon the author’s recent trip experience. Readers should come away with a strong sense of that particular outdoor experience, a firm grasp of the location’s character, and the inspiration to duplicate the trip. Journal-style articles are generally unacceptable. Word counts vary widely from 1,500 to 5,000 or more words but most contain a full Expedition Planner sidebar (contact, permit, season, hazards, map, guidebook, and other useful information; look at past BACKPACKER issues for examples and style).
Personality: Backpacking doesn’t have star athletes like you find in bicycling or some other outdoor sports, but plenty of unique personalities exist to write about. Colorful, controversial, historically significant, amusing, unusual, or unique people are what we’re looking for, especially those who have a direct impact on how or where others hike. In 2007 BACKPACKER inaugurated a new 2-page profile that we call “The BACKPACKER Interview,” which will run in most issues. Contact Associate editor Shannon Davis (see contact info below) to submit potential profiles for this new interview feature.
Technique: Skill-based articles in BACKPACKER feature high levels of take-away value. A good technique piece also has information relevant to all skill levels (e.g., beginner, intermediate, and advanced hikers). Often our technique pieces take non-narrative forms.
Gear: Our Field Tests and comparative gear reviews are always written by writers we’ve worked with before. If you’re interested in writing such articles, start by querying our equipment editor about the Gear department (see “Departments,” below).
Freelancers most often break into BACKPACKER’s pages in the departments. These shorter assignments (100 to 1,200 words) have specific topics and focus.
Trail Log: This is our monthly collection of reader letters, stories, polls, a photo contest, and a timely news item or interview, which is the only assigned piece for the section.
Adventures: A backpacker’s definitive source for finding new, fun, and worthwhile backcountry hikes. The Adventures section is divided into several departments. Successful pitches are geared toward a specific department and are chocked full of facts, description and enthusiasm. Our goal is to inspire people to get outside, and this section provides them with the tools to do so.
Nature: Informative articles that explore the science and wildlife of the natural world from the unique perspective of hikers and outdoors people. The Nature section helps readers understand and appreciate what they see on the trail by covering the environment, politics, national parks, and how-to advice like observing animals in the wild, and avoiding natural hazards.
Skills: The advice source for all essential hiking and adventure skills, with information targeted to help both beginners and experts. The section is divided into the following categories:
Technique-what you need to day-hike, backpack, or do just about anything in the outdoors, all digested into easily understood articles geared to every ability level.
Food-explores all aspects of trail nutrition, cooking methods, and food preparation. Tested recipes and creative and tasty food suggestions are a must.
Health-examines the physical and psychological aspects of fitness, first aid, and nutrition as it relates to backpacking. This section covers topics from poison ivy to snakebites to altitude sickness.
Gear: This department is filled with short reviews of gear that has been field-tested. Note: Gear, unlike the other departments, is done by assignment only. Instead of submitting a query regarding a specific piece of equipment, query the equipment editor with your qualifications for testing and reviewing gear. All gear reviewed in Gear is acquired by BACKPACKER editors only and shipped by us to assigned reviewers. All reviewed gear must be returned to us at the end of the test so that we may photograph it and return it to the manufacturer. This is not a way to fill your gear closet.
Most BACKPACKER departments take a single topic within the scope of that section and cover it thoroughly. Again, the more take-away value for the reader, the more appropriate it is for BACKPACKER.
BACKPACKER prides itself on providing outdoor enthusiasts with reliable information. It’s important that our contributors check all facts and figures. A full set of guidelines for fact checking will be provided to you with your first contracted assignment for us. In general, however, we require:
- Confirmation of all facts and figures used within an article from a primary source.
- For medical, nutrition, and technical advice, direct quotes from accepted professionals or experts.
- Full contact information for every source used in creating an article.
- An extra copy for our files of any map, catalog, brochure, or other primary source you may have acquired from a land agency or manufacturer.
We prefer queries to completed manuscripts. Please send emails with attachments and web links rather than mailing envelopes with letters and clips. We respond sooner to emails, and please include your own email address within the query. If you must mail a query and clips, include a SASE envelope if your samples must be returned. We are not responsible for unsolicited artwork, photographs, and manuscripts, so please don’t send originals or anything that you can’t afford to lose.
From the Web Site:
Please do not remit any images. If your article is selected for publishing in our magazine, we will then contact you with regards to artwork.
If you do not hear from us within 60 days of e-mailing your story, then we have decided not to purchase it. We hope you understand why we have to take this approach.
Following are general photography/story guidelines:
We pay from $300-$700 per article, depending on the subject and author and how long he or she has been writing for our publication. About 95 percent of our stories are assignments to our contributing editors; still, we do welcome submittals.
Before submitting an article, please review our magazine to familiarize yourself with story length (not to exceed 2500 words) and the kinds of topics we publish. We do not publish how-to stories, and only rarely do we publish poetry. We do publish fiction.
From the Web Site:
CAmagazine, established in 1911, is the flagship publication of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. It is published 10 times a year in English and French editions and delivered to all Canadian chartered accountants and CA students, as well as to non-member subscribers. It has a total paid circulation of more than 75,000.
EDITORIAL MISSION AND MAGAZINE CONTENT
The magazine informs CAs about developments affecting their profession, whether they work in public practice, industry, government or academe. It focuses on their information needs as advisers, providers and interpreters of financial and other economic information to clients and employers and as independent attesters to its credibility. CAmagazine reflects the diversity of services offered by CAs and provides a forum for analysis, discussion, debate and constructive criticism on existing practices and on emerging issues in an increasingly changing and complex work environment.
The magazine is divided into a front section, features, regulars and a back section. The Upfront section includes short profiles of CAs with unique hobbies or in unusual lines of business, as well as news of direct interest to members and general business items. It also includes Ask an Expert, Netwatch (a guide to business and accounting on the Internet), Work in process (business and technology) Numbers Game, Value added (summarized articles on a variety of topics with longer versions on the Web) and News from the profession,. Feature articles cover a wide range of topics of interest to CAs in various spheres of activity. Examples include technological advances, business trends that affect members of the profession and their clients, and growing opportunities for CAs in the global marketplace. Features also include profiles of CAs who have excelled in their chosen areas and CAs working in various industries or sectors, such as health care or forestry. The Regulars cover areas such as assurance services, law, taxation, taxation for small business, personal financial planning, education, business valuation and information technology. The back section of the magazine includes classified ads and a professional directory,as well as
Outlook, a view of current trends from an economist’s perspective.
MANUSCRIPT CONTENT, FORMAT AND LENGTH
Most of our readers are busy people, who read only what is of direct concern to them. Our primary need, therefore, is for articles of immediate interest or applicability. Articles should have a purpose: to raise an issue, detail a new trend, expose a problem or explain a technique. In order to better familiarize yourself with CAmagazine‘s style, you should read a few recent copies of the magazine.
Proposals should be sent either as hard copy or via e-mail ([email protected]). Final drafts should be sent by e-mail.
Feature articles normally run 2,500 to 3,000 words, although some subjects — such as profiles –can be adequately covered in less space. Topics should be of relevance to the largest number of readers possible. Many of our features are written by freelance writers. Regulars are generally shorter than features and have a more technical focus. Minimum length is 1,500 words; the usual maximum is 2,000. Our technical editors (listed on the masthead) welcome queries or completed manuscripts, which can be addressed to them through CAmagazine. Many of our regular articles are written by CAs or other professionals such as lawyers.
If you wish to write for us, please send a query, in writing, and include a 200-word outline of your proposed article, noting the reasons why you feel the subject is topical, your angle, potential sources and the projected length of your manuscript. If you have a completed, unpublished manuscript, we would be pleased to consider it, unless we have already assigned or published a similar story.
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