Your Genealogy Today Author Guidelines
What is your deadline? We NEVER schedule articles from first-time authors until we have the manuscript. The reality is that only a fraction of people who promise us articles actually come through. We also work well ahead. For example, by the time one issue goes to the printer, we have pretty well firmed up the content of the following issue. If you are a first time submitter, send us the article when it is ready - do not worry about deadlines.
How would you like it submitted? After acceptance, we much prefer e-mail submissions - send a covering e-mail with the manuscript as an attachment and any illustrations, prefereably as high-resolution images in saved in JPEG format. If you have lots of images, include the extras in another e-mail with a subject line detailing the article name and magazine name. If you have some reason to use regular mail, send to our Canadian address with a printed manuscript and a disk. There is no need to send an SASE or International Reply Coupon. We prefer Microsoft Word or RTF (rich text format) formats.
You must include the following information with every manuscript. If you are submitting as a word processor file, such as Microsoft Word, the best approach is to add points 1 & 2 (below) to the top of the manuscript and the bio information to the end of the article. Please supply a separate file for the image captions or add them to the end of the article after your bio:
1) Your complete name, mailing address and telephone number
2) Your e-mail address
3) Supply captions and credits/permissions for all images, illustrations or photographs you supply4) Supply a short biography and photo of yourself. The bio should be about 30 to 50 words; your photo should be a head and shoulders 2"x2" color photo, at 300 dpi resolution.
How long do you want it? This is tough to answer as it depends on many variables. Our average article is 2,000 words. We wish we had more submissions of 700-800 words (with a picture this is a page) - if the information is useful and well presented, an article of this length is likely to be accepted. Many writers seem to believe that their great idea is "worth" a lot of words; an article's popularity bears little relationship to its length.
What types of article are you looking for? A problem with this question is that we haven't thought of the topics of some of the best articles - that is why they have not been done yet! Your Genealogy Today is generally a "how-to" magazine. Most articles should give clear information about how the reader can conduct their research. Just because we have already covered a topic does not mean that we will not do this again - but only if it was some time ago and/or a new slant is put on it.
articles do you NOT want?
Illustrations: PLEASE do not send us valuable originals unless we ask for these. We hate the responsibility (if we ask for originals we copy them immediately and return them the same day). Photographs and documents should ideally be scanned and attached to an e-mail. The resolution we need depends on the size of the original. If the original is 4in wide or less, use 300 dpi. If it is over, use the formula: Resolution in dpi = 300 x 4/width. Thus if it is 8in wide, 150dpi is fine. If this seems confusing, do it at 300dpi. Scan black and white documents or photos in black and white - scanning them in color only makes the file size bigger. Send us the file as a JPEG - this is a compressed format. If you are offered different levels of compression, choose the least (best picture). If you do not have a scanner, get the documents copied on a color photocopier - regular photocopies are rarely good enough. Color copiers produce a "line structure" but we can get rid of that electronically. Copyright. Please do not send us material that is copyrighted without advising us. We can usually tell if this is a problem - but not always.
If in doubt, ask. We LOVE receiving good submissions while bad ones are boring - so we have a vested interest in helping you get it right.
Why Articles are Declined
We have to decline quite a lot of articles that are submitted. Often an article is submitted on a subject that has recently been published or one that is coming up. In this case, we always tell the person the real reason for rejection.
It is not easy to know what to say to when you reject manuscripts that may have taken the author many, many hours. We usually say that we are unable to use the article and leave it at that - yes, it is a bit cowardly; we just want to avoid unpleasantness.
However, here are the most common reasons that articles are declined. If we have turned yours down, maybe the answer lies here:
Please understand that we are not trying to catch you out. Our overwhelming concern when we are reading an article is "Will the reader find this interesting - will it help them in their own research?"
We are looking for reasons to accept your work, not to reject it.
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