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TOPIC: Article Submission Guidelines

Article Submission Guidelines 7 years 9 months ago #1


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YakAngler is devoted exclusively to the sport of kayak fishing. Our mission is to supply our readers with well-written, accurate articles on every aspect of the sport—angling and paddling techniques and methods, reading water, finding fish, selecting equipment, regional kayak fishing reports, fish behavior, places to fish, kayak rigging, tackle, accessories, and any other relevant topics. Each submission should present specific, useful information that will increase our readers’ enjoyment of the sport and help them catch more fish.

Photographs are important. How-to pieces—those that deal with tactics, rigging, presentations, and the like—must be accompanied by appropriate photography. Naturally, where-to stories must be illustrated with shots of scenery, people fishing, anglers holding fish, and other pictures that help flesh out the story and paint the local color. Do not bother sending sub-par photographs, as this serves only to irritate the editor. We only accept photos that are well lit, tack sharp, and correctly framed. Tell us in your query or when you submit your manuscript that you have no good photo support; if the story is good enough, we’ll find photos elsewhere.

All products mentioned in articles need to be linked to the associated product page on the manufacturers website. Please make sure you are researching the proper spelling of the manufacturer and product name, and use both in the first mention of the product ex: Heddon "Super Spook, Jr."

Most articles published by YakAngler fall into one of these categories:
• Feature stories of 1,500 to 2,200 words. (We publish articles of more than 2,000 words; and if we happen to accept a 3,000-word piece, we might need to cut it before publication.)
• Short features of 800 to 1,200 words that are generally more tightly focused on a single task: rigging for specific a specific fish species, repairing a kayak, and so forth.
• One-page shorts of 350 to 750 words. We think of these articles as problem solvers—tackle-maintenance, paddling, or fishing tips, for example—or news items for our “Spotlight” section. Appropriate photography can help sway our decision in favor of a short submission.

We seldom publish:
• “Me-’n’-Joe” stories. Unless you can write as well as Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ruark, or John McPhee.
• Essays. Few are written well or offer a genuinely fresh, pertinent take on their subjects. Plus, we already have the excellent “Reading the Currents” column.
• Fiction or poetry.

I. QUERIES

When doubt about the validity of your article, you should send an e-mail outlining your article before submitting it. An email can save you the frustration and disappointment of making a futile submission, and it allows us to fine-tune an idea to suit our editorial needs. We read and respond to all queries, but expect at least a two-week wait for that response. Be patient, please. But squeak gently if you don’t hear from us within two to four weeks.

Send all queries, correspondence, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

II. SUBMISSIONS

A complete article submission must include your article, a selection of electronic images, complete caption information, rough illustrations (if necessary). We work in Microsoft Word, but we’re able to convert a number of other programs. Also, save your file in plain text or Rich Text Format if you can; if all else fails, we can use a plain text. Please include with your article a about the author paragraph that highlights your kayak fishing credentials (how long you’ve been doing it, where, etc.). Make sure that your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address are on all materials.

We reserve the right to edit all articles. Photos provided with an article will be used at the editor’s discretion.

All article submissions should go through our submission forms located under our resources menu HERE.


MORE-SPECIFIC GUIDELINES

A. Guidelines for Submitting Queries

• Does your intro paragraph have 75 to 90 words that get the reader’s attention and give a brief glimpse about the article contents?
• Does the subject have seasonal or other timeliness? Some stories need to be run in a certain season; others can be run any time.
• How many words will you need? Most of our articles run 1,500 to 2,000 words. Some are too long or too short at that length. Write too long, and we’ll cut the article. Write too short, and we’ll reject it or ask for a re-write.
• What are the sidebar opportunities? (Sources of further info, area contacts, tackle and pattern suggestions, fishing techniques in more detail than you can gracefully include in the article, and anything else about the subject that you found and think the reader will find interesting.)
• What sorts of photos, and how many of them, do you plan to submit?
• What other sorts of illustrations may be necessary or possible? Maps? Historical photos or art? Your rough sketches for our artist to finish?

B. How-To Stories

Here’s the basic philosophy behind every how-to article we publish: The reader wants to be told EXACTLY what to do and how to do it. Therefore, we want to cover a specific subject so completely that the reader can finish an article, pick up his rod or paddle, and immediately use the techniques described. To accomplish this, you cannot leave any questions unanswered or offer the reader too many options.

Many writers want to focus on the Big Picture: moving water, topwater, soft plastics, etc. We’d rather you focus on a very specific topic and cover it completely. Here’s an example: instead of writing an article on “How to Fish A Jig,” which is a broad, amorphous topic, think much more specifically—“How to Fish a Jig Under a Log,” “How to Fish a Jig Through Heavy Cover,” or “How to Fish a Jig Around Docks.” This allows you to really explore the minute, nitty-gritty processes of the sport. This is more difficult to do than rehashing the same old clichés of casting to cover and taking fish on the drop, but the results are more useful.

Too many writers of how-to articles try to dress them up by backing into their material with an anecdotal yarn. Fame, if not fortune, awaits writers who learn how to write how-to and other “technical” articles without resorting to this tired parlor trick. You can plunge right into your subject and plow straight ahead if you choose your words carefully, write each sentence as if it’s a little drama in which the subject actually does something to the subject (instead of relying on the verb “to be”), paint pictures with active verbs and vivid, concrete nouns (instead of weaving threadbare tapestries of passive verbs, concept nouns, adverbs, and adjectives), and always keep in mind what your reader needs to know. Don’t tell him what he might do; tell him what he should do.

C. Where-To Stories

We run more how-to articles than where-to (or destination) pieces. An article on paddling or reading water might serve a lot of our readers. A where-to article, however, will probably be used by some single-digit percentage of readers.

For the most part, our where-to coverage sticks to domestic places. Again, it’s a question of numbers. An article about a kayak camping trip to a remote tributary of the Amazon might prove briefly interesting to a fair number of readers, but it would prove useful to very few. A piece about several good Smallmouth streams in Wisconsin, on the other hand, would serve thousands of YakAngler’s readers. We do not provide assignment letters to help writers sew up offers of gratis trips.

A where-to article should focus on the fishing. We want information. The best where-to stories do the job economically. Tell about the fishing and what one needs to bring or do to enjoy it: What are we fishing for? What can we expect to catch? What’s the water like? Which time of year is best, and is it worth going at other times? Is the place easy to get to, or does reaching it entail a strenuous or expensive trip? Any special regulations? Which lures should we bring? Are there tackle shops in the area? Guides? Outfitters? What about accommodations? Anything for non-fishing members of the family to do in the area? And so on. Try to make it possible for a reader to head for the North Fork of the Elkhorn Creek with everything he needs (including knowledge) to catch heaps of fish and have loads of fun.

Every destination article must be accompanied by five things:
1. A good selection of photography that shows the water, the scenery, anglers, and some fish.
2. An “If You Go” sidebar that includes local lodging, airports, the nearest tackle shops and guides, and other sources of information (such as phone numbers of the local DNR, books, and Web sites).
3. A detailed and accurate map.
4. Local lure and color selections.

We like place-oriented stories because we want to expose our readers to as many of kayak fishing’s possibilities and as much of its variety as we can. But we want to give them more value than straight where-to information. Set your story in a place, give the readers something they can use in their own fishing, no matter where they fish. It can be a tackle tip, a kayak-fishing technique, or presentation advice.

D. Sidebars

Every feature article should be accompanied by at least one sidebar. Sidebars can be informative or entertaining, long or short, utilitarian or witty, dry or colorful. Articles accompanied by sidebars have an edge over those that don’t.

Here are just a few of the things you might want to put in sidebars:
• Information sources and contacts. These are especially useful in place-oriented stories.
• Tackle tips and lure choices. What to carry. Variations on classic lures.
• Kayak-fishing techniques. Technical tips can sometimes bog down a story, if laid out in considerable detail. Skim over it too lightly, and you confuse the reader. Sidebars are perfect for tips on presentation, retrieves, etc.
• Calendar and other added-info comments. If the anecdotal material in your story is set in a certain season, and the fishing is worthwhile, but different, in another season, you may need a sidebar. If your article deals with only one of several species, fishing or paddling methods, use a sidebar to briefly outline the other possibilities. To make hazard warnings or other cautionary advice stand out, put it in a sidebar.
• Good anecdotes. If you are a natural storyteller and the anecdote is a good one, try it in a sidebar. Please note the emphasis on good.
• Interesting “filler” material. Geology, history, pronunciation, taxonomy, origins of names, chronology, notable record catches, legends, local lore—anything that will help fix your article in a reader’s mind.
Last Edit: 7 years 9 months ago by YakSushi.
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