Saltscapes Contributor Policies & Guidelines
Saltscapes is an award-winning magazine for and about people on Canada’s East Coast. There are six regular issues per year—Jan/Feb, Mar/April, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec—as well as an annual Food & Travel issue, which comes out in April.
The company also produces an annual calendar, several special-interest supplements including Good Taste, and custom publications such as Living Healthy in Atlantic Canada.
Saltscapes magazine celebrated its 10th anniversary in May 2010. The company also has an annual consumer show held in Halifax, Saltscapes Expo, and has recently opened the inaugural Saltscapes Restaurant and General Store, in Truro, NS.
The mandate of Saltscapes magazine is to focus on the region’s traditional lifestyle, with a bias towards rural life. It features stories of the people, places, history, natural world, food and art that make the Atlantic Provinces distinctive, and also explores regional issues. The tone is upbeat and celebratory, promoting pride of place, defending our culture and evoking an emotional response tinged with nostalgia for a simpler time. The magazine does not publish poetry or fiction.
Story lengths vary. Regular department pieces range from 500 to 1,000 words; feature articles average between 1,500 and 1,900 words. The length of a piece will be determined by the editor after a query or story idea has been accepted; however, feel free to include an envisioned word count in your correspondence. Fees are typically $.50/word: $.45/word for first North American rights and $.05 for non-exclusive web rights (the right to archive the story on our website). Payment is on publication.
Saltscapes demands accurate, lively writing that demonstrates a breadth and depth of knowledge about a subject, or tells a compelling story. Stories may be personal but should touch on universal themes and extol regional values.
If you’re interested in writing for Saltscapes please take the time go through recent issues to become familiar with its style and content. But bear in mind, too, that we’re always looking for something different within the magazine’s mandate, as outlined above. We love a fun voice, attitude, and a lively, even cheeky writing style.
Queries should be emailed to to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a succinct outline—a couple of paragraphs—explaining your angle, the storyline, why or how the story is appropriate for the magazine, potential sources, and expected length. Also: think graphically. How might the story be illustrated or photographed? Access to good-quality photos that tell the story visually will help to sell your story idea. If you haven’t previously written for us, please enclose samples of your work and some background information about yourself.
We’re a small, busy shop, but if you don’t hear from us within a few months, a follow-up e-mail is appropriate. We get a lot of queries, and our resources are such that we can’t necessarily keep up with them in a timely fashion. We apologize in advance for this. If you are anxious to move the query on, that’s fair, too. We are, at all times, inundated with many more suggestions and proposals for editorial content than we could ever publish.
Lead times are long. The first draft of an article must be in-house two to three months before the issue for which it is scheduled.
Sidebars & packaging
Some of the most effectively packaged stories are ones where the ideas originate with writers, rather than editors and designers trying to retrofit aspects in hindsight. Please consider including novel/colourful info or anecdotes that are related but extraneous to the main narrative in the form of a sidebar. Sidebars provide additional entry points, drawing readers into the main story to increase engagement. In the bigger picture sidebars are one form of “packaging,” which may also include quotes, subheads, charts, a ticker tape of numbers or facts, etc.
Keep the visual side of the story in mind from the outset, and as you proceed with your research. If you take photos yourself, that’s ideal. Otherwise provide information on things you may have seen in the course of your interviews that present good photo opportunities. Let us know about people and places you think are particularly photogenic. Pass along brochures, pictures, or other materials that you think might be useful as reference for illustration. Providing a compelling package with pictures as well as words is a collaborative effort.
Changing a story line could cause problems. If the story doesn’t work out the way you thought it would, discuss it with us well before the deadline. We may not want a story that’s fundamentally different from the one you originally agreed to write.
Having sources preview manuscripts is not appropriate. Assure your sources that a checker will call him or her to verify the material used. If an interview subject insists on seeing your story before it’s published, ask if there’s something in particular of concern—or call us. We may prefer to drop the story.
A checking sheet must accompany the first draft of your story, listing all sources and contact information. Include copies of all printed materials you have used in your research. If you have drawn material from a book, provide page references and a copy; or photocopy the title page and the relevant material.
Fixes and editing are normal aspects of the editorial process. Generally for substantial alterations, stories are returned to writers for revision. If time is short, major revisions may be undertaken by the editor. Edited stories are usually returned to writers for proofing; however, last-minute trimming may be necessary to accommodate the allotted space.
Payment is on publication. Exceptions may be made if a story gets bumped to a later issue. Writers are paid based on the number of words published, within the range of what is assigned. For example if a story is assigned at 900-1,100 words, the writer provides 1,100 words but the story is tightened to 1,000 words, 1,000 words are what should be invoiced. Most drafts can be cut by 10 to 50 per cent.
On the other hand if you provide more than what is assigned, and we use more than what is assigned, you should bill for what is used accordingly.
Out-of-pocket Expenses should be discussed with an editor and approved before they are incurred. All expenses must be accompanied by an itemized list and receipts.
Kill fees are not awarded. We do our best to assign stories that we fully intend to publish, and to be clear about our expectations and requirements in terms of what we want to see in stories; however, Saltscapes reserves the right to not publish a story if it does not meet our requirements and the writer is too busy or unable otherwise to make the revisions we request.
Deadlines are a fact of publishing life and should be respected. If it looks like you’re going to be late, please let your editor know well in advance (which is not the day before the piece is due).
Print copyright: We’re buying first rights on any material: the right to publish your story first. This means, for example, that it’s not appropriate to post the story on your blog before we have published it. Please inform us if a portion or conceptual aspect of your submission has been previously published or is being considered for publication elsewhere. This includes social networking websites, forums, blogs, etc.
Our rights extend to the sales newsstand window for the issue where the story runs; however it’s considered good form to provide a six- to 12-month berth. Writers may submit the raw text for second rights publication elsewhere, but should disclose that the material has already been published in Saltscapes. (We own the copyright on all material as designed and presented by us. It may not be reproduced in that form without written permission.) We’re not keen on recycling material in the same market, especially to a competitor (doing so may compromise your relationship with Saltscapes going forward.) The bottom line: If you are unclear about rights, please contact us.
We reserve the right to withhold payment if a writer contravenes what we consider to be first rights. Our mandate is to publish original writing.
Other rights: As of January 2009, we have increased our word rate from $.45 to $.50/word, to include web and digital rights. Articles accepted for publication in Saltscapes may also appear on the Saltscapes magazine website (saltscapes.com), or used for promotional purposes. Each issue of the magazine exists in its entirety in a digital version.
Provide photographs as either a photo print, 4x6 smallest, a 35 mm slide, or in digital format.
If taking photos with a digital camera, we need photos that are at least 2048 pixels 1536. Higher is better. This can only be achieved with a 4.5 MB or 5MB digital camera. Anything smaller isn't going to provide images of a high enough resolution.
If scanning images and sending in digital format, remember to scan at a size of 5x7 to 6x8 and a resolution of 266-300 dpi. Saving in a JPEG format will reduce the overall size of the finished image and make it easier to send by email.
If you’re including photos of people be sure to get permission from them. Model release forms are the responsibility of the photographer.
For further information please call Associate Editor Angela Mombourquette at (902) 464-7258 x 227, or e-mail email@example.com.