[Please carefully read this entire
section before submitting work.]
Writer’s Guidelines and Editorial Themes
We welcome writing from corporate execs, university faculty, housewives and mommies. We recognize that wisdom and profound insight, humor and wit can reside within any of us, no matter the letters following our name or our position in society.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR 1. WNC WOMAN celebrates the wisdom, insight, experience, and know-how of women. We want to read about women doing stuff: building things—whether it is barns, businesses, or better mousetraps; fixing things, whether it is her plumbing, her car, or her life. We want to know what you have done that you never thought you could do. We want to read about you turning around a bad situation. We want to read about things that work: successful alliances formed, dreams manifested, obstacles overcome. We want to read about women who say “Oh yeah? Says who?” to the lies they have been told, the myths about what is and is not possible. We also want some really juicy fiction, poetry that moves us, (we only accept free verse) and essays that inspire and get us thinking. We would love to have at least one belly laugh per issue—a dozen if possible.
2. We have a very particular intent with WNC WOMAN. We encourage you to study the magazine to get a better idea what we are looking for. Our style is more personal than a newsmagazine so we have many first-person stories; but we are also OK with those written in a more journalistic, third-person style if they are still experiential.
3. Writers usually must be women living in Western North Carolina. Only rarely do we make exceptions if the topic is of unusual interest. And we typically only write ABOUT women living in Western North Carolina. In our annual June Y Chromosome issue, we invite those with a Y Chromosome to join our ranks!
4. Length of articles: We like depth so we’ll accept pieces up to about 1900 words (and photos or artwork too, in 300dpi); we are interested in short pieces that are pithy (say, 500 words) but generally like from 1000 words up to 1900, rarely more unless the article warrants those words.
5. We are interested in health related articles if they fit the guidelines in #1. We are interested in stories of your experiences with health crises, how you coped, who supported you, etc. Articles that inspire others or impart information that is new are what we like to read. We love reviews of books by regional writers. We recently started a new section called Home Space and would love to read articles about your experiences with remodeling, with buying or selling a home, etc. Our intention here is to exchange thoughts, information and insight on a range of issues of importance to women and their families. If you have an idea for an entirely new category, send us an email at email@example.com and we will discuss it with you.
PREPARING YOUR WORK 1. We are looking for excellence in the written word. We encourage a positive tone and active voice. If there are good websites related to your article, do include their URL. We expect you to have carefully edited and proofed your work, and to have run a spell check. Please don’t send us a “draft” of your article; do your editing and proofing before sending since we will usually start our proofing and layout right away and sending a new version simply complicates the process and can result in the wrong version being printed!
2. Include your bio at the end of your article. Two or three sentences should be sufficient. Please include in your bio whatever contact information you’d like for our readers and put it at the end of your article. We don’t normally print photos of authors except for our regular monthly columnists due to space considerations.
3. Please don’t indent your paragraphs, double space, or do “hard returns” at the end of sentences; all those make our job harder when we place your article into our layout. You don’t need to try to “format” the article in any particular way since that formatting will not transfer to the actual magazine layout.
SUBMITTING YOUR WORK
1. Please send your article via email to firstname.lastname@example.org as an attached Word document or directly in the email.
2. At this time we are not able to pay our writers. We want the rights to print your work and have it online, but otherwise, because we are not paying, we do not assume ownership—it is yours to do with as you will after it is published in WNC WOMAN. If it is later published elsewhere, we simply ask that at the end you say “First published in WNC WOMAN” and the date.
3. Even if we express interest in your work and say we intend to publish it, we never know until the very last minute if it will fit in print in a particular month… it may not fit until several months later; we will let you know once the final version goes to the printer. If you decide not to wait but prefer to submit the article elsewhere, just let us know via email.
4. Please put the word SUBMISSION as the first word in the subject line; this helps us retrieve relevant emails easily.
5. The deadline is the first of the month AT LEAST ONE, PREFERABLY TWO MONTHS in advance. For example, we need to receive an article for the January issue by December 1st, hopefully November 1st. We may possibly take work closer to the publication date, so email to ask if you are working on something but won’t have it by the two-month deadline… but the FINAL deadline is the first of the month prior to publication. We will give priority to those articles submitted earliest, all things being equal.
March 2014: Women at Work. It’s Women’s History Month so we would love to read some articles about the roles of women at various historical periods, whether working at home or out in the larger world. And what about today? What has changed in the last 40+ years about increased opportunities for well-paid and productive work? And what about the working woman who is still the primary caretaker of her home and family… how does she do it? What toll does it take?
April 2014: Food, Glorious Food. From articles about local growers, edible gardening and bakers and chefs to interesting recipes to thoughtful pieces about food culture, memories of food and friends and family… we all love to eat and read about food!
May 2014: Home Sweet Home. Because Home IS where the heart is. We want to hear about your adventures in remodeling, buying or selling a home. Decorating on a budget; reusing and recycling materials to enhance your home space. Unique and affordable landscaping and gardening ideas. Thoughts about the meaning of home; losing home; being homeless or Home-Free.
June 2014: The Y-Chromosome. Our annual men’s issue, where we invite men to write about any number of subjects that fit our criteria above; and we write about the men we love and admire.
July 2014: Woman’s Best Friend. All about the pets we love and care for (and who care for us!).
August 2014: Women in Sports. From group sports like Softball and Soccer to individual ones such as running, kayaking, etc. We want to hear about your experiences in taking up a new sport, or maintaining your connection to an old one. What do you receive from your sport in terms of community, physical and mental/emotional health, and more.
September 2014: Women in Education. Going back to school after 30; women administrators, teachers, superintendents… women in decision-making roles. Do we really need a college degree now? Online education; does it work?
October 2014: Non Profits. The role of non-profit organizations in communities. Who are they; how do they function; what roles do women play in them… and more.
November 2014: Undecided at the moment. Will have some relationship to entertainment/performing arts… still thinking on this one!
December 2014: Women of the Cloth. Several years ago we did an issue with this theme and it was wonderful. More profiles on women “breaking through the stained-glass ceiling”; women in more alternative spiritual organizations. Why does it matter?