We are always looking for writers, if interested in contributing to Northword Magazine/www.northword.ca, we’d love to hear from you.
Northword values the contributions of local writers and photographers, as a centre of our effort to produce a quality publication and website. We aim to put in print the wide range of voices, views and opinions of people who have a connection to the top half of B.C.
We look for writers with a curious and knowing voice, who can see places with fresh eyes and real insight, and who understand the roots of good storytelling.
Here you’ll find the guidelines for how you can be a part of our team at Northword—B.C.‘s top read! For any additional questions not covered below, please e-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letters to the editor:
Letters may be edited for length, clarity and taste. Recommended length: 250 words. E-mail either as a word attachment, or embedded in the e-mail. Name and contact phone number are required for verification purposes. Deadline:seven weeks prior to publication date. See home page for publication schedule.
Articles & photos:
For insurance and accuracy reasons, Northword doesn’t print unsolicited material.
We advise you to send a story query, not a finished article, for a report-driven story rather than an opinion piece. Your query should focus on regional issues, individuals, resources or events, to name a few. The story should be new to us, and cover more than just basic information. If your story idea is sensitive to a particular event or season, please query us 3-4 months ahead of time.
All contributions will be subject to our terms and conditions, as outlined lower down on this page.
We individually negotiate rates for each piece. Factors include your writing experience and skill, the story length and the amount of research required. Payment covers use in both the print and web formats and is normally sent out within 30 days of receipt of invoice.
We need a compelling reason to assign an article: a specific angle, or news that makes the subject fresh. Tell us what you plan to cover and how. Who would you interview or consult? Where would you gather information? Also, give us a sense of your approach to this topic, your tone and style. State if yours is a simultaneous query (being sent to others at the same time). This doesn’t rule out your query; it just avoids misunderstandings. Less experienced writers should send manuscripts on spec. If accepted, you will be assigned a word count and a deadline. Include sample images with your query or manuscript. If you know of existing professional photography on your proposed subject, especially if it is an obscure topic or remote location, supply photographer contact info where possible.
- Before submitting anything, read several recent issues of Northword, in print or online.
- An original, well-composed, one-page proposal that demonstrates your writing style is far more likely to garner an assignment than a
- Specify availability of photography with your submission. If you expect to provide your own images, or are working with a photographer,
- Send an example of your writing or photography, plus a 50-word bio, and mug shot at 300 dpi.
- Submit the article/photograph by the deadline assigned, via e-mail, as a word attachment, with no formatting applied. Include an e-mail address for byline printing purposes.
So, if you’re ready to write a query, here is a cheat sheet with the pertinent details:
Clearly identify which issue your query is in regards to. Except for breaking news, the deadline for all freelance stories is at least two months prior to the publishing date. This means you should pitch your story idea well in advance of the deadline, so you have time for research, interviews, writing, editing, fact checking, proofing and arranging photographs or illustrations, if applicable. The complete story, sidebars, footnotes etc. are due at the time of the deadline, along with photographs, cutlines, writer’s bio and writer’s mug shot.
• Type of story?
Specify what kind of story you have in mind: cover story, news feature, creative writing, column, or brief. The length of stories is measured in the number of words. As a general guideline, a cover story is in excess of 1,600 words, a news feature around 1,100, creative writing around 800, column 600, and a brief 100-300.
If your intended size is different from above, please explain why it should be. Once a story is commissioned, a word count will be assigned and must be adhered to. If, during the research, new information comes up which would change the angle, sources, length, photos etc., the freelance writer is required to contact the editor to verify the story is still a go-ahead.
• Regional connection?
There must be a regional angle. Northword covers the area between Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands in the west, Jasper in the east, and Dease Lake in the north. If you are not sure if your story falls within our coverage area, please find out for sure before you pitch the story idea. Sometimes the stories can be set in a different area, if it is of significance for the Northword region.
Due to our two-month shelf-life for stories, all articles must be relevant for that entire period. This affects the story choices, and we tend to focus on new features that deal with a larger issue in the long term. The material should be new, and not having been published anywhere prior. If your story idea is a breaking story that will likely be covered by other regional media prior to Northword coming out, it will not be accepted for publication. There needs to be a level of timeliness in the story, and the angle should provide the reader with the information why the story is published now.
All of the Northword stories should appeal to the majority of our readers. Make yourself familiar with our publication/website and earlier published stories to get a clear idea of who we target. The articles should have a human-interest aspect to them, i.e. put a face to an issue, by presenting the people the topic affects.
Specify availability of photography with your submission. If you expect to provide your own images, or are working with a photographer, include sample images with your query or manuscript. If you know of existing professional photography on your proposed subject, especially if it is an obscure topic or remote location, supply photographer contact info where possible.
Most stories are to be written in third person, and be report-driven angle (with lead, nut paragraph, quotes and conclusion). Because Northword encourages a literary-journalism style, first person stories may be appropriate, but only with editorial approval. Columns, and sometimes creative writing, should be in first person.
Both aspects of a story need to be addressed, in order for the story to be fair, accurate and balanced. Identify in your query whom you are planning to interview, whom they represent, and why that is making the story balanced, current or appropriate for Northword.
What’s your angle? Why should this piece run? Give us some background, interesting details of what your story would include.
Northword publishes both commissioned freelance stories, and contributions submitted for free. Please identify your expectations from the outset. We individually negotiate rates for each piece. Factors include your writing experience and skill, the story length and the amount of work required. If a per-word rate is negotiated, payment is based upon the printed (not submitted) word. Payment is normally sent out within 30 days of receipt of invoice. Articles and photographs published in Northword Magazine are also printed online at www.northword.ca (and viceversa) and the negotiated rate is for both print and web use.
Unless you have written for us in the past or established yourself as a full-time writer known to Northword, we won’t commission a story. You are welcome to submit a draft or a complete story for consideration. To save yourself time and disappointment, you should still submit a query first to determine if there is interest in your story idea.
Once a story has been commissioned, it is mandatory to submit a proposed lead and nut paragraph before proceeding. This will eliminate re-writes if the piece is off target.
Articles should be typed in Times font and submitted via e-mail, flashdrive, or cd as a separate Microsoft Word attachment. Endnotes may be used and if so, the text of the endnotes should be typed into the body of the document—*not* inserted with the “insert endnote” feature in Word.
Each contributor will have a 40-word bio and mug shot printed on the contributors’ page. The bio should be casual, and mention your earlier writing merits. The photo should be digital, and attached as a jpg or tiff at 300 dpi. It needs to be at least 2×2”. If digital photos are not available, please mail a print, and include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you wish for it to be returned.
• Photos and cutlines?
If you are taking your own photos, or arranging with a photographer to illustrate your story, please inquire in advance with the editor about specific angles, colour, size etc.
Digital photos are preferred, but prints are okay. If you submit digital photos, please e-mail in its original format. Northword must do any adjustments. If available, please submit photos in colour, as we then have the option to run them in colour or black & white. All photos or illustrations must be 300 dpi, at least at the intended size for use. For example, if a photo is intended to illustrate a story, it must be at least 5×7”. If you submit a photo that’s 300 dpi, but only 2×4”, it’s too small.
Digital photo attachments should be in either a tiff or jpg format.
All photos must include captions, identification of subjects, and the name of the photographer. Photo captions should not simply repeat what you’re written in the story. Neither should the cuts state what’s obvious to the naked eye. It should include some interesting details, in addition to the body text and the image in the photo.
• Ready to go?
Always check and double-check your story information. We rely on our freelancers to provide carefully researched, accurate copy. Please provide a list of sources with your manuscript (names and daytime phone numbers). Provide titles of books (with author and publisher) from which you have drawn material. Writers may also be asked to provide copies of printed material (brochures, maps, charts) used in their research.
Stories that aren’t submitted by the deadline assigned will not be published or compensated for. Submit the article via e-mail as a word attachment, with no formatting applied, except for CP style.
Include an e-mail address for byline printing purposes. It will appear under your byline by the story.
All material should be submitted at the same time, unless previously approved by the editor.
Always check and double-check your story information. This must be done prior to submission. We rely on our freelancers to provide carefully researched, accurate copy. Please provide a list of sources with your manuscript (names and daytime phone numbers). Provide titles of books (with author and publisher) from which you have drawn material. Writers may also ask to provide copies of printed material (brochures, maps, charts) used in their research.
All articles are subject to editing for length, clarity and taste.
For any additional questions, please e-mail us
We are always looking for great photos for the cover. As a guideline, they should be related to the season the particular issue covers. Ideas: landscapes, wildlife, people, artwork—things that reflect our northwest lifestyle. There should be space for the Northword masthead at the top of the photo. We’re looking for colourful, sharp images!
All photos must include captions, identification of subjects, and the name of the photographer.
Format: print or slides, for cover photos. Black & white or colour prints for us to scan for inside pictures, or as 300 dpi TIFFs or JPGs by e-mail, at least 6 × 8 inches, unless otherwise specified. If photos are provided on disk, they should be in TIFF format (300 dpi). Cover shots should be at least 10 x 12 inches (300 dpi).
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
For insurance and accuracy reasons, Northword doesn’t print unsolicited material, and is not responsible for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or other materials. If you would like your submissions returned, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and we’ll make every effort to return them to you.
Manuscripts are confidential between the writer and editor, and must remain so until publication. Please decline any requests your subjects may make to preview your story; if they persist, gently refer them to the editor. Our lead times are long, and we don’t wish to see original ideas scooped by other publications.
We ask that articles submitted to Northword not appear in immediate local media while the current issue is on the stands. Writers may freelance their original stories to other publications, but may not include edits made by Northword. Photos taken for Northword on film provided by Northword are the property of the magazine.
Under no circumstances shall any disclosure of any idea and/or suggestion or related material be subject to any obligation of confidentiality or expectation of compensation. By submitting material to Northword Magazine, you agree, without limitation or qualification, to be bound by these terms and conditions and such other additional or alternative terms, conditions, rules and policies which are displayed or to which you may be directed. As a contributor of editorial writing, pictures and/or cartoons to Northword, contributors understand and approve of any material submitted, sold or otherwise supplied may be published in both print and electronic mediums under the terms of the existing arrangement.
By listing in Northword Magazine, advertisers acknowledge that they do business in a spirit of co-operation, fairness and service, maintaining a high level of responsibility. Advertisers are solely responsible for their claims. Northword Magazine assumes no liability for any claims or representations contained anywhere in the magazine in its printed for, or on this website. Northword Magazine reserves the right to cancel or refuse advertising at publisher’s discretion.
Under no circumstances shall any disclosure of any idea and/or suggestion or related material be subject to any obligation of confidentiality or expectation of compensation. By submitting material to Northword Magazine, you agree, without limitation or qualification, to be bound by these terms and conditions and such other additional or alternative terms, conditions, rules and policies which are displayed or to which you may be directed. If you do not agree with these Terms and Conditions, you may not use this website or contribute material.
We reserve the right, at our discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of these terms and conditions of use at any time. Please periodically check these terms and conditions for changes. Your continued use of this site following the posting of changes to these terms and conditions of use constitutes your acceptance of those changes.
No part of Northword Magazine, in print or electronic form, may be reproduced or incorporated into any information retrieval systems, without written permission of the publisher. Copyright in letter and other materials sent to the publisher and accepted for publication remains with the author, but the publisher and its licensees may freely reproduce them in print, electronic and other forms.