Types of Articles and Photos Wanted and Guidelines for Submitting them to SOUTHWINDS Magazine
Cover Photos and Miscellaneous Photos Wanted. For more information
Calendar & News Items (race or events):
First of the month preceding publication always works (contact if later, as a few days later often works, but not always). For a more exact schedule (with later deadline dates each month), contact the editor.
Contact editor for all articles with good advance notice. If you want to remember a date that’s easy to remember, use the first of each month preceding publication. But we might not have room for your article in the next issue, so contacting us is critical.
“I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.” (Mark Twain)
Types of Articles Wanted
Subject matter. Should be about Sailing and/or sailboats, or closely related. Especially about Sailing in the South, the Bahamas, or the Caribbean, or maybe about a Southerner Sailing somewhere in the world. This can be racing, cruising, daysailing, windsurfing, trailer sailing, etc. These subjects are the main interest, but we will look at other stuff if it is interesting. We have a story going now that is about watching the sunset’s green flash from a sailboat. We prefer writing that is fairly objective and are not interested in articles that are too subjective. No poetry please.
Topics. Articles can be about Sailing experiences, places people have been, learning experiences, mishaps, fun, funny, places to go, anchorages, marinas, stopovers, passages, boat reviews, chartering, experiences in owning a boat in charter, unusual sailing events, origins of sailing miscellany in the world, or…you name it. Check with us. We like all sorts of stuff.
Fixing Stuff. If you’ve done any sailing, and especially if you’ve ever owned a sailboat, you know that breakdowns and repairs are a significant part of the sailing life. Stories about repairs while cruising have been learning experiences for all of us. Sometimes, they are even funny – but they are always educational and people like to read about them. They often fit on our last page, but sometimes they can become a longer article. Short pieces on fixes can be real interesting and enjoyable. Click here to see a series of short fixes that one writer sent us. If you have short ones send them in. Just one, a few, or many.
Boat Modifications and Projects. Got an interesting project you did or plan to do? Take photos and write about it.
Last Page Stories — Personal Stories, Learning Experiences, Funny, Unique, etc. We reserve this page (actually the page facing the inside back cover) for more personal stories or those that are unique. They can be about a unique experience you had that taught you a lesson about sailing, cruising, navigating or about any related matter. For example, a close call you had. Also included would be funny stories, sad, inspiring, weird or just unusual. We allow more subjective stories that tell about your experience and reactions. They can also just be an objective description of something that happened that was unique or out of the ordinary, whether it be funny, sad, weird or whatever. Photo is nice (we would print one, although we have done some that are only photos with little explanation, but generally just one and the text), but not necessary. We’ll print a generic graphic with it just for variety. Keep it in the 700- to 1200-word length. Although we cover events and sailing in the Southeast U.S., last page stories can be about something that happened anywhere.
Boat Reviews. We have printed many boat reviews by owners and these have been very popular. All boat reviews are paid for (contact editor for details). Some people also review boats of friends or boats they know well. Some have reviewed theirs and then also reviewed a friend’s boat. Go to our Boat Reviews page to get an idea of what a boat review is like, but you must contact the editor to make sure we have not already done a review on your boat (or even have one about to be printed that is not on the boat reviews page yet). Click here for more information on guidelines for boat reviews: what to cover, length, photos, etc. (open review guidelines as a PDF)
Cruising Destinations. Whether it’s a marina you cruise to, an out-of-the-way anchorage, an Island in the Bahamas, a small community, a big city, or wherever—we are looking for articles on places that are great to sail to as a destination for an afternoon, a weekend or longer.
Write About Your Yacht Club or Sailing Association: Tell us about your club, its history, facilities, major events, etc.
Youth Sailing. Write about a local youth sailing organization or sailing camp
Bahamas and the Caribbean. Trips, experiences, passages, anchorages, provisioning and other stories of interest.
Our Waterways. Information about the waters we sail in: disappearing marinas, boatyards and slips; mooring fields, anchoring rights, waterway access, etc.
Individuals in the Sailing Community. Interesting stories about the world of sailors out there, young, old, and some who are no longer with us but have contributed to the sport, the sailing community or were just true lovers of sailing.
- Plus – We also like the practical hands-on stories about maintenance, rebuilding boats or repairs, fixes, remodels etc. and about anything to do with this part of boating.
- Length – Keep your articles short. Besides the last page stories (see above), most articles can be in 1500-2000 word range, plus or minus. Longer articles can be twice as long or more for two or more parts only. If longer than these contact the editor.
- Format – We want everything sent in electronic format, preferably e-mail, but discs mailed in are acceptable, although email is far superior. PC format or readable by a PC. Single-spaced text. Text can be pasted in the e-mail if needed. We do not want any photos laid out into the text. We prefer all photos be emailed as jpeg attachments, or via Dropbox. Photo captions are best sent as separate from the article text, all together in one section at the beginning of the Word file, or even a separate Word file. We’ll figure out where they go in the story. Captions should be associated with the file name. See more on format in the technical guidelines in the following section.
- Suggestions – We believe that some of the best writers can’t tell a story but their grammar is great, and some of the best storytellers can’t write and most of us are in between there somewhere, so we will look at a lot if it doesn’t fit into our guidelines.
- Proofreading – We proofread everything and then have a professional proofreader read it (and we still make mistakes – what a surprise!). Don’t worry about being perfect. No one is.
- We’d like to see the who, what, when, where, why and how in the report writing.
- Payment – Some of our regular writers and professional writers get paid and many articles are sent in by many writers who are not seeking payment. We always pay for good articles if requested. Payment is based on ten cents a word, which includes photos. (Please note that we cannot promise we will use your article until we see your writing and get to know that you will be submitting good articles. Most people can write fairly well, so don’t hesitate to try.) Please indicate on your initial inquiry if you are seeking payment. All payments are made (mailed) by the end of the month of publication. All articles printed will also be possibly printed on our Web site and publishing of the article on our web site is not reimbursed separately or additionally beyond the payment for the published article. SOUTHWINDS only reserves rights to the articles for one time publishing and possible publishing at a later time on the magazine web site, either that month or in the future. All of our issues are published on the internet and that could be forever (a very long time).
- Original Articles. We only print original articles that have never been, and are not, at the time of publishing, printed elsewhere – including on the internet. After the month of publication, the article is the author’s to do with as they please.
- Publication Rights and Originality of Work: SOUTHWINDS has rights to the work during the month of publication and it cannot be used elsewhere until after the month of publication. You can put links to the article (how to place links) during the month of publication or afterwards. If you want whole copies of an article to put on your website, we only do this after the month of publication. This is out of fairness to our advertisers who pay for everything. Plus, the author’s permission is required to put an article elsewhere (permission not needed to place links to articles) outside the magazine website, which we have to make sure of.
- Editing, Grammar, Syntax. We proofread and edit each article closely and will make corrections in grammar to all articles as needed. Don’t worry about your grammar being perfect. We will help you with that. It’s the storytelling that’s critical. Remember that you are writing for the reader, so keep their knowledge in mind and try and make sure they can understand it and follow your article in a clear and concise manner.
Technical Guidelines & Submitting an Article
Some of the following guidelines for grammar and syntax make it easier for us to edit and use your material:
- Only one space between the period at the end of a sentence and the beginning of the next sentence – this makes it easy for some things for our software.
- Single space the lines of text, leave no space between paragraphs, and indent the first line of the paragraph one tab.
- No single quotes (‘) around any words-use double quotes (“) unless it is a quote within a quote.
- All boat names to be in italics and capital first letter, lower case rest of letters (unless it really is unique to the name). No quotes around them and no all caps.
- We can easily format to the above if you have a problem with this stuff. These guidelines just make it easier for us.
- Send articles in in Word format or just paste the text into an email. Send photos as jpeg attachments and not embedded in the email (do not layout photos with article, we will change it anyway). Captions are needed for photos, but if you have many photos, we can decide on which photos we want to use and then you can send captions. If you have a lot of photos (more than 15mbs total) send in more than one email. Or send by Dropbox. Contact us first if using Dropbox. If questions, just contact the editor.
Again – Please always remember this popular and wise quote that is attributed to Mark Twain”
“I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.”
All writers please be succinct and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite.
Links to online articles:
We invite others to put links to the magazine or specific articles in the online magazine on their website. This is always permissible and we do not restrict anyone on doing this. You do not need to ask. If you do not know how to put up a link to a specific article that goes to the exact page of the online magazine, whether the current issue or back issues, contact the editor for instructions. But here is how you do it:
- Go to the issue the article is in
- Go to the page in the issue that the article is on
- Read the website address at the top of the page. It will look something like this: https://issuu.com/southwinds/docs/southwindsmarch2017
- Look at the page number on the left page (read the online page number at the bottom left corner of the online page) – even if the article starts on the right side page. Take that number and add “2” to it. So, if it says 50, use the number 52 and put it at the end of the web address above in item 3 after a forward slash (/). It will look like this: https://issuu.com/southwinds/docs/southwindsmarch2017/52
- Copy that address and that’s the one you use to link to that exact article. Try it here and see.
- If you can’t figure it out or just need help, contact Steve, the editor. He’ll create the link and send it to you.