General Guidelines for Writers and Photographers


General Guidelines for Writers and Photographers

Writer Guidelines PDF CLICK HERE – For an IRS W-9 Form, CLICK HERE

Oregon Coast is a bimonthly family-oriented magazine with circulation of approximately 40,000, plus a calendar and the Mile-by-Mile Guide to the Oregon Coast.

New and established writers and photographers are invited to submit queries, manuscripts, and digital photographs that meet the guidelines stipulated below.

OCM features stories of regional interest, written in a clear, crisp style that is rich in anecdotes and quotes. Be specific, informative, and vivid. Curtail the use of clichés.

Thoroughness and accuracy in details, history, and background are essential. Include in a sidebar brief information, if applicable, that allows and motivates readers to follow in your footsteps: how to get to a featured destination, nearby places of interest or accommodations, opening and closing times of attractions, and how to obtain additional information. Alert the editors to any details that could change between submission and publication.

We do not accept fiction or poetry. Potential contributors must be familiar with our publications.

Suggested topics include:

– Historical events or sites – Beachcombing adventures
– Special events – Back roads and byways
– Camping and picnicking spots – Nature and everyday science
– One-day driving tours – Community profiles
– Walking tours – Restaurant features
– Profiles of notable coastal residents – First-person adventures

Include with your submission current contact information for your key sources. It is helpful of you provide links for online brochures, maps, or other literature that will aid in editing and fact checking. You may also submit copies of printed brochures and maps with your hard-copy submission.

We buy first North American serial rights with an understanding that the story will not be offered to a similar publication for at least six months following its appearance in one of our magazines. Similar publications include Northwest Travel, Sunset, Cascades East, and 1859. We also consider the Oregonian travel section a similar publication.

All stories are subject to editing, and those that require excessive editing will receive less than the standard rate of pay.

All queries must be submitted in writing by mail or e-mail. Do not telephone to discuss proposals and do not submit materials by fax. Editors attempt to respond to queries within three months.

Queries must be brief while outlining the story idea, subject matter, exact details about locations, and point of view. Do not submit more than three story ideas per query letter. Authors who have not previously written for Oregon Coast should include writing samples. Notify editors if your proposal or manuscript is being submitted elsewhere.

If we like your ideas, we will ask to see your story on speculation, then set a story length and deadline. A “go-ahead on spec” does not constitute an assignment or guarantee publication. Writers may be asked to revise or add content.

Payments for published stories are based on the quality and length of the finished story. Payment is made 30 to 60 days after publication. We do not pay travel expenses. Contributors receive two copies of issues that contain their stories. We reserve the right to use stories and images of the magazines and calendars in which your work has been published in our own promotional material and online.

Formal assignments, usually made only to our regular freelance writers and negotiated in advance, are made in writing. If for any reason an assigned story is not published, writers are paid a kill fee of one-third the agreed upon price.

Story Type Word Count Payment
Regular feature
Supporting photos, art
Up to 3 pages
450-1250 $100-$250
Special feature
Supporting photos, art
Extensive research
More than 3 pages
1250-2500 $250-$450
Regional Roundup
Supporting photos, art
Extensive research
2000-3000 $450-$650
Restaurant feature*
Include prices, recipe, menu, or brochure
Concise, experiential
1000 $225
*Do not announce you are doing a review or request any accommodation that would obligate you to write a favorablereview or create any expectation that a story will be published. Interview proprietors after your meal.

We accept but do not pay for news and press releases, chamber of commerce reports, announcements of upcoming events, and local club news. We welcome such information and publish as much pertinent news as space allows.

OCM does not send out “want lists” but will review photographer’s pertinent work. Send no more than 40 samples. Please include metadata and specific captions telling where the image was shot and the time of day.

We accept only scenic photos for calendars, and scenic and human interest photos for the magazine and guide.

We recommend acquiring model releases for any photos that include people, but we do not require releases except for photos used on covers or in advertising.
We only accept digital photos. Digital photos must be submitted on CDs or DVDs as high-resolution (300 dpi) TIF, JPEG, or EPS files without compression. Images should be 8 ½” x 11 ¼”.

We discourage manipulation of photos such as over-sharpening, HDR, placing an object—such as a moon—after the image is shot, and increasing saturation to get a more dramatic look. We don’t necessarily rule these out, but if you have done this, please let us know. These images will be labeled as photo illustration.

To be considered for our calendar, photos must have horizontal formats. The annual deadline for the calendar is August 15.

We do not return cd’s and contact sheets unless specifically requested and postage is included in submission.

NOTE: We do not sign personal delivery memos and agree only to the terms stated herein. We do not accept transparencies with a delivery memo that states specific dollar valuations, holding fees, arbitration agreements, or the like.

Payment is for one-time rights, with the understanding that no photos will be published in any similar magazine within two months. We reserve the right to use images of the magazines and calendars in which your work has been published in our own promotional material and online. We reserve the right to print color photos in black and white to accompany editorial features.

Cover photo $400
Full, inside page stand-alone $100
Less than full page $25-$55
Cover or inside pages $100
Cover and inside pages 100 to 150% the amount listed above, depending on circulation

Manuscripts and photos should be submitted at least three months prior to desired date of publication. Stand-alone color photos should also arrive at least three months prior to publication.

Historical societies usually require special permission for photo publication. If you submit photos with your story that were supplied by a historical society, be sure you have obtained permission for publication first. You can also supply us with details on available images and we will contact the historical society directly.

Label all manuscripts and each individual photo. Include captions and your name and address. On a separate sheet, provide complete, accurate captions and credits for every photo. If you submit your manuscript or photos on disk, label and include captions on the disk. Please do not submit any slides or negatives.

We do not return materials unless it is requested. If you are supplying materials to be returned, enclose self-addressed mailers of sufficient size and postage. Add payment of $7.50 to cover cost of return by certified mail. We do not guarantee return of submissions unless you include return postage. Advise us of any change in address.
Do not submit original art. If art is needed for a story, send a photocopy. If we need the original, we will request it.

Submit a hard copy as well as an electronic copy of your manuscript. Electronic files must be submitted as attached files in e-mail or on disk in Microsoft Word or Rich Text formats. Manuscript hard copies must be printed on 8-1/2×11 white paper, double-spaced, one sided, 10- or 12-point type. Do not add any special or automatic formatting to the document or embedded images. Do not indent; instead leave a space between paragraphs.

Accepted contributors who are U.S. citizens must submit a completed W-9 form. Your name shown on the form must exactly match the name on your federal income tax return. Complete the Profile for Writers and Photographers form and return it with your submission.