How to Contribute
Love fishing and want to become a fishing writer for Fishing SA magazine? Here are a few tips from the Editor Shane Murton to get you started!
Fishing SA magazine welcomes submissions for publication from freelance fishing writers and photographers. We are constantly on the lookout for photographic and written material for inclusion within our magazine.
Below are a few of the basic guidelines that should be considered before submitting work. Give it a go; it’s not as hard as you’d think!
Story Ideas & Style
Firstly, ideas are best discussed with the editor before submitting them. This is so we can maintain a balanced magazine each and every issue without doubling up on content. Ultimately this means you’ll get published quicker as well!
A full sized feature article will vary in length between 1500 to 2500 words with 1800 to 2000 words ideal. Two part features can be arranged if the topic warrants it, but should be talked over with the editor beforehand.
Feature articles can be written in a variety of ways – we are looking for practical ‘how to’ articles, species profiles, location profiles, and articles detailing successful fishing trips. Camping, boating and 4WDing is also acceptable content. The better articles tend to be a balance of information and entertainment, but there’s no hard rules here.
Features should be written in a lively manner to keep readers interested. Keep your audience in mind when writing at all times. Content should be centered on South Australia as this is the magazine’s primary focus.
Feature articles aside, we’ll also accept single product reviews and any other material that would be of interest to our readers.
All features should be submitted in Word format and double or single line spaced. Captions for photographs should be written below the main story and all photographs are best numbered to coincide with their captions. The story can be burnt onto the same disk as the photographs or emailed through. Please make contact before emailing content. Most times we’re fine with pictures being emailed, but please ask first.
Photographs are the make or break part of any fishing story. Fishing SA puts particular emphasis on only publishing shots of a reasonable standard. Nowadays digital format is the industry standard for publication.
Ideally pictures should be taken on a six or eight megapixel camera or better. Many writers use 12 to 20 megapixel plus cameras to achieve those double page glossy spreads you see in our magazine. Buying a half decent camera isn’t the massive outlay it was going back 5 years or so. Feel free to send through a sample of your photographs if in doubt.
Ideally get as much light on the subject you’re photographing as possible. If during the day ensure the subject is in full sun and the fish is catching any available light. Also be sure to use a fill flash, whether you are using the small pop-up flash on the camera or an external box flash.
There’s just a few basic points that we’d appreciate you pay attention to before submitting any content. There’s nothing overly hard at all, but they’ll save us a lot of time and ensure we produce a sharper product. Any further questions about these points below or anything else relating to article style, grammar etc., feel free to contact us via our contact page and we’ll do all we can to help out.
Berley not burley
Berlying not Burlying
In regards to length or distance – Metre not Meter
No capitals on fish names at all, unless it’s the name of person or country etc.
Eg. King George whiting, Spanish mackerel, otherwise it’s just snook, bream, flounder, shark etc.
Only leave a single space after a full stop. It can be hard to spot if there’s a double space at times and this can easily make it through to the final mag if not picked up.
Correctly spell names of places or tackle etc. We may not have time to research all area names etc., so we appreciate it if you get them spot on for us the first time. Google is an invaluable tool and should be used if ever in doubt.
All fish should be photographed straight from the water and be in the best possible condition. Wash off any sand, dirt or blood and try to hold the fish in a natural supportive manner. The fish should be straight and the photographer should focus the picture on the fish’s eye as this is what people will be looking at.
If possible try to wear bright clothing for pictures, it’ll really enhance the shot, particularly on those gloomy overcast days.
Don’t be deterred from sending in a photograph if it has flaws. All pictures in the magazine are edited. Importantly please don’t manipulate photos in any way before submitting them. If colour, blood, size etc. needs to be corrected we are capable of doing it.
Ideally 10 to 30 pictures per feature should be submitted. The more the better! Also aim for variety with shots of fish in the water, close-ups, shots of rigs, action, scenery and even underwater shots all adding to the story. Also, a few quality ‘grip and grin’ type pictures are generally required.
Fishing SA magazine prefers that any content we’re paying for isn’t displayed on the web or public forums before it goes to print. Printing is an expensive exercise and we’d prefer to publish fresh content where possible to get readers excited. Of course, there’s some flexibility with this and we understand that many of our writers contribute to forums etc. which is fine. On occasions, we may refuse work if the pictures have been used previously.
Repeat words. Try hard not to use the same descriptive word or sentence over and over again as it makes a story hard reading and often we’ll have to edit it out. A common one is ‘very good fishing’ or ‘good fishing’ or ‘some times’ etc. Writing like this can be boring and predictable so mix it up where you can as there’s a lot of words out there you can substitute with! By the same token, try add flare to your article rather than it going through the motions and not holding the interest of readers.
Overuse of the word ‘some’. Avoid using this as much as possible as it’s easy to do this to death and they will be edited out and substituted.
Keep things lively and interesting. Don’t make your stories become too boring or detached. Include your personal experiences and anything you’ve learned.
For both features and columns it’s appreciated if you can come up with a title for your work also. Don’t be afraid to give us a couple of options to choose from. The more original the better!
Formatting – Don’t put any tables, graphs or fancy formatting or fonts into your stories, it isn’t compatible with our design software and therefore will be scrapped and take us time to fix. Comp results etc. that are to be published should be written out in a flowing manner, avoiding dot point results.
Finally, but nonetheless importantly, set your spell check to (English) Australia to avoid Americanisms creeping in, as well as easily avoidable errors. Remember to run spell check over your document before submitting and adjust all corrections. Always double read your document. Again the more errors removed early on the less likelihood of them making it to print. Those writers who put the extra effort in will generally be rewarded with more work published and bigger spreads in the mag!