Contributor Guidelines: Submitting an Article
A\J is dedicated to in-depth analysis of environmental issues, including their ecological, social and economic dimensions. It combines the learned rigour of an academic journal with the accessible style and format of a general-interest magazine. This unique hybrid has proved itself by its staying power: A\J has been publishing continuously in Canada since 1971, making it the oldest environmental policy journal in the country.
A\J aims to publish the best environmental stories in the country. We seek written and visual contributions that are engaging and that provide a deeper level of analysis and insight than the mainstream media.
We invite proposals for investigative features, shorter reports and notes, interviews and profiles, resource guides, research findings, cultural commentary and compelling photography, illustration and graphics.
Each issue of A\J contains both on- and off-theme material. Upcoming themes include Night, Heroes, Faith and Sharing.
We prefer to work with authors from the proposal stage to a finished manuscript. Queries should explain the concept, content and scope of your article in less than 300 words, as well as your intended approach, tone and style.
Please also include a list of people you will interview, potential images or sources for images, the number of words you propose to write and a very short bio. If you have not written for A\J before, please include other examples of your writing.
Please keep in mind that our lead time for assembling editorial lineups is at least four months, and that our staff is small. Articles should not be so time-bound that they will seem dated once published.
While we do not normally accept material that has already appeared in other major publications, we will consider articles that have already received a very limited or regional audience.
Download A\J's Proposal Submission Checklist
Proposals should be submitted via email to Eric Rumble: editor(at)alternativesjournal.ca
In cases where an author is unable to send attachments by email, please call 1-519-888-4505 to make other arrangements.
Feature Articles (ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 words, including endnotes) cover a vital topic in depth. Features may be written in an essay style, wherein the author ruminates on a topic; a journalistic style, wherein the author tells a story based on interviews with stakeholders and published documents; or an academic style that sets out a logical framework and systematically explores an issue.
Feature articles must meet the highest standards of analytical rigour and reliability of information. They must also be lively, well written and accessible to a non-expert readership. Authors are encouraged to use illustrative cases for theoretical or general points and to avoid using specialized language or jargon. Manuscripts are subject to blind review by experts in the appropriate field.
Reports (500 to 1200 words) are less analytical than features and are usually written to convey a story or inform the reader of new initiatives or recent developments in policy, thought, technology or action. They often include some analysis, but with other elements woven into the story, such as case studies, research reportage, personal experiences, etc.
We are also developing some new magazine departments that have particular packaging and production requirements. The best way to get a sense of what A\J publishes is to spend some time reading the magazine and website.
- A\J uses the Oxford Canadian Dictionary for spelling and the Globe and Mail Style Guides.
- A\J requires all submissions to be written in a non-sexist manner. Quotes that include sexist terms should be avoided. If a sexist term is unavoidable, it should be followed by "[sic]". For reference, see Bobbye D. Sorres, The Nonsexist Communicator (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1983).
- Figures and tables should appear on separate pages and have appropriate titles.
- Accepted submissions will be illustrated with photographs, drawings or other graphics. If possible, please submit visual materials, or suggest sources of appropriate photos. All original artwork will be returned.
- For all articles, authors must supply fact-checking resources, including references to books and other media, URLs and contact information for people that are directly quoted or who have informed the content. We also appreciate web addresses, ongoing campaigns and organizations where readers can find further information about the topic.
- Please provide a one- or two-sentence biography with your contribution, beginning with your name. (e.g., Jane Smith is an associate professor of Environmental Studies at...)
Initial acceptance of a proposal or a manuscript, or the assignment of a commission, does not guarantee publication. After initial acceptance, authors are expected to work with an A\J editor to revise the manuscript. Authors are asked to respond to requests for revisions within a reasonable time frame. Final copy is sent to authors for approval prior to publication. Although the author's views are taken into account, the A\J creative team chooses the titles of all articles.
We have a limited budget of about 10-cents-per-word. This stipend is available to professional and amateur writers and students only. Please indicate your interest in this funding when submitting an article proposal.
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