Articles - How to Get Articles Published in Canoe & Kayak UK

How To Get Published In Canoe & Kayak UK
How To Get Published In Canoe & Kayak UK
Canoe & Kayak UK Editorial - Posted on 31 Jan 2012
It’s easier than you may think to get published in Canor & Kayak UK Magazine: just write an interesting article and send it to setht@warnersgroup.co.uk.

We’ll publish your canoeing or kayaking story if:
How to get articles published in Canoe & Kayak UK Magazine

- it is a good story/ has a good angle
- it comes with a decent set of images

Decent Images
However good an article, we can’t publish without photos, and poor quality images are about as much use as no photos at all. This is what we look for in a set of paddling photos submitted with any article:

-High Resolution: When you’re on the river, lakew od sea with your camera make sure that the resolution is set to be as high as possible. You might have to sacrifice shutter speed and memory space, depending on your camera, but it’s what’s needed to make your images usable for publishing. For print we need images to be, at their physical size, at a resolution of minimum 300dpi. As a guide, usable images will be minimum 3MB and upwards in disc size.

-Variety: In any collection of photos we look for a good mix of the following:
• On the water action – canoes, kayaks and you.. doing what you do!
• Lifestyle – camping/ driving/ eating etc.
• Destination – landmarks/ wildlife/ culture/scenery etc.

It’s important to have a good spread, but they’re not all as important as one another – we can’t publish without any canoeing or kayaking action shots whatsoever, but if you’re short of lifestyle shots, you might get away with it. The very best paddling photographs will include elements of all three.

-Well Composed Shots:
A shot of a waterfall with a yellow or green spec that if you squint you can work out is a kayak paddler isn’t a well-composed shot. It’s pointless to send us 10 shots of the same drop from the same angle – we’ll only use one maximum. Experiment with different angles, try to crop in close on some shots, and pan out for context on others. Being able to read facial expressions on some shots really helps lift a collection of photos.
TOP TIP:
Remember to rotate your camera 90 degrees occasionally. We always examine portrait shots as potential front covers, if you’ve bagged a good one with plenty of space around the subject you might just end up seeing it on the front of Canoe & Kayak UK Magazine!

The majority of photography we recieve these days is digital, but we are still happy to recieve prints and slides too.

-Good Quality: By this we mean we want sharp, bright images. We can’t use shots that are too dark or out of focus and fuzzy.

Story/ Angle
There are two things that it is essential to bear in mind when writing an article: AUDIENCE & PURPOSE. In the case of all Canoe & Kayak UK Magazine & www.canoekayak.co.uk articles:

-AUDIENCE: Literally everybody – young people, pensioners and everybody in between reads Canoe & Kayak UK Magazine, and articles have to appeal to them all in some way.
-PURPOSE: This one is simple – it’s to entertain and inform.

As with all good stories, you have to think about the WHAT, WHERE, WHO & HOW.

-WHAT: What sort of article are you writing?
• Destination Feature?
• Instructional/ Technique Article?
• Novelty Idea
• A philosophical/ political/ scientific article about a paddling issue?
• Paddling history?
Each of these will require a slightly different voice, make sure the one you are using is appropriate.

-WHERE: TOP TIP:  If we receive a really, really dull article, with poor images chronicling a parachute jump in a kayak straight onto a never-paddled-before creek on the side of an active volcano we won’t publish it. If we get an entertaining and interesting one. with a good angle and great photos, about a day out at the Nene Whitewater Centre, we will.

-WHO: If it’s a destination feature about a trip, we don’t want an arbitrary list of the names of the people on the trip – that means nothing to anyone who wasn’t there. But we do want some human colour, and at the very least to be able to identify with the narrator. A dry list of events with no human element whatsoever becomes very boring after 2000 words!

-HOW: The HOW is an excellent add on to an article – readers respond well to hearing about something that sounds as if it could be at least slightly attainable.

Structuring Your Article
It’s sometimes hard to know where to start when writing an article, so sometimes it’s useful to plan out a rough structure beforehand.

-Introduction: Every article has to have an introductory paragraph that sets the tone and gives a flavour of what is to come. People often assume that this introduction has to be the beginning of the story (if it is a destination article), but this isn’t always the case. An introduction needs to grab the reader, so it might make sense to begin with the exciting crux of the story. You can always back track then to explain how you came to be there.

-Organising Into Sub-Headings: All articles in Canoe & Kayak UK Magazine are organised into sub-headings. This is for a number of reasons, but largely because it looks better on the page and more attractive to a reader flicking through the magazine. There is more than one way to organise these headings, though:
• Chronologically: Sometimes the simplest way is the best. If you’re telling a story about your trip somewhere, and thinks it works best told start to finish, then you can do so.
• By Theme: Have a section on logistical adventures (getting boats to and around a foreign country), a paddling section or sections, a reflective section giving advice based on your experiences.
• By Narrator: We’ve had articles in the past that describe the same trip from the point of view of multiple narrators. If a few people want to collude in this way that is excellent – but make sure you plan it first to make sure you’re not all going to say the same thing! You can use this structure comically to demonstrate any differences in opinion you may have had on your trip.

These are just a few examples – be imaginative, how you structure your article is crucial to how interesting a read it is. Always get somebody to read it over to make sure that it makes sense and you haven’t been too clever though.

Title
Choose a straight-forward and descriptive title that immediately signals what the article is about i.e. Whitewater Kayaking in The French Alps.

Proof Reading
As editors we are paid professional proof-readers. We’ll do it so you don’t have to! We never reject an article because of misuse of commas or misspelling of easy words (see below). Just give it a quick once-over before sending to check it makes sense and we’ll do the rest.

Grammar & Spelling
You'd probably be surprised to hear that grammer & spelling are nowhere near the top of our list in terms of importance. All material that's published id edited and proof-read, so we're much more interested in the content and ideas in an article than the nuts and bolts of spelling & grammar, so please don't be put off having a go if these are not strong points, just run it through a spell checker before you send it in and we'll do the rest. Again if we recieve a perfectly spelt and punctuated feature that reads as dull as ditch water it's not going in, but something a little rougher but with a solid gold nugget of an idea or story can be editorially polished until it shines.

Entertain and Inform
Always remember the purpose of the article – it must primarily be entertaining and something that people want to read, but informative and accurate too. If you’re writing an article about a trip you’ve been on, then take a bit of time researching details like town, river, tide races, islands names etc, and other background information to include.
TOP TIP: Although you are writing non-fiction, sometimes to be concise and entertaining there’s room for embellishment of certain details, such as chronology. E.g. If writing an article about the Dart, you can make out that two separate anecdotes – which actually happened on different weekends - happened at the same time in order to help the story.

How to get published in:

Email word docs containing articles of 1500 – 3000 words to: setht@warnersgroup.co.uk
For photos we are happy to use an online file transfer website of your choosing such as DropBox, YouSendit or WeTransfer. Alternatively you can send a disc to Seth Townley, Warners Group Publications, The Maltings, West Street, Bourne, Lincolnshire, PE10 9PH.


Have you got any ideas or hot tips to share on writing canoeing & kayaking articles? Why not share them on the Canoe & Kayak Forum HERE

Check out the latest canoeing & kayaking vides of Canoe & Kayak UK TV HERE

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