Guidelines for contributors

Guidelines overview

November 29, 2010 - 02:42

These days, writers and photographers worldwide are discovering the advantages and benefits of Internet media and online publication in reaching out to new audiences.

When it comes to submitting work, X-Ray Magazine is the ideal venue for contributors on the go. We take great pride in working closely with new and upcoming contributors.

X-Ray Magazine is currently accepting new and previously published photographs and stories in English.

When submitting articles you must mainly supply the following as detailed below;

  • Texts
  • Images
  • Captions
  • Factfiles and other illustrations where pertinent

Texts

November 29, 2010 - 17:58

Word count and conventions

Word count

In X-Ray Mag we do not practice presetting specific word counts for feature articles. Rather than forcing articles into a predefined space we build the magazine around the features and not vice versa.

A page is approx. 650 words

To however provide a yardstick: One page of text in a standard Word-document corresponds to a spread (double page) in the magazine once it has been laid out. There is about 650 words pr page.

  • Short, newsy mentions are usually less than a page. Typically 300-600 words.
  • Factual features (i.e. science, ecology, physiology, technical diving, photography,...) are generally 2-4 pages long. That's 1200-2400 words.
  • Travel features and destination reports are usually 4-8 page long. Well... you get the picture.

The desired length

Let the narrative unravel in a natural rhythm but strive to be concise. Aim for the zone in between being longwinded and tersely truncated.

Check pasts issues of the magazine to see how it is usually done

Style conventions as pdf

Please also download the Contributors Style Guidelines Check List and check your text against it before you submit your final materials.

Tips for writing articles

November 29, 2010 - 02:54

Don't know quite how to go about writing a feature for our magazine? Here's few tips

Structure your material into subsections

Before you write, make an outline and list of bulletpoints that you would like to cover - 5-8 main points are usually fine. But do have a structure, overall idea and sense of direction and stick to it. Keep digressions in check or put them in sidebars.

End your travelogue with an assessment or recommendation. For example, give it a thought who is this location or course best suited for. Would that be families with kids, the adventure-seeking technical diver or something in between? We all have our standards and different yardsticks. Bear this in mind.

Imagine your audience

When you write for a magazine you have an audience just as if you were a slideshow presenter or just talking to your neighbour. In this case you can't see them face to face and they can't ask you questions. But they are looking for the same answers and entertainment. Capture their imagination and tell the story. Sometimes it helps imagining that you are writing a letter to a certain friend. Make it relevant, make it personal.

Why, How, When, What?

Make sure that you answer all the obvious questions your audience may have. Why go there? What is so special about it? When is a good time? Who would be interested? Why should I bother? Should I bring the kids or my rebreather? What are the highlights? The obvious questions are those a slide show audience would inevitably ask you about after the show if you forgot to bring the subject up yourself during your presentation.

Written and oral language differs

Written and oral language are quite different. Avoid the temptation to directly transcribe your train of thoughts.

Blending in oral language in written text can be done skilfully and with great effect - if you are an aspiring novelist with talent. Otherwise give your first draft a complete writeover and weed out oral language.

Do not's to avoid

"Then I did this, then I did that. The next day..." Dairies and other chronological step-by-step accounts are not only uninspiring to read but also misses the crucial point of providing the reader with essential information in a structured and meaningful manner. Another no-no is to go into personal references and matters and reflections that is irrelevant to the subject. The audience some of which comes from different countries do not know you.

1,5 hours under water, 15 hours above

Diving is the centerpiece of our vacation but we spend the vast majority of or the time out of the water. Include some bits on the local ambience, people and culture. It is very often the topside experiences that sets the dive destinations apart rather than the clownfish, dolphins and turtles. What is there to see and do when out of the waters? See temples, go shopping? Any major historical landmarks it would be a shame to miss?

The "Everything's beautiful"-trap.

"The water is tempting green, the sky is blue, the sand is white, the palms are green and the people are really nice."

Sure they are, but aren't most of this world's dive destinations wonderfully attractive? Avoid the standard cliches and describe what you really see.

Capture the flavour

All impressions count. Make us smell the tar of the ropes or the special coffee they serve here. Or did the flowering fields leave a lasting impression, or the sunrise over the volcano? Tap into the memory bank and tell about your lasting impressions and sentiments.

Be honest

If it sucks, it sucks so tell it. However in reality the picture is rarely entirely black or white. Quality and price are always interconnected in some way - most often you get what you pay for and this and common sense should be your yardstick. Safely should never be compromised however.

Credits and advertorials

Brand names, company-specific recommendations and other blatant appraisals that comes across as advertorial messages within the article will be mercilessly edited out. I makes a horrible read and the audience sees right through it anyway. Acknowledgements and thanking sponsors or hosts may be included in at short note at the end - at the editor's discretion. Advertorials are not acceptable in X-Ray Magazine as matter of both editorial principles and legal considerations.

Proofing

Most word processors comes with a spell checker. Please use it, and check your punctuation. Get someone else to read your article over before turning it in.

Got everything?

Remember articles comes with pictures/illustrations, captions and factfiles

Image requirements

November 29, 2010 - 03:08

Save in the right sizes and formats. Clean and color correct the images. Make a selection.

No scatches, no dust please. And make sure that digital images or scans are cleaned up

Fileformats

Psd (Photoshop), jpeg, tiff or png format preferred

Minimum filesizes required

2500 x 1550 pixels for covers and spreads.
1550 x 1000 pixels for all other article photos.

Resolution

Save the images in 144 dpi - if you wouldn't mind. It saves us time if you can.

Clean the images first

Images should be cleaned and colour corrected. Images with dust, scratches, backscatter, compression artifacts or other visible blemished will be rejected. So will images that is out of focus or incorrectly exposed for that matter so check the histograms! !

No compression

Do not compress jpgs please as it leaves compression artifacts. Save jpgs directly from the original tif or rawfile as saving and re-saving a jpgs repeatedly will cause deterioration of image quality.

Omit copyright notices and watermarks

Please do not superimpose any copyright notices or visible watermarks on the image itself. We will add credit bylines or copyright notices along the the image according to our general design guidelines. When we publish the magazine the pdf will be copy-protected with a password against image extraction.

Send a meaningful selection

Browsing through CD's with hundreds of unsorted images does not only take considerable time for the editor but it should be you who select the most important images and not the graphic designer who probably doesn't has the foggiest idea which images are most significant and is for most parts already maxed out.

If in doubt , make a primary selection of 10-15 images and a secondary selection of no more than 30 additional images.

Remember captions

Please include meaningful captions with names, location and description for all photographs. Some photographs of people require a signed release from the subject.

How to submit

November 29, 2010 - 03:31

You can submit by email, dropbox, upload through ftp or you can send it through the ol' snail mail.

If you put it in the mail make sure it is properly wrapped

disclaimer

X-RAY Mag and its affiliates are not responsible for lost or damaged materials or loss or damages resulting from electronic transfer or communications. Personal information is held confidential and will not be released without the individual´s written permission.

By email:

Gunild Symes, Managing Editor & Art Director: office@xray-mag.com

Expect a confirmation of the receipt of your email within 2-3 days. We may be out of office for a short while but if you don't hear back please try again.

Dropbox account:

editor@xray-mag.com

Upload via ftp:

Please put all your images in one folder named with the subject matter and your name and upload that whole folder in one go

Access:

host: xray-mag.dnsalias.com
user: Photos
pass: uploads

Note that since files and folders uploaded to the server will be protected against accidental deletes and overwrites you won't be able to re-upload files under the same name.
Should you therefore need to re-upload anything i.e. corrections, the new files must be given files names that differ. For example, you can just append '_new' to the name of any corrected files.

By snail-mail:

X-Ray Magazine
Ahornsgade 6
Copenhagen
2200 N
Denmark