Montana Outdoors Writer Guidelines
Montana Outdoors is a bimonthly magazine published by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. It advocates the conservation and sustainable use of Montana’s fish, wildlife, and parks.
Though published by a state agency, Montana Outdoors is not a house organ. For one thing, most of the magazine’s budget comes from subscribers, so we have an obligation to provide them with objective information. For another, many “official” government magazines are generally viewed by readers—the few who bother to read them—as biased and boring. And third, our readers are interested in various points of view—even those that challenge the orthodoxy of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Our editorial bent is one of skepticism and curiosity, and we rely on a wide range of sources in our reporting.
Roughly 47,000 people subscribe to Montana Outdoors, about half of them from out of state. The magazine was first published in 1971.
Approximately half our features are written by freelancers.
Montana Outdoors usually buys first North American serial rights and (for a small additional amount) the right to post to the magazine website and archives. Our kill fee for assigned manuscripts not accepted is about 30 percent of the full fee. We pay on acceptance.
We prefer queries by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, but we also accept them by ordinary mail and fax. It helps to send clips or web links to previously published articles.
Our editorial lead time is one year.
We like journalism. Pitch us articles about Montana’s major conservation issues, important research projects, or management activities. We like you to take readers into the field. Show them the perspectives of various scientists, biologists, activists, officials, and others who know firsthand what is happening to Montana’s outdoors.
In your query on a particular issue or topic, we’d like to know:
- How this issue affects the lives of our readers (why they should care)
- How Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is involved (we favor queries that have some sort of link to our agency)
- The sources you might consult
Please summarize your idea, story line, and sources in two or three short paragraphs.
We are not interested in fiction, poetry, personal essays of self-discovery, tributes to friends or family member or “how-to” hunt or fish pieces.
Montana Outdoors also buys high-quality photographs. For guidelines, click here.
Features and departments
Main Features: These are usually 2,000-word articles. Each issue contains four of five main features. These usually are journalistic inquiries into issues or activities related to the management of Montana’s fish, wildlife, or state parks.
Short Features: These 750- to 1,000-word articles may be a firsthand account of an event, a profile of a fascinating person, or some other topic that can be covered in two or three magazine pages.
Montana Outdoors Portrait: A 600-word summary of an interesting species.
Here in Montana: A 750- to 1,000-word essay that develops the character of a Montana place. This can be written in first-person, but the emphasis should be on the place, not the writer.
Out Here: These 600-word mini-features take readers into the field to experience some aspect of the outdoors or fish and wildlife management.
Send queries to email@example.com