We are always interested in receiving layout articles
and how-to feature articles from our readers.
Good quality photos that accompany the article are a definite plus, and generally will help to increase the chances of acceptance and publication. Anyone who is familiar with our magazine should already have a pretty good idea of the type, quality, and style of editorial content we publish, so the following guidelines apply to actually preparing your material for submission.
What we need from you:
- A text file (MS Word, Wordpad, Open Office, etc.) of 1,200 to 1,500 words.
Don’t use any special formatting (fonts, colors, bold, symbols, etc.). We understand that some how-to features may need to be shorter or longer than 1,200 to 1,500 words._
- Some basic style considerations to keep in mind:
- Use caps and lower case for all text, including titles and sub-titles.
- Use only a single space after the period at the end of a sentence.
- Spell check your text file prior to submission.
- If you include web site addresses in your article, include (and double-check) the full Web address to be sure it is correct.
- If you are writing a layout feature, you are providing a word-and-picture “tour” of your layout to our readers. Tell them how your interest in O gauge developed and how the concept for your layout came about. Tell them about the things that you feel make your layout special or distinctive. Also, include important technical details such as type of track used; minimum diameter of curves; type of power/control systems used; and brands of locomotives, rolling stock, accessories, and structures.
- Don’t be overly concerned with writing style, punctuation, etc.–we’ll take care of that. Just make it a personal and informal account, in your own words, of everything and anything you might want a visitor to know about your layout and your involvement in the hobby.
- A good selection of quality photographs or other graphics.
For layout features, about 15 images are usually selected to appear in the magazine. However, we prefer to have a good many more available to choose from. Shoot some wide shots, some mid-range, and some close-up shots of individual features. Photos should, whenever possible, include trains in them since we are, after all, a model railroading magazine.
- Your images must be high resolution.
The easiest way to do this is to set your camera to shoot the largest image it is capable of, at the highest quality setting. Even older, 2 megapixel digital cameras will provide a good image if set this way.
- On-camera flash should NEVER be used.
Images shot with an on-camera flash are not suitable for publication.
- Use of a tripod is strongly recommended.
We look for photos that are properly lit, sharply focused, have good depth-of-field, are nicely composed, and have an easily distinguished primary subject.
- Captions for all the photos will be needed
Captions can be written after the final images have been selected for publication. We’ll send you a contact sheet of the images we plan to use so you can provide caption information.
- A track diagram is needed for all layout features except modular layout articles.
This diagram can be hand-drawn, if necessary, and does not have to be a finished and “polished” product. Our design team will create the final version of your layout diagram for publication. The overall dimensions of your layout – length and width – should be noted on the diagram, and any major layout features should be labeled, particularly if they are referenced in the text.
- A photo of the author/builder is also needed for all layout features.
This could also be a photo of the author or builder with anyone else he may care to include (spouse, child, buddy, mentor, pet, etc.)
- Author biographic information is needed for both layout and how-to features.
For layout features we need a couple of paragraphs of biographic information about the builder/owner. This can include anything you care to relate about yourself. It can include career, other hobbies or interests, club affiliations, civic activities, education, and that sort of thing. For how-to articles, a single paragraph of biographic information is normally adequate.
- Sending us your article
The best way to get your files to us is on a CD or a flash drive, whichever is easier for you to do, sent by regular mail. If you are familiar with FTP, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set you up with FTP access to our web server to upload your photos. If the track diagram is drawn on paper, just place it in the same envelope, along with a printed copy of your text file.
Send everything to:
Allan Miller, Editor-in-Chief
1805 E Western Reserve Rd., Unit 18
Poland, OH 44514
Be sure to retain a backup copy of everything you send to us! We are not responsible for materials that may be lost, and submitted materials are not returned to the author.
- How do you get paid?
We pay upon publication. We pay our authors $400 for layout features and $200 for how-to features. We will provide with 4 free copies of the magazine to layout feature authors We will provide 3 comp copies to authors of how-to articles.
Please contact Editor-In-Chief Allan Miller or call 800-980-OGRR (6477) if you have questions.