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#2502013 - 10/15/08 Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article?
Snake River Marksman Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 1786
Loc: Etna, Wyoming
I like to write up and post my stories, and I've considered submitting some stories to magazines, but I've never gotten around to it. I'm just wondering if anyone would even consider them for publication.
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#2502323 - 10/15/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Snake River Marksman]
NathanL Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 09/22/07
Posts: 13216
Loc: TX
If you look on the website for most publications including gun/hunting magazines they normally have a section that tells you all that. Some even have a template deal to help you get started and gives you word count, layout etc...

Just an idea.
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#2502832 - 10/16/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: NathanL]
Mule Deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 36627
Loc: Banana Belt, Montana
Yeah, that's the way to do it. Feature length varies a lot from magazine to magazine, anywhere from around 1400 words up to 3000 or so.
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John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015

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#2503957 - 10/16/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Mule Deer]
RockyRaab Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/23/03
Posts: 14637
Loc: Ogden, Utah
Length has shrunken over the years, also. It used to be that 2,500 - 3,000 was about standard. Now, most editors will cut or demand no longer than 1,500 - 2,000 for most, with exceptions.

Just remember that it will be almost impossible to sell a "Me and Joe Went Hunting" story, as they're called. There has to be a technical, product or specific interest angle to a freelance article. I, for instance, concentrate on reloading - and often use an unusual or older cartridge as the "hook" to generate reader interest.

As always, a good selection of sharp, well-composed photos is either an asset or required. As are proper grammar, spelling and punctuation!
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#2506802 - 10/17/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: RockyRaab]
Snake River Marksman Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 1786
Loc: Etna, Wyoming
If "me and joe went hunting" isn't going to fly, then the whole thing is moot. I don't have time to do research and I refuse to pimp someones gimmick. If I test it, and it doesn't perform, I've wasted my time because that's exactly what I'd write, and in no uncertain terms. "This thing didn't work!" Nope, that's not 1500 words, Drat! Oh well another crushed dream.

Good writing I could achieve. My neighbor is an english teacher!

thanks guys.
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#2506840 - 10/17/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Snake River Marksman]
tzone Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 02/23/04
Posts: 30623
Loc: MN
Well,

if it's any help. I for one would rather hear a good huting story, like F&S or Sports Afield used to put out. I think this new all technical format is not for me. I don't buy mamy mags anymore because of it.

I'll take a good ol fashiond story thank you.

I don't need to hear about how good the Butt Out tool worked on a pen raised deer that was killed with the the new wizzbang magnum at 7 steps.


Edited by tzone (10/17/08)
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#2507664 - 10/18/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: tzone]
Mule Deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 36627
Loc: Banana Belt, Montana
I haven't found it all that hard to sell a Me'n'Joe story. Have sold many over the years to at least a dozen magazines, and in fact just today got a request for some from SPORTS AFIELD.
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John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015

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#2507699 - 10/18/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Mule Deer]
husqvarna Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 1655
Loc: Texas Panhandle
I don't mind a good Me'nJoe if it includes some data on specific hunting tecniques, guns and equipment used and such things as the history and hunting traditions of the area hunted.

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#2508481 - 10/18/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: husqvarna]
RockyRaab Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/23/03
Posts: 14637
Loc: Ogden, Utah
You have indeed done some Me& Joe's, JB; to your usual standard of excellence. That, I think, is the key. An established and proven writer can sell an article of almost any kind to a good editor. But a fresh freelancer probably couldn't unless it was extraordinarily well done and sent in over the transom. Provided it was then actually read...
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#2508491 - 10/18/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: RockyRaab]
Mule Deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 36627
Loc: Banana Belt, Montana
Yeah, and one problem is that it's very hard to "query" a Me'n'Joe. How do you propose such a piece? "I'd write pretty stuiff about sunrises and how we fell about killing a deer with my best buddy." Hmm.

So often the best way is just to write it and send it in, and if we're already writing technical stuff we KNOW will sell, it's hard to take the time.

But that's how I broke into the business, almost 35 years ago: Writing huntin' and fishin' storiesand sending them to various magazines. It beats the heck out of work!
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John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015

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#2509199 - 10/18/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Mule Deer]
BigUglyMan Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 06/16/05
Posts: 1381
Loc: Kugluktuk, Nunavut
Likely best to have a thick skin as, IIRC from JB's articles, you'll get a lot of rejection letters. Then again, you'll probably learn more from the beats you take from an editor than by fretting about whether or not your work will be accepted.

I always maintain that I've learned the most by taking a beating on the stand.
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#2509244 - 10/19/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: RockyRaab]
Pugs Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 12670
Loc: Maryland :(
I have no literary illusions myself but I've enjoyed Grays Sporting Journal for more than 15 years. It's not the magazine it was under Ed Gray but the stories are usually interesting and beyond the instructional/product placement in other publications.

It's the only magazine I save and have four feet of.

The have their submission guidelines under the home section at http://www.grayssportingjournal.com/

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#2509281 - 10/19/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Pugs]
Mule Deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 36627
Loc: Banana Belt, Montana
Gee, then you have copies of some of the issues when I was editor for a little while, around 1996.

I actually sold the second story of my career to Gray's during its first year, back in 1976 or so. Back in Ed Gray's day I wrote for them pretty steadily, as for a while they were about the only magazine that printed Me'n'Joe stories. Then some of the other magazines picked up on it (again). There is still a market for hunting narratives, but even in the heyday of Gray's, when other decent-paying magazines were buying quite a few as well, it was pretty much impossible to make a living at it.

Which is why I eventually branched out to other things, like optics and firearms, along with how-to hunting stories.
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John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015

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#2509873 - 10/19/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Mule Deer]
Pugs Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 12670
Loc: Maryland :(
 Originally Posted By: Mule Deer
Gee, then you have copies of some of the issues when I was editor for a little while, around 1996.


Yep, now I'll have to go back this winter and read few of yours! I have most of the issues back to 91 or so.

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#2511730 - 10/20/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Pugs]
Scott_Thornley Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 4380
Loc: Sierra Nevada foothills
So you two are saying Gray's used to be even better? What vintage should I be looking for? It and Sports Afield are the only two general sporting magazines that I currently will buy. Gray's more so than Sports Afield, but only because it is readily available, whereas the latter is not. Mule Deer's joining the SA staff quite literally could mean my subscribing.

Scott
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#2511868 - 10/20/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Snake River Marksman]
Sitka deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 02/02/01
Posts: 26320
Loc: Anchorage, AK USA
Snake
"Good writing I could achieve. My neighbor is an english teacher!"

I have known many English teachers and many creative writing teachers... damn few could pen a simple sentence, let alone an interesting article.
art
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#2511887 - 10/20/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Sitka deer]
toltecgriz Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 17540
I want to know who this Joe guy is and how he gets so much time off to go hunting (and fishing), with everybody.

But seriously, there was a time when a lot of each Gray's was literature. Now a little of it still is, and I don't mean the poem, although it, too, is okay sometimes. Some of the photo essays aren't too great.

I like the guy that does the cooking column, Livingston, maybe. I would love to see him matched up with Eileen on one of those face-offs on the Food Network. Or any network for that matter. I think it would be great fun.
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#2512198 - 10/20/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: toltecgriz]
hatari Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 10/05/04
Posts: 9236
Loc: Atlanta
Some of the most enjoyable "Me and Joe" stories I've read in the past 20 years have been regularly found in Man/Magnum. It doesn't hurt that they are all about Africa.

Most magazines that I've every submitted to send a form letter that discourages "me and Joe".

Just write them and publish them here. Let us enjoy them.
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#2512384 - 10/20/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: hatari]
Snake River Marksman Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 1786
Loc: Etna, Wyoming
I do write them up and post them here.
Look under Big game. I've got a story running there about my last antelope hunt.
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#2513357 - 10/20/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Scott_Thornley]
Pugs Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 12670
Loc: Maryland :(
 Originally Posted By: Scott_Thornley
So you two are saying Gray's used to be even better? What vintage should I be looking for? It and Sports Afield are the only two general sporting magazines that I currently will buy.
Scott


Scott,

If you step back to early 90's you will find significantly less advertising and it was largely restricted to the back of the magazine. Articles ran contiguously and there was none of this "continued on page 83" stuff. There was always a letters to the editor column that was usually interesting and every issue had a couple of short stories in the back from unknown contributors called "Yarnspin" and a good book review section. The photography may have been better, maybe I'm just used to the current stuff.

The only better point in the newer magazine (IMO) is the cooking section. When Rebecca Gray wrote it it was in a "menu" format for a complete meal (and invariably good) but I think AJ's current column is more interesting in that it covers themes of a certain food (e.g. crayfish or pan cooked venison). I have both the fish and game cookbooks of Rebecca and when I want something special they are well worth cracking open (or searching for if you don't have them).

Allen

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#2514161 - 10/21/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: Pugs]
NathanL Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 09/22/07
Posts: 13216
Loc: TX
If you want to read Me and Joe went hunting stories subscribe to the Eastman hunting journals (both regular and bowhunting). They have more members who write articles than any of the other hunting rags that I have seen.

Might be a way to get your foot in the door as well.
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#2515378 - 10/21/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: NathanL]
sse Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 9397
How about a Me and "Joe the Plumber" go hunting story...? LOL!
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#2515453 - 10/21/08 Re: Mule Deer, what's the average word count for a freelance article? [Re: sse]
13579 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/09/08
Posts: 464
I'm probably a minority of 1, but my favorite articles are the "How to do It," and the "How I did It" type. Most of the articles are written by amatuers as opposed to professional writers, and I find them much more interesting. Most times, that is.

One of my favorite articles was one several years ago by Mule Deer about lapping barrels.

Many years ago, the American Rifleman used to publish a section, IIRC, called "In My Experience..." There were usually several of these articles in the magazine, and this was my favorite section.

Another favorite was the very lengthy Q & A section. The Q & A section now, with only two or three questions, just doesn't get it with me.

Back in the 60s, I sold my first article to the American Rifleman, and it was published in the "In my experience..."

I received $100.00 for it, and I thought I was rich. My weekly pay at that time was about $75.00 per week.

Unfortunately, my writing career went into a slump after that. I wrote several more articles, and even sold a few, but most replies were in the form of rejection letters.

I have a pretty good one now, one that I have sent to a couple of magazines, but no luck. No luck of the paying kind, that is.

I am thinking about sending it to 24 hour campfire. Being paid for it is not a consideration now, although it was when the article was written. It contains information that I think would be beneficial to all big game hunters, and I would like to share the knowledge I gained from the experience with other hunters who might find themselves in the same fix.

The strangest payment I ever received was in the form of a free years subscription to a magazine. It had a small circulation and probably a small budget, but the editor offered me a free subscription for the article. I took it.

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