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Travel Africa magazine Contributor Guidelines

Travel Africa magazine welcomes contributions from writers, photographers, and subscribers – however, opportunities for publication in the magazine are very limited. We invite you to take the time to review these guidelines in order to maximise the chances of any material you propose being accepted.

If you would like to tell us about your recent experiences in Africa, pass on your travel tips, or comment on anything you've read in Travel Africa magazine, you may send us a letter by post or email to the following addresses:
Letters to the Editor, Travel Africa magazine, The Dovecote, Little Baldon, Oxford, OX44 9PU, United Kingdom
NB: When contacting us by post, please include your email address and telephone number.
NB: When emailing us at this address please write Letter to the Editor in the subject line and do not add any attachments. If you would like to send us photos, etc, please mention this in your email and await our instructions.

We welcome feedback, opinions and information on any relevant topic but it's best to keep your letter concise. Long letters may be shortened before publication.
If you would prefer your letter not to be published, please indicate this clearly.

If you would like to contribute articles or photos to Travel Africa magazine, it's important that you familiarise yourself with our publication and that you read these guidelines carefully to the end. We hope our guidelines will answer most of your questions, but if there's anything else you need to know before submitting your ideas to us then please email: .

Because we are a small, busy team we are not usually able to answer telephone enquiries from prospective contributors unless the matter is unusually time-sensitive. Most of our decisions regarding the commissioning of new material from freelance contributors are made during our regular quarterly planning sessions. We are almost never in a position to commit to articles and/or photos on an ad hoc basis over the phone.

Travel Africa magazine: Guidelines for Writers and Photographers
Travel Africa magazine is the only international travel magazine covering African destinations, wildlife and culture. Its mission is to convey the excitement of all things African through vivid writing and inspiring photography, backed up by solid facts, expert advice and the very latest news. Our slogan – explore the world’s most exciting continent – says it all.
Launched in 1997 and published in the UK four times a year, Travel Africa is a highly- illustrated, full colour, A4 format glossy. It has a loyal readership, an enviable profile in the travel trade and a vibrant presence online as well as in print.
The magazine website, www.travelafricamag.com, is firmly established as a reputable source of information on matters relating to African travel and tourism.
Travel Africa has no affiliation with any governmental, charitable, environmental or commercial organisation involved in wildlife management, conservation or the travel industry. As such we pride ourselves on our well-informed, objective coverage of the topics and issues that matter to travellers and travel professionals.

About Travel Africa readers
Travel Africa is read in 115 countries, and our readers include veteran travellers and first- timers; package tourists and solo adventurers; sun-worshippers, wildlife watchers, culture buffs, extreme sports enthusiasts, amateur photographers, and many more. Most are aged 35-60 years. Some are backpackers, some are travelling on an expense account, and some are planning a once-in-a-lifetime safari. What all our readers have in common is a love of Africa – and a desire to find out how to get the very best out of their travels there. Discovering what makes the place tick is part of that. Our research shows that 86% of our readers will travel to Africa in the next two years – 61% of them within 12 months – and they're looking for regular, reliable information to assist them with their travel plans – presented in features which inspire, amuse and intrigue.

Contributing to Travel Africa magazine
Travel Africa is produced by a small team and a large proportion of our words and pictures are the work of freelance contributors. Most of these are professionals with whom we have an established relationship. If you are interested in joining our pool of contributors we would encourage you to study the magazine carefully to ensure that your ideas and approach are appropriate for our particular publication. Current and back issues can be purchased online at www.travelafricashop.com or by calling (UK) 01844 278883. Our back issue archive (in text-only format) can be read online for free.

Features: content, style and tone
Your work must be:
•    bright, original, vivid, evocative and cliché-free
•    accurate, authentic, informative, authoritative and independent-minded
It should communicate:
•    a sense of adventure
•    a curiosity about, and respect for, political, cultural and environmental concerns
•    a powerful impression of your personal experiences – preferably things you have done, rather than just things you have seen
It should include:
•    a compelling hook and a dynamic argument or plot which keeps our readers reading right to the end
•    fresh information that our readers are unlikely to find elsewhere, or:
•    an original approach to, or angle on, a better-known subject
Wherever relevant and feasible, you should introduce readers to people you have encountered – experts, locals, fellow travellers. Include revealing quotes which add weight or colour to your subject.

Photography: composition, formats and captions
If you intend to supply photographs, make sure:
•    your pictures of places tell a story by recording actions or events or highlighting significant or unexpected details – i.e. they do more than simply showing what the place looks like
•    your pictures of people convey a sense of who they are through their expression, behaviour, location, or the people and objects around them – i.e. they’re as meaningful as possible
•    you provide detailed captions and tell us what part your pictures play in the article in which they will appear

Preferred format: high resolution, professional-quality digital images (jpeg or tiff). We also publish original professional-quality colour transparencies, but rarely dupes or prints. Before sending us any images to the address below, please read how to send us your ideas, text and images.
Travel Africa Ltd, The Dovecote, Little Baldon, Oxford, OX44 9PU

How to catch our attention
Depending on the subject matter, we are always looking for ideas which include several of the following elements:
•    a clear understanding of our market and of the structure and style of our magazine – we need to know that you have done your research
•    topicality – bearing in mind that we start planning each issue at least six months ahead of publication
•    original reflection or opinion – a discussion based on your personal experience of an issue of specific interest to visitors to Africa, for example an issue related to African wildlife, politics, culture, society, environment, or tourism
•    a strong human element – for example, an interview-based piece
•    an authoritative perspective – in this instance you should explain why you are particularly well-qualified to cover your chosen subject
•    an entertaining or humorous perspective
•    an element of suspense or surprise
•    an original slant on a subject which is already familiar to our readers
When submitting a proposal, make your intended angle very clear.
If you both write and take photographs, you are in a very strong position. Top quality images may be enough to sell a story to us, and top quality captions may be enough to sell images to us.
If you don't have photographs to support your story, but can recommend a good source, please let us know.

Pitfalls to avoid
Some contributors make the mistake of suggesting a topic simply because they want to write about it or photograph it. An enthusiasm for your subject is important, of course, but even more important is the ability to engage an audience. Our regular contributors plan their stories and/or images with our readers' specific needs, interests and inclinations at heart.
Other contributors make the mistake of suggesting a topic which is not, in itself, a story. It's not enough, for example, to tell us you'd like to produce a piece on Kenya. We need an angle.

We would strongly discourage you from sending us any of the following:
•    ideas based on topics we have covered recently (if in doubt please refer to www.travelafricamag.com and/or check through travel africa magazine back issues)
•    destination features that cannot be backed up by solid factual information to assist our readers in planning their own trip
•    unedited travel diaries
•    plugs for hotels, airlines or tour companies

Proposals, queries and unsolicited manuscripts
We welcome enquiries from writers, photographers and photojournalists who can demonstrate a good understanding of our magazine, our readers and what they look for in each edition. Proposals should be concise and include the following details:
•    the specific section or sections of the magazine to which you’d like to contribute
•    whether any of the material you’d like to submit has been previously published, in any form
•    topic, angle, style, approximate length
•    a brief summary of the relevant experience and/or specialist knowledge you would bring to this particular project
•    a brief summary of any photos / illustrations you would like to provide
•    whether your travel, accommodation, etc was or will be sponsored or subsidised in any way
•    whether you’ve already completed your research, and, if not, when your work would be ready (please note that if your work is accepted you must be available to answer detailed editorial queries during a period of up to four weeks post-deadline)
If you intend to include a completed manuscript and/or other examples of your work, published or unpublished, then please note that we can accept no responsibility for any unsolicited material, and we would prefer you not to send one-and-only copies of images or text. Your work will not be returned unless adequate postage and packaging is provided.

How to send us your ideas, text and images
Please don’t telephone us with your ideas unless they are unusually time-sensitive. Instead, send them by post or email to the following addresses:
The Editor, Travel Africa magazine, The Dovecote, Little Baldon, Oxford, OX44 9PU, United Kingdom
NB: When contacting us by post, please include your email address and telephone number.
NB: When emailing us at this address please do not include any attachments. If you would like to send us photos, etc, please mention this in your email and await our instructions.
Please do not send us original photographs on spec – we would prefer to receive a good selection of dupes, laser copies or low-res scans, or a link to an online archive. We will contact you for the originals, or for high resolution scans, if we need them.
All photos submitted must be clearly captioned and labelled with the appropriate credit and/or copyright information.

Acknowledgement of proposals
We welcome manuscripts and proposals and give each one our considered attention, but unfortunately we don't have time to get back to everyone to discuss their ideas in detail.
It’s important that all potential contributors appreciate that, like many publications, we receive a high volume of proposals and related correspondence. Furthermore, our schedule is extremely busy and our staff are regularly out of the office on magazine business. We are rarely able to discuss new proposals over the phone and so would strongly discourage you from following up your proposal with a phone call.
Regrettably, it may be some time before you receive any acknowledgement from us. Please be patient.
Since Travel Africa is a quarterly title, major editorial planning sessions are held at three month intervals. Generally, if you haven’t heard from us within three months it is probable that we will not be able to use your ideas.

Working on spec and on approval
Occasionally we may invite a contributor who has produced work on spec to submit it for review, or we may invite a contributor who has submitted a proposal to produce work on approval. We will give careful consideration to this work and will pay for any material we publish at our standard rates.
However, on spec / on approval contributors should be aware that we cannot guarantee that their material will be published, and we are unable to offer any remuneration for unpublished material.
Please also note the following:
•    Travel Africa is not usually able to offer on spec contributors any administrative assistance with their travel arrangements, accommodation, expenses, etc
•    Travel Africa does not allow on spec contributors to apply for press trips or request discounts, “comps” or “fam trips” of any sort in our name

Lead times and deadlines
We start planning each edition over six months before publication. Major editorial planning sessions are held quarterly.
Submission deadlines for on spec editorial material are as follows:
• Spring edition (published in March)    1 November
• Summer edition (published in June)    1 February
• Autumn edition (published in September)    1 May
• Winter edition (published in December)    1 August
By submitting material well in advance of these dates you may increase the chance of it being published. If we request work on approval or on assignment we will of course give you a specific deadline.
We need all contributors to be available to answer editorial queries and make any necessary revisions for a period of around four weeks post-deadline.

If we offer you an assignment, it will be confirmed in writing. Unless specified otherwise we will require first rights for the use of your material in all present and future forms of Travel Africa – magazine, website, CD ROM etc – worldwide.
We also ask that work commissioned by Travel Africa is not offered to any competing publication, in any medium, within six months of your acceptance of our assignment. If your work is to be published elsewhere please advise us so that we can plan accordingly.
You will remain the copyright owner of any original material submitted. You must supply full attribution details for any material submitted which is not your original work.

Travel arrangements
If your assignment requires you to travel we may sometimes (but not always) be able to offer assistance with the arrangements.
In such cases we will require that:
•    you sign our commissioning form to signal your agreement to the terms of the assignment
•    you inform us of your visa requirements with sufficient notice for applications to be made
•    you take personal responsibilty for your possessions and for your health and safety, including checking that your jabs are up to date, you are adequately insured, etc
•    you bear any expenses incurred if you choose to alter your travel dates or arrangements once bookings have been made
Please also note the following:
•    Travel Africa does not allow contributors to join press trips or request discounts, “comps” or “fam trips” of any sort in our name without a confirmed assignment
•    Travel Africa requires that travel companies and PR representatives who intend to provide a writer or photographer with transport, accommodation, assistance etc contact us directly to discuss the details before making any arrangements
•    Travel Africa does not enter into any arrangements which we believe could compromise our editorial integrity and objectivity

The fee payable for a commissioned assignment will be fixed, in UK pounds sterling, at the time that the work is commissioned. Reproduction fees for syndicated text and images including stock photos will be agreed prior to publication wherever possible.
Payment will be made post-publication. A copy of the magazine containing your work will be sent to you along with a letter requesting your invoice for the agreed fee. Invoices are settled within 30 days in UK pounds sterling (any bank fees or loss in exchange are borne by the contributor).

© Travel Africa Ltd, April 2005, The Dovecote, Little Baldon, Oxford, OX44 9PU
Tel: 01844 278883    Fax: 01844 278893    www.travelafricamag.com    Registered in England. No. 3302692

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