Archive for the 'Susan W. Clark' Category

Green Writer Marketplace: The Final Four

Susan W. Clark By Susan W. Clark

I’ve discovered an avalanche of related publications while researching this year’s column. Selecting this final one for 2007 has been torture. Do I tell you about the online green zines, niche, and regional magazines or the scholarly and juried ones? How about those that are put out on a shoestring by dedicated activists?

Rather than a full profile on just one, I want to mention four inspiring magazines that I read regularly: Sojourner’s, Sustainable Industries, Yes! and World Watch. They have limitations as freelance markets, but might offer inspiration or help you discover a perfect spot for just the right article.

Sojourner’s is green with a Christian slant, subtitled “progressive Christian commentary.” They take their faith out into the world and put it in the trenches. The editor is Jim Rice, submission guidelines are online, and payment may range from $50 to $400. I take their free newsletter to spark ideas. See their Web site.

Sustainable Industries is a terrific West Coast publication covering emerging trends in business. You also get short tidbits from around the world about the latest great ideas, and committed green businesses worth watching. Their tag line is “The independent source for green business leaders,” and Managing Editor Celeste LeCompte selects features profiling companies making progress in every area of business, from waste reduction to green sourcing. She responded very quickly to my request for guidelines, but noted that Sustainable Industries doesn’t use much material from freelancers.

Yes! is also published in the Northwest, takes no advertising, and consequently pays with a subscription or maybe an honorarium. This beautifully-done magazine hits the ecological issues just right for me. I don’t see “eco-over-consumption” being promoted, they don’t use overly scholarly language, and I don’t think the term “smart growth” is one Yes! has adopted. Look at www.yesmagazine.org for style and topics. Please note they only take snail mail submissions at the following address:

Submissions Editor
YES! Magazine
P.O. Box 10818
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

World Watch is also inspiring, with its strong emphasis on research, data, and international content. Its photos are breathtaking. While World Watch is open to freelance queries, the magazine requires meaty ideas that haven’t been done repeatedly and that are relevant to its far-flung readership. Editor Tom Prugh and senior editor Linda Mastny earned my appreciation for the prompt, courteous response to my query. E-mail worldwatch@worldwatch.org for submission guidelines.

No single publication will be able to use all of your creative green ideas, so if you haven’t done it already, start building your own list of publications. Brainstorm ideas for each that seem to fit particularly well and use that list to help direct your querying. Start now, and be sure to carry a notebook with you always to catch those ideas that surface like treasures when you least expect them.

Photographer, editor, and award-winning writer, Susan W. Clark is an ardent advocate for sustainability. The Utne Reader applauded her article “Sustainable Revolution” from In Good Tilth magazine as “world-changing.” She is a regular contributor to In Good Tilth and Touch the Soil. Her work has appeared in the Capitol Press, Portland Tribune, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Permaculture Activist. She edits Salt of the Earth, the quarterly journal of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Her observations about living within our ecological means are posted at http://susanwclark.wordpress.com.

Green Writer Marketplace: Plenty

Susan W. ClarkBy Susan W. Clark

Get ready for an abundant take on green living with Plenty. Launched in 2005, this magazine is self-described as “an environmental media company dedicated to exploring and giving voice to the green revolution that will define the 21st Century. Plenty’s motto is “It’s easy being green.”

Oxford MBA graduate Mark Spellun is the creator and Editor-in-chief of this bi-monthly; the publisher is Environmental Press, Inc. (Don’t confuse this publication with the New Zealand-based Plenty that isn’t focused on the environment.)

While other print publications are taking a variety of steps to refine their electronic presence, Plenty has done it. Notice the term “media company” above, which fits with their print and online versions. Their writer’s guidelines (which are available on their Web site) give details about writing for both versions, and the pay is an attractive $1/word depending on experience. Online only stories (up to 500 words) are paid $150.

In short, if your story idea has an eco-slant, you should check out Plenty. To review past issues for style and subjects covered, you’ll probably need to visit a library; I couldn’t find online archives.

Plenty offers payment on publication and a 25% kill fee. Submit a detailed query and clips via e-mail only to editorial@plentymag.com. Plan on a lead-time of four to six months. The guidelines promise a charmingly short initial response time of two weeks.

Grab your green idea list and locate some back issues. I’m betting you’ll find Plenty of great ideas to pitch.

Photographer, editor, and award-winning writer, Susan W. Clark is an ardent advocate for sustainability. The Utne Reader applauded her article “Sustainable Revolution” from In Good Tilth magazine as “world-changing.” She is a regular contributor to In Good Tilth and Touch the Soil. Her work has appeared in the Capitol Press, Portland Tribune, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Permaculture Activist. She edits Salt of the Earth, the quarterly journal of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Her observations about living within our ecological means are posted at http://susanwclark.wordpress.com.

Green Writer Marketplace: Audubon Magazine

Susan W. ClarkBy Susan W. Clark

Far more than birds fill the pages of Audubon Magazine; and if you haven’t looked lately, you should definitely put this highly-rated publication on your target list. Recent articles have covered topics like eco-friendly wines, the collapse of global fisheries, and supporting wind power. As an Oregonian, I immediately noticed the feature on the Opal Creek Wilderness, a place not far from Portland that Audubon Editor David Seideman has visited many times.

This is a top-rung publication with a huge audience. Audubon Magazine has half a million readers for its quarterly issues. The American Association of Magazine Editors (ASME) has often nominated it for the “Ellies,” and it is in the finalists again this year. I didn’t see any other green magazines in the list of finalists, so this is the top of our green markets.

Stories that will interest this elite publication will deal with how humans and nature are connecting or colliding: balanced reporting on the environment, stories about birds or other animals and their habitats, and examples of how people are working to understand and protect the natural world. The emphasis will need to be on a fresh perspective or new topic you can write about extraordinarily well.

Columns and departments include “Field Notes” (50-400 words), “Audubon at Home” (1500 words related to backyard projects), “Profiles” (300-2000 words on fascinating people), and “Journal” (1000-2000 words of personal essay). Features range from 2000-4000 words and need to be new and surprising to the well-educated, affluent readers.

Send your brief query along with clips and an SASE to the Editor-in-Chief, David Seideman, 700 Broadway, New York NY 10003. Guidelines clearly state that only hard copy queries will be accepted. Audubon Magazine pays on acceptance, with rates that vary depending on who you are as well as the article you write.

Why not set a goal of finding the perfect story for Audubon Magazine and getting into one of the very best publications on the market?

Photographer, editor, and award-winning writer, Susan W. Clark is an ardent advocate for sustainability. The Utne Reader applauded her article “Sustainable Revolution” from In Good Tilth magazine as “world-changing.” She is a regular contributor to In Good Tilth and Touch the Soil. Her work has appeared in the Capitol Press, Portland Tribune, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Permaculture Activist. She edits Salt of the Earth, the quarterly journal of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Her observations about living within our ecological means are posted at http://susanwclark.wordpress.com.

Green Writer Marketplace: Natural Home Magazine

Susan W. ClarkBy Susan W. Clark

“Living Wisely, Living Well” is the motto of Natural Home magazine, formerly known as Natural Home and Garden. A cousin of Utne Reader and Mother Earth News, this green publication is part of Ogden Publications and reaches over 100,000 readers from its Topeka, Kansas home.

Recent magazine topics span the lifestyle map, including a solar home in Bend, Oregon, medicinal herbs, a slow-food Thanksgiving, and regular reviews of green appliances and upscale technology. A few illustrative article titles include, “Composting? Make it Pretty” and “America’s Best Eco-Neighborhoods.” There is room in this magazine for your writing on natural décor, health, green homes, all sorts of gardening subjects, and the latest in natural products. Just plan ahead and research well. As always, read the magazine before you query.

Robin Griggs Laurence is the editor-in-chief, but submissions should be directed to Jessica Kellner. She is the coordinating editor (jkellner@NaturalHomeMagazine.com) of this bimonthly publication for health- and earth-conscious readers. She asks for a query eight months prior to publication. The query should include a complete outline, written description, sample pages (if applicable), or sketches—whatever it takes to provide a clear sense of what you are proposing.

If you are accustomed to providing your own photos, please note that Natural Home wants 35mm or large-format slides. They pay on publication and may take some time to decide if they want your piece, but will send an acknowledgement of receipt, which we applaud. Their rates range from $.33 per word to $.50, and the acceptable length is three to sixteen typewritten pages (about 750-4,000 words), each featuring your name, address, and phone number at the top.

You’ll find the writers’ guidelines online at http://naturalhomeandgarden.com/contact-natural-home-magazine.html. Now is the time to get that query in the mail. You can do it!

Photographer, editor, and award-winning writer, Susan W. Clark is an ardent advocate for sustainability. The Utne Reader applauded her article “Sustainable Revolution” from In Good Tilth magazine as “world-changing.” She is a regular contributor to In Good Tilth and Touch the Soil. Her work has appeared in the Capitol Press, Portland Tribune, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Permaculture Activist. She edits Salt of the Earth, the quarterly journal of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Her observations about living within our ecological means are posted at http://susanwclark.wordpress.com.

Green Writer Marketplace: Grist Magazine

Susan W. ClarkBy Susan W. Clark

Two publishing trends collide in this month’s publication: environmental writing and the Internet. According to the April 22nd issue of the newsletter Wooden Horse, publications are leaping onto the green bandwagon. I agree. I’ve seen church publications, local newspapers, and many others picking up the green banner. That’s happy news: more markets for us.

The Internet is the focus of the second trend. “All major print media are aggressively moving online,” said David Roberts, a writer at this month’s featured green magazine, in an interview by Heather Hart. Roberts continued, “In the next two to three years it looks as though their online operations will be more important than the traditional print medium.”

This month’s publication of choice is the award-winning Grist, a free, online magazine launched in 1999. Grist’s offices are in Seattle but they use over one hundred contributors from around the world. They count their readers at an amazing 700,000.

Describing their content as “doom and gloom with a sense of humor,” this environmental publication is published by a nonprofit organization. In addition to asking for donations, on their Web site you’ll see feature stories, a blog, commentaries and an offer of an e-mail update, if your inbox can stand it.

“Fresh, funny, intelligent voices,” is what they’re looking for, telling “untold environmental stories.”

“People get stuck in that old-fashioned, formal style of journalism,” said David Roberts, a Grist staff writer “and they can’t see beyond the inverted pyramid. There’s great value in that kind of traditional journalism, but it doesn’t always fit with online.”

What can you expect to be paid if you write for Grist? Katherine Wroth, Story Editor, advises, “Our pay ranges from zero (much of our blogging, for instance, is unpaid) to about $300-$400 for a feature story (those are fairly rare these days, and more likely to be assigned to a writer we know, I’m afraid.) As a non-profit, we don’t have the most competitive rates in the marketplace — just great exposure, to a monthly audience of about 700,000.”

Grist’s preferred contact for queries is e-mail at grist@grist.org, although snail mail is accepted. Their address is 811 First Avenue, Suite 466, Seattle, WA 98104. Send clips if you mail or links if you e-mail. They request that submissions be both pasted in the message body and attached, but see the Writer’s Guidelines online for full details.

No pay is available for photos, but they are “delighted to accept” them. The range of written work accepted includes investigative journalism, profiles, features, opinion, art reviews and essays, and cartoons. Currently (May 2007) Grist is seeking an Executive Editor, which means it could be a good time to become a contributor.

Photographer, editor, and award-winning writer, Susan W. Clark is an ardent advocate for sustainability. The Utne Reader applauded her article “Sustainable Revolution” from In Good Tilth magazine as “world-changing.” She is a regular contributor to In Good Tilth and Touch the Soil. Her work has appeared in the Capitol Press, Portland Tribune, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Permaculture Activist. She edits Salt of the Earth, the quarterly journal of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Her observations about living within our ecological means are posted at http://susanwclark.wordpress.com.

Writing Book Review: Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher

Susan W. ClarkReviewed by Susan W. Clark

If you aim to create writing that rights what is wrong, check out therapist and author Mary Pipher’s book “Writing to Change the World,” which came out in 2006. The dual dedication is given to Anne Frank and Nelson Mandela, two major models for changing the world. Delivering on its promise, the book is peppered with inspirational quotes and plenty of substance that can inspire you to write a better world into existence.

Pipher has organized the book into three sections: “What We Alone Can Say,” “The Writing Process” and “Calls to Action.” In the first section, she urges the world-changing writer to be bold and honest, and to look for your own daring, unique observations. She cautions against taking a preachy tone, advising that sharing how you came to your own conclusions will be more compelling.

In the second section, a useful comparison of two letters showed the author’s willingness to expose herself. She included a letter she had written about a community conflict, and then critiqued her own letter. She then shared another person’s letter, pointing out why the second was more effective. Nicely done.

I particularly liked Pipher’s exploration of worldview: whom the writer stands with and whom we stand against. She suggests that a writer try crafting a story from the point of view of someone you don’t respect or like, to get inside the head of your opposition. She believes in starting your writing with where your readers are, and not expecting that you will change ardent opponents. Pipher states, “The truth is, most preaching is to the choir. Choirs produce almost all the important social action in our world. The people most likely to read us are people who think as we do. And readers generally seek reinforcement of their beliefs, not arguments or challenges.”

What works, she says, is to attract readers with common needs. Look for a title that invites and avoid highly charged labels. She says, “Good storytellers heal the world. The stories that save us are the stories that give us what some Buddhists call a ‘bigger container.’ They open us up to new understanding and growth.” This book is a very readable reflection, helping us hone our writing skills to effectively express what is most meaningful in our lives.

Photographer, editor, and award-winning writer, Susan W. Clark is an ardent advocate for sustainability. The Utne Reader applauded her article “Sustainable Revolution” from In Good Tilth magazine as “world-changing.” She is a regular contributor to In Good Tilth and Touch the Soil. Her work has appeared in the Capitol Press, Portland Tribune, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Permaculture Activist. She edits Salt of the Earth, the quarterly journal of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Her observations about living within our ecological means are posted at http://susanwclark.wordpress.com.

The Green Writer on Sierra Magazine

Susan W. ClarkBy Susan W. Clark

This month’s green market beckons with huge readership and very good pay rates. Sierra is published bi-monthly by Sierra Club and reaches 1.4 million readers. To quote from their guidelines, “We are looking for fine writing that will provoke, entertain, and enlighten this readership…Sierra is looking for strong, well-researched, literate writing on significant environmental and conservation issues.”

I’m pleased to note that women fill over half of their top editorial positions and that their guidelines show a moderate openness to new freelancers. Sierra’s content is 70 percent freelance written, but they do have a preference for working with writers they’ve used before. The good news is that once you send them a piece they like, you’ll have the inside track for more.

The magazine’s subtitle, “Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Planet,” gives clues to topics, style and tone that might attract the editor’s attention. The connection with Sierra Club means that you can seek out people and topics through your local Sierra Club chapter.

See if this freelance example from Sierra makes your creative juices surge. In a recent issue, the Green Cuisine department splashed the writing and photos of two freelancers across six pages. Their topic was food security and local gardens.

Departments include “The Green Life,” which showcases an upbeat take on green living, and “One Small Step,” which features first-person accounts of ordinary folks doing extraordinary things. These are both recommended spots for first-time freelancers.

The pay starts around $1 per word and Sierra pays on acceptance, which earns high marks. Please note they do not want e-mail queries or phone calls, and be prepared to wait a couple of months for a response to your paper and envelope query. Remember to enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) for that “yes, we want it” response.

Here’s the contact information:

Managing Editor, Sierra Magazine
85 Second Street, Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105-3441
Voice (415) 977-5656
Fax (415) 977-5794
E-mail sierra.magazine@sierraclub.org
Web http://www.sierraclub.org

Photographer, editor, and award-winning writer, Susan W. Clark is an ardent advocate for sustainability. The Utne Reader applauded her article “Sustainable Revolution” from In Good Tilth magazine as “world-changing.” She is a regular contributor to In Good Tilth and Touch the Soil. Her work has appeared in the Capitol Press, Portland Tribune, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Permaculture Activist. She edits Salt of the Earth, the quarterly journal of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Her observations about living within our ecological means are posted at http://susanwclark.wordpress.com.


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