Parachutist Writer's Submission Guidelines
The Parachutist staff welcomes and solicits editorial and photographic submissions from our readers. Parachutist does not have a writing staff and contributions from skydivers are what make the magazine possible. We do, however, have several requests regarding the format of submitted material that will make our job a little easier.
Editorial submissions are accepted with the understanding that the person submitting them has the right to publish the contents of the submission. The person submitting the material assumes all liability for content, including representation, as well as assuming responsibility for any claims arising there from and/or made against the publisher. The Parachutist staff reserves the right to post the submitted material on USPA’s website, as well as redistribute the material in its final, laid-out form for reprint requests. Parachutist will only consider and pay for material not submitted to any other U.S. publication unless prior arrangements have been made.
For guidelines and to submit for "How Skydiving Changed My Life" - click here
For guidelines and to submit for "Tales from the Bonfire" - click here
How to Submit a Feature Article or Five-Minute Call Piece:
- For completed articles, we strongly prefer submissions electronically via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- You may also send submissions (preferably on computer disc) to: Parachutist-Attn: Managing Editor, 5401 Southpoint Centre Blvd. Fredericksburg, VA 22407
- To submit article ideas, please fill out the form on the right of this page.
The following are some guidelines for submissions:
- To give your feature article the best chance of publication, we request you contact us in advance of the event or before starting writing on a topic so we can discuss a rough word count and the article’s applicability for the magazine. This allows us to plan for space accordingly since we put together the magazine’s editorial plan two to four months before the cover date.
- Where appropriate and possible, supply photos that relate to the article. Quality photographs of an event or topic help the possibility of publication considerably.
- Articles for the Five Minute Call section (the shorter articles at the beginning of the magazine) do not require advance notice. However, submissions must be kept to about 200 to 400 words. Longer event articles that are submitted without advance notice are often trimmed and run in the Five Minute Call section.
- If you have an idea for a story but aren’t sure if it is appropriate, please contact us (you may use the form to the right). An outline will help to determine if the story is suitable to run as an independent feature.
- Deadlines: The final draft of an article must arrive 45 days in advance of the cover date for consideration for that issue (e.g.: For the March magazine, submissions must arrive by January 15). In considering a story, we may hold your article and run it at a later date. Parachutist cannot commit to running an article until all materials are submitted.
- With the exception of historical articles, we do not accept article for events that took place more than four months prior to the cover date (e.g. For the March issue, we won’t cover boogies that occurred prior to December). This keeps articles timely.
- Articles should be written in the third person. You may include yourself in the happenings, but please try to steer clear of first-person writing (in other words, please don’t center your articles around “I,” “me,” or “we” statements).
- Parachutist does not accept first-jump stories for publication. We have found the most appropriate venue for tales of first jumps are local or general interest magazines and newspapers. Since Parachutist is distributed primarily to USPA members, its readership consists primarily of experienced, licensed skydivers, skydiving instructors or skydiving students who are looking for how-to, historical, safety and event coverage.
- In most cases, articles covering boogies are best kept to fewer than 500 words and should be accompanied by lots of high-quality photographs.
- Five Minute Call submissions typically range from 200 to 400 words and are accompanied by one or two photos. These pieces should be written in a “newsy” style.
- Feature articles generally range from about 1,000 to 1,500 words.
- To get an idea of length, one full page of text in the magazine, with no photos or headlines, is approximately 1,000 words. Articles are typically half photographs and half text, so a 1,000-word article typically takes up two pages in the magazine.
- In almost all cases, event articles should include the journalistic basics: Who (the organization, person or group holding or involved in the event), What (the actual name of the event and whether it’s a boogie, competition, record attempt, fundraiser, etc.), When (the dates the event took place), Where (the DZ, or if not a DZ, the city and state or other location), Why (to choose a world champion, to raise money for a cause, etc.) and How (e.g.: an 8-round swoop meet, by taking pledges and selling T-shirts, etc.).