We're glad you're interested in contributing to Wisconsin Natural Resources! Given our 85,000-plus subscribers, a pass-along readership of more than 400,000, and the thousands of visitors to our website, WNR is a great place to display your photographs and illustrations and share your writing skills.
A word about our readers
WNR readers are a diverse group with many interests. They are active, not just armchair philosophers. Over half of them hunt. At least 73% of them are anglers. They enjoy exploring the outdoors and finding natural beauty on hilltops and wetlands, in forests and fields.
Because they enjoy outdoor activities, our readers are concerned about our environment. You don't have to tell them there are "environmental threats" out there. They know that. They are interested in environmental solutions and the people who develop those answers. They want to read about the cultural and historical roots of outdoor traditions and environmental problems. They appreciate art that reflects concern for the environment – and they have a sense of humor.
Subject matter and style
Articles should focus on Wisconsin resource and environmental issues. Readers enjoy meeting colorful people who are doing something for natural resources. Meaningful new research about Wisconsin's resources or attitudes of the people who use them are fair game for our readers.
We like seasonal pieces if we receive them at least four months ahead of the appropriate time of year.
We encourage authors to discuss natural resources issues, observation and research rather than merely sharing feelings about natural resources. Weave a good, exciting story, but don't get too dramatic. Maintain a strong factual message. Likewise avoid anthropomorphism in pieces about animals. Mood pieces and poetry are rarely used but, a good one accompanied by an appropriate photo or drawing stands a chance with us.
Wisconsin Natural Resources is not a technical journal for researchers. Only cite research results to make a point and give readers some insight. Cut through years of research and give them the gist. They are not interested in methodology; they want to know what you learned and what your research implies for managing resources. Get specific, but not pedantic.
Expect our readers to be shrewd analyzers and skeptics about facts and figures you present to support a viewpoint.
If you are writing a "how-to" piece (we like these!), make it authoritative but not stuffy. You will typically be writing about activities that people do as a hobby – collecting maple syrup, making fishing lures, etc. We want "how-to" articles from people who know what they are talking about. If part of your story can better be told with a drawing or diagram, provide it or sketch it well enough that we can give it to an artist to develop further. If you can't draw it, please photograph step-by-step the assembly or construction process. Assume that readers have basic skills with tools and home equipment, but don't assume they know the jargon of a particular hobby or skill. If a wild foods piece includes a recipe, don't forward it unless you've cooked it, eaten it – and loved it!
Articles can run as short as two or as long as six double-spaced, typed pages (about 500 to 2,500 words). Shorter stories are fine. If you can forward both hard copy and and e-mail your story, all the better. We use Microsoft Office Word 2003 but can convert from other formats.
Articles that are accompanied by color digital photos, slides, drawings, charts or black & white prints are more likely to be used. Photos of people and places described in your article are essential. If the article has a seasonal flavor, include seasonal graphics if you have any. If you have written a "how-to" article and we can photograph a step-by-step process for completing a project, we'd like the opportunity to photograph it ourselves.
We're looking for images showing:
You should know that we don't pay authors, photographers or artists for their work. That's a reflection of our budget, not our respect for your work. Published contributors are given the opportunity to claim their contributions as noncash charitable donations, for tax purposes.
We can give you an opportunity to display your talents to more than 85,000 subscribers, more than 400,000 pass-through readers, and untold thousands through our website. We'll also send you complimentary copies of magazines featuring your works, and we offer a tax deduction for published contributions. We couldn't produce this fine publication and web site without your stories and photographs, so we'll treat your contributions with respect.
If so, we look forward to hearing from you or receiving a query letter. Get imaginative and get going.