We're glad you're interested in contributing to Wisconsin Natural Resources (WNR) magazine! Given our 86,000-plus subscribers, an extensive pass-along readership and thousands of visitors to our website, WNR is a great place to share your writing skills and display your photographs and illustrations.
A word about our readers
WNR readers are a diverse group with many interests. They’re active and care about protecting our natural resources. They’re also armchair philosophers and knowledgeable about environmental issues. They enjoy wildlife watching, nature study and outdoor recreation, and appreciate stories offering tips on how they can enhance their outdoor skills.
Our readers want to know about the state of Wisconsin's environment and the people who work on behalf of natural resources. 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
Feature stories – the kinds of articles the magazine publishes – are meant to be read for enjoyment and information. Authors should focus on Wisconsin resources, environmental issues, observation and research, rather than merely sharing personal opinions. Weave a good, exciting story while maintaining a strong factual message. The editor can help you find a good angle for your story to capture the readers’ attention.
WNR magazine is not a technical journal for researchers and should not read like one. Cite research results to make a point and give readers some insight. Our readers are not interested in methodology; they want to know what you learned and what your research implies for the environment.
If you are writing a "how-to" piece (making fishing lures, preparing wild game recipes, building a bird house, etc.), you don’t need to be a specialist, but you need to have experience and know what you’re talking about. 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. Having good photos, diagrams or drawings to explain the process is important.
Copy preparation and submissions
It is best to contact the editor before starting a story. The editor will work with you on your story idea, whether or not it is appropriate for the magazine, the length and timing, and plan for any additional information, illustrations and photographs needed for your article. Feature stories can run as short as 500 or as long as 2,500 words.
We use Microsoft Word but can convert from other formats. We prefer to receive stories submitted via email, but we can also work with hard copy submissions if you do not have email available.
Photographs and graphics
We encourage authors to submit images with their stories, but we are always looking for new and high-quality photos/graphics. If you are a photographer or artist interested in submitting your work, we always need images showing:
People enjoying outdoor play or work
Wisconsin landscapes and scenery
Critter and plant close-ups
Photos/graphics to compliment your article
If you are forwarding digital images for our consideration, we need high-resolution images of at least 300 dots per inch (dpi). When taking photographs, it is best to set your camera on its highest resolution. We prefer to receive large quantities of digital images on CD rather than receiving several files as email attachments. If you would like to send us some low-resolution thumbnails as an inquiry, that will work fine as long as a CD with high resolution files would be available subsequently. We prefer to receive digital images, but we can also work with prints, slide transparencies, watercolors, oils, pen-and-ink or other media.
Please include information we can use for crafting a caption, tell us who took the photos or created the images and how to reach that person via e-mail, mailing address and phone number in case we have follow-up questions.
Production schedule and deadlines
Our magazine issues are planned out months ahead of time, so remember to contact us early and plan to submit your materials accordingly. Because the magazine is published six times a year (February, April, June, August, October, December), advance planning is vital. If your article or idea is tied to a specific date or season, contact the editor as soon as possible (six months to a year in advance is not too soon).
You should know that we do not pay authors, photographers or artists for their work. That's a reflection of our budget, not our respect for your work. We are grateful that you and so many others want to contribute to our magazine - we couldn’t produce this fine publication without your contributions.
WNR magazine gives you an opportunity to display your talents to more than 86,000 subscribers, an extensive pass-along readership and to thousands of visitors to our website. We'll also send you complimentary magazine copies featuring your work. Published contributors are given the opportunity to claim their contributions as non-cash charitable donations for tax purposes.
We hope so, and we look forward to hearing from you or receiving a query letter. Get imaginative and get going!