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Editorial Guidelines

About Motorcycle Mojo Magazine

Thank you for your interest in contributing to Motorcycle Mojo Magazine. We are an award-winning magazine published ten times per year- January/February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September/October, November and December. We are proudly Canadian and  one of less than a handful of Canadian motorcycle magazines on the newsstands in a sea of American titles.

The bulk of our readership is between the ages of 36-64 and while we have a predominantly male readership, female readers do make up a significant portion of our readers.

We rarely give assignments to writers, instead they send me articles of their travels or life-on-the-road experiences and as long as it is pertinent fact-checked information that follows our mandate, I generally will consider it.

We think this is one reason we have a ‘real person’ feel to the magazine. Real-life experience articles keep us very diverse and unique. Also in saying that, if your submitted article comes in clean, we may only need to edit for grammar and spelling leaving the submitted story in tact. Again, I feel this keeps us diverse.

Our readers like travel stories

We are a family-oriented motorcycle magazine that focuses on all types of road-going motorcycles, touring, history and destination articles. Destinations, meaning somewhere you can ride to for a weekend (or longer) and take in an event or a festival of some nature. A travel story may be a weekend trip just to ride the roads of a certain area, it could be a two-hour ride or a two-week ride, or longer.

We are especially interested in travel within Canada or south of the border – some place Canadians can actually ride to. While riding in the Alps sounds great, not many Canadians will ever do it.

We also have a history of human-interest stories featuring people we have met in our travels, however we try to stay away from featuring businesses. We may also cover events if on a national or large-scale level. We would very rarely ever cover a small local ride as the only people interested in reading about ‘Joe Blows 200 km Charity Ride to Save the Whales’ are the people that were on the ride. The smaller rides happen hundreds of time per weekend across Canada. Motorcycle Mojo Magazine is a national magazine and we have to focus on the bigger picture.

That being said, a ride somewhere exotic, if written properly, may be a unique human-interest piece. Or in some cases a charity ride may have a national interest in some cases.

We also include product, book, movie and new bike reviews as well as some vintage coverage.

In a nutshell, we will look at all aspects of the industry and lifestyle but very little on Supersport or Dirt bikes, unless it is really special interest.

Queries and submissions

We gratefully accept freelance submissions but must stress that experience counts. If you have never written before and I have trouble getting past the first paragraph, I will not continue reading.

We much prefer submissions over queries. If you want to get your foot in the door, send samples of previously published pieces and a selection of high-resolution images.

Please contact us and we will respond with additional instructions on sending attachments of your documents. Please prepare a Word document with the text and high-resolution images separately that are directly related to the article.

If you must send a query, give a detailed description of the story outline, a 100-200 word sample of your writing style similar to the angle in which you intend to approach the pitched article. You must also include a couple previously published samples of your work, and, you guessed it, examples of your high-resolution photography.

If you have sent your submission or query to any other magazine, please be up-front and let us know. We do receive a large number of submissions so we cannot always promise a speedy response, but we will get back to you.

If your submission or query is accepted you will be given a deadline. This deadline is to be adhered to.

Motorcycle Mojo Magazine Online Digital Edition

We have partnered with Zinio, the world’s largest digital magazine store, for our digital edition. This Digital Edition is a mirror image of the paper version. We are also available through iTunes.

The Digital Edition allows the reader to either download the edition to their computer, phone or tablet or read online making Motorcycle Mojo accessible anywhere in the world. Readers can turn pages as if flipping pages in the traditional paper version, yet allowing many more features such as embedded rich media, streaming video, photo galleries and live links to all URLs and email addresses.

As mentioned, this is a mirror image of the magazine and appears exactly as reading paper pages and therefore there is no extra cost to advertisers since, as always, they are purchasing paper advertising space, not digital space. Of major importance to authors and photographers, text or photos cannot be extracted from the Digital Edition.

You can see a sample of the Digital Edition by going to the Free Preview. Moving your cursor to edge of the page and clicking flips the page. Table of contents article titles are linked to the respective pages and the edition is searchable.

We feel this is the way of the future and the route we are taking to make us more accessible to readers around the world and for the future growth of Motorcycle Mojo Magazine.

We hope everyone realizes the advantage of this edition, for instance, those travelling in warmer climates while we are snowbound here, they still get their Mojo in an extremely timely manner.

If you are submitting articles to Motorcycle Mojo, we require your permission to post your articles and photos online in our Digital Edition. If you disagree we will not be able to accept articles from you since this is a mirror image of the printed piece.

What Motorcycle Mojo Magazine expects from you

Pick up a copy or two of Motorcycle Mojo Magazine and read them. Get an idea of our style, the number of photos in any given article and the quality of the publication.

Editorial

We expect all articles to be original, carefully researched and accurate, and of top literary quality. We also expect First North American Rights in both print and on the Internet unless otherwise negotiated.

Write to your readership. Motorcyclists are regular people for the most part, not English literature scholars so use words that are common English and understandable without running for the dictionary. Instead of using the word ‘pecuniary’, use financial or fiscal. Instead of ‘mellifluous’, try using pleasant and soothing.

Small stories can be 600-800 words while travel features might run into 2,000 words. The copy editor will determine the final length after editing.

We appreciate sidebars. Sidebars may a little off topic but still pertinent to the story. For example, a short history of the area visited, or details of a previous generation of motorcycle being tested.

Do NOT write an article about the feelings you get when you ride. Don’t bore us with what it’s like to throw your leg over the seat, push the start button and ride off into the sunset. Our readers already know the virtues of motorcycling. However, adding into a story how warm the sun was on your face in an otherwise cold, miserable day during your weeklong adventure is different; that can add detail and draw the reader in to understand your day’s experience.

Without writing a novel, articles should have enough detail and description to take the reader to where you are writing about. They should be able to experience the motels and B&Bs, the people you met and the road conditions, scenery and smells. A little humour, good story telling and texture always helps, but sounding like a tourist brochure doesn’t.

We don’t want to hear about the runny eggs you had for breakfast, or even what you had for breakfast for that matter, but it might be helpful for the reader to know if the restaurant was a dive and the waitress only had one tooth that made you run for your rain gear every time she spoke.

Remember, we are a family-oriented magazine. Our readers should not be worried about their children or grand kids picking up a copy of Motorcycle Mojo.

Photographs

Photos are extremely important to an article, therefore Motorcycle Mojo Magazine prefers digital images and fully expects high-resolution photos, preferably higher than eight megapixels, and preferably from a DSLR camera. Point ‘N’ Shoot cameras are fine for quick pics of your kids or your dog, but the quality just doesn’t cut it for high quality printing on glossy pages in magazines. In general, the higher the pixel count, the better. But high resolution isn’t everything. The size of the image sensor inside the camera is very important. The bigger the sensor, the crisper the detail of the image will be, which is why a DSLR is better than a Point ‘N’ Shoot.

I have refused many perfectly good articles because the images weren’t good enough or didn’t exist.

We prefer to have the original digital photos from the camera. Please do not open and resave the images as JPG. This will lessen the damage caused by saving as the dreaded JPG.

Please don’t digitally manipulate images.

These general rules of thumb are so basic, I shouldn’t even have them here, but I like typing and just in case you hadn’t thought of them;

  • First off let me say there is no comparison for professional photos.
  • If you absolutely must take the pictures yourself, here are some simple rules to follow:
  • Turn the date in your camera OFF if it has one.
  • If at all possible use a DIGITAL SLR camera. If you must use a Point-N-Shoot, use a tripod. Do not hold the camera at arms length as this makes it impossible to take a steady shot.
  • Consider the composition of the photo. In most cases using the rule of thirds works well. In some cases you may wish to fill the frame of the photo with the subject. If a motorcycle is the subject, don’t have the bike small in the corner of picture with most of the photo consisting of the background. Although that may be okay if the subject is the scenery behind the bike.
  • Background choices- a building with character, board fence. Do not have your house, junkyard, neighbour mowing lawn, kids toys or your minivan, etc. in background.
  • You could, however, shoot in a junkyard if the bike suited the picture, like if the bike was called Junk Yard Dog, or made from a collection of found parts.
  • Don’t put a green bike against a background of trees. trees can make for a very dark photo because of all the shadow areas in the trees.
  • Use a good camera and minimum of 8 megapixels.
  • Clean the lens.
  • Set your camera on its highest resolution and highest quality. In other words, set your camera to hold the least amount of images on the card installed – few images equal big files, this is good.

 

What you can expect from Motorcycle Mojo Magazine

Motorcycle Mojo Magazine’s pay schedule varies depending on writer’s experience, quality and length of story, and how much editing will be required to make it publication worthy.

We do not subsidize freelance writers trips in any way.

We offer remuneration on a per-word basis or we will offer a flat fee for the story and photos. With the advancements made in the DSLR market, it is rare the Motorcycle Mojo Magazine would pay for photos.

Regular sections like Say What (comments page) are not eligible for any payment. Nor are any small ‘filler’ paragraphs.

Submissions to the Family Jewels section does receive $25 Cdn if the photo(s) is selected. Please include a brief description of the photo.

Payment is based on the published story and not necessarily based on the story submitted. Payment is thirty days after publication.

The Editor and our publishing schedule will determine when an article runs.

Upon publication, Motorcycle Mojo will send a copy or two to the author.

If your story is accepted you can be assured that you are being published in a quality publication sold throughout Canada in over 2,000 newsstands and magazine shops, as well as our paid subscription base.

Motorcycle Mojo Magazine does not offer a kill fee for articles accepted but not printed due to circumstances.

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