Editorial and Photography Submission Guidelines
We accept digital submissions only, editorial and photography alike. We no longer accept manuscripts via regular mail, and we no longer publish images created from transparent film. In brief, we consider only complete manuscripts. No story queries, please. Submit polished manuscripts via email to editor-in-chief Steve Walburn (email@example.com), and state “gray’s manuscript” in the subject line. Please direct your photo queries to our art director, Wayne Knight (firstname.lastname@example.org), and state “gray’s photography” in the subject line.
We expect competent, vividly written prose—fact or fiction—that has high entertainment value for a very sophisticated audience.
Manuscript length depends on subject. If you need 12,000 words to tell the tale, then do so. But if you can tell the story in 3,000 or even 1,500 words, then be kind to yourself, your readers, and our editors. We reject many manuscripts that are well written but just too long. And manuscript length has nothing to do with pay. Note that we do not consider previously published material. We do, however, occasionally run prepublication book excerpts. To get a feel for what Gray’s publishes, review several back issues. Note that we do not, as a rule, publish “how to” articles; this is the province of our regular columnists.
Gray’s is published seven times a year, including four themed issues: the Fly Fishing Edition (March/April), the Upland Bird Hunting Edition (August), the Big Game Edition (September/October), and the Expeditions and Guides Annual (December). Because 90 percent of our readers are bird hunters, 85 percent are fly fishers, and 67 percent hunt big game, we’re always looking for good upland-bird-hunting, fly-fishing, and big-game manuscripts for these issues and throughout the year, but don’t confine yourself to these themes. Other subjects of interest include:
• Small Game
• Unusual Quarry (feral hogs, etc.)
• Sporting Adventures in exciting locales, foreign and domestic.
• Yarns—tall tales or true
We usually publish one poem per issue, with the exception of the Expeditions and Guides Annual. Our tastes in poetry are sufficiently eclectic to consider practically anything, though we prefer poems shorter than 1,000 words.
Features and Yarns
Features may be fact or fiction, hunting or fishing, long or short but no shorter than 1,500 words. We rarely publish eulogy pieces, but if you’re convinced—heart and soul—that yours is superior, we’ll certainly take a look. Yarns are just that—campfire tales, fact or fiction, and should run from 750 to 1,500 words.
These are travel pieces, pure and simple, and can be to places as exotic as Mongolia or as down-home as Missouri. We want you to take our readers hunting or fishing someplace interesting and bring the place to life; the story and the writing are at least as important as where you go and what you caught or shot. Our Expeditions and Guides issue typically runs four or five of these and each regular issue always has one. Expeditions articles run between 2,500 and 3,000 words; we’ll also need a short sidebar detailing the specifics of getting there. We do not publish expeditions pieces without quality photographic support accompanied by clearly descriptive captions for each image (see below for photographic requirements). But in general, when you submit your expedition via email, please attach a few low-resolution jpgs (image files under 500K). Send your best shots so we can form some idea of the support photography. We occasionally publish in Expeditions and Guides travel features that are unaccompanied by photography but never in a regular issue.
Manuscript Requirements and Payment
We do not buy stories based on queries; we consider only complete manuscripts. Submit your manuscript via e-mail, and include a cover letter that states whether the story is fact, fiction, poem, or expedition. Also please ensure that your full contact information is included on your manuscript in addition to your cover letter. Our mailing and e-mail addresses are listed below.
We pay from $600 to $1,250 for features, based on quality, not length; yarns average $600; poems, $100. We pay $50 to $300 for photographs. For Expeditions pieces, we pay $850 to $1,000 plus $75 per picture published. All payment is made upon publication.
All submissions are on speculation, even if you receive a positive response to a query. We urge multiple submissions, but if you sell a piece we’re holding, please notify us immediately so we don’t build an issue around your feature only to find it unavailable.
We do not pay kill fees.
We read every manuscript. About 10 percent get a positive reply. About one percent is printed. You will normally hear from us in 10 to 12 weeks. We choose an issue’s offerings about eight to twelve months before publication. If you are aiming at a specific issue, your manuscript should be in our hands at least six months prior to that.
We buy modified North American serial rights. These are, specifically:
- The right to publish your article in one issue of Gray’s Sporting Journal.
- The right to publish your article, if chosen, on our Web site.
- The right to use brief quotes and/or images from the magazine in promotional programs related to Gray’s Sporting Journal.
- All other rights for material printed in Gray’s remain with the author/creator.
We always notify our valuable contributors when we make any secondary use of their material. This is typically limited to our Web site, where each month we run a sampling of the issue’s feature stories, photo essays, and columns. Note, however, that we do not consider exact reproduction of the magazine page as secondary usage.
Gray’s is perhaps best known for its stunning photographic essays. We accept photographic essays as stand-alones or as part of a story mix. We publish only previously unpublished photographs. Please send a good selection of original images. We publish only digital photography (see our requirements below). You can submit your images in one of several ways. One, you can create an online lightbox and send the link to the managing editor via email. Two, you can attach a goodly selection of images (30 or so) to an email and send them to the managing editor. Third, and the manner that is most preferred by the art director, mail discs of hi-resolution images to the managing editor, include color thumbnail contact sheets of all images, and make sure the file name of the contact sheet matches the file names on the disc. (Contact sheets expedite the photo-editing and evaluation process.) Include your name, address, telephone number, and email address. Gray’s is not responsible for unsolicited submissions or the safety of submissions not in our possession. Safe care of submissions in transit to and from Gray’s is the responsibility of the carrier.
Here are out recommendations for submitting digital images.
- Use the highest megapixel camera available to you.
- Save images as TIFF format. We also accept hi-resolution .JPGs.
- If your camera has various RGB options, select the “Adobe RGB” option.
- If your camera has Processing Parameters, select the Parameter that provides baseline settings, which apply NO adjustments to the image.
- Send a color thumbnail contact sheet of all images, and make sure the file name of the contact sheet matches the file names on the disc. Contact sheets expedite the photo-editing and evaluation process.
We are looking for essays of stunning quality, focusing on angling and hunting. Please send a large selection of original photographs. Include an inventory list with your submission. Organize your submission with the notion of telling a story complete with every aspect of a hunting or fishing adventure. If we like your material, we will request more details.
Wildlife studies may be considered for the inside front covers of Gray’s, but we’re also looking for the offbeat, quirky, or just plain impressive. Photographs submitted for consideration as inside front covers must be vertical.
Payment for photographic essays is made upon publication and is subject to negotiation with the art director. The inside front cover pays $250. All submissions are on a speculation-only basis—even if you receive a positive response to a query.
PUBLICATION DATES 2016
The Fly Fishing Edition
Wild Turkey, Summer Fishing, Hunting
All topics, Summer Reading Issue
The Upland Bird Hunting Edition
The Big Game Edition
Big Game Hunting and Fishing, Waterfowl, Fall Fishing
Expeditions and Guides Annual
Expeditions and Guides: Travel Only
GRAY’S SPORTING JOURNAL
735 Broad St
Augusta, GA 30901