TBM Submission Guidelines (Updated April 2016)
Traditional Bowhunter® was founded in 1988 to provide the bowhunting world with a comprehensive magazine dedicated to preserving and advancing the rich tradition of hunting with the longbow, recurve, and selfbow.
All material is accepted on speculation only, even if previously discussed with the editors. We encourage query letters prior to submission. Writers must be knowledgeable about traditional archery and bowhunting. Study back issues of the magazine to appreciate our editorial needs.
Our hunting stories generally emphasize do-it-yourself, unguided hunts except in circumstances in which a guide is legally required. Because of our emphasis on the “Traditional” in our title, it is best to avoid the following subjects in the text: trail cameras, ORVs, cell phones, “scores,”, and long discussions of “trophies.”
We publish six times per year. Material purchased will normally appear in six months to one year, although the interval between acceptance and publication may be slightly longer. Plan to submit seasonal work at least six months prior to the appropriate issue.
High quality photographic support represents an important element of most submissions. Good photo support greatly increases the chance of material being accepted. Digital images shot at high resolution with a professional camera of at least 6 megapixels are required. Low resolution digital photos are not acceptable. All digital photo submissions must be sent on a CD or thumb drive in either RAW or JPEG format of at least 300 dpi to be considered. Do NOT send images by e-mail unless specifically requested. We also accept color slides of ISO 100 or greater resolution. We occasionally accept prints as a last resort but prefer digital images or slides. Query prior to sending original non-photographic artwork.
Try to include a broad selection of images providing the reader with a comprehensive view of the topic. Include vertical as well as horizontal format images. While we’re happy to look at wildlife shots as part of any submission, good wildlife photography requires specialized technique and equipment, and amateur quality wildlife work is of little value. Since we can obtain wildlife shots from our files, this is not as important as providing good images of the people and places described in the text.
Pictures of dead animals must be tasteful: no gore, protruding arrows, or dead game in the back of trucks, on ATVs, or hanging from gambrels. Please use common sense in this respect. We do not publish trail cam photos.
Basic descriptive captions must accompany all images. We must be able to identify the image each caption refers to, and the caption should identify the subject clearly. Photo captions should appear at the end of the text, as part of the same document.
Digital images accompanying text submissions should be sent on disc with the text. Again, do not e-mail unsolicited digital images.
Vertical format is mandatory for cover images, with the top 1/2 to 1/3 of the image bare to accommodate the title and additional room along margins for banners. Color transparencies shot with film rated ISO 100 or less are acceptable. We also accept digital images that have been shot with a professional camera of at least 6 megapixel and provided at full size in both RAW and TIFF format on a CD: no JPEGs, please. Study past covers to obtain a good feel for these requirements.
Our feature articles run 1500 to 3000 words with few exceptions. Please query prior to submitting features that fall outside this range. All manuscripts should be typed, double spaced, in Word or comparable electronic format. We cannot accept hand written material, text in all-cap format, or text for which no acceptable electronic version is available. Do not use line justification or non-standard font in the text. Do not insert images in text or organize text into columns. Include both hard copy and text on disc at the time of initial submission.
Normal turnaround time will be four weeks for queries, eight weeks for unsolicited submissions. Please do not contact us sooner to inquire about the status of material. We look for sidebars as part of feature submissions in order to enhance the magazine’s layout and visual appeal; please provide as part of submitted text. At the end of each submission, include a brief Author Bio Note and, if applicable, an Equipment Note. The latter should be limited to a brief description of bow, shafts, and heads that appear in the story. Do not include this information in the body of the text. See any recent issue for examples. These should be included as part of the main text in a single text file at the time of submission, as should sidebars. Failure to do so will only delay response to the submission.
Our regular columns are usually pre-assigned, with some exceptions. Please query prior to submitting any material intended for one of our regular columns. Column length runs 800-1500 words unless a different length is agreed upon in advance.
Please do not submit unsolicited material electronically. Queries by e-mail are welcome, but text and photographs should be sent by mail to the addresses listed below. The submission package should include a hard copy of the text with photo captions and end notes, the same text document on disc, and photos on disc (the same or separate.) We cannot complete our evaluation until we have all of this material. Please do not include material for multiple pieces in the same package or on the same disc.
While we will make every reasonable effort to return submitted material, we cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions. To insure return, always include a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE); material received without return postage will not be returned except by prior arrangement. Please include an e-mail address with all submissions to facilitate reply. We accept only original, previously unpublished material. We do not accept material that has been simultaneously submitted elsewhere and discourage this unprofessional practice. (Simultaneous query letters are fine.)
Payment for unsolicited short features ranges from $150 to $250 depending on length and quality. Payment for assigned columns is $300. Payment for features is $300 to $400, depending on quality of text and photo support. Cover images pay $400.
Book reviews pay $75 and should be 600 to 800 words in length. A cover image of the book must be provided, and the review should include the cover price, publisher, and ISBN#. Query first for interest by the editors.
Short features up to 1500 words are also accepted for online publication on our website. Consistent with industry standards for online publication, payment is $50 for text and photographs.
Payment for all accepted material is issued prior to publication.
Feature articles and photographic support for same, assigned columns, and other hard copy material should be submitted directly to: Don Thomas, 1898 Timberline Rd., PO Box 939 Lewistown, MT 59457. Queries and other correspondence related to editorial content should be directed to Co-Editor Don Thomas by e-mail: email@example.com Other e-mail correspondence should be sent to T.J. Conrads at: firstname.lastname@example.org.