TBM Submission Guidelines
(Updated May 2021)
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. Submissions should have a strong theme. 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, compounds, “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. Images captured with a DSLR camera are recommended. Cell phone images will be considered but are not preferable. Low-resolution or blurry photos are not acceptable. Digital photo submissions may be sent on a CD or thumb drive in either RAW or JPEG format of at least 300 PPI to be considered. Photos embedded in the text document, or sent as PDFs, will not be accepted. Please do not submit cropped or highly post-processed images, as we want full access to crop and process them in house. Images may also be sent by Dropbox, We Transfer, or as e-mail file attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please e-mail images with no more than two (2) attached to each e-mail. Prints are not acceptable. 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 are happy to look at wildlife shots as part of any submission, good wildlife photography requires specialized techniques 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. Any aerial images submitted must be taken in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws regulating drone photography.
Field photos of dead animals must be tasteful and demonstrate respect for the hunt. Photos that capture the hunter and their game in the animal’s natural habitat are strongly suggested. Images that show gore, protruding arrows or animal tongues, dead game in the back of trucks, on ATVs, hanging from gambrels, or posed disrespectfully will not be considered for publication. Please use common sense in this respect. We do not publish trail cam photos. Additionally, hunter safety is important to TBM and its readers. Tree stand photos of hunters not wearing a fall restraint device will not be published.
Captions need not be lengthy but should give the reader a sense of “who, what, where.” 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.
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. We accept digital images that have been shot with a professional camera and provided at full size in both RAW and TIFF format. 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 MS Word or a comparable electronic format, in Times New Roman, size 12. We cannot accept handwritten material, text in all-cap format, or text for which no acceptable electronic version is available. Do not use line justification or non-standard fonts in the text. Do not insert images in text or organize text in columns. All material must be submitted electronically. It is advisable to send a query by e-mail prior to submitting completed work. This will save everyone time if we already have material on the same subject in our files, or if the topic is something we do not cover.
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, shaft, and broadhead that appear in the story. Do not include this information in the body of the text. These should be included as part of the main text at the time of submission, as should sidebars. Photo captions should follow the Author Bio and Equipment Note at the conclusion of the main text. Please refer to past issues for examples of Author Bio, Equipment Note, and captions. Failure to include these important aspects will only delay response to the submission.
Be sure to include full contact information at least once with all submissions. An e-mail address is especially important. The normal turnaround time will be four weeks for queries and eight weeks for unsolicited submissions. Please do not contact us sooner to inquire about the status of material.
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.
We accept only original, previously unpublished material and photography. 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.
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.
The editors may alter, revise, or rewrite any portion of any submission for grammar or clarity for the overall flow of the piece.
Payment for all accepted material is issued prior to publication. Queries and other correspondence related to editorial content should be directed to Co-Editor David Tetzlaff at: email@example.com. Other e-mail correspondence should be sent to T.J. Conrads at: firstname.lastname@example.org.