Submissions to Communities Magazine
You are cordially invited to send submissions to Communities Magazine, including articles, photographs, poems, graphic artwork, etc. If you would like to contribute, please familiarize yourself with our Article and Photo Guidelines below, and then send us your article idea via our contact form. You may also contact us or make submissions by calling 541-937-5221 or writing Communities Magazine, 81868 Lost Valley Lane, Dexter, OR 97431.
Call for Articles
We are now seeking article submissions to Communities magazine for issue #168, “Community and the Law.” The issue will be out in September 2015. Please send us your article idea as soon as you can, before writing/submitting a full article. Your final article must reach us by Friday, May 22, 2015.
1. Theme articles: Community and the Law
- How have laws either helped or hindered your efforts to create and maintain community in your life?
- If you live in an intentional community, has your group encountered any legal obstacles in your efforts to live according to your values?
- How have zoning ordinances, building codes, and other regulations enhanced or limited your group’s activities and its capacity to fulfill its collective vision?
- Do you or your group fly “under the radar” in order to be a community, or in order to live more sustainably? (If so, we are happy to protect your identity by publishing pseudonymous or anonymous pieces, if that allows you to tell more of the story.)
- How have fair housing laws, employment laws, or any other laws affected your community?
- Has your community gone to court, due to either external challenges or internal conflict? Are lawsuits any part of your history or current reality?
- What advice do you have for other groups when dealing with potential legal threats to a group’s existence or smooth functioning?
- What lessons can present-day communitarians draw from historical examples of legal issues encountered by past intentional communities?
- Have you had experience with changing laws and ordinances, either locally or on a larger scale, in order to promote more community and more responsible ways of living?
- How have you (or other groups you know of) changed local laws to make natural building and/or shared living legal? What steps were taken to achieve these changes?
- Have you attempted to emigrate in order to live long-term in an intentional community in another country? If so, have you encountered legal obstacles? Have you wished to do so, but been stymied by citizenship or residency requirements? What have been your experiences with “borders” and community?
- On the larger scale, how do laws either encourage or discourage community in neighborhoods, cities, regions, countries, and globally?
Please remember that we are looking for stories, personal experiences, and concrete examples in your responses—these are what will make ideas and observations most “real” and relevant to readers.
2. We are also seeking articles about:
- Creating community in your neighborhood;
- Starting a new community;
- Process and communication issues in community; and
- Seeking community to join.
Suggested submission length is from 300 to 2500 words. We invite submissions ranging from short vignettes to extensively-developed articles, and also invite suggestions of recommended resources and article leads. We’re seeking articles written in a reader-friendly, popular-magazine style, rather than in an academic style. We ask contributors to share stories and experiences, not just ideas; write about challenges, not just successes; and describe specific situations that will help your story come alive for the reader. Before you start writing, please see our full Writers’ Guidelines below–and let us know your article idea so that we can give feedback on how it may fit into Communities. If you don’t want to write an article but want to submit photos, please see our Photo Guidelines below.
I. What “Submitting an Article” Means. We will promise to read your article, but we may respectfully decline it and not publish it, or save it and publish it in a future issue. We also reserve the right to edit, shorten, or revise your article. Most of the time we contact authors about this ahead of time and get their comments, corrections, etc.
II. Getting Permission Ahead of Time. Please send the article only when you have permission from anyone you need it from, such as fellow community members. We endeavor to present a diversity of views on community, including controversial or critical views, in a respectful and cooperative manner. If your article may generate controversy or strong reactions, or if the group(s) would want the chance to review it, please share your draft with group members to get their input before sending it to us. (Please see our Writers’ Guidelines for additional details.)
III. Publication Rights. Once your article appears in Communities, we own first North American Publishing Rights. This means your article appears in Communities the first time it appears in North America. In addition to appearing in Communities, your article may also appear on our website or in future compilations. You retain all other rights to it. If you’d like to use it elsewhere, you can, and we would appreciate your using an attribution line saying, “This article first appeared in Communities: Life in Cooperative Culture, (date); for further information on Communities: communities.ic.org.”
IV. Photos. If we publish your article, we want to accompany it with compelling images that illustrate your subject. You know your subject best, so we are appealing to you for images. If others in your community or group like taking pictures, they might already have great images to go with your article. If you would like to submit an article but cannot supply photos, that’s fine; however, please give us plenty of advance notice so that if we use your article we can get an illustrator. Please see our Photo Guidelines below. We also appreciate an author photo to accompany your short (several-line) author bio. Thanks for your contributions!
Communities magazine is an 80-page quarterly exploring sustainable intentional community living and creating community where you live now. By “community” we mean organized neighborhoods (sometimes called “virtual communities”), ecovillages, cohousing neighborhoods, urban or rural group households, artists’ collectives, housing co-ops, income-sharing communes, retreat and conference center communities, back-to-the-land homesteading communities, ashrams, meditation centers, convents, and monasteries. We also publish articles about creating community in the workplace, in worker-owned or buyers’ co-ops, in nonprofit or activist organizations, and in neighborhoods.
I. Article Content Our magazine covers what people are learning about how to live cooperatively, how to solve problems peacefully, and how individual lives can be enhanced by living, working, and/or sharing together with purpose and intention. We seek articles on seeking to join a community; starting a new community; community living and why people choose it; creating community in your workplace, apartment building, or existing neighborhood or town; descriptions of what’s difficult and what works well; news about existing and forming communities; or articles that illuminate community experiences—past and present—offering insights into mainstream cultural issues.
We are interested only in writing which directly or indirectly relates to intentional communities or to some aspect of cooperative living or an organized neighborhood. This is important—we reject many pieces from people who have never seen the magazine. We ask contributors to share stories and experiences, not just ideas; write about challenges, not just successes; and describe specific situations that will help your story come alive for the reader.
Before you start writing, please familiarize yourself with our Writers’ Guidelines–and let us know your article idea so that we can give feedback on how it may fit into Communities. Please remember that we are looking for stories, personal experiences, and concrete examples in your answers–these are what will make your ideas and observations most “real” and relevant to readers. We want to hear from anyone with a story to tell: community members or seekers, writers, budding writers, people with specialized knowledge, or academic researchers. Write about your community, cooperative venture, or neighborhood, or one you’re familiar with, or about several, comparing and contrasting.
We’re especially seeking articles which touch on some of the following issues about your topic:
- What have you learned? What worked for you? What didn’t work? What will you do next?
- Seeking a community: researching, visiting, choosing, and/or the first steps in the membership process
- Starting a new community
- Creating more community in your life where you live now—e.g., at work, with friends, in your neighborhood
- Communication and process issues in community; conflict and resolving conflict
- Membership issues in your community (new members joining, people leaving, etc.)
- Raising children in community
- Growing older in community
- Love relationships in the context of community
- Permaculture or other sustainability practices in community
- Economic issues in community.
II. What “Submitting” an Article Means Before you start writing your article, please contact the editor with your story idea. We may be able to give you feedback on how to shape your article to give it the best chances of fitting into an upcoming issue. We also appreciate knowing in advance that an article will be submitted, so that we have a better overview of the material we may be considering for publication. We will promise to read your article, but we may respectfully decline it and not publish it, or save it and publish it in a future issue. Because have more submissions than we can use, we will select the best-written, those that best fit our theme or other specific article needs, those that best complement the other stories in the issue, those that are least repetitive of recent Communities pieces, and those with the most relevant, helpful information. We may edit, shorten, or not use your article, or publish it in a future issue. Most of the time we contact authors about this ahead of time and get their comments, corrections, etc.
III. Get Permission Ahead of Time Please send the article only when you have permission from anyone you need it from, such as fellow community members. We endeavor to present a diversity of views on community, including controversial or critical views, yet we hope to do so in a respectful and cooperative manner and prevent antagonistic back-and-forth dialog in our letters-to-the-editor section. If the article may provoke controversy or strong reactions, please share your draft with group members to get their input before sending it to us. We endeavor to present a diversity of views on community, including controversial or critical views, in a respectful and cooperative manner. If your article may generate controversy or strong reactions, or if the group(s) would want the chance to review it, please share your draft with group members to get their input before sending it to us. If you are unable to do this, we will attempt to contact them ourselves to offer a chance for response. If you and group members cannot agree upon a version, and you and we still decide to move forward with possible publication, we will offer the group(s) a chance to share alternative perspectives via a sidebar or letter to the editor. An alternative in some cases is using a pseudonym for the group(s) or leaving the group(s) anonymous. We generally do not allow authors themselves to remain anonymous, except on occasion when an article does not divulge the identity of the group. (Please let us know if this option would make a difference to you—we want to encourage freedom of expression and truth-telling, while also assuring accountability and fairness for both authors and groups, when either may be identifiable.)
Likewise, before sending us your article, please be sure individual community members specifically named in your article do not object to being identified or to your descriptions of them. If they do object, please make alterations and/or offer them a chance to respond.
IV. Publication Rights Our publishing your article constitutes a contract that we own the first North American publishing rights to your work. This means that it must not have been published previously in Canada or the US. If you or another publication would like to reprint the article exactly as it is laid out in the pages of the magazine, we may grant permission upon your or the publisher’s request, in which case we will ask you to include a copyright statement and attribution, such as “This article first appeared in Communities: Life in Cooperative Culture, (date); for further information on Communities: ic.org/communities-magazine-home.” In addition to appearing in Communities, your article (and photos which accompany it) may also appear on our website, in future compilations, and anywhere Communities articles are distributed physically and digitally. You retain all other rights to it, which means that you or another publication can re-publish the words of your article, using your own or their own format (typeface, layout, etc.) in another publication or on a website. If you do, we ask that, as a favor to us, you please include the following attribution line when your article is published again: “Copyright [year], [your name] and Communities magazine. This article first appeared in Communities: Life in Cooperative Culture, [date]; for further information on Communities: ic.org/communities-magazine-home.”
V. Article Length Suggested submission length is from 300 to 2500 words. We invite submissions ranging from short vignettes to extensively-developed articles, and also invite suggestions of recommended resources and article leads. We’re seeking articles written in a reader-friendly, popular-magazine style, rather than in an academic style. We also welcome your suggestions for sidebars (shorter sections within the article set off in a box).
VI. Article Format Please email your article to email@example.com as an attachment in “.doc” format. Copyediting preferences: 1) single-spaced within paragraphs; 2) one space, not two, between sentences; 3) double-space between paragraphs.
VII. Writing Style We value the personal touch. We’re seeking articles where we can see, hear, and feel the people you’re writing about. What did the scene look like? What did you or the people you’re writing about feel when they made that decision? How did they respond to the result? What did they say? Please help the reader feel as if he or she is meeting these people on the page. Instead of abstract, academic pieces in which the writer outlines ideas and concepts, we seek articles that include descriptions, examples, and anecdotes to tell a story.
We would particularly like to hear how you personally may have been affected by your experiences. How have your opinions been changed, validated, or surprised? How might your story help others who are living in or interested in communities? In longer pieces, create a “lead.” The “lead”—the first paragraph of the article—convinces the reader that your article is interesting enough to read. Be as vivid, concrete, and visual as possible. What did it look like? Any sounds? What did people say? Alternatively you could use an anecdote, including dialogue, to set the scene. The second or third paragraph can give the overview and/or state your main point; the lead paragraph is what gets the reader’s attention. Tell a story. Give enough specifics to make it easy for the reader to join you in your story. Do not give so many details that your story loses momentum. You want it to be vivid and to flow.
Questions to address:
• What challenges did you face?
• What did it feel like?
• How did you figure out how to respond?
• What obstacles did you encounter in trying to deal with the challenges?
• How well did your response deal with the challenges?
• What did you learn?
• How were you and others changed by this experience?
Please include specifics, such as the context of the community or group you write about (size, location, purpose, how old, how many people, values, etc.). Include anecdotes, examples, and stories to illustrate your points. Please give specific facts, rather than general facts. Do include quotes, and brief bits of dialogue, if possible. Please write in the active voice, rather than the passive voice, and replace passive construction with active construction whenever possible. (“Community members built a strawbale house” rather than “A strawbale house was built by community members.”)
VIII. Author Bio Please also include two to three lines of autobiographical info. (where you live, your interests, community affiliations, contact info. or website if you choose to share it, etc.).
IX. Accompanying Photos If we publish your article, we want to accompany it with compelling images that illustrate your subject. You know your subject best, so we are appealing to you for images. If you would like to submit an article but cannot supply photos, that’s fine; however, please give us plenty of advance notice so that if we use your article we can get an illustrator. If the story is focused on a certain person or group, include a photograph of them. Always get as close to your subject as possible. Photographs of your subjects engaged in their work or in their environment make for interesting photos. Please consult our Photo Guidelines below for full details about our photo needs.
X. Our Thanks If we use your article you will receive a one-year subscription (four issues) or four copies of the issue in which your article appears—your choice. (Because of problems with international mail, we can offer only four-copy packets—of the same or different issues—to certain destinations, including Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, Central and South America, and Pacific Island countries.) Thank you for your interest in Communities. Please stay up-to-date with future themes at ic.org/communities-magazine-home or by contacting the editor.
Content of Images We are a magazine about people and communities, but every picture does not need to have people in it. Maybe the image is a row of colorful shoes next to a playground that suggests children, for example. You may also include additional, ambient photographs of a home, like a table setting, food, art, or landscape, for example, along with your people shots. Modern digital cameras put the power of making beautiful images in all our hands. Use the power and have fun! You can also submit artwork, such as drawings or graphics that you have created.
Remember to include information for the caption of each photo, as well as the full name of whomever we should credit for the photo, including their community name. Also, if there are people in the photo, then get permission to use the photo in Communities magazine. A good caption includes the location, all the names of the people or group in the photo, and the date if that applies.
Cover Photos If you are interested in submitting images for the cover, please study the Call for Articles posted for that issue. The best way to achieve a winning cover is to study the magazine. Be aware that your image must work behind the masthead, cover titles, etc.—normally the top of the image should not be vital to the image meaning. We are seeking thought-provoking approaches to visually communicating community—images which speak in new and interesting ways. Surprise us. Think about what you would want to see/say on a newsstand. You will need at least a 6 MB camera at the highest resolution of capture for cover photos. Feel free to contact the Art Director at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, images, and suggestions.
Use of Photos Unless you specify otherwise, your submission of photos constitutes permission for them to appear in our print magazine and also possibly on our website, in digital editions, and/or in future compilations. Thanks again for helping us create a beautiful magazine!
Image Quality: Please submit your images as original full color jpegs if possible. Although the magazine is printed inside as black and white, the Art Director will do all the conversions to black and white or greyscale tiffs. Please do not send images already converted to black and white, unless you absolutely have no other choice. It is important that you set your digital camera to capture the images at the highest resolution or 8” x 10”; then we should have enough file size to print to the page. As native jpegs, they should still be less than 4 or 5 mg. Adobe (1998) RGB is the preferred color setting. Though different cameras have slightly different formats, your image will be roughly 3264 by 2448 pixels at 300 pixels per inch (the preferred resolution for our print process). You do not need Photoshop to send us images—downloading directly from your camera to the desktop is just fine as long as the files captured in the camera are at the highest resolution. Check the camera manual if you don’t know this info. Also, it is best to have your camera color mode set to Adobe RGB, not SRGB if that is possible. To check file size if you have Photoshop, you can go to image size, uncheck resample and set the resolution to 300 ppi. You will notice that this produces an image that is a little more than 8 x 10”. Do not convert the images to tiffs; this produces unnecessarily large file sizes. All we need is the jpeg as it is downloaded from your camera. Please do not worry if your images seem too dark or too light and attempt to doctor your images in Photoshop, unless you have well-trained or practical skill with this software, and a color-corrected monitor.
How to Send Your Photos
1. Photo-Sharing Websites The preferred way to share images is via an online sharing site. Some suggestions include Picasa (Google), Flickr (Yahoo), Photobucket, MyFabrik, Snapfish (Hewlett-Packard), Smugmug (ad free), Jamuse (safe, free and copyright protected), Facebook … and a host of others! Just open an account, upload the images you want to share (be sure to use the caption features—captioning every picture with names, location, etc. is very important) and send the link to email@example.com.
2. Email Alternatively, you can send your images via email to layout [AT] ic.org. If you have access to both low resolution & high resolution versions of your photos, you are welcome to email us your low resolution versions for our evaluation and we can get back to you with a shortened list. If you email high resolution photos, then please, only one or two images per email.
3. Scanning If you need to scan images to send, please scan them as full color rgb and save as jpegs. Your settings are like those of the digital camera, set for the highest resolution or 300 ppi. Scans can be uploaded, burned to a CD or sent via email. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about scanning.
4. Snail Mail If you can burn your photos onto a CD, you are welcome to mail them to us USPS. Contact email@example.com for a snail mail address. For those of you who may not be electronically inclined, snail mail submissions might be the best option. Just shoot your images at the highest resolution in full color with a digital camera, take it to your best local Kinko’s or drug store and ask them to make a CD or make 5×7 snapshots, if that works for you. Be sure to pack your hard copies well, either in a cardboard envelope or with extra packing to keep them from harm and include a return address. Five to ten images per submission is standard, but more or less is also acceptable, depending on the situation. We will be responsible for return postage.