The Practical Wireless Submission Guide
Revised September 2014
Have you ever thought about submitting an article for Practical Wireless? Perhaps you or your club have developed an interesting project and feel it deserves wider circulation. Maybe you’ve been travelling with your radio and made some unusual contacts and want to tell others about it. At PW we are always looking for new authors and it certainly isn’t essential that you have previous writing experience because we can help you with that aspect. That’s what the editorial team is here for. What we are looking for is enthusiasm and a story to tell and for it to be related in some way to amateur radio.
Please don’t, though, make the mistake of preparing a manuscript and sending it to us out of the blue. You have a much better chance of having it accepted if you contact us first with your ideas and we can then discuss and agree those practical matters such as how long it should be, when we would like to have it, in what format and so on.
However, there are some simple ground rules for submissions so, to save time and to help you, these are set out below. We have more extensive material available when you are ready to take it further – there’s an Author’s Guide, a Reviewer’s Guide and a guide for those submitting constructional articles.
Suggested Subjects: PW is aimed fairly and squarely at the amateur radio world and articles should be of direct amateur radio interest. Our sister magazine RadioUser covers all other aspects of hobby radio. If you look through recent issues of PW, you should be able to get a good idea of what we cover and you may well spot that your own speciality within the hobby has been under-represented and is begging for more articles. We are always looking especially for good, straightforward constructional articles.
Format: We generally ask for articles in electronic form in a standard format, preferably by e-mail. We have an Author’s Guide that takes you through the sort of aspects to consider when preparing an article as well as giving advice on style, formatting and other practical matters such as the submission of photographs and drawings.
Constructional Articles: A construction project doesn’t have to be state-of-the-art. It only needs to be a useful project that can be relied upon to work when put together by a reasonably competent constructor. This can mean, for example, that the components are readily available, that no special test equipment is required and so on. We carry constructional articles ranging from simple to quite complex so there’s lots of scope.
Reviews: If you have an idea for an article reviewing a product, a kit or an item of professionally manufactured equipment, please e-mail the editor with your suggestion. All reviews are commissioned and authors will be given a copy of our specialised PW Reviewers Guide.
Payment: Payment is made for most articles although not for news items or articles for the In Focus series. Broadly speaking, payment depends upon the length of the article. It is rare that we will carry an article of more than four pages in length although a longer one may be split and run over more than one month. As a rough guide, a page is 1,000 words and a photograph or diagram counts as 200 words so it should be easy to estimate how many pages an article will occupy in the magazine.
Copyright: PW normally buys the full copyright of an article. This allows us to reuse it in other publications and on our compilation CDs. Therefore, please do not include material or photographs that you have taken from elsewhere unless you have written permission for its use or send copies of your article to more than one magazine at a time. If your article is not to be published in PW, then you’re free to send it elsewhere.
The editor’s e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org We aim to respond to e-mails within one or two working days. Do feel free to get in touch. As we said above, it doesn’t matter if your writing experience is limited because the editorial team is there to help with matters of style and presentation and to provide support during the writing process. What is more important is that you have something interesting to say to PW’s readers. If it’s a review, for example, it’s important that readers are likely to find it of interest even if they have no plans to buy the piece of equipment under review. Similarly, if it’s a constructional article, it should be interesting and informative even to someone who is unlikely ever to build the project.
The PW team are looking forward to hearing from you with your proposal. New authors are always welcome.
Don Field G3XTT editor