A Picture Really Might Be Worth a Thousand Words - Writer's Digest

A Picture Really Might Be Worth a Thousand Words

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Extended Magazine Article Writing Workshop

Photographs or slides may improve your article's chances of publication--if you know how to submit them like a pro.

The availability of good quality photos can be a deciding factor when an editor is considering a manuscript. Many publications also offer additional pay for photos accepted with a manuscript. Check the magazine’s listing [in Writer’s Market] when submitting black & white prints for the size an editor prefers to review. The universally accepted format for transparencies is 35mm; few buyers will look at color prints. Don’t send transparencies or prints with a query; wait until an editor indicates interest in seeing your photos.

On all your photos and slides, you should stamp or print your copyright notice and “Return to:” followed by your name, address and phone number. Rubber stamps are preferred for labeling photos since they are less likely to cause damage. You can order them from many stationery or office supply stores. If you use a pen to write this information on the back of your photos, be careful not to damage the print by pressing too hard or by allowing ink to bleed through the paper. A felt tip pen is best, but you should take care not to put any photos or copy together before the ink dries.

Captions can be typed on adhesive labels and affixed to the back of the prints. Some writers, when submitting several transparencies or photos, number the photos and type captions (numbered accordingly) on a separate 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper.

Submit prints rather than negatives or consider having duplicates made of your slides or transparencies. Don’t risk having your original negative or slide lost or damaged when you submit it.


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