GRIT Guidelines for Writers & Photographers
GRIT is a nationally distributed bi-monthly magazine with a circulation of approximately 150,000 through subscriptions and newsstand distribution. GRIT celebrates the intergenerational bonds among those who live on the land with spirit and style – a legacy of self-sufficiency, audacious ingenuity and pragmatic problem solving that gave this country its backbone and continues to shape its unique character.
DO NOT try to write for GRIT if you know nothing about rural life, gardening or urban farming. We intend to be an authoritative and sometimes playful voice for rural lifestyle farmers and country or small-town dwellers, and we require our writers to be informed about that way of life.
NO unsolicited manuscripts will be accepted; authors must query first. We only accept e-mail queries, which must include “Query” and the subject of your query in the subject line. Include full name, address and phone number. If a query is accepted, the author will be contacted regarding the article assignment. Send queries to Kellsey Trimble, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles are assigned; no editorial calendar is published. An excellent way to have a first article published in GRIT is to become a member of the GRIT blogging team. Contact Haley Fisher via e-mail, email@example.com.
GRIT purchases shared rights, which grants the publisher the right to publish or republish the work in any form in any country, at any time. The author agrees not to publish the work in any other media for a period ending one year after the date of the issue in which the work initially appears. After this period, the author retains the right to republish the work in any form in any country at any time, as well.
GRIT publishes feature-length articles on topics of interest to those living in rural areas, on farms or ranches, or those interested in the rural lifestyle. Articles will be from 800 to 1,500 words.
Samples of feature articles:
• Become an Heirloom Seed Sleuth – Seven strategies to save plants on the edge of extinction.
• Farmer John, or the Real Dirt on Vegetables – Interview with John Peterson, one of the country’s leading advocates of Community Supported Agriculture. A lifelong Illinois farmer, Peterson was on the verge of losing his family farm during the farm crises of the 1980s. He made the switch to organic farming, and began offering subscriptions to his farm, creating community and some really great food.
• Born in a Barn – Some great houses got their start in very humble beginnings: a barn. Interviews with three homeowners tell how. Sidebar focuses on other structures that have become offices, studios or homes, with practical info on how to know if a renovation is feasible or foolish.
Departments include GRIT Gazette (news and quirky briefs of interest to lifestyle farmers); Country Tech (looking at equipment necessary for the farm life); Looking Back (nostalgic look at life on the farm); and In The Shop (how-to for those specialty farm items). Other departments are Comfort Foods, Recipe Box, Wild GRIT and Sow Hoe (gardening topics).
Departments and columns are generally 500 to 1,500 words. GRIT Gazette items are 350 to 700 words.
Good quality photos accompanying manuscripts are considered. Once an assignment has been made, the author will be asked to send low-resolution images for review.
Freelance photographers are contacted via an e-mail callout that lists specific topics for an issue. Please send low-resolution images, links to lightboxes, or contact sheets via e-mail in response to a specific callout. To be added to the callout list, please e-mail Caleb Regan, firstname.lastname@example.org. If we select your images, we will ask you for high-resolution versions, to be e-mailed – one image per e-mail – as jpgs with at least 300 dpi resolution, and as large as possible. Include complete caption and credit information.
Submissions & Payment
A sample copy is available upon written request; please send $6 to GRIT Editorial, Attn: Editorial Assistant, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609.
A contract will be sent when an article is accepted; payment is upon publication. GRIT assumes no responsibility for any material lost or damaged.
Rates vary depending on experience and expertise. Fees are negotiated on an individual basis. Payment will include two contributor’s copies.
After assignment has been made, send article to GRIT Magazine, Attn: Kellsey Trimble, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. If submitting for a particular department, please note on the envelope and in the cover letter.
• Include your full name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and submission title on a dated cover letter, if sending by USPS.
• If submitting via e-mail, include full name, address and telephone number, along with submission title in cover letter. Indicate title and “Requested material” in subject line. Send e-mails to Kellsey Trimble, email@example.com.
• Submit double-spaced, typed manuscripts. Send only completed, proofread manuscripts. If you provide photographs, include a separate sheet with caption information.
• If submitting via e-mail, send cover letter with attached Word document, if at all possible.
German immigrant Dietrick Lamade set the type for GRIT’s first headline and designed its pages when the newspaper was first printed in December 1882 by the daily newspaper in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. A little more than a year later, the struggling edition looked ready to fold.
Lamade believed in the publication, put a group together and purchased GRIT. The years that followed were a struggle, and many partners came and went. But Lamade was determined to succeed.
The turning point for GRIT came when Lamade coordinated a prize drawing that could only be entered through GRIT. The drawing introduced the newspaper to a larger audience, and circulation increased. He also introduced a news-carrier program, in which local youngsters sold GRIT door-to-door in their hometowns.
Since that December day in 1882, GRIT has seen many changes. The magazine is now owned by Ogden Publications, located in Topeka, Kansas, and it is a rural-lifestyle magazine published six times a year and sold by subscription and on newsstands.
Despite the changes, GRIT’s philosophy hasn’t changed. We continue to strive to be America’s favorite rural lifestyle publication and to brighten our readers’ lives.