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Writers' Guidelines PDF Print E-mail

ZiNG magazine welcomes contributions from writers, photographers, and subscribers – however, opportunities for publication in the magazine are very limited.
We invite you to take the time to review these guidelines in order to maximise the chances of any material you propose being accepted.

If you would like to tell us about your recent experiences in the Caribbean, pass on your travel tips, or comment on anything you've read in ZiNG magazine, you may send us a letter by post or email to the following addresses:
Letters to the Editor, ZiNG magazine
4 Rycote Lane Farm, Milton Common, Oxfordshire OX9 2NZ, United Kingdom
NB: When contacting us by post, please include your email address and telephone number.
Email the editor here
NB: When emailing us at this address please write Letter to the Editor in the subject line and do not add any attachments. If you would like to send us photos, etc, please mention this in your email and await our instructions.
We welcome feedback, opinions and information on any relevant topic but it's best to keep your letter concise. Long letters may be shortened before publication.
If you would prefer your letter not to be published, please indicate this clearly.

If you would like to contribute articles or photos to ZiNG magazine, it's important that you familiarise yourself with our publication and that you read these guidelines carefully to the end.
We hope our guidelines will answer most of your questions, but if there's anything else you need to know before submitting your ideas to us then please email the editor.
Because we are a small, busy team, we are not usually able to answer telephone enquiries from prospective contributors unless the matter is unusually time-sensitive. Most of our decisions regarding the commissioning of new material from freelance contributors are made during our regular quarterly planning sessions. We are almost never in a position to commit to articles and/or photos on an ad hoc basis over the phone.


About ZiNG magazine
ZiNG is the inflight magazine for LIAT, the Caribbean Airline.
Its mission is primarily to entertain passengers while they are on LIAT flights, but it seeks to do so well enough that customers will take it home and share it with friends. ZiNG seeks to convey the excitement of all things Caribbean through vivid writing and inspiring photography, backed up by solid facts, expert advice and the very latest news.
Although LIAT has been flying for more than 50 years, we relaunched the inflight magazine in a completely new format in October 2008. With a new name and format, the current magazine bears no resemblance or relevance to LIAT inflight magazines published prior to this date. Published out of the UK four times a year, ZiNG is a highly-illustrated, full colour glossy of a size 204mm wide x 265mm tall.
A minimum of 25,000 copies of each issue are printed, and the magazine is also promoted online, at www.lime-magazine.com. The print magazine is read by LIATs one million passengers each year, and we believe the add-on readership will be the same number again by the end of 2009.
ZiNG is published on behalf of LIAT, and the airline therefore have authority to veto content and approve all pages. However, we are given a wide editorial remit and have freedom and manage all editorial planning and scheduling ourselves. As such we pride ourselves on our well-informed, objective coverage of the topics and issues that matter to travellers – be they leisure or business – across the Caribbean.

About ZiNG readers
ZiNG is read by passengers on LIAT’s flights between 22 Caribbean countries. About 85% of ZiNG’s readers live and work within the Caribbean, with only about 15% being foreigner leisure travellers. Passengers are travelling on business or for regional leisure travel, and tend to be regular travellers within the Caribbean.
What most of our readers have in common is a love and understanding of the Caribbean – and a desire to find out how to deepen their knowledge, get the very best out of their travels there and feel the sense of pride they feel towards their home. ZiNG needs to reach beyond the seat pocket and reflect the lifestyles they lead and aspire to, creating a connection with every aspect of their lives.
The challenge for us is to produce content that will surprise them, to run features they will not have seen elsewhere, and to present it in a way that connects with their identity.

Contributing to ZiNG magazine

ZiNG is produced by a small team and a large proportion of our words and pictures are the work of freelance contributors. Most of these are professionals with whom we have an established relationship.
If you are interested in joining our pool of contributors we would encourage you to study the magazine carefully to ensure that your ideas and approach are appropriate for our particular publication.
Copies of the magazine can be viewed on the website: www.lime-magazine.com

Features: content, style and tone
Your work must be:
• bright, original, vivid, evocative and clichО-free
• accurate, authentic, informative, authoritative and independent-minded
It should communicate:
• a sense of adventure
• a curiosity about, and respect for, political, cultural, social and environmental concerns
• a powerful impression of your personal experiences – preferably things you have done, rather than just things you have seen
It should include:
• a compelling hook and a dynamic argument or plot which keeps our readers reading right to the end
• fresh information that our readers are unlikely to find elsewhere, or:
• an original approach to, or angle on, a better-known subject
Wherever relevant and feasible, you should introduce readers to people you have encountered – experts, locals, fellow travellers. Include revealing quotes which add weight or colour to your subject.

Photography: composition, formats and captions
If you intend to supply photographs, make sure:
• your pictures of places tell a story by recording actions or events or highlighting significant or unexpected details – i.e. they do more than simply showing what the place looks like
• your pictures of people convey a sense of who they are through their expression, behaviour, location, or the people and objects around them – i.e. they’re as meaningful as possible
• you provide detailed captions and tell us what part your pictures may play in the article in which they will appear
Preferred format: high resolution, professional-quality digital images (jpeg or tiff).
We also publish original professional-quality colour transparencies, but rarely dupes or prints.
Before sending us any images please read how to send us your ideas, text and images on page 6.

How to catch our attention / Relevance
Depending on the subject matter, we are always looking for ideas which include several of the following elements:
• a clear understanding of our market and of the structure and style of our magazine – we need to know that you have done your research. Where possible mention where you see the article fitting in the mag
• know your reader – articles must be written for a Caribbean resident, not a foreign visitor. Make it relevant to the locals; write from their point of view
• topicality – bear in mind that we start planning each issue at least six months ahead of publication. As an inflight magazine, each issue has a clear window in which it is read. Make it relevant to that period of time
• keep it current – we’re not interested in recent past events (although articles of historical relevance will be welcomed)
• short, lively items are ideal for inflight reading. Lists, themed news items, and other short pieces are always required
• personality – keep a strong human element. Base your story on personal experience or local personalities; do interview-led stories
• an authoritative perspective – in this instance you should explain why you are particularly well-qualified to cover your chosen subject
• entertain – we can never get too  much humour, suspense or surprise
• an original slant on a subject which is already familiar to our readers
When submitting a proposal, make your intended angle very clear.
If you both write and take photographs, you are in a very strong position. Top quality images may be enough to sell a story to us, and top quality captions may be enough to sell images to us. If you don't have photographs to support your story, but can recommend a good source, please let us know.

Pitfalls to avoid
Some contributors make the mistake of suggesting a topic simply because they want to write about it or photograph it. An enthusiasm for your subject is important, of course, but even more important is the ability to engage an audience. Our regular contributors plan their stories and/or images with our readers' specific needs, interests and inclinations at heart.
Other contributors make the mistake of suggesting a topic which is not, in itself, a story. It's not enough, for example, to tell us you'd like to produce a piece on Antigua. We need an angle.
We would strongly discourage you from sending us any of the following:
• ideas based on topics we have covered recently (if in doubt please refer to www.lime-magazine.com and/or check through LiME magazine back issues)
• destination features that cannot be backed up by solid factual information to assist our readers in planning their own trip
• unedited travel diaries
• plugs for any commercial companies

Proposals, queries and unsolicited manuscripts
We welcome enquiries from writers, photographers and photojournalists who can demonstrate a good understanding of our magazine, our readers and what they look for in each edition.
Proposals should be concise and include the following details:
• the specific section or sections of the magazine to which you’d like to contribute
• whether any of the material you’d like to submit has been previously published, in any form
• topic, angle, style, approximate length
• a brief summary of the relevant experience and/or specialist knowledge you would bring to this particular project
• a brief summary of any photos / illustrations you would like to provide
• whether your travel, accommodation, etc was or will be sponsored or subsidised in any way
• whether you’ve already completed your research, and, if not, when your work would be ready (please note that if your work is accepted you must be available to answer detailed editorial queries during a period of up to four weeks post-deadline)
If you intend to include a completed manuscript and/or other examples of your work, published or unpublished, then please note that we can accept no responsibility for any unsolicited material, and we would prefer you not to send one-and-only copies of images or text. Your work will not be returned unless adequate postage and packaging is provided.

How to send us your ideas, text and images
Please don’t telephone us with your ideas unless they are unusually time-sensitive. Instead, send them by post or email to the following addresses:
The Editor, travel africa magazine
4 Rycote Lane Farm, Milton Common, Oxfordshire OX9 2NZ, United Kingdom
NB: When contacting us by post, please include your email address and telephone number.
Please do not send us original photographs on spec – we would prefer to receive a good selection of dupes, laser copies or low-res scans, or a link to an online archive. We will contact you for the originals, or for high resolution scans, if we need them.
All photos submitted must be clearly captioned and labelled with the appropriate credit and/or copyright information.

Acknowledgement of proposals
We welcome manuscripts and proposals and give each one our considered attention, but unfortunately we don't have time to get back to everyone to discuss their ideas in detail.
It’s important that all potential contributors appreciate that, like many publications, we receive a high volume of proposals and related correspondence. Furthermore, our schedule is extremely busy and our staff are regularly out of the office on magazine business. We are rarely able to discuss new proposals over the phone and so would strongly discourage you from following up your proposal with a phone call.
Regrettably, it may be some time before you receive any acknowledgement from us. Please be patient.
Since ZiNG is a quarterly title, major editorial planning sessions are held at three month intervals. Generally, if you haven’t heard from us within three months it is probable that we will not be able to use your ideas.

Working on spec and on approval
Occasionally we may invite a contributor who has produced work on spec to submit it for review, or we may invite a contributor who has submitted a proposal to produce work on approval.
We will give careful consideration to this work and will pay for any material we publish at our standard rates.
However, on spec / on approval contributors should be aware that we cannot guarantee that their material will be published, and we are unable to offer any remuneration for unpublished material.
Please also note the following:

• ZiNG is not usually able to offer on spec contributors any administrative assistance with their travel arrangements, accommodation, expenses, etc

• ZiNG does not allow on spec contributors to apply for press trips or request discounts, “comps” or “fam trips” of any sort in our name

Lead times and deadlines
We start planning each edition over six months before publication. Major editorial planning sessions are held quarterly.
Submission deadlines for on spec editorial material are as follows:
• Spring edition (published April 1)    1 November
• Summer edition (published July 1)    1 February
• Autumn edition (published October 1)    1 May
• Winter edition (published January 1)    1 August
By submitting material well in advance of these dates you may increase the chance of it being published.
If we request work on approval or on assignment we will of course give you a specific deadline.
We need all contributors to be available to answer editorial queries and make any necessary revisions for a period of around four weeks post-deadline.

If we offer you an assignment, it will be confirmed in writing.
Unless specified otherwise we will require first rights for the use of your material in all present and future forms of ZiNG – magazine, website, CD ROM etc – worldwide.
We also ask that work commissioned by ZiNG is not offered to any competing publication, in any medium, within six months of your acceptance of our assignment. If your work is to be published elsewhere please advise us so that we can plan accordingly.
You will remain the copyright owner of any original material submitted. You must supply full attribution details for any material submitted which is not your original work.

Travel arrangements
If your assignment requires you to travel we may sometimes (but not always) be able to offer assistance with the arrangements.
In such cases we will require that:
• you sign our commissioning form to signal your agreement to the terms of the assignment
• you inform us of your visa requirements with sufficient notice for applications to be made
• you take personal responsibilty for your possessions and for your health and safety, including checking that your jabs are up to date, you are adequately insured, etc
• you bear any expenses incurred if you choose to alter your travel dates or arrangements once bookings have been made
Please also note the following:
• ZiNG does not allow contributors to join press trips or request discounts, “comps” or “fam trips” of any sort in our name without a confirmed assignment
• ZiNG requires that travel companies and PR representatives who intend to provide a writer or photographer with transport, accommodation, assistance etc contact us directly to discuss the details before making any arrangements
• ZiNG does not enter into any arrangements which we believe could compromise our editorial integrity and objectivity

The fee payable for a commissioned assignment will be fixed, in UK pounds sterling or United States dollars, at the time that the work is commissioned. Reproduction fees for syndicated text and images including stock photos will be agreed prior to publication wherever possible.
Payment will be made post-publication. A copy of the magazine containing your work will be sent to you along with a letter requesting your invoice for the agreed fee. Invoices are settled within 30 days in the agreed currency (any bank fees or loss in exchange are borne by the contributor).

ZiNG magazine
October 2008