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Outdoor Canada is Canada’s leading national magazine for those interested in traditional outdoor activities. We cover fishing, hunting and related conservation issues. As our name suggests, the content is entirely Canadian.
Outdoor Canada readers—mostly males aged 18 to 49—are active and passionate about our natural heritage. They want to know how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences, and they also want to keep abreast of what’s happening in the Canadian outdoors from coast to coast to coast. That’s why each issue of Outdoor Canada contains a solid mix of how-to articles, entertaining features and in-depth reporting.
As Canada’s authoritative outdoor magazine, we expect our writers to be experts on their subjects. Our service pieces must provide the latest, most reliable information, and our features must be well-researched and original. Most articles run from 2,000 to 4,000 words, while shorter pieces can run from 100 to 600 words.
Writing fees depend on the complexity and length of the article, with rates generally ranging from 50¢ a word and up. An appropriate rate will be determined at the time of the assignment.
Excellent photographs are essential for almost every Outdoor Canada story, and though we generally use the work of full-time professionals, we occasionally rely on a writer to provide appropriate photo support. In these cases, we need original transparencies, not prints.
If you have a story, or a story idea, please submit a query letter first rather than a completed manuscript. With the letter, please include a daytime telephone number. We do not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, which will only be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope (if you live in the U.S., please include an International Postal Reply Coupon).
Before submitting a query letter, potential contributors are encouraged to review the magazine and familiarize themselves with Outdoor Canada’s tone and editorial departments.
Outdoor Canada Section Descriptions
This is our front-of-the-book section. The sections in The Journal that freelance contributors should focus on include “Primer,” “Sage Advice,” “Field Guide,” “Getaways” and “Outdoor Smarts.” A review of several issues should give contributors a good idea of what we’re after.
A 500-word article that explores an issue of current relevance to hunters and anglers, such as rock snot or invasive Asian carp. After reading Primer, readers should have a decent understanding of the background of an issue along with knowledge of recent developments. Each Primer answers the question, “what you need to know about ____________.”
A 500-word transcript of highlights from an interview with an interesting “character” from the world of hunting or fishing, sharing tips or tricks from his or her particular field of knowledge. For ex., Charles Sim and Nigel Touhey on how to catch 30 lbs. of bass.
A 500-word how-to piece that explains an essential hunting or angling skill in steps. Examples include how to properly launch a boat or rig hollow-bodied swim baits.
A 50-word destination piece about a hunting/fishing lodge, lake, location or outfitter.
A 200-word service piece on how to be a better outdoorsperson. Examples include picking the perfect bush knife, starting a fire without matches or building a solar still.
Homage, our back-page department, is a 300-word mini-essay about a person, place or thing commonly known to the hunting and/or fishing communities. The piece should offer insight into the importance, history and role of the subject in question—in the context of the outdoors. Writers are asked not to use a first-person structure, or include complete quotes and other typical components of a short magazine piece. Rather, Homage is expected to read more as a work of prose than as a piece of non-fiction reportage.
Fair Game is a 700-word guest opinion column about a current issue concerning hunters and/or anglers. The content here tends to be serious (e.g. tackling the anti-hunting/fishing lobby; conservation; children and the outdoors; fair chase; etc.). We also try to provide a national perspective on whatever is being discussed.
Waypoint is an 700-word tale (tall or otherwise) about an incident/observation (or string of related incidents/observations) that happened afield (or on the water). The yarn should provide some kind of underlying moral, lesson or conclusion. Usually, these tend to be humorous essays.
Send your letters to: email@example.com
Thank you for your interest in our publication. Outdoor Canada is Canada’s leading national magazine on fishing, hunting and conservation.
We are looking for strong, attention-grabbing images that capture the love our readers have for hunting and fishing. We’re interested in finding and cultivating new Canadian talent and appreciate submissions from new photographers and illustrators to add to our list.
When sending unsolicited submissions, please send dupes, colour copies or tear sheets of your work that we can keep on file. We get hundreds of promotional pieces each year, so we can’t possibly respond to them all, but we’ll do our best. If we’d like to see more of your portfolio or assign work to you, we’ll contact you.
Our photography is assigned or obtained from professional photographers who specialize in our niche content.
Photographers interested in sending originals should send a small portfolio of 100 (or less) well-edited images. Naturally, we would expect photographers to send images that are in line with the magazine’s content (ie. fishing, hunting and conservation). Label each frame with your name, and provide details such as species of fish or shot location. We usually do not purchase images in advance, but will solicit images from your library when packaging stories or features. We’ll return them by Express Post as soon as we can after viewing. We also are happy to accept electronic submissions via email.
We are now starting to see an influx of digital work, and will deal with photographers on a one-to-one basis in regards to needs and requirements regarding this medium.
A promotional CD is a great and effective marketing tool, but it must be created correctly. Images that are simply burned to CD are rarely viewed. If sending a CD with a large library of images, we recommend that you take the time to use a type of portfolio viewing software. Keep in mind that the publishing industry exclusively uses Mac platform.
Illustrators can send art cards or samples, but please do not send originals. We are looking at your style more than your content (but that helps too). All illustrations in Outdoor Canada are commissioned and tailored to each story. We DO NOT purchase existing work.
Our photographic rates are $500 for covers, $400 for the special double-page feature image called “Scene,” down to $75 for 1/8 page. Illustration rates vary per illustration depending on schedule demands, usage, and sometimes medium. In general, our rates are about $100-$200 for small icon, or diagram work, $250-$350 for maps, $350 for column spots and $750+ for a full page.
Please forward all submissions and queries to:
Outdoor Canada, Sandra Cheung
54 St. Patrick St., Toronto ON, M5T 1v1