Reader Alan McBride wrote in this week. He’s been using what he learned in the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program to publish his writing, and to go on trips.
Alan combines his interests in birding, natural history and travel to publish his writing and photos in niche publications. He’ll tell you how he does it in Saturday’s issue. He’ll also let you in on how he got an invitation to visit and write about France, and possibly to Panama, too.
In the meantime, here’s this week’s Featured Publication. It’s a niche magazine where you can pitch bird-related travel articles and photographs… even if you’re not a bird watcher.
Director, Great Escape Publishing
P.S. Past attendee turned prolific writer, Roy Stevenson, combines his interests in war history, athletics, and travel, to write for niche magazines, too. It works so well for him that he’s had over 330 by-lines in just two years.
Birder’s World: A Surprise Travel Writing Niche
By Janette Jones in Cambridge, Maryland
Not far from the “armchair travel” realm of Conde Nast and Budget Travel, is Birder’s World. With crisp photos spanning its glossy pages, it’s the ultimate “armchair birding” magazine. And it’s a good example of a non-travel magazine that accepts certain kinds of travel articles. The pay is good. The by-lines are beautiful. And you don’t have to be a scientist — or even a bird enthusiast — to get published here.
BirdersWorld.com does a great job of promoting its bimonthly printed magazine. It gives helpful hints for attracting and feeding birds, identification tips, photography pointers and information about where to find birds, including birding hotspots and great birding destinations.
If you’re not a bird watcher, start by writing for the “Hotspots Near You” section. Stories in this section are feature-length (1750-2,250 words), and tell readers about great places to see birds. With a little light research, you can find and visit a birding spot in your area and write it up for this section. Be sure to include how to get there, what there is to see, when the best time is to go, etc. Query first. And if you’re targeting the Hotspots section, here’s a little query tip from Birder’s World editors: “When choosing hotspot articles, we look for good answers to one question: Why will our readers want to read this? The better your answer, the better your chances of selling your article.”
Birder’s World only prints six issues per year, each with four or five features. So be sure to read the writer’s guidelines, and send a query first, not a manuscript. Also send samples of your published writing. Payment is $400 for most published feature-length articles, and less for shorter pieces.
Email your query and clips, here. Or, mail them with a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) to: Birder’s World Editorial Dept., Kalmbach Publishing Co., P.O. Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187.
Another way to get published in Birder’s World is to come up with a good idea for a photo essay (See page 4 of the writer’s guidelines). Photo essays should have journalistic or educational value and a strong theme.
Here are five other ways to publish your photos in Birder’s World:
1. Submit them on the Bird Photography Forum. It’s a discussion area open to all online readers who register for free with the site.
2. Send them in to the Online Galleries. A photo-sharing area on the website, it’s also open to all online readers who register.
3. Participate in Photo of the Week, a bird-centric photo contest.
4. Submit photos and a short article to the Your View section. Covering two to four pages in every issue, it features stories and snapshots of birds that readers find in their backyards and beyond.
5. Get on the editors’ photo “want-list.” Here’s a way to get paid for sending the editors what they’re looking for. New photographers are welcome to the list, so brush up your portfolio and read over the photographer’s guidelines for details.
Photographer’s guidelines – Payment for photos is $250 for a cover, $200 for a full two-page spread, $150 for a full page plus, $125 for a full page, and $100 for less than a full page. For a one-column photo based on a three-column page, use in a prepress cover survey, or a cover inset, it’s $50.
Sign up for a free Birder’s World online membership and get access to more online content.
Read a Birder’s World Hotspot feature article.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]