ITN Writers’ Guidelines

CONTENT OF GUIDELINES IN SUMMARY — Aside from the technical aspects (explained below), the main points to remember when submitting material is that, in addition to telling us your experiences, observations and opinions, please include trip dates, approximate prices of things and the contact info of travel firms and establishments mentioned. (If you're on a tour, then it's one overall price and just the tour company's contact info.) Plus your mailing address, where you receive ITN.

Now here are the guidelines in full:

 

WHAT WILL OR WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED

ITN will consider for publication articles and letters from its subscribers only. (Visit www.intltravelnews.com and click on "Subscribe.") ITN readers trust their fellow subscribers to provide candid accounts of their travel experiences and discoveries. (See MANUSCRIPT CONTENT section below.)

ITN does not accept articles or letters about destinations in the United States.

• Please state WHEN you took your trip (month/year). Do not just say, “We recently returned” or “Just back from. . .” ITN may not accept articles about travels made more than 12 months in the past; conditions and situations change rapidly and accounts may no longer be accurate.

ITN accepts articles and letters written only in the first-person point of view (“I booked this,” “We enjoyed that”) or in a personal tone that indicates the writer actually made the trip. Opinions and side comments are encouraged, but items should be as concisely written as possible. (For Feature Articles, a good rule of thumb is about 1,500 words.)

• Feature Articles must be accompanied by photos. Please do not type in all CAPITAL letters or use a script font. All articles are subject to editing. If there is a backlog of articles already scheduled on a similar destination, articles might not be printed for many months. Articles not selected to be Feature Articles may be considered for publication, in part, in other sections of the magazine. (See PAYMENT section below.)

• Shorter items (letters) generally find their way into print more quickly than Feature Articles. Because of the confusion it causes, please do not send in the same article or letter to more than one department.

ITN has promised to inform its readers whenever an article has been written by someone who got the trip for free or at a discount. If the trip about which you are writing was provided to you for free or at a discount, please let

ITN know who hosted you and to what extent. ITN greatly limits the number of Feature Articles printed by subscribers who received complimentary or discounted trips, and on this basis these articles may be refused.

 

HOW TO SUBMIT LETTERS AND ARTICLES

• LETTERS TO THE EDITOR; appraisals of tours, cruises, airlines, hotels, destinations, etc.; Funniest Thing entries; Essay Contest submissions; info requests for the “Person to Person” section; general inquiries, and suggestions for the magazine should be sent to ITNs editorial offices; email editor@intltravelnews.com or write to ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818. Please include the surface-mail address at which you receive ITN.

• FEATURE ARTICLES ONLY should be sent to the ITN Features Editor; email beth@intltravelnews.com or write to Beth Habian, Features Editor, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818; phone 541/997-3954. A Feature Article is a detailed description of a trip and includes photos. (For an example of what constitutes a Feature Article, see the items listed under “Features” in the Table of Contents [page 3] of any issue of ITN.)

• Items may be submitted by email or regular post. In any case, do not forget to include YOUR MAILING ADDRESS (where you receive ITN) and possibly a PHONE NUMBER where you may be reached in case there are follow-up questions; your phone number will not be printed in ITN without your request to do so. Also include your name on any email attachments, as these can become separated from a cover letter.

ITN assumes no responsibility for damage to or loss of any material submitted for publication. All materials submitted become the property of ITN, which has explicit reprint rights in print publications and on its Internet site. However, the author still retains the right to submit any item to other publications, as well. ITN allows other firms to reprint items published (about them) in ITN; a line crediting ITN as the source should be included.

• All letters may not receive replies.

 

PHOTOGRAPHS WANTED

We encourage your sending pictures with letters to be published. (Feature Articles MUST be accompanied by photos in order to be considered for publication.)

ITN can accept color photos or black-and-white prints of any size so long as they are professionally processed prints, not computer printouts or photocopies. Slides and transparencies also can be accepted. Digital photos may be sent by email or, if saved to a thumb drive or CD, by mail.

With an email, each picture should be attached as a separate file saved as a jpg; the pictures should not be “embedded” in the body-text portion of the email or in an attached Word document or PDF.

Size is also important. Each digital photo file must be a big-enough size and at high-enough resolution (i.e., have a sufficient number of dots per square inch). If the file size is at least 500 KB (or, for a Feature Article, 1 MB), then it's usually OK for publication. (If you're not sure, just send the pictures and we'll let you know if they're large enough.)

• Whether you've got a smartphone or a digital camera, be sure that you save the original photo files directly to your computer's desktop first. If you first upload your pictures to a photo-sharing website, such as Picasa or OneDrive, the images likely will be automatically “compressed” to maximize storage space. While the pictures will look great on a computer screen, they might be too low in resolution to be printed in the magazine.

If you are using an AOL.com email address, any pictures that you email will also be automatically compressed for faster transmission. You'll need to send pictures to ITN from a different email account.

If you are sending photo files to ITN from, specifically, an iPhone or iPad, you must choose “Original size” or “Full size” when emailing; otherwise, the images will be automatically sent at low resolution.

Lastly, we prefer undoctored, unedited versions of digital photos.

• Only pictures that you’ve taken, yourself, or which were taken by a trip companion or those for which you have permission from the photographer to print should be submitted. Do not pull other photographers' pictures from online sources.

• With any pictures, in all cases, INCLUDE CAPTIONS, preferably as complete sentences. For each photo, tell us what we are looking at, approximately where the picture was taken and, if known, who shot the picture (as we like to give credit to each picture's photographer).
With digital photos, number or label each caption to correspond with its photo-file number or label. (It does no good to number a list of captions 1, 2, 3, etc., if the photo-files are not numbered the same way. In front of or above each caption listed in your cover email, put the corresponding photo-file title/number.)

With printed photographs, captions can be taped to the backs or listed separately, with numbered pictures corresponding to numbered captions (but realize that if you write in ink on the backs of photos, any ink that has not yet dried may transfer to the picture underneath and ruin it).
• Although it's a handy feature available on some cameras, using the time/date stamp on your photos can obstruct the image.

 

PAYMENT

Compensation is provided ONLY for items printed in ITN as Feature Articles. For each printed Feature Article, authors will receive a one-year renewal to their ITN subscription as well as a complimentary one-year subscription to give as a gift. Articles submitted as Features may be condensed and used in other sections of the magazine (Travelers’ Intercom, etc.) without compensation.

 

MANUSCRIPT CONTENT

• While coverage of the history and sights of an area is often important and interesting in an article, what won’t be found in encyclopedias, guidebooks and brochures are YOUR tips, discoveries and experiences, what you have found worthy or unworthy of a visit (and why) and your candid appraisals of services and companies you used and of people with whom you dealt.

While it is fine to use outside sources (guidebooks, brochures, Wikipedia, etc.) to check your facts when composing your article, please be careful to not include phrasing from those sources in your final draft. Text in a guidebook or on a company website or research site, such as

Wikipedia, is copyrighted information and should not be copied and inserted directly into your article. Any text submitted should be in your own words.

In your article, write about anything you wish. Travelers would appreciate being informed of ways to save money on a trip as well as of which places to be sure to see or to avoid; the customs one should be aware of in different cultures; appropriate dress; what one should be sure to take along or leave at home; great gift items to pick up along the way; the best times of year to visit; the best ways to travel in a certain country (auto, bus, train, bicycle, etc.); bank holidays; special festivals; warnings or tips on travel in particular areas, and basically anything that will help someone have the most successful trip, including where to look or whom to contact for more information.

The idea is if readers are inspired by what you’ve written and want to duplicate your trip, most of the information they’ll need will be right in front of them.

Don’t be afraid to be frank in your assessments. If a hotel or tour was unpleasant, say so and explain why. If good, ditto. Be as specific as you can, and include documentation, if possible.

• When writing about hotels, restaurants, tours, cruises, auto rentals, guide services, etc., QUOTE PRICES in all cases, even if approximate or a range. Do not merely state that the price was “moderate” or “inexpensive.”

• Include the CONTACT INFORMATION (address, phone number, fax number, email address and/or website) of any tour company mentioned. Give the address or an idea of the location of any hotel or restaurant/café mentioned. When writing about a cruise, name the ship AND the ship line, please.

• Please condense articles as much as possible. A few short letters of a couple hundred words each will find their way into print long before a lengthy piece. If you have information you wish other travelers to know right away, don’t bury it in a long tome; instead, write a short letter and send it in separately. Many lengthy letters never get printed, although if pictures are included, portions may be printed with a picture or two.

Thank you for writing for the benefit of other travelers. — Editor