Monday Markets for October 20, 2008

by Jodee Redmond

In this week’s installment of Monday Markets, I’ve got some science magazines for you. Archaeology magazine has been published for a number of years and caters to readers at various levels of knowledge about this topic. Weatherwise looks at something we can take for granted and brings it to life. If you like your science to have a more out-of-this world quality, then consider submitting a query to Astronomy magazine.


From the Web Site:

ARCHAEOLOGY magazine is one of two publications of the Archaeological Institute of America, a 125-year-old nonprofit organization. The magazine has been published continuously for more than 50 years. We have a total audience of nearly 700,000, mostly in the United States and Canada. Our readership is a combination of the general public, enthusiastic amateurs, and scholars in the field. Publishing bimonthly, we try to bring our readers all of the exciting aspects of archaeology: adventure, discovery, culture, history, and travel.

Authors include not only professional journalists but professional archaeologists as well.

What we publish:

Our feature-length articles cover all corners of the globe, from frozen settlements in Alaska to ancient temples on South Asian islands. Archaeology isn’t just about digging, and we’re always looking for a new angle on a subject. Articles (which generally range from 1,000 to 3,500 words) have covered such diverse topics as royal animal mummies, the discovery of an ancient Greek city swallowed by the sea, cultural heritage in Afghanistan under the Taliban, how Native Americans in the Southwest profited from an eleventh-century volcanic eruption, objects featured in the odd paintings of Hieronymous Bosch that have been found in excavations of his hometown, and the battle over WWI artifacts; as well as photo essays on Etruscan tombs and the terra-cotta solders of China; and profiles of people who have made great contributions to archaeology, from volcanologists to tree-ring specialists to Mayanists to novelists.

Our reviews department looks for short (250 to 500 word) articles on museums, books, television shows, movies, and websites of interest to our readers. While the material reviewed may not be purely archaeological in nature, it should have a strong archaeological element to it. Reviews should not simply summarize the material, but provide a critical evaluation.

Letter From… is often a personal rumination on a particular topic or site. “Letters” have included a visit to an alien-archaeology theme park, the account of an archaeologist caught in a civil war, an an overnight stay with the guards at Angkor Wat. “Letters” are usually about 2,500-3,000 words in length.

Conversations is a one-page interview in Q&A format with someone who has made a considerable impact on the field of archaeology. The interview may explain the researcher’s general approach to his or her subject, or concentrate on a specific, and often controversial, discovery or theory.

Field Note features a compelling and intriguing photograph of someone (layperson or professional) involved in an archaeological activity, together with a 300-word first-person narrative of what the subject in the photograph is doing and thinking.

We do not accept fiction, poetry, or previously published articles.

Queries. Preliminary queries should be no more than one or two pages (500 words max.) in length and may be sent to the Editor-in-Chief, ARCHAEOLOGY, 36-36 33rd Street, Long Island City, NY 11106 or via email to [email protected]. If you would like a reply to your query mailed to you, please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. We do not accept telephone queries. Check our online index to make sure that we have not already published a similar article.

Your query should tell us the following: who you are, why you are qualified to cover the subject, how you will cover the subject, and why our readers would be interested in the subject. Clips and credentials are helpful.

Archaeology buys non-exclusive rights to text and photos.


From the Web Site:

Weatherwise magazine shares this force of nature with engaging features and breathtaking photography. Weatherwise articles are anecdotal, analytical, and illuminating. They take a creative look at everyday occurrences and are accurate, authoritative, and easily understood by a large, non-technical audience that includes teachers and students.

Please initiate your interest in writing for Weatherwise by sending a query letter or email to Margaret Benner, Managing Editor, Weatherwise, email: [email protected] The mailing address is Weatherwise, 1319 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802. The preferred format is Microsoft Word.

Your letter should outline the direction of the article, give an indication of your writing style and perspective, tell us why or how you’re qualified to write the article, list potential sources and illustration possibilities, and include clips of your published work. (If you have not been published, please send a sample of your writing suitable for magazine-style work.) We will consider research topics, but do not publish academic papers. Authors are expected to write (or rewrite) in a conversational, magazine style suitable for a popular audience. We get a lot of queries from writers proposing broad-brush articles on global warming, the greenhouse effect, the ozone hole, or El Niño. These are certainly valid topics, but you won’t be able to do them justice in 2,000 words. Look for the story within the story, and emphasize the human element.

We begin planning an issue at least six months before the cover date (i.e., September/October in March). In other words, think hurricanes in January and blizzards in July. We try to respond to queries within two months.

Pay is negotiable and is made on publication.


From the Web Site:

Astronomy is a monthly science and hobby magazine with more than 140,000 readers. The magazine serves readers who want to keep up with the latest discoveries and understand astronomical science, as well as those who want to know what is happening in the sky each month.

Most of the articles used in the magazine are commissioned by our editors. Occasionally, we do publish unsolicited material. To query us on an article idea, send a letter or an outline that describes the piece. If you have not been published in Astronomy, please send writing samples along with your letter. All submissions must include a typed, double-spaced printout. These materials will not be returned to you. You will receive a written response indicating whether or not your article has been accepted for publication.

Send your query to us via our web-based form or mail it to:

Astronomy magazine
P.O. Box 1612
Waukesha, WI 53187
Categories of Astronomy stories
Science features

  • Descriptive features focus on a particular type of astronomical object or scientific process.
  • News features focus on an area of research and give readers an in-depth look at recent events.
  • Human-interest features highlight personalities, historical events, and special topics such as education and archaeoastronomy.

Hobby features

  • Observing features explain where to find and how to view celestial objects and include sky maps, diagrams, and illustrations. Articles can be aimed at beginning, intermediate, or advanced observers.
  • Photography and imaging features provide how-to advice on capturing portraits of celestial objects on film or in digital format.
  • Equipment features range from product reviews to surveys of telescopes and accessories.

Tips for authors

  • Read Astronomy to get a feel for its style. Astronomy‘s readers are interested in the sciences, with a particular interest in astronomy. They are well-educated, curious readers who are not formally schooled in the subject of astronomy.
  • The magazine contains two broad types of articles: features on the science of astronomy and those on the hobby of astronomy.
  • Articles typically range between 1,500 and 3,000 words.
  • The magazine’s articles must go beyond presenting facts; they must tell a story. The first two or three paragraphs (the “lead”) must grab the readers’ attention and tell them what the article is about. The article should contain a thread, or argument, that develops in a coherent direction as details supporting the lead are delivered and should end in a meaningful conclusion that summarizes its content.
  • Use active verbs and avoid the passive voice. It’s much better to write “Astronomers discovered a new planet” than “A new planet was discovered by astronomers.”
  • Vary the lengths of sentences and paragraphs, but generally, keep them short.
  • Describe complex ideas concisely and with clarity. Wherever possible, use metaphors or analogies relating to everyday life.
  • Write to express, not to impress. Avoid needlessly complex terms. If you think the average reader would have to look up a word’s meaning in a dictionary, don’t use it.
  • Avoid jargon, lists, and acronyms, except for commonly used terms such as NASA.

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