Contributor’s Guidelines for Yukon, North of Ordinary
Yukon, North of Ordinary (YNoO) is a lifestyle magazine showcasing the territory’s people, places, and culture. We publish quarterly in February, May, August, and November. We accept pitches from writers, photographers, and illustrators and pay for items we print.
PITCHING A STORY IDEA
If possible, familiarize yourself with our content before pitching an idea. (Few YNoO articles aren’t online but back issues are available at the Whitehorse Public Library and the Energy, Mines, and Resources Library in the Elijah Smith building in Whitehorse.) YNoO is available for purchase at Mac’s Fireweed Books in Whitehorse and elsewhere on newsstands.
YNoO accepts pitches for features, fiction stories, and poetry. We do not publish opinion pieces or personal essays.
If you have a pitch, please send a PITCHbrief email detailing your story idea and focus. Tell us who is involved, what they are doing, and why. Please do not pitch a topic, E.g., “Rare plants.” But rather: “I want to write about a plant biologist. She spent an entire summer walking through the bush looking for a specific plant and made a surprising discovery along the way.”
Other examples of focus statements from a recent YNoO issue:
- This Yukon couple is on a hunt to find the perfect lake ice for skating because they think gliding on a perfectly smooth surface is a magical experience.
- It’s generally understood that lynx are solitary animals but the latest research shows there’s more to the story than that.
- Jane grew up going on hunting trips with her dad and learning everything from him. As he gets older, she is navigating the changing nature of their relationship.
Please don’t pitch us a full draft of your story. It’s rare that it will fit the requirements we are seeking in terms of length, focus, and style.
PITCHING A PHOTO-ESSAY
YNoO’s photo-essays tell stories of our unique North in pictures. Ideally, the photos tell a narrative on their own, but can be accompanied by a foreword.
We’re looking for interesting story-telling and unique views of Yukon specific themes (E.g., from recent issues: “City of Foxes”, by Peter Mather or Jason Wolsky’s drone images of the communities).
The series of images should compliment each other in photographic style and feel and ideally evoke emotions in the viewer.
Topics can vary from specific events, areas, history, people, wildlife, lifestyle, landscapes, culture, even conceptual work…. You name it!
If a photographer decides to submit a wildlife or scenery oriented photo-essay, we ask that it’s not too generic and has an obvious thread. We’re not looking for portfolios—the focus should be on a story.
Technically, the images must be well-executed (focus, lighting, composition, etc.) and in high resolution (original size preferred, jpg).
Ideally, the photographer provides at least 20 images to choose from (if possible). We usually print 12-14 per photo-essay. The initial submission can be in lowRes for easy file-transfer and selection or an online-gallery.
Getting in touch
Here’s what you need to know:
Keep your pitch brief (~1/2 page) and send by email. Include the story focus and who you plan to interview (if applicable). It’s not necessary to list every source in your pitch.
Keep in mind seasonality and timeliness. When is the best time for this story to be published? (We are often planning four to 12 months in advance). Where relevant, we publish seasonally appropriate stories (E.g., a canoe trip story would typically run in our May or August issue.)
If you are pitching previously published material, please let us know when and where it was published and if/how this story will be different.
If you don’t have an idea but you do have writing/photography/illustration experience and want to be added to our list of contributors, please get in touch. Sometimes we have ideas ready to be assigned.
If you haven’t contributed to YNoO before, please include a link to your online portfolio or attach a few examples of your recent work.
In the interest of increasing the diversity of our contributors, feel free to identify if you are part of the LGBTQ2+ community and/or Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Colour.
The Yukon is small and interconnected; if you are affiliated with a person or organization related to your pitch, please let us know and we will determine if there is a conflict of interest.
Congrats, your story idea/photo essay has been accepted!
Here are things to keep in mind:
- All non-fiction stories would ideally include at least three sources (please aim for two interviews, in addition to other resources such as reports and websites).
- Include a list of sources/references with your submitted draft, if applicable.
- Ask the interviewees/photographees for their pronoun (e.g., she/her, he/him, they/them, etc.)
- The editor has the right to edit all submitted stories up to the point of publication.
- Payment is based on experience and negotiated when the story/photo essay is assigned.
- Contributors are paid the month the story is published. This may be several weeks or months after your story is assigned/reviewed.