Guidelines for Contributors

Writers

Vermont Life is interested in establishing ongoing relationships with professional journalists and freelancers.

The first step in developing that relationship is to send us a summary of your credentials, as well as samples of your writing. Please be familiar with the style of journalism we publish and the stories we have published recently. Story ideas are helpful, but not essential, to finding a role with us.

Email inquires to: editors@vtlife.com.

For more experienced writers, we will assign a story with a contract, acceptance rate and kill fee. For less experienced writers, the first assignment must be done “on spec,” with payment made only on acceptance.

We expect and prefer that stories be submitted in ready-to-publish form, based on discussions held prior to reporting about editorial focus. However, stories are sometimes recast by editors based on the overall editorial needs of the magazine. In rare cases, a senior editor may write the published story based on the reporting and manuscript provided by the freelancer. We endeavor to consult the writer about changes, but deadline pressures and other factors may prevent that from occurring in some cases.

We read all unsolicited manuscripts, but due to time constraints cannot provide critiques or be responsible for their return.

We read all story ideas submitted, but we cannot reply individually to each one. If we want to pursue a given manuscript or idea, we will contact you within 30 days of receiving it. Please bear in mind that Vermont Life produces pages as much as six months in advance of publication and may require photographs to be taken a year ahead of publication.

We seek stories that have to do with contemporary Vermont culture and the Vermont way of life. As the state magazine, we are most interested in ideas that present positive aspects of life in Vermont. However, while we are nonpartisan, we have no rules about avoiding controversy when the presentation of the subject can illustrate some aspect of Vermont’s unique character. We prefer reporting and journalism built around original ideas and insights, emerging trends and thought-provoking connections in a Vermont context.

We consider what other media are covering but generally do not chase the daily news cycle. We prefer not to cover stories that most every other media outlet in Vermont is covering, unless we have a unique angle or contribution to make.

We are generally not in the market for op-ed opinion pieces, first-person accounts, memoirs, poetry, historical reconstructions, stories with anniversary pegs, or “one thing” stories that promote an individual business, event, service organization or the like. In assessing story ideas, we ask ourselves: “Who would be happier to see this, the people it is about, or the reader?”

We do not want recycled material. In some cases we will work with a reporter or writer who has a body of knowledge in a specific beat or area, but writers who have reported previously on a subject must disclose this and provide details at the start of the assigning process.

We buy first North American serial rights to articles accepted. Payments vary widely depending on the length and complexity of the article. Standard department rate is $600, feature rate $800. Please do not promise a specific publication date to sources, as stories are frequently shuffled. If a story is moved ahead from its original target date, some modest follow-up reporting may be required and is considered part of the overall payment. For complex follow-ups, we strive to be fair and will negotiate an additional fee. Copyright normally reverts to the author six months after Vermont Life publishes the article. Full details are contained in the assignment contract.

Photographers

Vermont Life uses ONLY digital photographs from cameras of at least 6 megapixels. Photographs must be current — taken within the last THREE years.

Please download this PDF and review it carefully before submitting photographs.

Contact Us

Vermont Life Editorial and Business Offices: (802) 828-3241
(8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., EST, weekdays)

Subscriptions: Please note, the subscription offices are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Offices close at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Address: One National Life Drive, 6th Floor, Montpelier, VT 05620

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