Rapid Contributor Guidelines | Rapid Magazine | Rapid Media
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Rapid magazine covers all aspects of whitewater paddlesports. Rapid celebrates the diversity of whitewater freeboating – paddling rivers top to bottom, throwing down, splatting rocks and tearing up waves. Rapid is a magazine with a global scope and an international readership. Our readers range from rank beginners to experienced boaters who share the desire to learn, explore and experience the whitewater paddling world. Rapid magazine publishes three issues annually, in February (Spring), May (Early Summer) and August (Summer/Fall). We do most of our editorial scheduling in September for the upcoming year, but we accept submissions at any time.

We welcome your contributions to Rapid. We’re open to ideas—well-written epics, cultural adventures, environmental dilemmas, paddling techniques, personality profiles on important paddlers either historical or contemporary, humour, fiction and more. We are always in the market for articles that have depth, emotional impact and take-away value for the reader, complemented by striking photos. The best way to assess our interest in your idea is to send us a brief summary of your idea—a query.

SUBMITTING A QUERY

For anything other than creative non-fiction essays or fiction, we would rather read queries than completed manuscripts. Queries should present a clear and specific idea, not merely a general topic, and should reflect familiarity with the magazine’s content and tone. We will rarely consider a story without good photos, and we will occasionally buy a story based on photos alone. So please tell us how we can get professional-quality, high- resolution digital images to accompany your article. Better yet, email us a few low-resolution preview images, or mail us a CD or DVD of high-res images that we can keep. See photography guidelines for more details.

Please send queries by email to the address below. We do not accept queries over the phone. We will reply to your query within eight weeks if we are interested in your idea. We will not return unsolicited manuscripts or photos unless you include an SASE or return courier account number. Writers submitting story ideas should be aware that the editors at Rapid may already have assigned or be working on a similar story. Before you query, carefully study several issues of Rapid so you can tell us how and where your idea will fit into the magazine.

 

CONTENTS:

PADDLER PROFILE

Who are the players, past and present? Who inspires you? This section profiles personalities, historical or contemporary, who are well known in the whitewater world or who you think ought to be. 400 – 500 words plus lifestyle portrait and action photos.

PLAYGROUND

These stories feature the local hotspots, play parks, hidden gems, river runs and urban waves where whitewater paddlers get their fix. We want to know what makes the place or the people who paddle there different, interesting or important. 400-500 words plus photos. 

LIFESTYLES

Here’s one story you can send without a query or photos. Just give us a creative essay or short story that captures the spirit of the sport and why you do it. Share your campfire stories with a wider audience—the road trips, camaraderie, hard lessons, camping, nightlife, etc. This is the soul of paddling. Don’t shy away from the irreverent or the bizarre. Humor and philosophical looks at the things we do are good bets. 450–550 words.

KEEPER

An ode to gear of years gone by: think DIY Hi-Floats and sticky Velcro helmet brims. What was the piece of gear you couldn’t live without? What made it awesome or awful? What, if anything, replaced it? Whether you want to say good riddance or have a nostalgic longing for how things used to be made, we want to hear about your old school equipment. 

FEATURES

Our feature articles are up to 2,000 words in length and must be accompanied by professional-quality photos. Features are our most competitive category. When pitching a feature, consider if your story could be modified to fit another department of the magazine. Also consider whether you have personality profiles, tips, news, gear or other short pieces to include as sidebars. Features include:

How-To Features: We occasionally run how-to features in a “beginner’s guide” format covering specific topics in depth, such as river running, teaching kids, expedition planning, or day trips. How-to features are broken up into text boxes and sidebars covering a variety of topics such as background, tips, gear, destinations, top 10 lists, etc.

Theme Features: These features package short stories and sidebars into original themes: destinations; survival skills; love; kids; explorers...insert your idea here.

Journalistic Features: This field is wide open to any feature that’s related to whitewater paddling. Thoroughly researched and well-written articles and essays or photo essays about people, culture, industry topics, environmental dilemmas, events, gear and more can be spun into fun and informative features in a reportorial style.

Adventure Travel and Destination Features: Good travel stories tell about an adventure—that is, an original and exciting experience, an exceptional place, or an exceptional experience in a familiar place. Stories should grip the reader with the feeling of being there and contain something—exceptional humor, a life lesson, a new outlook or deeper understanding—more than a play-by-play account of what happened on your trip. Likewise, destination-focused pieces go beyond a mere description of a place to inspire, entertain or inform. Destination stories should have a fresh angle deepened by background information and interviews with local characters. We need to know from your query what narrative thread or storyline will entertain our readers.

TEXT SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

If we accept your query, please submit your completed work according to these guidelines:

Include your name, article title and word count on the first page of your submission.

• Carefully check all facts and figures and spellings (names, places, scientific terms) for accuracy and be prepared to provide us with your research material and contact information for all sources.

Include a concise, 25-word biography to be published at our discretion.

• Please save documents in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) and send as an email attachment –

do not paste it into the body of an email message.

• Be sure to include your name, mailing address, telephone number and email address with all submissions. We will make all reasonable efforts to ensure the safe return of any slides, negatives and other materials that you loan to us; however, contributors are responsible for insuring these materials against loss or damage.

TERMS AND PAYMENT

We expect first North American print rights to your work. Rapid requires that you inform us if your submission, or any portion or concept of your submission, has been previously published or is being considered for publication elsewhere. We also require that you inform us as to any flights, accommodations, meals, etc. that were given to you free of charge as part of a familiarization or press trip.

We pay contributors a pre-negotiated rate of up to $0.20 per word depending on length, content and quality. Payment is within 45 days following the release date of the issue in which the material appears. We buy first North American print rights as well as the right to reproduce the original publication by any means or technology for our promotional purposes including indefinite publication on the Internet as part of our online edition. Details are outlined in our contributor agreement.

CONTACT

Address queries and submissions to:

EMAIL

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REGULAR MAIL/EXPRESSPOST/COURIER

Rapid Magazine
Editorial Department
55 Red Pine Drive
Palmer Rapids, ON K0J 2E0
Canada

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