2039 W. Lewis Ave.,
Phoenix, AZ 85009.
Email editor - at - arizonahighways.com.
Arizona Highways is a monthly magazine that encourages travel to and within Arizona. It does this by featuring stories on places to go and things to do, on the state’s unique scenic environment, on its flora and fauna, on its people and on the history and culture of the Old West. We use experience-based travel stories, rather than guidebook or list stories, and we particularly like adventure-travel stories and stories on Indian arts, crafts and customs.
CIRCULATION: The magazine sells about 300,000 copies monthly, mostly to subscribers outside Arizona (about 25 percent are in Arizona). The magazine circulates in every state and in about two-thirds of the countries of the world.
AUDIENCE: Our typical reader is a 50-something person with the time, the inclination and the means to travel, but we also need stories that appeal to a younger audience, including families. Our subscribers are equally divided between men and women, are outdoors-oriented and have a strong interest in the Old West and in the arts, crafts and culture of Native Americans.
QUERIES: Nearly all the features and departments are free-lance written and photographed, and most assignments result from written queries. We require e-mailed query letters. Keep queries brief and to the point. The letter should detail the story, the angle or angles you will pursue; what makes this story important and useful for Arizona Highways; and why you are the person to write it. We do not accept queries for fiction, humor stories or Along the Way columns. For these, we must see the manuscript before making a decision to purchase. Submit manuscripts by e-mail. We normally respond to queries within a month. No phone queries, please. We do not accept or publish poetry.
BREAKING IN: The easiest way to break into the magazine for writers new to us is by querying stories for our departments.
DEPARTMENTS: The maximum word length and fees paid for departments are: Along the Way (700 words, $450), Back Road Adventure (1,000 words, $900), Hike of the Month (500 words, $400), Off-ramp (50 -150 words, $50). Review the magazine for content of these departments.
FEATURES: Feature stories should be between 1,200 and 1,800 words (two-page stories should be 650 to 800 words), depending on the subject. Travel stories, cover stories and lead stories pay $1 a word. Other features pay 55 to 75 cents a word. Our travel stories include travel-destination (involves experience at a specific location/tourist attraction), travel adventure (involves hiking, climbing, boating or some other physical activity) and travel history (involves a backdrop or running theme of a historical event/person).
STORY APPROACH: For all departments and features, concentrate on the experience of being there, whether the destination is a hiking trail, a ghost town, a trout stream, a forest or an urban area. What thoughts and feelings did the experience evoke? What was happening? What were the mood and comportment of the people? What were the sounds and smells? What was the feel of the area? Did bugs get into the sleeping bag? Were the crows curious about intruders? Could you see to the bottom of the lake, and if so, what was there? We want to know why you went there, what you experienced and what impressions you came away with.
These experiences and impressions should be focused into a story with a beginning, middle and end, and it should be as evocative and interesting as you can make it. We require each story be a good read, and we do not want a rambling series of thoughts or vignettes, diary entries or a travelogue (a piece that begins in the morning, goes hour-by-hour through the day and ends in the evening). We want a story that opens by introducing us to a story line or theme, then develops the tale and finally concludes. We want an ending, a logical conclusion to the story we are telling. Just stopping the story won't do.
Our style is informal yet polished, with a readable, literary quality. The story can use the techniques of the fiction writer to create a narrative the reader will be unable to put down. We do not want choppy, shallow treatments or a newspaper approach. Each piece should have useful information, but not be burdened and cluttered. First-person narrative is acceptable when there’s a reason for it, but many stories work best in third-person. Consult with editors before writing. Also consult regarding use of present tense or past tense. Use strong verbs in the active voice, and avoid overuse of the verb "to be" in all its passive forms and tenses, especially “it is” and “there are.”
SIDEBARS: Whenever possible, short sidebars detailing service information are required to accompany features and departments. These are not included in the story word count.
"When You Go" should explain the destination’s location, how to get there, where to stay (if applicable), warnings and travel advisories, hours and fees, and what to see and do in the area. It also should include places to call for further information. (You will receive a separate “When You Go” format sheet with contractual paperwork.)
Additionally, we may require a separate sidebar on other area attractions or similar spots around the state.
CAPTION INFORMATION: You may be asked to provide additional information not used in your story for captions.
FACT-CHECKING: Refer to separate Fact-Checking Guidelines before submitting your manuscript.
CONTRACT AND PAYMENT: We buy first print rights, and we expect original work. Payment is 55 cents to $1 a word, on acceptance. For travel stories as well as cover stories and lead stories (determined by the editor), we pay $1 a word. With advance approval, we pay certain expenses. Payments include the rewrite process. Kill fees may be paid on assigned stories not deemed publishable by the editor.
QUERY SUBMISSIONS: We require e-mail queries, preferably one page. No unsolicited manuscripts (except for consideration for fiction or Along the Way). Send all queries to Arizona Highways, Query Editor, via e-mail to queryeditor - at - arizonahighways.com.
STORY SUBMISSION AND PAYMENT: Send finished stories and sidebars by e-mail. Payment is made upon acceptance of a publishable manuscript.
When You Go
Use the following format, deleting categories that do not apply.
Location: XXX miles XXX (direction) of Phoenix or Tucson or Flagstaff.
Getting There: driving directions from Phoenix or Tucson or Flagstaff
Phone Numbers: Area code is XXX; 800 series numbers are toll-free (if applies). Only fill in Phone Numbers if there are more than three numbers listed
Hours, Dates: if applies
Fees: if needed
Lodging: only if mentioned in story
Restaurants: only those mentioned in story
Attractions: only those mentioned in story
Events: only current month (of publication) or major events
Travel Advisory: (if applicable) best month/season to visit; four-wheel drive necessary; high-clearance necessary; map to carry; water requirements; special clothing and footwear; permits required and how/where to obtain them; private land concerns; environmental consideration; etc.
Warning: Severe weather or road warnings; other hazards to beware
Additional Information: telephone number of agency/organization (i.e. Ranger District office, BLM office, museum phone number, etc.) plus chamber of commerce-type numbers, when applicable
For Back Road Adventure
Recommend a map and Additional Information phone number only (warnings and directions and advisory are included in the article).