WRITING FOR VFW MAGAZINE
VFW magazine is published by the Veterans of Foreign Wars at its national
headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. VFW is the nation’s 42nd largest magazine in
circulation. It is published monthly (the June and July issues are combined) and
has a readership of 1.8 million war veterans, ranging from WWII through
Subscription is largely through VFW membership, which is restricted to
honorably discharged veterans who received an officially recognized campaign
medal. Founded in 1899, the VFW is the oldest major veterans organization in
America and has been publishing a magazine since 1904.
Recognition of veterans and military service is paramount at the VFW.
Articles related to current foreign policy and defense along with all veterans
issues are of prime interest. Topics pertaining to American armed forces abroad
and international events affecting U.S. national security are particularly in
demand. Articles dealing with military history must take a fresh approach.
Some national political and social issues also qualify for inclusion in the
magazine, especially if covered by VFW resolutions.
And, of course, we are always looking for up-to-date stories on veterans
concerns. Insight into how recent legislation affects the average veteran is always
welcome. Anything that contributes to a better understanding of how the
Department of Veterans Affairs operates is useful to veterans. Positive, upbeat
stories on successful veterans who have made significant contributions to their
communities make for good reading, too, especially if they are severely disabled.
Also, interviews with prominent figures are of interest if professionally done.
But no Q & A’s, only narrative format. No first-person accounts or personality
profiles are accepted.
We do not accept poetry, fiction, reprints or book reviews.
Manuscripts are usually 1,000 words, depending on the subject. Simultaneous
submissions are not considered. Changes are often required to make copy
conform to editorial needs. Absolute accuracy is a must. For facts and quotes,
please cite references. Quotes from relevant individuals are a must.
Bibliographies are welcome.
Submit manuscripts on 3 1/2" diskettes, and please include a hard copy.
E-mail submissions are acceptable. Microsoft Word documents are best,
however, most word processing software is translatable.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
406 W. 34th St., Kansas City, MO 64111
816-756-3390 (phone) 816-968-1169 (fax)
STYLE Clarity and simplicity are the two cardinal virtues of good writing. Originality,
concrete detail, short paragraphs and strong words are essential. Write in the
active voice, and avoid flowery prose and military jargon. Please feel free to
suggest descriptive decks (sub-titles) and use subheads in the body of the copy.
Consult The Associated Press Stylebook for correct grammar and punctuation.
Photos of exceptional interest are considered for publication. Payment is
arranged in advance. Captions (including names and titles of those depicted,
when the photo was taken and the significance of the event) must accompany
photos, including a separate caption sheet. Pictures accompanying manuscripts
are generally for one-time use only. Please send along all relevant sketches,
maps, charts and photos. Sources of additional artwork are also most helpful.
Color transparencies (35mm slides or 2 1/4" x 2 1/4") are preferred. But we can
always use color or black and white prints (5x7 or 8x10). Digital images need to
be at least 5" x 7" @ 300 dpi. Submit in .jpg format.
Payment depends upon length, writing quality and research performed.
Commissioned articles are negotiable. Payment is made upon acceptance and
entitles VFW magazine to First North American Serial Rights. Kill fees are paid
if the writer is working on assignment and the article is not published. Contracts
follow acceptance of articles. Please note that we do place selected articles from
the magazine each month on VFW’s Web site.
Do not query over the telephone. A one-page outline (theme, scope,
organization) of the proposed article will save the author and editor valuable time
and effort in determining the suitability of a piece for VFW magazine. Articles
are submitted on a speculative basis for first-time contributors unless
commissioned. Topics that coincide with an anniversary should be submitted at
least four months in advance.
Use the query letter to demonstrate your knowledge and writing ability. Send
along published examples of your work. Familiarize yourself thoroughly with
VFW magazine before writing full-length features. Sample copies of the
magazine are available upon request.
Finally, please enclose a brief biography describing your military service and
expertise in the field in which you are writing. Three sentences are generally
sufficient. If you are a VFW member, let us know.