WRITERS’ GUIDELINES FOR ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS
Thank you for your interest in writing for The Mountain Astrologer magazine! We are a small independent publication and receive a high volume of submissions. Please write us a proposal about your article in the form of a “query letter.” We request that you follow our instructions carefully. Submissions that fail to follow our directions will go unread. We do not read unsolicited manuscripts.
Please read and follow these guidelines closely.
Only if you are submitting cartoons or poetry may you skip the query letter and follow those specific instructions below.
- Query letters should be one to three pages maximum.
- Write a summary about your proposed topic; be as specific as possible.
- What sets your article apart from previously published material on this topic? What makes it new/fresh/interesting? Has the topic appeared in TMA before? Search our Article Index, consider if you are adding anything to the conversation, and revise your topic accordingly. We discourage submissions that appear in a vacuum (with no references or awareness to previously published material). Where do your ideas fit in to the larger, published conversation about astrology?
- What is the estimated length? Note feature articles are limited to a maximum word count of 3,500 words. Smaller articles (short anecdotal material, chart interpretation tips, and other material of interest) between 500–1000 words are also considered.
- How many charts or illustrations will you include? We suggest no more than three charts. If proposing more than this, give a clear rationale why.
- Outline the main points you wish to cover.
- Provide a few sample paragraphs from various parts of the article, not just the introduction.
- Include your biographical information (your work and interests, as well as how readers may contact you). Your bio should be 100 words maximum, including contact information.
You may email your query to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “TMA Query” in the subject line. We will respond as soon as possible, but please allow 60–90 days.
Once we review your query, do not send your article unless requested. Please understand that we do not “pre-accept” any article or series based only on a query letter or proposal — we will need to review the finished article for final approval.
If we accept your article proposal, will request that you submit the completed article. At that time, we will send you the remainder of our Writers’ Guidelines.
We accept electronic files only. We prefer that you submit your query via email in one of the following formats, ordered by preference:
- Microsoft Word 2011 or newer
- Shared Google Doc
- Shared Dropbox file
- RTF (rich text file)
The Mountain Astrologer does not accept more than one submission at a time, nor do we accept simultaneous submissions (sent to several journals at once). We do not usually accept articles that have appeared in the English language within the last five years.
We occasionally reprint journal articles and book excerpts, and writers may query us about this. Do not send us a sample chapter without prior approval. Start with a query letter.
If your proposed article is time-sensitive, you should begin the query process at least eight months before the publication date of the magazine you’d like the article to appear in (though we can sometimes squeeze in a current events article).
IMPORTANT: If you propose to interpret a chart or charts, and especially if your delineation involves the Moon or the houses/angles, please include in your query the complete birth data, the source, and the Rodden Rating of each and every chart example.
Guidelines for Cartoons, and Poetry
- Cartoons or drawings: Send low-resolution files of original artwork. If successful, we will request high-resolution files for publication.
- Poetry: Please send no more than five poems at once. We will only read the first five sent. Also note that longer poems tend to be less successful than short- to medium-length poems.
Data Sourcing and Citation
(Please review carefully before sending your query.)
The Mountain Astrologer is dedicated to maintaining strict standards of astrological publishing based on careful data citations and through professional delineation and interpretation of published charts. As such, we encourage you to review this information in detail before submitting your article and supporting materials.
We comply with benchmarks established by the Association of Professional Data Collectors who convened their first international meeting on May 30, 1997, in Brussels, Belgium. One of their goals is to advance data standards, and we agree with their position that data presented without a source is unprofessional and unacceptable. If you’re submitting birth charts, event charts, or other astrological charts with your article, you must provide the original source of your data (e.g., birth certificate, birth record, mother’s memory, rectification [mention by whom and what source was used for the rectification], etc.).
Don’t make the mistake of proposing an article only to discover, too late, that your chart data is inaccurate. Speculative data sources result in speculative interpretations and premises, which then contribute to the image of astrology as meaningless speculation. Save yourself time and trouble; check your data before you begin.
TMA Review Process
Step one: We will review your query letter. If we choose to consider your article, you move along to the next step, and we will provide you with thorough writing guidelines. If we decline your query, your journey with this topic ends; however, you may attempt another query on a different topic, which starts the process over. We highly discourage “trying your luck” and throwing anything and everything at us. Repeat declines are usually a signal that we are not the right venue for your work. Please exercise discretion when pursuing publication.
Step two: If we request your article for consideration, you are invited to send us the entire article and charts/illustrations and all endnotes/references. Submit polished work that is ready for publication. We will not consider “draft” stage work — we need a full and complete article that matches your query proposal. Once we receive your completed article, we will circulate it with our editorial team. We will notify you within approximately 60–90 days of receipt of your completed article whether it has been accepted, accepted pending revision, which move on to step three, or declined, which ceases your journey at this stage.
For time-sensitive articles: We recommend that you begin the query process at least eight months before your preferred publication date, although we can sometimes accommodate unexpected current events submissions.
Important: Once you’ve submitted your finished article, do not make any further revisions or additions unless we request them. If you feel that changes are necessary, please contact our editing team to discuss the matter. Make sure the file you send is clear and ready to go.
Acceptance is based entirely upon our perception. We take into consideration factors like content, quality, how the article compliments TMA’s vision, and its appeal to our readers.
Step three: Upon acceptance of your article, we will send you a contract outlining our terms, conditions, compensation, etc. This includes permission for us to publish your article in the print and digital versions of that edition of the magazine. Before the contract is finalized by TMA, you will be asked to satisfy all requests for information specific to your article. We reserve the right to edit, condense, cut, or otherwise alter the text of all material sent for publication without the advance approval of the writer; however, we do consult authors about substantive changes.
Step four: You will receive a copy of the magazine in which your article appears. Rejoice and share the news with your friends and colleagues!
Thanks again for your careful attention to our submissions guidelines. We look forward to your query letters.