Our mission? To inspire, inform, and compel women to live life to its fullest through outdoor adventure and travel. The best way to break in? Pitch us inspiration and information in the form of juicy, newsy, timely tidbits that you’re able to write about with evidence, authority, and style. Between our chock-a-block front of the book departments and our 2- or 3-story feature well (sometimes more!) we’re always looking for ideas that fit these criteria.
Tech Talk: 600-800 words
Break down the tech-y side of your sport, describe why it matters, and show us women how to learn that skill or get familiar with that piece of gear and use that info for our benefit.
I’m Proof That: 600-1,000 words + sidebar
Who’s the most amazing woman you know? Dr. Jessie Stone is a whitewater kayaking doctor fighting malaria along the Nile’s world-class rapids, and Anne Mahlum is harnessing the endorphin rush of a good run to help the homeless in Philadelphia. These are just two examples of women combining their love of sport and adventure with a sense of compassion and focused drive. We’re always on the lookout for others. The sidebar should provide fun facts about her.
Dream Job: Q & A style, 500 words
Know of a woman who can hardly call her job work? Interview her and find out why her envy-inspiring career is so satisfying, so interesting, and so surprising. Discover the struggles she faces at work, the hobbies that clear her mind off the job, and the things that challenge her at work. Don’t forget to include her job title and where she works.
Advocate: 600-1,200 words + 250-word sidebar
Anything goes in this cause-related article and sidebar that ideally includes ways to help in 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, or 1 year.
Try This: 400 words + 300-word sidebar
Ever been intimidated to try something new? Admit it. We all have. This service-based department is meant to demystify an adventure activity—landing a 180 on the snow, kite surfing, slacklining, etc. In partnership with an expert, this illustrated department introduces our readers to a new activity and gives specific advice about form, technique and the tools they’ll need to include it in their adventure resume. The sidebar offers a list of dos and don’ts. We’re looking to highlight lesser-known sports and activities that might awe readers or draw a laugh out of them, if nothing else.
Camps: 800-1,200 words + sidebar
Describe your experience at an all-women’s skills camp and provide the what, where, when, why, and how much info for others who might want to sign up. The sidebar should list similar camps around the nation, with dates and other logistical information.
Features: 1,800-4,000 words
We print a wide variety of feature stories from 1,000-word personal essays to hard-hitting, 3,000-word investigations of environmental or women’s health issues. We avoid topics covered in our pages within the last several years, but we’re open to innovative angles on familiar stories, and a voice that invites, inspires or informs our readers. We get lots of pitches for feature-length profiles and personal essays, so we’re more likely to be interested in and need harder-hitting stories. Though we appreciate service information in sidebars and accompanying web material, we’ve found that our readers crave an emotional and personal connection with adventure. That’s what we try to deliver.
It’s Personal: 600-800 words
Stories from the field often involve private elements even more dynamic than the walls you climb, the caves you explore, and the seas you swim. Whether bothersome boyfriends or menstrual mishaps add excitement, whether you struggle with your child-rearing philosophy, or whether some unexplainable motivation got you to the summit of a brutal peak, we want an intimate, humorous look at the experience through your honest, witty, and rousing narrative for this last-page parting essay.
In addition to sending thoughtful pitches, you can also catch our attention with a few other details:
• Know our magazine. Though we’re a work in progress, you can check out examples of our style and voice through our digital issues online.
• Follow up. Like everyone else, we’re super busy and our urgency about pitches is directly proportional to the timing of our in-house assignment meetings. If you haven’t heard back in 2-3 weeks, e-mail your pitch again.
• Include ideas for sidebars, web extras and multimedia in conjunction with your story. Our budget doesn’t (yet) include payment for web-specific content, but a multi-platform pitch will catch our attention.
• Make it timely. We plan 3-6 months ahead for most stories, even longer for seasonal features. Don’t pitch old news unless there’s a new angle and suggest a time peg (or two). Is Congress making a decision? Is there a big race or event? Why is your story right for any given month or season?
• Tell us who you are. Include a short bio telling us about your experience and why you’re the right person to write this story. Don’t forget to include it when you follow-up, too.
• Suggest an alternative angle. It shows us you’ve researched the story and are capable of being flexible with how we might use it.
Send all queries/pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see a sample of our magazine here.