Russian Life magazine (RL) is published bimonthly, in January, March, May, July, September, and November. If you expect us to give your submission or query careful consideration, it must reflect an understanding of the magazine. Please read our publication thoroughly so you have a good grasp of our style and content (not doing this is the surest way to have your submission rejected; it is quite easy to tell who understands our style and mission, and who does not). Back issues are available for $7, plus postage. Subscriptions cost $39 per year. To find out if we have previously covered a story you are pitching (we avoid repetition), search our online archive. It may also be helpful to understand the history of the magazine.
Most RL features are written by experienced and talented freelance journalists and writers. RL covers Russian culture, travel, history, cities, towns, politics, art, geography, issues, business and society. RL often focuses on current issues and events facing Russia and Russians. But it is not a newsmagazine. The majority of RL content is feature articles, many of which are tied into a round (5/10/25-year multiple) anniversary or other seasonal "hook."
RL's writing style is terse and readable. The model is third-person American magazine journalism style (and spelling) on the lines of the AP stylebook. We seek to provide coverage of Russia that is free of illusions (but not blemishes) and full of hope (but not ideology or agendas). Our job is to present a realistic, truthful and independent view that balances these realities, providing enjoyable, insightful reading. It is also helpful to remember that RL is a very visual magazine; few stories do not include photographs of professional caliber.
Freelancers should also familiarize themselves with our transcription and dating guidelines.
Issue-focused articles rely on heavy reporting and excellent sourcing. Historical articles must use a well-balanced choice of sources and, where applicable, publications. Travel articles must draw on rich quotes and real events that provide local flavor, and not simply first person narrative. Writers must be willing to prove and demonstrate their sources and reporting at the request of the Editors.
All manuscripts are thoroughly edited for style, consistency, and clarity. The final title of the published article, subheads, captions, photographs and illustrations, are the Editor's prerogative.
These are the different departments or sections of the magazine and what we accept from freelancers:
Persons interested in submitting articles (or photos) to RL or being assigned freelance work should first contact the RL editorial offices (use the form below) to discuss the work with our editors. Submit a short email that succinctly summarizes the proposed article, how you think this will fit into our editorial mission, and why you think you are uniquely qualified to offer this piece. Also include a few sentences about your past publishing experience and what type of work samples you can supply. Only rarely do we accept the work of unpublished freelancers. The means of communicating that will get the quickest response is email.
While we welcome unsolicited manuscripts (NOT over email, by regular mail only), we feel that it is most productive to work with writers ahead of time - to hone story ideas to fit our needs. Queries by phone are strongly discouraged.
We are usually quick to respond to queries sent over email, indicating whether we have general interest or not. Please note, however, that if we are under production or other deadlines, it can take us a few weeks to respond to an email. Be patient. We respond to all requests sooner or later.
RL publishes most submissions 3-6 months after acceptance. Seasonal material must be submitted earlier: up to nine months in advance of anticipated publication date.
Manuscripts, photographs, slides and other submissions are returned only if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. RL is not responsible for any materials submitted on speculation, and they will not be returned to you without sufficient pre-paid postage and packaging. Submissions may also be made electronically, with prior approval.
Fees for freelance work are agreed upon on a individual basis, depending on the scope, difficulty and nature of the story being written. Payment is upon publication and fees vary depending upon the length and difficulty of the article.
Written correspondence should be sent to:
Russian Life magazine
PO Box 567
Montpelier, VT 05601
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