How many TrainBoard users have published articles in magazines?

traingeekboy Dec 22, 2012

  1. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    I was curious to find out who has had an article published in a magazine. How long is the delay between a proposal, and then actually seeing it printed?
  2. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

    Depends a bit on scale. Z scale is around 6 months to a year. N scale around 1-3 years. HO scale 2 years to never. Ztrack magazine has a pretty good track record. N mags less so. Continental Modeler in Europe is not to bad, maybe 2 years and your stuff better be good. Model Railroader, predominately HO, but sometimes some N sneaks in. Problem is the "insiders," ie. regular paid contributors always get first dibs. Then 3 years down the line you may get yours.

    I have 5 or 6 published articles. I don't contribute anymore, even though my modeling is quite a bit better, because I don't want to die before something gets published. Here is a recent photo of where I'm at today. Jim

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2012
  3. rick773

    rick773 TrainBoard Member

    Besides the quality of the material, it probably depends more on the magazine and how much of a backlog of material they have available. I have published 2 in N Scale Magazine (Nov/Dec 2011 & Sep/Oct 2012) and they took 2-6 months to get published after submission.

  4. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

    It has been a while. I used to submit articles often to many different magazines. I think the last one published was in N Scale Railroading. That one took about three issues before it came out.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2012
  5. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

    IMHO, my submissions to N Scale Railroading got published faster if they were short. It is easier to fit them into the flow of things in the magazine pages. If they don't need it they may just hang onto it for a while.
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    If there is a wait, it could be due to them having a good number of articles already in line. Which is in reality a very good situation for a publisher.
  7. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

    I have had a number of articles published... at infrequent intervals.

    “Norton Brothers Connecting Railroad,” Model Railroader, September 1981, p.94.

    “Lost River District of the Santa Vaca & Santa Fe”
    Model Railroader Feb85 p.106
    Reprinted in Top Notch Railroad Plans

    “Building an N-Scale Santa Fe Freight Car Fleet,”
    Part I. Single-Door Boxcars (BX Classes)
    Santa Fe Modeler November/December 1986 p.12
    Part II. Double-Door Automobile Boxcars (FE Classes),
    Santa Fe Modeler 4th Quarter 1987, p.7.

    “Samurai Semaphores,” Warbonnet, (journal of the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society), 4th Quarter, 1995, p.16.

    “Modeling Santa Fe Sulphur Gondolas in N Scale,”
    Warbonnet, 3rd Quarter, 1998, p.23

    “Managing S Curves,” Model Railroad Planning 2005 p.80

    The wait has been two years and more with Kalmbach. Once I was asked to rewrite an article and cut two-thirds of it. I did just exactly that. Getting paid was nice.
  8. NYW&B

    NYW&B Guest

    Invervals can vary quite widely as already indicated, much depending on content and whether the subject matter dovetails with a general theme the magazine happens to be pushing at the time. In general, good accompanying photos can often jump you ahead in the que of articles accepted and awaiting publications. Likewise, good photos in general get published far quicker than more mediocre ones. And finally, if you can write in the particular "style" of a given magnazine, and each has their own, your material will but published quicker and much more often.

    I've had three articles published in RMC over the years (and hundreds of non-RR articles in other publicatins) and the duration between acceptence and appearance has ranged anywhere from a few months to a few years! My many stand alone photos in MR generally appeared within less than 6 moinths.

  9. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    I used to work in a Mustang shop and new an editor for a Mustang magazine, typically, he would ask for me to write a review and it was published within 3 months. If you read Mustangs Illistrated in the late 1990's, you have seen pictures of me in a lot of them. Unfortuanatly, they were just pictures of my hands
  10. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    It's been an issue or two after acceptance with N-Scale Magazine.
  11. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    Thanks guys, just curious. Submitted something... waiting to hear back.
  12. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter


    Your response from editors depends on a lot of things. First, of course, is the quality of your submission. But then it's your history with the publication and its editor(s), and the pub's editorial schedule. If you're submitting an overall layout feature, and the pub already has two or three scheduled, then you just have to wait. Once you get established, you and the editor(s) will form a relationship that makes much of the uncertainty go away.

    I keep telling prospective writers that editors are people just like you and me. They don't mind--in fact they encourage--questions about what you might want to submit.

    Hey, when I was in TV news, I had pieces on the air thirty seconds after I finished editing. Once I had a piece airing before I finished editing--you can imagine what happened--dead air halfway through the piece. And I've had pieces just killed for various reasons, such as political influence, danger to others, security . . .

    My advice is like Nike's--just do it.
  13. Cjcrescent

    Cjcrescent TrainBoard Member

    If you're really looking just to get started writing articles for various mags, might I suggest that you submit articles for your NMRA regional publication, (you have to be an NMRA and regional member). Doing this will help you learn how to write for a mag. That's how I got started, and I was a regular contributing author for Model Railroading for several years.

    I haven't written anything in about 20 years now.
  14. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Here is some advice based on my experience being on both sides of the process for publishing something in one of the magazines.

    1. Clear, concise writing. Start with an intro maybe on the prototype, it's use, why it was built, etc. Next lead into the body of the article. If it is a how to on a structure, locomotive, rolling stock or a process, keep it concise and stay away from the "next I, next I, next I." format. end the article with a paragrapgh or two on how the model or process helped you and others on your layout or module.
    2. Take clear pictures in a well lit area. This is really important for those of us who model in smaller scales. We want to see all those lift rings you installed on your N scale GP60. Lighting is also important, bad lighting can ruin an otherwise perfect shot. Also if you are doing the article on super detailing or maybe a structure, take a picture or two of the item against a neutral background. That way it is easier to see the details without background "noise". Typically a standard layout of an article will have the main lead in "beauty" shot, followed by a series of progress shots ending with "action" or more "beauty" shots. Most publishers want standard jpg, three color process, 300 DPI. If you are a MAC guy, ask the publisher first if they want Raw images or Tiff format.
    3. When doing an article on a structure that is based on the full size, include pictures whenever possiable of the fullscale structure. If you have to use someone elses photo, get permission and credit them. Always get permission from the land owner first if you intend to take pictures of a building that is private owned. Regarding locomotives, it is best to include at least one good photograph of the prototype. If you took the picture, your okay. If for whatever reason you cannot get pictures of the locomotive you are doing the article for, look to one of the many photo services companies and purchase one through them. Do not simply scan a picture from a book and submit it, it won't get published.
    4. Try to keep an open dialog with the Chief Editor. Realize you as the author, you should get back to him or her as soon as possiable and that they as the Editor may take several days to get back to you. It is the nature of the beast, article ideas come in all the time through letters, e-mail, shows etc. Realize too that your article can be printed as soon as a month to at least a year or two away. It all depends on what the flow of the magazine is at the time.
    5. Always add a sidebar of materials if you are building something. This helps the Associate Editors to build a seperate box for the "Bill of Materials."
    6. Be prepared to answer any "letters to the Editor." Someone might really like the way you added the numbers on your number boards and want some clarification, or maybe they think your color choice is way off base. Be prepared to justify your choices and your sources of information.

    Those are just a few that come to mind. The biggest for me is the picture content and quality. Don't send 55 pictures of the same angle in different light. Send the best 2 out of 55. Too many pictures and it it becomes confusing. Not enough and it is hard to justify an article. Take enough pictures to tell the story and detail what your doing.

    Hope this helps, and yes by all means, please send articles. Trainboard has a lot of talent that could be published.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2012
  15. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    Yep good solid advice.

    Pete I forgot you did news. I worked in tv for 12 years.

    I will consider contacting the nmra. Thanks.

    I wrote a story about an old computer system for a small online british magazine not too long ago. I think I needed that to make me realize I actually could get something published. As others have said a regular contributor gets priority, so with this small magazine I was able to write something unique and they took it gladly.

    It's not trains, but it is my first try at getting published.

    The article is on page 6; Lost Empire.
  16. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    None in the modeling press, but I have experienced a 6-to-9-month leadin for my article on the Kiamichi RR in the Sept 1989 issue of TRAINS, plus a short sidebar on Railtex in Railfan & Railroad (about 2 months, at the request of Jim Boyd). I should be so lucky to have anything published in the modeling mags.

Share This Page