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WHO WE ARE
Cats magazine is a monthly, national consumer magazine for the cat enthusiast. The magazine expresses the fun and rewards of owning a cat as well as offering monthly columns on their care and health. It is sold by subscription, in retail stores and on newsstands.
Cats' mission is to champion the health and welfare of cats and enhance and strengthen the relationship between cats and humans by providing outstanding content in its monthly consumer magazine and ancillary products, including the Cats Web site.
WHAT WE WANT
Articles should offer specific information on cats; introduce the reader to a new product or company related to cats; or inform the reader about current scientific trends.
Ours is a small staff. Therefore, we request you query by letter; do not send finished manuscripts. Your query should consist of a brief outline of the article, a list of the types of illustrations or photographs you envision with it, and an explanation of why your proposed article would be of interest to the CATS reader and, when applicable, why you are qualified to write it. Consider the season and timeliness of your suggestions, keeping in mind CATS works on a six-month lead time. (For an example of a good query, see the attached sample.)
The CATS staff considers queries and makes story assignments once each month (usually around the 15th of the month). At that time, all queries are considered and, within a few days, you will either receive an assignment, a request to hold the query for further consideration, or a rejection. If more than six weeks have passed without a reply to your query, feel free to write a note requesting its status.
At the time an article is assigned, you will be sent a succinct form letter detailing what is expected of you for the assignment and the intended payment ($25 to $500; depending on the length and complexity of the subject, and the photography, illustrations or sources to be supplied).
However, all articles, including those specifically assigned, are written "on speculation." Payment will be made only on acceptance. To be accepted at the full payment suggested in the assignment letter, the article must: o be submitted by the deadline specified. o include all elements detailed in the assignment letter. o be of acceptable quality (to be determined by the CATS
editorial staff). Payment may be decreased for late arrival, missing elements or poor quality. CATS reserves the right to return articles for rewriting or clarification of information and, in extreme cases, to return them without payment.
In all cases, CATS reserves the right to edit, rewrite and cut articles where necessary.
Any extraordinary writing expenses (travel, telephone bills, etc.) will be reimbursed only by previous agreement between you and CATS.
Deadlines that fall on a weekend will be moved back to the previous Friday. If you are unable to meet the deadline for any reason, please inform CATS immediately to request an extension. Extensions may result in lower payment. Repeated extensions will not be given. Writers who repeatedly request extensions will no longer receive assignments.
CATS Magazine, as part of PJS Publications and K-III Communications, requires an "all rights" contract be signed before publication of an article. "All rights" means CATS purchases complete rights, including copyright, to the author's manuscript and art covered in the contract.
We would appreciate receiving your work on disk or by e-mail, whenever possible. CATS text goes directly to our art department, and receiving your article on disk or by e-mail will save us re-keystroking time.
You may e-mail us at PJSPUBS15@aol.com or we can accept either 5 1/4" or 3 1/2" disks. The disks will not be returned to the writer unless requested.
What to do: o If you use MicroSoft Word 5.5 or 6.0 software (the programs we use), simply print a hard copy, save the article on the disk as you normally would and send us both the hard copy and the disk. o If you use any other software program, print a hard copy, save the article on the disk as a text file (in ASCII; see your manual for details) and send us the hard copy, the disk and a note telling us which software you used. Our computer department expert will take it from there. You will not be disqualified as a potential writer because you do not have access to a computer or for another reason cannot submit an assignment on disk. Simply follow the page requirements noted below and advise us in advance your article will be submitted as typed hard copy only.
DO: o Computer-generate or type your article on 8 1/2"x11" nonearasable paper. o Use approximately 1" top and bottom margins and a 55-character line, and double-space between lines. o Keep an article under eight pages, unless otherwise specified. o Include your name, address, phone number(s) and social security numbers on the last page and paper clip all pages together. Mail together with your disk in a disk mailer (for protection). o Follow "The Associated Press Stylebook" (revised edition), Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary and Chilton's "Grammar For Journalists." o Submit sources and resources of products and publications noted in your article, as well as information on how CATS readers can contact the businesses of people interviewed. Be sure all information is current. o Label all photographs submitted with an article with descriptions and information on where they should be returned. o Assume nothing. Check and double-check all spellings (especially those of proper names) and all facts. o Submit your article on or before the due date, allowing time for mailing: to Cats, Editor, Box 1790, Peoria IL 61656. o If mailing products, please pack them carefully and send via UPS, keeping the appropriate information for tracing in the event of loss. Second-day air or overnight mail are also acceptable, but not required unless necessary for your products to arrive on time. We will not reimburse you for shipping expenses unless previously agreed. Send products (with the related article enclosed, if possible) to: Cats, Editor, 2 News Plaza, Peoria, IL 61615. If requested, CATS will return any products via UPS after publication. o Keep a copy of your completed article and all of your notes for at least six months after the date of the article's publication. o Read your published articles and compare them to your originals for feedback.
DON'T: o Change a story's focus without approving it with CATS first. o Submit any article containing facts or techniques of which you are unsure. o Copy material directly from any other source. o Make excuses about missed deadlines. Legitimate reasons will be accommodated if possible. Questionable and recurring ones will not. o Hesitate to give CATS feedback. A better product is always our goal!
SAMPLE QUERY (A winning query need not be long!)
Traveling With Your Cat
Many people would like to travel with their cats, but don't know how to prepare for the trip. I propose an article that would give: I. Tips for traveling via different modes of transportation, i.e. car, plane, train, bus and ship. II. The best type of cat carrier. III. When, or if, to stop feeding and watering before the trip. IV. Information on how to call ahead to the destination to make accomodations for the cat. V. How to find out if there are entry regulations in a foreign country. VI: Sidebar idea: Funny anecdote on a traveling cat. Photos ideas: o A cat and map or plane tickets o A cat peeking out of a carrier o A cat sitting on a suitcase
Because toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease that humans can catch as well as cats, readers should know what this animal disease is all about. Therefore, I propose an article that would cover the following: I. What the disease is and how it spreads. II. How it affects cats. III. How it affects humans and especially unborn children. IV: How the cat can be cured. V. What steps humans should take if they are infected with the disease. Illustration idea: o Because many times there is no sign of illness in the animal we might try to illustrate the life cycle of the parasite and depict how the disease is spread.
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