Articles of interest to members are always welcome. Places you can recommend, websites you find useful, which GPS you've found useful, what tyres, or battery, or refrigerator, or publication or......... have you found good (or otherwise). These, and many other topics are all of interest and your experiences can often save others a lot of searching. Share your information and insights by writing an article for Southern Trails.
A few do's and don'ts
It saves the Editor a lot of work if your writing can be in electronic form-on CD/DVD/USB or emailed. Disks can be supplied if needed. Just ask the Publications Coordinator if you require them. Hand written notes will not be accepted. Microsoft Word is very commonly used and is preferred. Please do not use any formatting other than left justified and new paragraphs. Please use Times New Roman 11pt for your articles. Raw text is just fine. As Southern Trails is printed in black and white please use only black coloured text.
DO proof read your article before sending it in. Please check your spelling and grammar e.g. full stops. Make sure you haven't left anything out and that it reads well and makes sense.
In writing articles and trip reports, ask yourself "Would I be interested to read this in 6 months time?" If your answer is "No" then best leave it out!! Personal, trivial or "in" stuff is unlikely to be of interest to most readers, while overly personal references may offend.
Things like "We had a good night's sleep" or "We got away from camp 5 minutes earlier than planned" contribute little. Avoid a running commentary, or blow-by-blow description. References to time and weather should be used sparingly.
Good photos add interest to your article. When taking photos for publication try to place the vehicles, the action or the people in a wider scene. Photos are best supplied in the highest quality as possible. It may mean you will have to send them in several emails but this is acceptable. Alternatively you can supply them on CD/DVD/USB. Again, the club can supply disks if needed. Choose 3 or 4 good quality photos showing different things for a short article, 6 to 8 for a longer one. All photos may not be used but a selection allows the editors some flexibility in layout.
Please DON'T embed photos in your text, as this causes difficulty when re-formatting is necessary . Leave them in separate files. Please list photo captions separately - do not incorporate a caption into the image itself, because resizing the image will then also resize your text.
As far as possible avoid any kind of formatting. Using tables, dot points, numbered lists or embedded photos are all great ways to spoil the editor's day!
Also, please be on time with your articles. The deadline for all content is the Friday following the monthly General Meeting. This will not only ensure your article will be in the next Issue but it will also give the Editor time to be able to make Southern Trails look as good as possible.
Remember, Southern Trails is your magazine. Without your contributions it wouldn't be the great monthly read it is!