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Write for Moving Stories

This publication relies on JMU writers, people who are interested in helping others with the logistics of commuting, or enjoying Harrisonburg and the surrounding counties whether walking, running, or hiking, bicycling, boarding, or using public transportation. We also welcome essays that explore a broader range of mobility studies topics as they affect the JMU community.

If you write for us, you should know that we only publish texts that meet our standards for excellence. You should expect at least one or two revisions, and that you will work with an editor to create the best possible text. The process of editing and revising will help your text to be even stronger than your initial submission.

What we publish:

If you’re not sure if we’re the magazine for you, send us a note, asking us if your idea would fit with our magazine. (Tell us the scope and the type of document you want to create, and why our readers would benefit.)  Keep in mind that we’re looking for original content and that we try not to repeat the content of articles already on the site, so if you can take the time to look through our content, tagged, typically by key words, you can also indicate to us how your idea will add to existing content.  The more developed your pitch, the more we can offer better feedback.

What we expect in a project:

We’re looking for the following:

  • A well researched project. You should include research appropriate to the scope of the text, and that research should be cited.
  • Your text should have a purpose, an effective introduction that offers us an early understanding of your purpose, and your text should follow the expectations for the genre you’ve chosen.
    • We welcome a range of digital document framings–from video to podcasts, to photo essays, to traditional academic journal article formats.
    • We also welcome a range of genres often associated with technical communication, including instructions and descriptions, feature articles, product reviews, case studies, proposals, manuals, and texts that perform the challenging task of explaining complex information to more general audiences.
  • Your text should follow our style guide.
  • We welcome strong and interesting voices.

What we publish (not exhaustive):

  1. Product reviews. If you think about it, every type of mobility requires some sort of clothes, and are often easier with equipment that meets the local challenges. A person who wants to choose the best bicycle for JMU wouldn’t for example, want to opt for a heavy beach cruiser, given the hills here.  Product reviews can be for a range of items from apps for smart phones to the kinds of helmets or hair products that help with helmet head.
    1. Our product reviews are usually extensive and need to follow the organization of earlier product reviews.
  1. Feature Articles about Walking, Bicycling, Skateboarding, and/or public transport issues at JMU. The range of articles that you might cover here are extensive. Some quick examples to suggest a range of scope: you might explore challenges with walking from one side of campus to the other; the relationship between locations of dorms and healthy walking in freshmen years; the challenges of continuing to walk once living off campus; commuting challenges and opportunities for faculty and staff; safety in walking, bicycling, and boarding; how to tap into the extended transportation network in the surrounding counties if you want to commute to the university from a nearby town.
  2. Hiking/Running/UREC Adventure Trip reviews: We enjoy adding articles that review local trails, running routes, bicycling trails, and a range of other reviews that offer advice for students, faculty and visitors to our town. If you want to suggest local rides and eats, or local walks and eats, or the best routes for running on and off campus, or if you want to review something like the Harrisonburg comfort map for bicycling, or any number of other reviews, please contact us.
  3. Instructional texts: We seek instructional texts that will help students, faculty and staff choose alternative forms of commuting. These instructional texts often take the form of video, but you can also create instructional sets of the variety you might find on line at the wikihow.com site.
  4. Research driven academic essays: While we don’t often publish pieces that look more scholarly in frame, we gladly consider these kinds of texts. The scope and type of document would be discussed case by case.

If you have an idea for an article, please first review already published pieces, but feel free to pitch your idea our way. We’d love to hear from you.

  1. Length on feature articles can be in depth: 1500 – 4000 words; fairly informal articles: 600 – 1500 words, or light hearted and short 500 – 600 words. It depends on the purpose and the type of magazine article chosen.
  2. Images: We encourage authors to create images for their articles. If you’re working on a review of a product, and you can’t take an image of the product, we will find a work around. We try not to publish images without permissions.

How to submit:

Contact us for specific information. If you’re a part of our writing group, you will be able to submit your texts to the editor in charge of your subject. If you’re not, please send us your article as a word document, and any images as a separate set of attachments. Indicate, in your article where the images should be placed, along with your captions for the images.

Style Guide:

Image sizes

Types of images needed

Feature Images:

PNG or JPG images, no larger than 200kb for a 600 x 800 pixel photo. Please submit both the original much larger file, and then the JPG saved at the size appropriate for the web. If you cannot resize images, send us the original large photo, along with photo credit information.

Formatting:

Header 1 font

Header 2 font

Paragraph style

Captions

Palette colors:

 

Include Author Biography and Photo

All final drafts should be accompanied by an author bio and photo. While you may choose to use a pen name and an image that doesn’t reflect you, your choice in photo should still somehow reflect something that you enjoy. Your bio should be no more than fifty words, should be upbeat and preferably, amusing. You should write the bio in general terms–not in terms of your current year of study at JMU (if you’re a student). Imagine that someone comes across your story/bio in a few years.  What are the salient descriptions that endure over time?

Example:

Jill Doe never thought she would take up bicycling as an adult, but then she toured the Netherlands, and started pining for a dutch styled walk through bicycle. Ever since then, she has been fascinated by how different the JMU campus looks, from the perspective of a bicyclist.

Permission and Copyright

Contacting Authors

Most of the texts here come from people writing for courses, and you may or may not find it easy to get ahold of a writer. Many writers agree to sign a statement allowing permission for reprint, or a way to contact that writer, should you be interested in reprinting their work, particularly if the writer is working under a pen name. Depending on the time of year, we will try to help you contact the writer, but we may have lost contact with them as well, and we may not be able to help you. It will remain your obligation to gain the author’s permission.

Wait Seven Days Before Reprinting

If you wish to reprint, and you have permission, you need to wait 7 days s before reprinting—Each printed document will have a date of publication under the author’s name. Use that date to determine reprint.

Include Required Attribution Text:

If you choose to reprint text, you will need to include the following text:

Reprinted with the permission of Moving Stories (linked to our site) and the author’s name.

 

Art:

If you like an image, or a video, you should know that these are subject to the same permissions. You need to obtain the person’s permission.