Editorial Submissions

Bay Nature magazine is composed primarily of the work of freelance contributors and volunteers. We welcome story queries and image submissions from anyone working in the San Francisco Bay Area. We pay, though not a lot, for items published in the print magazine, most of which also appear on this website. At this time, we do not pay for web-only content.

Note on Response
We have a very small editorial staff that is often absorbed in the day-to-day work of publishing the magazine and this website. For that reason, it can take us up to three months to respond to article queries. Because we average only three longer articles and three to four shorter articles per quarterly issue, it can take even longer for us to find a spot for articles we want to publish. The interval between submission and publication is often a year and sometimes more. Thanks for your patience!

Jump to guidelines for: Photographers    Artists

Guidelines for Writers

BAY NATURE is a quarterly magazine dedicated to the intelligent and joyful exploration of the natural places, plants, and wildlife of the San Francisco Bay Area. It contains writing, photography, art, and cartography about the natural history of the land and waters of the nine counties ringing the Bay, as well as significant nearby areas(such as the Delta and Monterey Bay). We are a nonprofit enterprise, sponsored by the Bay Nature Institute in Berkeley, California.

Neither scientific journal nor travel guide, BAY NATURE’s aim is to foster a deeper connection between the Bay Area’s residents and our surrounding landscapes. We do this by examining local nature from a variety of angles and in a wide range of voices, in a manner that is both accessible and intelligent, serious and playful. We see BAY NATURE as a forum that brings together the local environmental, literary, artistic,and political communities, and serves the shared goal of conserving and restoring our natural heritage.

Our audience: the dedicated naturalist, committed environmentalist,occasional birdwatcher, recreational hiker and bicyclist, as well as the general reader who cherishes the beauty and natural diversity of the place we live.

Each issue of BAY NATURE contains both features and recurring departments and columns(see below); most of the content is provided by freelance writers.

Our standards are high: we seek writing that is informed, provocative,literary, and elegant. Our subject matter includes virtually any aspect of the Bay Area’s natural history, as well as its human history as it relates to the environment. It can be as broad as wildflowers and marine mammals and as specific as the Tiburon paintbrush and the gray whale, as majestic as towering redwoods and as basic as bay mud arthropods. While we do not require that writers be natural scientists,it is important that our stories be accurate, comprehensive, and well-researched.

Although we work with writers already known to us for high-quality and dependable writing, we also aim to find and stimulate new contributors who speak passionately for and about Bay Area nature. For writers who are new to us, we generally work on speculation.

If you are interested in being published in BAY NATURE, please send us a written query (e-mail is preferred); relevant writing samples are most welcome. If you wish to have this material returned to you, please so note and send a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Our articles and features generally range from 700-3,000 words. The fee we pay depends on a variety of factors, including the experience of the writer and the amount of time and research required to complete the piece. The fee may be lower if the piece requires extensive editing and re-writing. We generally pay within 30 days of publication.

We purchase first-time world rights, except in rare cases of excerpts from recently-published books. (First-time rights include right to publish the material on the BAY NATURE website: www.baynature.org.)

Send materials for consideration to:
Editorial Director
BAY NATURE
1328 Sixth Street #2
Berkeley, CA 94710
submissions@baynature.org

BayNature.org publishes content multiple times a week, and we welcome photos and article submissions. Unfortunately, at this time online submissions are primarily unpaid. We also offer an active online internship, which allows participants to gain experience in nature writing and various forms of multimedia production.

Send materials for consideration to:
Alison Hawkes, online editor
alison@baynature.org

Departments

BAY NATURE has several recurring “departments” for which we solicit freelance submissions. (Note: not all departments appear in each issue.) They include:

  • “On the Trail” highlights a particular park, trail, or shore that can be visited by readers. This is not intended as a trail guide, but rather an evocative description of a special place at a specific season or moment in time,or an exploration of a particularly interesting aspect of the place.
  • “Conservation in Action” takes us to the front lines of conservation and restoration work, with stories of volunteer crews planting native wildflowers, monitoring bluebird nest boxes, or pulling out invasive weeds in places as varied as eastern Contra Costa County or the Bayview District in San Francisco.
  • “Signs of the Season” focuses on a particularly characteristic species, group of species, or phenomenon for the season in which the issue will appear (wildflowers in spring, fog in summer, fungi in winter, etc.).
  • “Families Afield”takes a kid-friendly approach to one topic, phenomenon, or species each quarter. A regular sidebar covers three to five top nature-related things to do with kids—outdoors at parks and open spaces or indoors at museums and science centers—in the coming months.
  • “First Person”lets us hear directly from scientists, historians, and regular people who have a special or distinctive insight into one of the topics we’re covering elsewhere in the issue.

We encourage you to read past installments of these departments. Browse our back issues to find those.

Guidelines for Photographers

BAY NATURE is a magazine dedicated to the intelligent and joyful exploration of the natural places, plants, and wildlife of the San Francisco Bay Area. Published quarterly, it contains writing,photography, and art about the natural history of the land and waters of the nine counties ringing the Bay and other nearby areas (including the Delta, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Bay). We see BAY NATURE as a forum that brings together the local environmental, literary, artistic, and political communities, and serves the shared goal of conserving and restoring our natural heritage. We are a nonprofit enterprise,sponsored by the Bay Nature Institute in Berkeley, California.

Each issue of BAY NATURE contains both features and recurring departments and columns; most of these are accompanied by photography and/or artwork. From time to time, we will also publish photo spreads or essays with minimal text. We do not see photography simply as “decoration” for our text, but rather as a vital component in achieving the magazine’s mission of exploring the nature of the Bay Area from a wide variety of perspectives, and of seeing our natural heritage with new eyes. We are interested in photography that is not only skillful but also conveys an underlying understanding of the subject, and a new way of looking at it. We are interested in both color and black-and-white photography. Our preferred medium for publication is high-quality transparency or high-quality,high-resolution digital files.

Almost all photographic content in BAY NATURE is provided by freelance contributors from stock images, for which we purchase one-time publication rights; we rarely do photography by assignment. We maintain a list of freelance photographers who receive a quarterly “Photo Needs Bulletin” detailing the specific stories in the upcoming issue. To be added to the list, please send an email,including a description of your work and web link or one or two low-resolution samples, to our editor at the email below.

Photographers may submit images on speculation; they should be high-quality dupes, with appropriate caption and photographer identification on each image, and accompanied by a self-addressed,stamped envelope. Photo CDs (viewable on Mac platform) are also a good way of showing us your work. Please do not send images electronically,except in response to the photo bulletin or a specific request from us.We cannot accept responsibility for lost or damaged material sent on speculation.

All material should be sent to:

Editorial Director
BAY NATURE
1328 Sixth Street #2
Berkeley, CA 94710
images@baynature.org

We very much appreciate your interest in BAY NATURE and in sharing your work with our readers.

Guidelines for Illustrators

BAY NATURE is a magazine dedicated to the intelligent and joyful exploration of the natural places, plants, and wildlife of the San Francisco Bay Area. Published quarterly, it contains writing,photography, and art about the natural history of the land and waters of the nine counties ringing the Bay and other nearby areas (including the Delta, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Bay). We see BAY NATURE as a forum that brings together the local environmental, literary, artistic, and political communities, and serves the shared goal of conserving and restoring our natural heritage. We are a non-profit enterprise,sponsored by the Bay Nature Institute in Berkeley, California.

Each issue of BAY NATURE contains both features and recurring departments and columns; most of these are accompanied by photography and/or artwork. From time to time, we will also publish photo or art spreads or essays with minimal text. We do not see images simply as “decoration” for our text, but rather as a vital component in achieving the magazine’s mission of exploring the nature of the Bay Area from a wide variety of perspectives, and of seeing our natural heritage with new eyes.

Artwork in BAY NATURE includes a mix of commissioned works and spot illustrations for which we purchase one-time publication rights. We maintain a list of freelance illustrators who receive a quarterly “Artwork Needs Bulletin” detailing the specific stories in the upcoming issue. To be added to the list, please send an email,including a description of your work and web link or one or two low-resolution samples, to our editor at the email below.

Artists may submit images on speculation; high-quality prints, with appropriate caption and artist identification on each image, and accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Photo CDs (viewable on Mac platform) are also a good way of showing us your work.Please do not send images electronically, except in response to the artwork bulletin or a specific request from us. We cannot accept responsibility for lost or damaged material sent on speculation.

All material should be sent to:

Editorial Director
BAY NATURE
1328 Sixth Street #2
Berkeley, CA 94710
images@baynature.org

We very much appreciate your interest in BAY NATURE and in sharing your work with our readers.

 

 
Fall 2014 Reader Survey