Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure
The concept of Backroads is simple. It is a publication created with the idea of giving our readers places of interest to ride to and getting the most enjoyment out of their motorcycles. Although Backroads is geared towards the motorcycling population, it is not by any means limited to just motorcycle riders. Non-motorcyclists enjoy great destinations too.
As time has gone by, Backroads has developed more and more into a cutting edge touring publication. We like to see submissions that give the reader the distinct impression of being part of the ride they’re reading. Words describing the feelings and emotions brought on by partaking in this great and exciting lifestyle are encouraged.
AIM AND QUERY BEFORE SHOOTING AND WRITING
Backroads does not send out rejection letters, just emails and notes to let you know we are interested. Being a touring publication, we are always interested in your travels, especially when they lead our readers to exciting new destinations, but sometimes we have a backlog of articles that cover the same area, idea or situation. To save you and us a lot of time, it is best to email us a note on your intentions regarding your article before submission.
We love pictures. The more the merrier. Particularly shots of motorcycles on the move, great scenery and creative photography. Backroads is about riding, and although we will use party pictures when appropriate, we discourage photography showing only indoor “end of the ride” shots.
BACKROADS DOS AND DON’T
What Backroads does not want is any “us vs. them” submissions. We are decidedly non-political and secular. Backroads is about getting out and riding, not getting down on any one particular group, nor do we feel this paper should be a pulpit for a writer’s beliefs...be they religious, political or personal.
Please do not take any returns or criticism to heart. If we rejected an article perhaps another regional or national publication could use it. Don’t give up or stop sending in submissions, you’re already doing more than most folks...keep writing!
Backroads does not want submissions that push any one particular dealership or shop. Of course, if a shop is part of an event or charitable cause, mentioning the shop is the right thing to do. But a mention is not a 100 word description of everything the shop or dealer does. Articles are not ads, nor do we feature any one dealer or shop as an article by itself.
When writing a piece for Backroads try not to go overboard mentioning everybody’s name. This paper is not here to make points for people personally. Stick to the story.
HOW TO SUBMIT
All submissions must be accompanied by images, with an SASE of adequate size (10x13) to return all material sent as well as a copy of the issue in which they were published, and a hard copy printout of the article, including your name, address and phone number. If none is enclosed, the materials will not be returned.
Text submissions are accepted via US mail or e-mail. We can usually convert most any file type, although it is easier to submit in plain text format, sometimes called ASCII.
Digital photos may be sent via US mail on CD or via e-mail if they are in a stuffed file. All images must be no smaller then 300 dpi and at least 4” x 6”. If you are sending images at 72 dpi, they MUST BE NO SMALLER THAN 20” X 30” FOR PROPER RESIZING. We do not accept photographs, slides or negatives.
WHAT BACKROADS IS LOOKING FOR
Backroads has several monthly columns which are open to freelance writers. They include:
The Great All American Diner Run - An eatery destination story accompanied by directions, affectionately called a “Rip & Ride Route Sheet.” These should be about 500 to 750 words, with a few good photos, at least one showing the eatery (with motorcycle in shot). Focus on ride area, eatery and what makes it a great motorcyclist’s destination are suggestions for inclusion. Payment on publication.
Big City Getaway - A day trip, either including a specific destination or just an enjoyable day’s ride, about 500 to 750 words, with a few good photos along the route and of the destination, and route sheet. Payment on publication.
Mysterious America - Dr. Seymour O’Life founded this column. Since he is frequently gallivanting around the world, he needs help filling the spot. These stories should feature some mysterious, amazing, bizarre or just head-scratching destination. Story should be about 500 to 750 words, with photos, of course, of destination, although route sheet is not mandatory. Payment on publication.
We’re Outta Here - Backroads’ multi-day destination column, aimed towards couples looking for a quick weekend getaway, or perhaps a club ride, if the destination warrants larger groups. This should feature overnight accommodations, such as a hotel, B&B or such, route sheet, and photos of area and destination. Length from 500 to 750 words. Payment on publication.
Thoughts from the Road - This column gives the writer an opportunity to reflect on motorcycling, whether it be a specific instance that meant something in their life, a person that influenced them, or just something that ticked them off. As mentioned before, no pontificating, please, but rather thoughtful reflection. Length should be 400 to 600 words. Payment on publication.
Full Length Travel Features - This type of story offers a good opportunity for prospective contributors. They MUST feature spectacular photography, color preferably, and may be used as a cover story, if of acceptable quality. (please query before submitting) Payment on publication.
TRAVEL FEATURE DOS AND DON’T
Don’t write a blow-by-blow diary filled with minute, personal details. Structure your story with an opening that makes the reader want to read more. Include hotels or campgrounds in the area, key attractions and how to get to them, interesting places to eat, and special regional events, if applicable. Make sure that all information is current. A route sheet, with a loop of the area, would be a good feature. Photo suggestions include scenic shots with and without rider(s) and action shots. A mini tripod is always a good accessory to include in your tankbag on such trips.
PAYMENT AND RIGHTS
Payment for all articles is a month after publication, and varies from $75 and upward. Backroads buys first-time North American publication rights. Please do not send us an article that has been simultaneously submitted to another publication! We reserve the right to edit any material we accept.
We hope these guidelines will be of help to you and we look forward to reading your submissions.
If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please drop us a line.
Backroads Motorcycle TourMagazine
Mailing Address: POB 317 • Branchville NJ 07826
Phone: 973-948-4176 • Fax: 973-948-0823 • email: email@example.com