CONTRIBUTE TO LAM
We are always looking for good stories and great journalists to write about them. Here is some helpful information if you’re interested in contributing to Landscape Architecture Magazine.
WHAT KIND OF STORIES?
Our audience primarily comprises landscape architecture professionals and students in the United States and abroad, with a fair number of city planners in the mix. We have an important secondary audience in allied professionals such as architects and engineers, but also decision makers such as politicians and public officials, university or corporate heads, real estate developers, regulators, and a wide spectrum of people who collaborate with landscape architects, such as scientists (botanists, ecologists), geographers, horticulturists, construction specialists, and product manufacturers.
We are interested in stories, not subjects. The more specific, the better. Please be sure you are familiar with our magazine, our audience (primarily landscape architects), and our general approach before pitching us. If you aren’t, please take the time to read the many free digital issues available through Zinio. Briefly put, your successful story pitch will have a landscape architect at its center. While we embrace this expanding field of landscape architecture with abundant curiosity, our definition of a suitable story will not include an architect or other design professional leading a landscape project.
We are still, after a century-plus, a monthly magazine. We do not chase news, particularly news that is unfolding by the hour or day. We do cover current events to the extent we can produce a story that will be timely when it appears in print, which may be two months (or more) after the story is filed to us for editing. We also work hard not to duplicate stories being covered by other media; research on how other media are handling a given story should help you decide whether a pitch is worth developing for LAM. If a topic or event is being widely reported but there is a major angle neglected by other media, we may engage it, but the threshold is high to avoid boring our readers with material they’re likely seeing elsewhere. Our editors scour many newspapers, web outlets, and social media daily and are likely to be overfamiliar with anything that has come directly out of those venues, so be sure to identify a less-known landscape angle on such stories. Our readers read widely in and outside the field, and you should assume they are aware of the major projects and issues.
While we love the incredible work happening in major cities, we are particularly excited to read about smaller cities, rural areas, towns, and other markets where landscape architects are doing innovative and important work that others in the profession could learn from. We’ve recently published a map of the projects we’ve published over the last year on our website. We are interested in filling in the blank spots.
One old-fashioned tip: The best stories come from talking to people directly, even speculatively, often when you are not hunting for ideas. An hour in someone else’s office can often give you more ideas than a month spent in your own. If you want to gather a lot of good story ideas, make people and their offhand comments your beat. Twitter and Facebook are seldom, if ever, sources of story ideas. If a story is on Twitter, it’s usually not our story by that point.
Lastly, while we appreciate that no one knows their own work as well as the designer, we generally do not allow people to write about projects they’ve worked on, and writers are expected to disclose in print (and to the editors before assignment) any relationship to the story subject. For features, we expect writers to visit the site they are writing about, preferably with the designer (rather than the client). It goes without saying that if you’ve published something on this topic, or plan to elsewhere and have not disclosed this to us ahead of time, we will not run the story.
While there are many ways to “craft” a pitch, we are grateful for the straight-up provision of information, succinctly described. Please keep your pitches to us short and sweet and be sure to include the following information. E-mail the following with the subject Pitch: (YOUR IDEA HERE) to [email protected] and we’ll try to get back to you within two weeks.
- Name of landscape architect/landscape architecture firm:
- Project name/title (if applicable):
- Project completion date (if applicable):
- Hook: Write a two- to three-sentence description of the story and why it is relevant to the profession as a whole.
- Sources: List prospective interviews (at least three for departments, 8–10 minimum for features).
- Images: One small pdf of a few images or a link to a website is sufficient. Our network security deletes e-mails from unknown addresses with attachments. We can’t download things from sources we aren’t familiar with for security reasons as well.
*APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED ON A ROLLING BASIS*