CAPPER'S Guidelines for Writers & Photographers
CAPPER’S, a nationally distributed bi-monthly magazine with a circulation of approximately 100,000, celebrates the intergenerational bonds among those who live on the land with spirit and style – a legacy of self-sufficiency, ingenuity and problem solving that gave this country its backbone and continues to shape its character.
DO NOT try to write for CAPPER’S if you know nothing about rural life, gardening or urban farming. We intend to be an authoritative, yet playful, voice for rural lifestyle farmers and country or small-town dwellers, and we require our writers to be informed about that way of life.
NO unsolicited manuscripts will be accepted; authors must query first. We accept e-mail queries only, which must include “Query” in the subject line. Include full name, address and phone number. If a query is accepted, the author will be contacted regarding the assignment. Send queries to Caleb Regan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles are assigned; no editorial calendar is published. We do not accept poetry or fiction.
CAPPER’S purchases shared rights, which grants the publisher the right to publish or republish the work in any form in any country, at any time. The author agrees not to publish the work in any other media for a period ending one year after the date of the issue in which the work initially appears. After this period of time, the author retains the right to republish the work in any form in any country at any time, as well.
CAPPER’S publishes feature-length articles on topics of interest to those living in rural areas, on farms or ranches, or those interested in the rural lifestyle. Articles will be from 800 to 1,500 words.
Samples of feature articles:
• Become an Heirloom Seed Sleuth – Seven strategies to save plants on the edge of extinction.
• Real Dirt on Vegetables – Interview with John Peterson, one of the country’s leading advocates of Community Supported Agriculture. A lifelong Illinois farmer, Peterson was on the verge of losing his family farm during the farm crises of the 1980s. He made the switch to organic farming, and began offering subscriptions to his farm, creating community and some really great food.
• Born in a Barn – Some great houses got their start in very humble beginnings: a barn. Interviews with three homeowners tell how. Sidebar focuses on other structures that have become offices, studios or homes, with practical info on how to know if a renovation is feasible or foolish.
• Country Tech: A look at equipment necessary for life on the farm.
• Looking Back: A nostalgic look at farm life.
• In the Shop: How-to guides for specialty farm items.
• Comfort Foods: Recipes for delicious foods.
• Recipe Box: Great-tasting recipes and a section for helping readers find lost recipes.
• In the Wild: A look at rural wildlife.
• Sow Hoe: Gardening topics.
These are generally between 500 and 1,500 words.
Heart of the Home
The Heart of the Home section features humorous, heartwarming and nostalgic reader-written stories on a specific topic (a callout is listed in each issue for a future topic; no editorial calendar is published). Previous topics include childhood summer activities, favorite modern technology, influential teachers and hometown heritage.
Heart of the Home articles are generally a maximum of 300 words. Submissions can be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service to CAPPER’S, Attn: Traci Smith, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265, or e-mailed to Traci Smith, email@example.com. Please indicate the topic of the article at the top of the submission, on a cover letter, or in the e-mail subject line.
Good quality photos accompanying Heart of the Home articles are considered. If submitting photos through the U.S. Postal Service, include an appropriately sized SASE with adequate postage for return of photos. If e-mailing photos (must be jpgs with at least 300 dpi resolution), send them – one per e-mail – to Traci Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org. Include complete caption and credit information.
Good-quality photos accompanying manuscripts are considered. Upon assignment, the author will be asked to send low-resolution images for review.
Freelance photographers are contacted via an e-mail callout that lists specific topics for an issue. Please send low-resolution images, links to lightboxes, or contact sheets via e-mail in response to a specific callout. To be added to the callout list, please e-mail Caleb Regan, email@example.com. If your images are selected, we will ask you to e-mail high-resolution versions – one image per e-mail – as jpgs with at least 300 dpi resolution, and as large as possible. Include complete caption and credit information.
Submissions & Payment
A contract will be sent when an article is accepted; payment is upon publication. CAPPER'S assumes no responsibility for any material lost or damaged. No contract will be sent for Heart of the Home articles.
Payment for Heart of the Home articles varies and is determined depending on length and content. Payment also includes a contributor copy.
Payment rates for feature and department articles vary depending on experience and expertise. Fees are negotiated on an individual basis, and payment will include two contributor’s copies.
After assignment has been made for feature or department articles, send materials to CAPPER’S, Attn: Jean Teller, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265. If submitting for a particular department, please note on the envelope and in the cover letter.
• Include your full name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and submission title on a dated cover letter, if sending by USPS.
• If submitting via e-mail, include full name, address and telephone number, along with submission title in cover letter. Indicate title and “Requested material” in subject line. Send e-mails to Jean Teller, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Submit double-spaced, typed, completed, proofread manuscripts. Include a separate sheet with caption and credit information if sending photos.
• If submitting via e-mail, send cover letter with attached Word document, if at all possible.
CAPPER’S began July 10, 1879, as a weekly edition of the Topeka Daily Capital. During the next 35 years, under a succession of names, it continued as a weekly publication for rural Midwesterners. On September 6, 1913, it was renamed CAPPER’S WEEKLY, taking its name from then-publisher Arthur Capper.
Bi-weekly publication began in 1977, and the name was shortened to CAPPER’S in 1987. Eighteen years later, in August 2005, the publication went monthly. CAPPER’S made the switch from a monthly newspaper-style publication to a bi-monthly magazine in July 2009.
Reader interest is the key to the continued popularity of CAPPER’S. A reader favorite is CAPPER’S unique “Heart of the Home” section, which is filled with personal accounts of readers’ remembrances of the past. Another favorite is “Reader to Reader,” where readers look for friends and relatives, classmates, pen pals and more.
CAPPER’S is now a rural lifestyle magazine published six times a year and sold by subscription, and it is owned by Ogden Publications.
CAPPER’S has seen many changes over the years, yet despite those changes, CAPPER’S philosophy hasn’t changed. We continue to strive to be America’s favorite rural lifestyle publication and to brighten our readers’ lives.