QUERY GUIDELINES for THE MOUNTAIN ASTROLOGER
Due to the high volume of submissions to The Mountain Astrologer, we request that writers send query letters regarding proposed articles. A query letter is not required for shorter submissions such as Article Particles, humor, and poetry (see below).
Please read and follow these guidelines closely. Although we tend not to judge a book by its cover, we do judge authors by their queries. Use this opportunity to give the best and most complete presentation possible.
Query letters should be one to three pages maximum — and be very specific about the proposed topic, estimated length (in words or characters-plus-spaces, not pages), and charts or illustrations to be included. The article outline should include the main points you wish to cover and sample paragraphs from various parts of the article, not just the introduction. Please provide biographical information about yourself and your work and interests, as well as how readers may contact you; your bio should be 100 words maximum, including contact information.
TMA does not accept more than one submission at a time, nor do we accept simultaneous submissions (sent to several journals at once). We do not usually accept articles that have appeared in the English language within the last five years. TMA occasionally reprints journal articles and book excerpts, and writers may query us about this. If your proposed article is time sensitive, you should begin the query process at least 8 months before the publication date of the magazine you’d like the article to appear in, although we can sometimes squeeze in a current events article.
IMPORTANT: If you propose to interpret a chart or charts, and especially if your delineation involves the Moon or the houses/angles, please include in your query the complete birth data, the source, and the Rodden rating of each and every chart example. (Consult the section, How to Source and Cite Your Data, below.)
Send your query to the address given below. Please mark the letter as a query and provide your mailing address for our response. You may e-mail your query to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (please put “TMA Query” in the subject line), but all e-mailed queries must be in the format described above, with all information, including a postal mailing address. We will respond as soon as possible, usually within 60 days.
Do not send your article unless we request it after reviewing your query. Please understand that we do not “pre-accept” any article or series based only on a query letter or proposal. We need to review the finished article first. If we have accepted your article proposal, you will be notified and encouraged to submit the completed article. At that time, we will send you the remainder of these Writers’ Guidelines.
ARTICLE PARTICLES, HUMOR, CARTOONS, AND POETRY GUIDELINES
We also print short anecdotal material, chart interpretation tips, and other material of interest in our “Article Particles” section. Letters to the Editor, poetry, humorous pieces, and cartoons are also accepted. These materials do not require a query letter and should be submitted in final form. Please mark on the envelope what you are submitting. All written material should be double-spaced and of laser-print quality whenever possible. Cartoons or drawings should be high-quality copies of original pen-and-ink artwork. If you send an Article Particle, please include proper citing of sources and references as necessary.
HOW TO SOURCE AND CITE YOUR DATA FOR PUBLICATION IN TMA
The first international meeting of the Association of Professional Data Collectors occurred on May 30, 1997, in Brussels, Belgium. One of their goals is to advance data standards, and we agree with their position that data presented without a source is unprofessional and unacceptable. If you’re proposing an article that involves birth charts, event charts, or other astrological charts, you must provide the original source of your data (e.g., birth certificate, birth record, mother’s memory, rectification [mention by whom and what source was used for the rectification], etc.).
Don’t make the mistake of proposing an article only to discover that your data are inaccurate. Speculative data sources result in speculative interpretations and premises, which then contribute to astrology's image as meaningless speculation. Save yourself time and trouble; check out your data before you begin.
Note: Please refer to Rodden Rating System below, before you propose charts, and clearly state the status of your data.
AA: Accurate data as recorded by the family or state
IMPORTANT: If you get your data from a computer program such as an astrological software or AstroDatabank (currently accessible at www.astro.com), it is insufficient to cite the program or the Web site as the source. You need to determine what their source is (as above). Examples: Marilyn Monroe, AA: B.C. (birth certificate); Johnny Depp, A: data from father.
If you get your data from one of the Data Collections, either on computer or in catalogue, please cite the name of the collection, the source of the data the collection gives, and the corresponding Rodden rating. (Example: Blackwell Collection, AA: B.C.)
If you’re using a biography or autobiography as a source, you must provide the complete publication reference (author, title, publisher, year).
Rectified charts may be acceptable as long as they are clearly referenced as such.
Please help us to encourage and maintain higher standards of astrological publishing through professional delineation and interpretation of the charts used in your proposed article, based on careful data citations. We would greatly appreciate your attention to these details before you submit your query. Thanks for your cooperation.
Tem Tarriktar, Nan Geary, and Janette deProsse
Please go to WRITERS' GUIDELINES FOR ALL ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS
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