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QUERY GUIDELINES
(revised February 2020)

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.

File Format

We accept electronic files only. We prefer that you submit your query via email in one of the following formats, ordered by preference:
(1) Microsoft Word 2011 or newer
(2) Shared Google Doc
(3) Shared Dropbox file
(4) RTF (rich text file)

The Mountain Astrologer 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. We occasionally reprint 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 eight 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 below, "Data Sourcing and Citation".)

You may e-mail your query to editorial@mountainastrologer.com. Please put “TMA Query” in the subject line. 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 our Writers’ Guidelines.

Guidelines for Article Particles, Humor, Cartoons, and Poetry

We also print short anecdotal material, chart interpretation tips, and other material of interest in our “Article Particles” column. 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. 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.

Data Sourcing and Citation

(Please review carefully before sending your query.)

The Mountain Astrologer is dedicated to maintaining strict standards of astrological publishing based on careful data citations and through professional delineation and interpretation of published charts. As such, we encourage you to review this information in detail before submitting your article and supporting materials.

We comply with benchmarks established by the Association of Professional Data Collectors who convened their first international meeting 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 submitting birth charts, event charts, or other astrological charts with your article, 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, too late, that your chart data is inaccurate. Speculative data sources result in speculative interpretations and premises, which then contribute to the image of astrology as meaningless speculation. Save yourself time and trouble; check your data before you begin.

The Rodden Rating System

Please refer to the below Rodden Rating System before you submit charts, and clearly state the status of your data.

AA: Accurate data as recorded by the family or state
A: Accurate data as quoted by the person, kin, friend, or associate
B: Biography or autobiography (give complete publication information)
C: Caution: no source of origin
DD: Dirty Data: two or more conflicting quotes that are unqualified
X: Data with no time of birth
XX: Data without a known or confirmed date

Important Note: If your data is from a computer program such as an astrological software or AstroDatabank (currently accessible at www.astro.com ), it is not sufficient to cite the program or the website as the source. You need to determine the original source (as above). Examples: Marilyn Monroe, AA: B.C. (birth certificate); Johnny Depp, A: data from father.

If your data is from a data collection, either on computer or in catalogue, please cite the name of the collection, the source of the data that 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, please send an attachment of the citation for publication. You must provide the complete publication reference in the format defined in the "Formatting References and Notes" section above (author, title, publisher, year).

Rectified charts may be acceptable as long as they are clearly referenced as such.

We appreciate your assistance maintaining professional rigor.

Thank you so much for you interest in publishing with The Mountain Astrologer. We look forward to reading your query. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us by email at editorial@mountainastrologer.com.

Kate Sholly, Linda Kaye, and Eileen Mello
Editors of The Mountain Astrologer

Please go to WRITERS' GUIDELINES FOR ALL ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS

 

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