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SSA has several restrictions which are used as guidelines for all submitted magazine material. No "party line" is enforced - reasonable people may disagree on the best, safest, or most effective way to teach or accomplish something. Also, SSA does not try to suppress one well-reasoned view in favor of another. But all views, particularly those that are of a controversial nature, should be well supported with facts.

Articles can be as short as 500 and as long as 3000 words. In general, succinct is better. We edit all submissions, and frequently work with an author to refine an article prior to its publication.

Additionally, by submitting material to the SSA you are agreeing to the SSA's policy on Release of Copyright which can be found at the bottom of this page.

How to submit an article

SSA is happy to accept articles in almost any form convenient for the author. An electronic form of the text submitted to editor@ssa.org is preferred, a printed copy is not required. We tend to use Microsoft Word, but can accept many common word processing formats. Do not embed photos, illustrations, graphs, or other artwork into a text document. Photos and other graphics must be submitted as separate photo or graphic files. Do not send PDF files of text, text must be in an editable text format, such as Microsoft Word.

We assume that your article is original and not previously published. Please make it clear if this is not so. We acknowledge all submissions but generally make no advanced promises about publication. Space is limited so some good contributions must go unpublished.

In addition to the text of the article, you should include:

  • Headline, subhead, author name at top of first page
  • Photos and illustrations (see below)
  • Author contact information - address, phone number and e-mail
  • A brief biography and photo of yourself

Electronic forms of text and photos can be sent by e-mail to editor@ssa.org. CDs, DVDs, Flash Drives, etc. should be sent to the SSA Office, P.O. Box 2100, Hobbs, NM 88241. Use the same address if you prefer submitting with typewritten hard copy.

Layout, production, proofing, printing and mailing take time. The last day on which material can be changed is typically 45 days before the first day of the issue month. Thus, the deadline for the October issue would be August 15th.

MILESTONES Submissions:   Milestone entries are welcomed for soaring pilots who have soloed, received their private pilot rating, added-on the glider rating to a current power rating, and any additional ratings added to a current glider certificate. Submit your Milestones to: editor@ssa.org Due to the increasing number of Milestone submissions being generated by the membership, the Soaring staff asks that the following guidelines be followed:

Milestones Text: Individual Milestone entries are limited to a minimum of 50, words and a maximum of 100 words, per pilot. Include the pilot's name, city/state, age, rating or accomplishment, instructor, club or FBO & location, etc. Entries with multiple persons being mentioned are allowed the same minimum and maximum per pilot mentioned. Clearly identify everyone shown in photos. Insure that the text includes; Who, What, When, and  Where. Text must be written in the body of the email, no attached text files. Please include a headline. 

Milestones Photos: Must be digital, high-resolution .JPG image files, attached and submitted in the same email as the text file (as a separate .JPG file, not embedded into a page of text, not as a PDF file). Photos must be sent directly to editor@ssa.org, Soaring staff will not retreive photos from onlline services such as Photobucket, Shutterfly, etc. due to time restraints.

The smallest image file size that we are generally able to reproduce in print is about 150 kb, at 300 dpi. Entries with image files smaller than 100 dpi will be returned for correction and re-submission. Generally, the photo files directly from the camera works best. Do not send links to online services such as Shutterfly, send the image file.

Date Format: September 10, 2012 - not 9/10/11, not Sept. 9, 2012.

Changes or Re-Submissions: Re-submission or changes to an entry for any reason require a new text file and a new photo file to be submitted via email.

The Soaring staff makes every effort to run all Milestones entries in as timely a manner as possible. The very soonest to expect a Milestones entry to appear is 90 days after submission. Much longer delays can be expected after the end of the soaring season.

If you have any questions, please contact the editor via email: editor@ssa.org

Theme Issues
Future Soaring theme issues can include subject such as a Safety issue, a Soaring Safari issue, etc. Contact the editor for specific needs and assignments for those theme issues. editor@ssa.org.

Photographs and illustrations
Illustrations add much to the appeal of an article. You should plan to include plenty - more than you think necessary. Sometimes magazine layout requirements are a constraint and it can be helpful to have a selection from which to choose. Please do not embed photographs or illustrations within text - each photo and illustration must be sent as an individual file. A caption keyed to the photo or illustration may be used to indicate a suggested placement within the text.

Great photos of soaring subjects will be considered for the front cover. The process utilized for good soaring photographs could itself be the subject of an article. Briefly, you need a camera with a quality lens that reliably makes good exposures. Good air-to-air photos have great appeal, but are not easy to take. Photos are better if shot against an interesting background, which often complicates things. You will rarely get acceptable results if you try to shoot through a canopy.

Digital cameras have almost completely replaced the use of film for Soaring photography.  As a rule of thumb, a photo printed in a magazine should have at least 300 dots per inch. Thus, a 1280x960 digital image can be printed no larger than about 4"x3", and may not look sharp at that size. (See our Photo Guidelines for more details.) Generally, the larger the file, the better the chances of the image being used. For example, if you’re shooting with an 8 Megapixel camera, be certain that the image resolution setting that is being used results in file almost that size. Using a lower resolution may save some memory space, but the quality of the image is lessened.

Contact the editor before sending files larger than 4 megabytes by email: editor@ssa.org

We like to give credit for photographs, so you should make it clear who took the photos you include with your article. To facilitate this all submitted photos, including digital files, should be identified with the name of the photographer, the date taken and a title. An example of a suitably named digital file would be "Joe Smith - 123105 - L23 Blanik.jpg".

SSA Release of Copyright Statement
It is a condition of submission to and acceptance by The Soaring Society of America, Inc. (SSA) that all material submitted for consideration and/or publication (including photographs and text), whether submitted as a result of a request by the SSA or not, is submitted on the basis that the SSA has the right, without payment or compensation, to reproduce and sell or distribute freely, and to authorize third parties who are engaged in the dissemination of information relating to the sport of soaring to reproduce and sell or distribute freely, such material. By submitting such material to the SSA for consideration and/or publication the submitter represents that they hold the right to grant a release of copyright in respect of such material. If the submitted material is clearly identified (in the case of material in electronic form, identified in the filename) with the name of its creator suitable attribution of its source will be given.

Posted: 2/6/2009