Senior Wire
For discerning senior writers
WRITER'S GUIDELINES

Dear Author:
Thank you for your interest in SENIOR WIRE, the nation's leading syndication of news, information and features for mature market publications. Over 50 papers nationwide and in Canada currently pick up stories from SENIOR WIRE; some may use only one item per month, others may pick up a dozen or more.  Click here for a sample editorial budget.

Keep in mind that our mission is to provide material that is singularly focused on older readers -- and not available in such detail and with such authority online or in the popular media. We definitely prefer older writers or professionals who work predominately with older clients. It really helps if you've "been there and done that" to hook readers, keep them interested, and establish your credibility. Oh yes, and to encourage editors to add your piece to their editorial mix!

We are currently looking for the following material as well as your own original ideas. 750 words is optimum length unless otherwise specified.
* Seasonal features, especially those with a nostalgic angle (750-1000 words). For example, a poignant memory of Christmas, a special Valentine's remembrance, a humorous Halloween prank.
* Travel tips for older adult travelers.
* Personal travel experiences, photos are highly recommended (up to 1000 words). These are best as first-person accounts of your own experience as an older traveler, accompanied by specific information such as further sources for information, prices, etc. We are not interested in destination travel pieces without a distinct, personal, senior tie-in or that you have queried and been accepted.
* Essays -- either personal reflections on aging, family, contemporary life, etc., or thoughtful commentary on current events.
* Miscellaneous other material you think will be of universal interest to seniors.

The following topics currently are covered by assigned columnists and similar material has little chance of immediate acceptance (although we do like to keep a file on potential new columnists): National legislation and political cartoon; financial, health and fitness, legal advice  and  technology. We also have a huge backlog of humor.
Deadlines are 2 months prior to publication date (i.e. Christmas items due by end of September or sooner; December packets are mailed beginning October 1).

Stories are priced from $30-$45. Fifty percent of this fee is paid to the author. You will receive a check along with a tearsheet if available, following receipt of payment from each publication that uses your material. Since manuscripts are accepted and sent out on spec only, simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Simply let us know if the material is picked up elsewhere so we can advise client publications in that area. No compensation for photos but they often help sell an article. Send photos as .jpg files only.

Articles we are NOT accepting: Political or religious pieces. Anything that is more appropriate for a blog rather than a newspaper column, feature or information/advice. That is, make sure your piece has a definable story arc or approriate essay composition. And the more personal you can make it is usually better because readers relate to what you are remembering or advising or commenting on.

Please paste your article directly into the email. And preferably set your email format to HTML so any formatting such as bold or italic remain. You can also attach it for a belt-and-suspenders approach. But please be sure to check the FAQs below for any other formatting.


Submission Guidelines
ELECTRONIC/MECHANICAL
GUIDELINES

Please paste your article into the body of the email. This really helps with all sorts of issues -- from more rapid response and getting the piece into an appropriate file immediately, to carpal tunnel agony from lots of additional clicking around. Be sure your name, geographic address and phone appear at the top of the file you send.

FORMATTING (Really important!)
DON'T DO ANY! (Bold or italic are acceptable if necessary to your meaning.) Senior Wire sends all material out in a uniform format of margins, type face, line spacing, etc. Forget, delete, eliminate and otherwise destroy centering, widow/orphan set, paragraph or line spacing, changing fonts, etc.

Use TAB to begin all paragraphs.

Single space after punctuation. (We know, your high school typing teacher told you to always use two spaces. (And Word tries to force it on you.) High school typing teachers didn't used to know from typesetting where two spaces throw computers into line justification tizzies. And who knows where those kid coders at Word got educated.



Thanks, Allison St. Claire
Scroll down for guidelines, FAQs, and formatting instructions.

Writer’s FAQs
Do you want a query first?
An email query is best, or send no more than 3 sample columns, pasted into separate emails.

How and when do you reply?
We have two fairly standard replies, generally within a couple of weeks.
1.) “Thanks, we got this.” (Translate: we like it and will hold for
consideration for likely inclusion in a future packet.)
2.) Or, “Sorry we’re passing on this one.” (Translate: probably very well written but too similar to another piece we’ve run recently or would overload us in a particular category. )

Can I continue to market my work elsewhere while under consideration at Senior Wire?
Absolutely! We’re taking your work on spec only. Please just let us know if it is picked up elsewhere. If that pub’s circulation competes with any of our clients, we want to be able to let them know. You retain full rights to your work and we encourage you to continue to market it.

When/how will I get paid?
We create open checks for every author each month. As payment comes in from a publication, we credit your account with your share. The memo line will indicate in which state(s) your work was published.

Will I get tearsheets?
Yes, if they are sent to us from our clients  publications. Tearsheets do not come with  your check, if any, for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, some clients are slow pays, so you may get a tearsheet in one of our quarterly tearsheet mailings, but no payment until a couple of months later. Or you may get several checks, but not tearsheets for a couple of months.The good news is you  WILL get whatever we get, albeit on what  seems like  a weird schedule.

How will I know when my piece is used?
Check in each month around the 18th-20th
and click on the “Current Budget” link.
There you will find everything sent out
that month, although keep in mind that
some editors pick up a piece much later
when it suits their needs and space
availability.

Do you guarantee my work will get picked up in one or more papers?
We could only do that when the Almighty guarantees the sun will not rise tomorrow. Sorry. But by coming through a respected syndicate such as Senior Wire, you up your chances of having your article read and considered far more than if you come in over the transom. We try our best to send as many different types of columns and styles, so that editors have a wide  choice to pick something from Senior Wire. And, of course, we always hope it will be lots of somethings.

How should I send pictures?
Although we can’t pay for photos, they do generally help sales. Please attach or send them in a .jpg file in a separate file.