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 (also in Canada and India)currently pick up stories from SENIOR WIRE; some may use only one item per month, others may pick up a dozen stories. Click here for a sample editorial budget.
We are currently looking for the following material: (750 words is optimum length unless otherwise specified that longer pieces are acceptable.)
* Seasonal features, especially those with a nostalgic angle (750-1000 words). For example, a poignant memory of Christmas in the Depression, a special Valentine's remembrance from World War II, a humorous Halloween prank.
* Travel tips for older adult travelers (no more than 500-750 words).
* Personal travel experiences, photos are highly recommended (1000 words). These should be 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.
* 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 legal advice; food, antiques and collectibles, grandparenting; sports and fitness, the Internet, auto care, RVs and new technology; and question and answer columns on relationships, pets, and beauty tips after 50. We also have a huge backlog of humor.
Only manuscripts with a SASE will be returned. E-mail queries and submissions are welcomed, in fact, encouraged. Deadlines are 3 months prior to publication date (i.e. Christmas items due Aug. 15 or sooner; December packets are mailed beginning September 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.
Finally, we really appreciate material that is available on disk or e-mail.
Allison St. Claire, Editor/Publisher
Submission Guidelines
ELECTRONIC/MECHANICAL
GUIDELINES

HARD COPY (acceptable)
1. Be sure your name, address, phone and e-mail appear on every  page of your hardcopy manuscript. Pages get separated easily.

2. Please send copies of clips,  not original tearsheets. Always be sure your name, address, phone and e-mail appear on every clip. Clips are always separated from query letters, and from each other as they are filed in monthly slots.

COPY ON DISK (better choice)
1. MAC disks:  Please be sure to save the file in text only and include hard copy as a backup. PC disks:  Please save copy in text only or an .rtf file, unless you use Word Perfect. Send hard copy the first couple of times to be sure we can read your disks.

Make sure your name, address, phone and e-mail appear at the top of your electronic ms.  When the disks are read, the stories are filed electronically in a futures file. When we pull your story out for inclusion in a monthly packet, the story will be nowhere near your disk (which may have already been returned to you), or query letter or hard copy.

E-MAIL (We love you!)
Please send files in text or .rtf files. Preferably paste into the body of the email or send as attachment, or both. Be sure your name, geographic address and phone appear at the top of the file you send. Your story will be separated from your query mail, etc.....

FORMATTING (Really important!)
Don't do any! 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, we know, your high school typing teacher told you to always use two spaces. High school typing teachers didn't used to know from typesetting where two spaces throw computers into line justification tizzies.)

Please go back over this section and highlight everywhere we've mentioned labeling things with your name and address. Anything else can be easily fixed; not knowing where to send your check if your piece is picked up drives us batty in a world that is already crazed enough.

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 your email and 3 separate attachments.

How and when do you reply?
We have two fairly standard replies, generally within three weeks for emails,
up to 6 weeks for hardcopy:
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 such as humor.)

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.

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
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 months 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
enough 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 send
them in a .jpg file in a separate file.