THUNDER PRESS welcomes original written and photographic material from our readers. No guarantees of publication are made, but all material will be read and reviewed.
- National/regional American motorcycle-related events
- Interesting regional rides/roads/biker attractions
- Vintage bikes/bikers
- Well-written personal tour accounts
Our format favors articles 750–1,000 words in length, accompanied by one to three photos. Noteworthy events and really gripping subject matter will be given length and space latitude, but should generally be held to below 2,000 words. Please send text in .doc or .txt or .rtf files and provide 15–25 high-resolution JPEG or TIFF images with your article. Hi-resolution or scanned or mailed photos may be used for historical images if relevant.
While we like to keep the tenor of the publication entertaining and conversational, we are also trying to commit journalism in THUNDER PRESS. The classic “Five W’s”—Who, What, Where, When and Why—are the building blocks of reporting and should be included in any story. It’s also helpful to structure reports in the“inverted pyramid” fashion, with the biggest, most important facts in the beginning (“500,000 riders arrived in the rain for Daytona’s annual spring Bike Week”) and the least important details at the end (“Daytona police issued over 300 verbal warnings for public drunkenness during the week”).
Find the unique element, the offbeat angle, the fresh perspective—if you can. It’s not easy to differentiate events at times, but that doesn’t mean your coverage can’t be entertaining and informative.
If possible, try to submit event stories within seven to 10 days of their occurrence, so the event is still fresh in your mind as you write, and the information is timely for our readers. Please include dateline information (city, state and date) at the beginning of your text. Keep in mind that the severity of your Sunday morning hangover is not a matter of general interest (unless it’s a real doozy), and that the menu of the barbecue lunch/dinner at an event is of marginal interest at best, unless the food, caterer or chef is a pertinent element of your report, or the fare’s really offbeat like mountain oysters. The phrase “A good time was had by all” will invariably be deleted, as will similar tired clichés.
Novice writers are encouraged to read “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White to bone up on the mechanics of the craft. The book is readily available in bookstores and online—or check it out of the library and save yourself a few bucks.
Photos should be included with article submissions. We accept unmodified .jpg and .tif files with a resolution of at least 200 pixels per inch and an image size of at least 4×6 inches. JPEG files of less than approximately 200 KB in size will not be high enough resolution for our purposes.
Please set your camera to High Quality/Low Compression. Always use the highest resolution and size settings your camera allows. Technical information on JPEGs, digital imaging and file formats can be found online at www.shortcourses.com/choosing/files/08.htm.
For a standard length story, please send 10–20 photos that we can choose from, if possible. We’ll likely use one or two of them in the layout.
Please include caption information (the names of the individuals pictured, the action occurring in the shot, the location pictured, etc.) in a text document in the folder with your photos, referencing the photo numbers.
We see many pictures of parking lots full of motorcycles; generally, they’re boring, though a well-composed shot giving a general overall view of the event is welcomed. Look for interesting subjects—people, bikes, products and activities (there’s no shortage of entertaining targets in this culture)—and images that portray the main ideas of your article.
In most cases we would like to see the whole subject in the photo—no bike or body parts cut off by the photographer.
There are many online resources to consult if you want to improve your skills as a photographer, along with many books. Our best tip? Shoot first, ask questions later.
Your submission can be sent to us in a number of ways. Please be sure to include your name, address and phone number with your material.
Articles formatted as text files (.txt), Word documents (.doc), or Rich Text Format (.rtf) may be sent as e-mail attachments to email@example.com. Alternately, the text may be pasted into the body of the e-mail.
Photos and captions:
High-resolution digital photos should be submitted via the interactive SendThisFile form below. Please submit photos and your caption document in a single zipped folder that includes your name and the name of the article that corresponds to the photos. Rather than emailing the story text, another alternative is to include it in the zip file with the photos and captions.
To submit editorial contributions, please request a password and specific instructions from firstname.lastname@example.org.
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