Sunset magazine is Western America’s biggest magazine. Their issues dwell largely on four subject areas: travel and recreation, gardening and outdoor living, food and entertaining, and home design and decorating.
Sunset is looking for properly researched, well-written stories and ideas that pertain to home gardening projects that can be successfully executed in a day or over a weekend or growing season. Popular topics include plants, landscaping, gardens, indoor gardening, tips and techniques, and photography.
Worthy Of Note
Sunset magazine’s Garden Guide items are written to meet the home gardening needs of readers of Sunset’s five regional editions which include – Northern California; Southern California (Santa Barbara to San Diego; also Hawaii); Pacific Northwest (Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia); Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Clark County, Nevada/Las Vegas) and West Texas (Amarillo to El Paso); Mountain (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada except Clark County, Utah, and Wyoming).
If you are interested in this submission, be aware that basic gardening facts such as plant form and size; leaf color and shape; flower color, shape, size, and scent; fruit or vegetable size, flavor, and texture. Give clear directions for planting, fertilizing, harvesting, pruning, etc. are essential. Accuracy and dependability are very important so you will have to verify and double check your sources.
Plants you choose to write about must be readily available in nurseries or by mail-order suppliers of plants or seeds. Ensure to list sources and contacts for plants not commonly available. Your garden stories should coincide with the periods during which plants are planted, in bloom, or ready for harvest. See submission guidelines below –
Writers must submit a query letter to the editor in advance. The query letter should explain and outline the proposed story idea as well as suggest an appropriate month or season and the intended edition.
Snapshots showing gardens or plants may be submitted with the query letter and should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for their return.
Send your query to [email protected] or to Editorial Services, Sunset, 55 Harrison St. #200, Oakland, CA 94607. It will be forwarded to the appropriate editor.
No responsibility is assumed for unsolicited manuscripts.
As soon as an editor approves an idea, the writer will be issued a Story Contract assigning an approximate word length and due date for the text. The contract specifies the terms of the agreement between the writer and Sunset Publishing Corporation.
Writers must have computer capabilities to submit stories by e-mail. The assigned text should be submitted with the resource material specified in the contract.
Following submission of the text, the writer may be asked to revise the manuscript for publication or to supply further information or answer questions posed by the editor.
Payment will be made upon acceptance of the text with the submission of an invoice in the amount specified in the contract.
After acceptance, the text will then be processed by staff copy editors and fact checkers. Writers will be credited with a byline if the manuscript is not substantially altered before publication in Sunset Magazine.
One-page stories usually run from 450 to 500 words, depending on the number of color photographs or illustrations such as charts or drawings.
Shorter items run from 150 to 300 words.
Your writing should take a how-to approach so that readers can use the information to duplicate the activity in their own home gardens.
Other Important Information
Writers are urged to verify their information by consulting with several expert sources
Write as if you were giving gardening guidance to a friend or family member visiting your backyard. It is advisable to address the reader in the familiar (you) form. Your tone should be active and friendly; informative but not intimidating.