Content Submission Guidelines
By submitting any material to us, you acknowledge and agree to adhere to these Submission Guidelines, including the Terms and Conditions at the end of this document. Please read them carefully.
Step 1: Do Your Research
Before sending in a pitch, know what’s out there. If you’re a community member, odds are you’re already aware of the types of content we’re looking for. Familiarize yourself with the articles we produce so you know what we’ve done recently.
Step 2: Send Us Your Best Idea(s)
Write up your pitch and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are some rules and advice:
• Include the article series (if applicable) in the subject line (e.g., Ecologies, History). In the body of the pitch, tell us whether the article is aimed at Players, Hosts, or both.
• For adventures, include “Adventure” in the title. (e.g., Adventure:Man-Sized in Maple). In the body of the pitch, tell us what level(s) the characters should be to play the adventure.
• Feel free to include multiple pitches in the same email. The subject line of the email should tell us how many article pitches and how many adventure pitches the email contains (e.g., 5 Article Pitches, 2 Adventure Pitches). We want to see your BEST ideas.
• For each pitch, give us your best estimate of the word count. • Do NOT submit pitches as attachments. Embed them in the body of the email.
• If you’re submitting content for one of our campaign settings, let us know in your pitch.
• Be concise. An article pitch shouldn’t be more than 150 words. An adventure pitch shouldn’t be more than 300 words. Hit the highlights and leave it at that.
• Proofread every pitch before sending it in. Your writing skill will be judged on the basis of your pitch. If your pitch is full of typos and errors, we will reject it on that basis alone.
A successful pitch sparks the imagination. It either presents something wholly original or takes familiar elements and presents or combines them in a new and interesting way. Here are two sample pitches (one for an article, and one for an adventure) that you can use as models:
Sample Article Pitch
Working Title: Daphnee’s Doublet! Estimated Word Count: 2,000 This article is aimed both at hosts and players. It provides a fully detailed, ready-to-use ship that hosts can give to seafaring adventurers as a reward, along with host-focused advice for integrating the vessel into an ongoing campaign. The article includes a map of the ship and a handful of wondrous items and ship enhancements that player characters can purchase to customize their latest acquisition.
Sample Adventure Pitch
Working Title: The Lament of Captain Kaid Estimated Word Count: 2,000 A local pub has become refuge for a seafaring crew of renegades who believe their ship has become haunted. The Captain of The Daphnee’s Doublet has hired a team of adventurers to explore and defeat the source of all the trouble on their ship so that they may continue their journey. The adventure is aimed at characters of levels 1–3, and it will have a slight tone of horror and suspense.
Do not be discouraged if your pitch gets rejected. We receive thousands of pitches during every submission window, and we publish only a few dozen articles and adventures every year. The best thing you can do is remain optimistic and keep sending in ideas. Persistence often pays off.
Step 3: Be Patient
You should get an auto-reply from our system that your submission has been received, after which you can expect a follow-up email from a member of our staff, notifying you of the decision regarding your pitch. We review every pitch received in a given submission window and will respond within 60 days of the window closing. If you send us multiple pitches in a single email, we will usually reply to all of them at once. If you send multiple emails, we will get to them one at a time. Due to the volume of pitches we receive, we do not offer detailed feedback on every pitch. If we like your pitch, we will request a complete first draft of the article or adventure, either by a specified deadline or at your earliest convenience depending on how urgently we’d like to see it, or we might ask for a revised pitch or outline that provides more detail before committing to seeing a first draft. If we accept a pitch, it’s because we’re enamored with the idea and genuinely interested in publishing the article or adventure. If the first draft delivers on the promise of the pitch, there’s a good chance we will buy it. However,acceptance of a pitch does not guarantee acceptance of the manuscript. The article or adventure will ultimately be judged on its own merit.
What We’re NOT Looking For
We do not accept any submissions that contain content we deem objectionable or content that violates our corporate Code of Ethics. Topics of concern include animal abuse; child abuse; drug abuse; foul language; glorified homophobia or racism; gratuitous sex, torture, or violence; kink; pornography; rape or spousal abuse; and stereotyping. Other things to avoid include defamation of real-world religions, presentations of real-world religious iconography, and references to real-world people and organizations. We also do not accept any submissions previously published by or simultaneously submitted to another magazine, website, or publisher. Do not send us plagiarized content.
What We ARE Looking For
We’re looking primarily for two kinds of content: articles and adventures. We have a strong preference for content that players and host’s can use in their games immediately with little or no effort or preparation. Articles and adventures can be non-setting-specific, or they can be tied to specific McNabb Games-owned campaign settings.
We’re primarily looking for short (1,500–4,500 words) player- and host-focused articles that explore and further develop the existing lore of the game, including (but certainly not limited to) articles that fit into one of the following categories:
• Backdrop (detailed location descriptions)
• Profession Acts (exploring new facets of existing professions)
• Ecology of . . . (creature lore)
• Enemies and Allies (factions and/or nonplayer characters)
• History Check (important stories that stand the test of time)
• Additional Options (articles providing alternative player and host options)
• Winning Species (exploring new facets of existing species)
Before writing an article for a specific category, please do your research. Review some previously published articles in the series to see what information is appropriate and how that information is presented. An article doesn’t need to fit neatly into one of these categories. We would love to see articles that help players create more interesting characters, articles that inspire hosts to run awesome campaigns, and timesaving aids for both players and hosts.
We’re looking for all kinds of adventures, with an emphasis on shorter submissions (5,000 words or less). We occasionally publish adventures longer than 5,000 words, but it’s a tough sell. Non-setting-specific adventures are preferable to setting-specific ones, since they appeal to a broader range of subscribers. If your adventure is set in a specific campaign setting, please mention that in your proposal, and try to think of ways in which the idea might serve a broader audience. Pitches for adventures should include brief descriptions of:
• The antagonist(s), if applicable
• Important location(s) in the adventure
• The antagonist’s goals and the heroes’ objective(s)
Coming up with an interesting goal for the heroes to accomplish, a villain with a convincing motive, and a memorable location in which to base the adventure can be tricky. Sometimes the simplest ideas work best, provided there’s a clever twist or complication. For example, it’s okay to pitch an adventure in which the heroes must slay a dragon in its lair, but try to come up with one or two ways to turn the cliché into something original.
In the event we buy your manuscript, you must assign your rights to us. That means that once your contract is signed, we’ll own all rights in your submission. The assignment contract will be sent out shortly after an article has been accepted. You’ll receive the contract by email, and you’ll be asked to sign a hard copy and return it to us, along with an invoice form. If you’re under 18, a parent or guardian must sign or co-sign your contracts. Once we have purchased an article, it might not appear in an issue for several months, so be patient. We’ll do our best to let you know when your work will appear.
Our starting rate for articles and adventures is $0.005 per word. Once we receive your signed contract and invoice, you should receive payment within 45 days or so. We pay on receipt of an invoice, not on publication, but there’s still a certain amount of delay between us receiving your contract and invoice and you receiving your check. We just ask that you remain patient.
Terms and Conditions
In submitting any materials to John R.L. McNabb. (“McNabb Games”) by sending them to McNabb Games through its submissions e-mail address at email@example.com, the submitter (hereinafter “Author”) agrees to the following terms and conditions. For the avoidance of doubt, submission of any and all materials (“Work”) is considered acknowledgment of this agreement.
1. Author Warranties Author warrants that he/she has clear title to the Work. Author also warrants that the Work has not been published previously and that the Work is not being considered for publication by any other publisher. Author warrants further that the Work is original and does not infringe upon any copyrighted material other than that published by John R.L. McNabb.
2. No Obligation Author acknowledges that McNabb Games is under no obligation to acquire the Work.
3. Risk of Loss or Damage Author agrees to retain a complete copy of all Works. McNabb Games will not return any Work to Author, and McNabb Games is not responsible for the loss of or damage to original manuscripts or revisions of it supplied by Author.
4. Independent Development Author acknowledges that the Work may be similar to the theme, plot, idea, format, or other element of material that McNabb Games has independently developed or that has or may come to McNabb Games from other sources. Author shall not be entitled to any compensation by reason of the use by McNabb Games of such similar material, whether developed or acquired by McNabb Games before or after Author’s submission of the Work.
5. Miscellaneous This Agreement shall be deemed to be entered into and governed by the laws of the State of Washington applicable to contract made and performed entirely therein and constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties regarding the Work. This Agreement shall take effect upon the date of submission. No waiver by one party to this Agreement of any breach by the other party of any term or condition of this Agreement shall be deemed to be a waiver of any other breach of the same or any other term or condition of this or any other agreement. If any term or condition of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid or void, that term or condition shall be deemed to be stricken without affecting the validity or enforceability of the remainder of the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Except as otherwise provided in the Agreement, any subsequent modification or termination of this Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of and be enforceable by the successors and assigns of the respective parties.
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