Secondary Menu

Editorial Guidelines for Outdoors Unlimited®

Updated as of Sept. 18, 2019.

About OUContact Us


• High-resolution: 300-600 dpi and approximately 1+ MB per image.
• Audio file: mp3 format
• Video clips: links to videos on YouTube or Vimeo or simliar video-sharing service

General: All material submitted by OWAA members will be considered for publication. The decision to publish rests entirely with the executive director and editor. Opinions expressed are the authors’ and not necessarily those of OWAA, its officers, board of directors or staff. All submissions should be sent to OU Editor via secure online drop box, or or 2814 Brook St., Box 442, Missoula, MT 59801.

Copyright: Contributors (less OWAA employees) grant rights for OWAA to publish once in Outdoors Unlimited® Online, including archives, and on the OWAA website.

Article submissions: Electronic submissions are preferred. Please use Microsoft Word, WordPerfect or ASCII format.


“Portfolio” submissions: Submit up to 20 images. Include captions and a brief biography. Specifications for digital images: high-resolution (300 dpi), 1-2 megabyte per image, JPEG format.

Mug shots: Mugs are welcome for feature stories, craft pieces and member news. Email a digital photo. Specifications for digital mugs: 300 dpi, 1 megabyte, JPEG format.

HOW TO SEND: OWAA’s preferred way for sharing large files is via a secure online “drop box.” To submit content for consideration for publication, upload images at: Or you can send via email to or via postal mail on a CD or DVD.


Craft improvement: Headquarters endeavors to print multiple craft articles per month, including one each from the OWAA Sections: Newspaper, Photography, Radio and TV/Video, as well as articles on writing/journalism, marketing, business, technology and general topics relevant to members. Word limit: 700. Photos and graphics, as well as audio and video clips are encouraged.

Features: Preferred length is 700 words or fewer. Longer articles are not encouraged. Articles may be edited and shortened without notification to the author at the discretion of the editorial staff. General focus of articles, other than those from committee members charged to contribute to OU, should be on craft improvement, news of activities affecting the outdoors or other news of general interest to members. Photos and graphics, as well as audio and video clips  are encouraged.

OWAA Legends: Do you know an OWAA legend who has significantly contributed to conservation and OWAA? Send story ideas to OU Editor at Word limit: 700; photos are encouraged.

Conservation Corner: Conservation-related articles and related briefs are published in this space. Authors are encouraged to base stories on science and/or credible sources and include websites having additional information. Word limit: 700.

Section/committee contributions: Submissions accepted as charged by the section or committee. In general, one OU page is reserved each month for each section/committee. Word limit: 700. Photos and graphics, as well as audio and video clips are encouraged.

Miscellaneous columns: OWAA conference content is compiled by OWAA’s conference planner and either written or assigned by the Conference Program Committee.


Outdoor Market: Headquarters publishes job listings and publishers’ editorial needs relevant to outdoor communicators. Word limit: 100 words, including who, what, where, how much and contact information.

Bookshelf: Information about members’ recently published books and videos are invited. Include title, author, publisher, number of pages, price and a brief write-up. Word limit: 100. Book/video cover photos welcome; for photo specifications, see “Mug shots,” above. A “Bookshelf” submission template is available.

Opinion (comments/online forums/letters to the editor): Members are encouraged to write about issues and topics, using OU’s online forums as virtual letters to the editor. Letters also may be emailed to the OU editor at Members must establish a personal user name and password to comment on articles or participate in the forums online. Anonymous comments are not allowed. The executive director and editor will decide whether opinions are appropriate for OWAA debate or if the comments promote a personal cause; if the “cause” is unrelated to OWAA’s mission and potentially damaging to the membership, the comment might not be published. Because of OWAA’s tax-exempt status, comments endorsing candidates for public office or otherwise directly addressing political campaigns cannot be published. Headquarters will not publish comments that are libelous in nature. Article-comment word limit: 200. Letters to the editor word limit: 400. Comments exceeding the word limit may be returned to the sender for editing.

Outdoor Alerts: Featured on the homepage of OU Online, this news feed is updated daily, Monday through Friday. An online submission form is available. The Outdoor Alerts feed includes three categories: Supporting Group News Tips, Member News and News Briefs.

  • Supporting Group News Tips: Supporters are welcome to email or snail-mail press releases. Headquarters categorizes and abbreviates each press release into two or three sentences, including contact information. When possible, readers are referred to supporter’s websites to view the entire press release. Word limit: 100.
  • Member News and News Briefs: Press releases will be considered for publication and may be edited and/or abbreviated, usually to 75-100 words. Member news (mug shots welcome) and other relevant announcements will be edited and/or abbreviated. Member News is also republished in the print version of Outdoors Unlimited®.

Supporter Spotlight: Usually, one to two supporting groups are featured in each printed issue. Standard press releases will be abbreviated. Word limit: 400.

Calendar items: Calendar items contain information on activities of interest to members and appear as space permits. Include contact information.


Content deadlines for printed issues of Outdoors Unlimited®:


  • Dec. 5 = February/March publication
  • Feb. 5 = April/May publication
  • April 5 = June/July publication
  • June 5 = August/September publication
  • Aug. 5 = October/November publication
  • Oct. 5 = December/January publication


Trademarks: Trademark names are used throughout OU. Rather than place a trademark symbol at every occurrence, OU uses the name only in an editorial fashion, with no intent of trademark infringement.

Payment: OWAA does not pay for material published in OU. Members contribute material for the benefit of the membership.

Return policy: Text submissions and materials submitted for review will not be returned. Hard-copy photographs and artwork are returned immediately after use; OWAA pays shipping. OWAA is not liable for photos/artwork lost or damaged in shipping. Members wanting photos/artwork returned insured or via special handling must inform the editor and pay insurance/special handling fees.

Reprint policies: Permission to reprint from OU must be obtained from OWAA and the author or photographer; both must receive credit lines. A copy of any reprinted material must be sent to OWAA.

Subscriptions: OU is a member entitlement. Others wishing to subscribe must submit requests to the executive director; if approved, subscription cost is $150 per year. ◊

© Outdoor Writers Association of America. "Outdoor Writers Association of America,"
"Outdoors Unlimited," "The Voice of the Outdoors" and OWAA's circle logo
(quill and river; and crossed fishing pole and rifle) are registered trademarks.