Conrail Quarterly Contributor Guidelines
The Conrail Historical Society actively solicits and encourages new and interesting submissions for the Conrail Quarterly. These contributions can include feature articles, regular columns, letters to the editor, or other items of potential interest to our readers. Submissions should adhere to the following standards and guidelines.
The Conrail Quarterly is a publication of The Conrail Historical Society that focuses on the publication of historic content about Conrail, covering its 1976 founding through its 1999 sale and split. The Quarterly also features interesting stories or information about what has happened to former Conrail equipment since the split.
The Conrail Quarterly is a 32-page (including covers) magazine published four times a year. Typically, the Quarterly contains feature articles, shorter articles or reviews, and a series of regular columns. The article size is flexible, and the Quarterly layout fluctuates from issue to issue in order to accommodate differing submission sizes. The Conrail Quarterly can feature content ranging from full-length multi-page features to single photographs.
Good Quarterly articles should be of interest to a broad audience and understandable by those who are not familiar with railroad- or Conrail-specific nomenclature. The text of the article does not need to be formal, but it should uphold a basic level of journalistic quality and language. The use of photos is highly encouraged and suggested, and organized diagrams or charts are also recommended where possible.
Authors that have a story idea, but don’t have everything required for a full article (images, maps, drawings, etc.), are encouraged to contact our staff. The Conrail Historical Society has a large collection of these items, as well as access to several more public and private collections. In short, a lack of supporting materials should not prevent authors from contributing. Authors do not even need to have a fully written article to make a submission. If you have an idea of something you'd like to help bring to the Quarterly, send us an email, and our staff will work with you to develop your idea.
All articles are reviewed by the Conrail Quarterly staff before being accepted. Accepted articles may be placed in either the next issue or the most appropriate upcoming issue, with consideration given to the article’s length and content relative to other available contributed materials. Authors will be provided with a digital (PDF) proof of their article in its final layout prior to publication. If you have any questions about when your article will appear, please contact the editor.
Guidelines for Articles
The primary goal of a feature article is to provide an in-depth analysis or story on a given Conrail-related topic. These articles can cover anything, including Conrail operations, equipment histories, infrastructure changes or improvements, business history, or even Conrail scale models. Feature articles are typically between four and ten pages in length, which equates to roughly 1,600 to 4,800 words. Articles longer than this are also accepted, as they can be broken into multi-part series over several issues.
Quarterly articles typically devote roughly half their page space to photos. Because the Quarterly uses a multi-column format for articles, along with large headings and at least one large photo on the first page, the first page of an article typically runs about 200-300 words. All following pages are typically formatted for half of the page to contain about 400-500 words each, with the other half of the page space devoted to two to three photos. For example, a six-page feature article is roughly 2,200-2,800 words, factoring in space for about 12 to 18 photos.
Starting with the Fall 2017 issue of the Quarterly, the CRHS provides a small stipend to authors that provide feature articles. Authors will earn $7 per page of their material printed in the Quarterly. The Quarterly staff will provide proper credit to all authors and photographers, and we do not reserve future re-publication rights if you ever wish to submit and publish your article elsewhere.
Authors are encouraged to prepare their manuscripts as text documents with minimal formatting, as the Conrail Quarterly staff handles the typesetting for best presentation. The Conrail Quarterly accepts documents in a variety of formats, including Microsoft Word and Google Docs (which is useful for collaboration).
Our magazine is professionally digitally printed, which means that all images need to included at 300DPI. This means 300 pixels per inch, meaning that a full-page image would need to be 2700px wide by 3450px tall. For that reason, scans of the original images (from slides or negatives) are preferred.
If you have images that you would like to contribute, but don't have the ability to scan them, we can also help with that. Send us an email describing the photo format you are attempting to scan, and we will work with you to figure out a way digitize them.
How to Submit
Submissions can be made to publications committee chairman Rudy Garbely at [email protected]. We are looking forward to receiving your contribution to the Conrail Quarterly!
Chairman, CRHS Publications Committee
(973) 800-9251 (mobile)