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The Stories in the Dirt
By Janette Jones in Cambridge, MD

What does the word “local” bring to mind? You’re probably thinking of your town or city, and maybe the surrounding areas. But this “local” publication covers the entire Delmarva Peninsula (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia).

Delmarva Quarterly is unusual in that it seeks more than articles and photos, but also publishes and pays for artwork, short stories, poems, sketches, cartoons, essays, personality profiles, reviews, and reports. Its goal is to celebrate “the finer aspects of life on the Delmarva Peninsula with articles on Delmarva history, architecture, literature, music, nature, theater and poetry, accompanied by many color photographs and examples of fine art.”

Each issue also includes seasonal listings of events and festivals held during that quarter, so when you’re planning your submissions, be sure to keep both residents and visitors in mind.

The submissions guidelines here are pretty straightforward, though a little vague. For example, the editors say they read written material that’s between 500 and 2,000 words long, but also publish longer or shorter pieces. They do mention that they like to publish pieces that are “clear, concise and skillfully written,” and “reintroduce readers to the peninsula.”

Since that’s about all the guidelines say about the content of your story, you’ll want to be sure to read through a few back-issues to get to know the style of the magazine. Luckily, you can flip through entire full-color issues going back through 2002 at the Delmarva Quarterly website.

While you’re on the website, you’ll glean more clues about what the magazine is looking for by reading through the “Who We Are” page. This excerpt from that page is telling: “From Wilmington to Cape Charles, from Crisfield to Rehoboth Beach, thousands of people wake up every day and live among the smells of marsh mud, saltwater and tilled earth. They get their hands dirty — and there are stories in the dirt. We print those stories.”

For photographs and artwork, Delmarva Quarterly prefers high-resolution .JPG or .PDF digital files that are at least 300 dpi and large enough to be used for a cover or full page (8.75” by 11.25”) or a two-page spread (17.5” by 11.25”). Images can be smaller, but larger sizes allow for more flexibility of use in the publication.

For written material, submit your work via e-mail or on CD as a rich text file (.rtf) or Microsoft Word document (.doc) and include your name and contact information.

Send all submissions to Editor Rob Kunzig.

Payment for published work varies. Articles typically fetch $150 to $200, depending on length and substance (that is, whether it’s a cover story, feature, report, etc.). Photos and artwork pay around $100 each.

TIP: If you’re not a Delmarva resident, you probably have a similar publication in your region. Start by asking your Chamber of Commerce and the nearest tourist office and see what you come up with. Delmarva Quarterly is available free at various distribution points on the Peninsula. (It’s also supported by paid subscribers.) You’ll probably find something comparable in your area.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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