Contribute to Big Sky Journal

All of Big Sky Journal‘s features, columns, poetry, fiction and photography focus on the Northern Rockies landscape, culture, people, places and wildlife. BSJ strives to capture real life in the Northern Rockies, focusing on backcountry and backstreet haunts that provide an insider’s perspective to our readership. We strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with BSJ before sending a query.

We do not run stories featuring commercial guides or outfitters, instead we seek personal experiences from knowledgeable contributors in the field. BSJ is interested in introspective articles by knowledgeable writers and photographers who approach a story from an unique angle, whether it is from a first-person perspective of competing in a sled dog race or as an observer at an art show. Subjects have a human-interest angle and range from conservation to cowboy art, history to humanity and everything in between.

Writers' Guidelines

Queries and submissions are now accepted via email only. Big Sky Journal is no longer considering mailed submissions or queries. Please include the word “QUERY” and the magazine’s edition in the subject line. Please keep proposals to one page, succinctly detailing the angle and purpose of the story idea. With your query, please include information about images that would help illustrate the story. For example, is a photographer traveling with you? Do you have access to professional images? And/or is there an upcoming photo opportunity that could help illustrate the piece?

BSJ adheres to AP style. Queries including typos or grammatical errors are deleted upon receipt.

Payment is negotiable and due 30 days after publication. BSJ editors reserve the right to edit or rewrite any article to suit the magazine’s needs. Major alterations will be discussed with the author whenever possible.

Please note that we have a small staff and often receive an overload of submissions for editorial; allow three months response time to your queries.

Corinne Garcia, Editor

Photography Guidelines

Cover Images: An open interpretation of strong seasonal looks, wildlife or scenic panoramas of our region (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho). The July Arts cover is always an image of one of the featured artists. Photographic essays should be dynamic, evocative, original portrayals of life in the Northern Rockies. Photo calls are emailed two weeks prior to the next issue. Aside from the cover, these will be specific requests for images to illustrate the stories of that particular issue.

Photo/Image Submission: Digital, color transparencies, 35mm slides or reflective art is accepted. Please make sure all images are well identified.

Digital Art: Low resolution JPEG images may be sent for consideration. All CD’s/DVD’s must include contact sheets of the images. Final high-resolution image submissions must be fully edited Photoshop EPS, TIFF or JPEG’s. A minimum resolution of 300 d.p.i. is required. All images will be converted to CMYK. CMYK images are preferred as final files and should be large enough to scale up and retain resolution. Please do not email a file over 25 megabytes — send a CD or DVD via snail mail or contact us for FTP upload instructions.

Photographic Useage Rate: Big Sky Journal pays for the quantity and size of images used. Payments will be processed after the issue goes to press. Please contact Art Director, Geoff Hill, for current usage rates.


Geoff Hill, Art Director
Big Sky Journal
406.586.2712 office
406.579.3338 cell

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1069
Bozeman, MT 59771-1069

Street Address for FedEx and UPS:
1050 E. Main Street, Suite 3
Bozeman, MT 59715

Or, email:

Open Departments

Features: Feature length (1,000-1,500) stories that pertain to the local characters, culture, people, environment, communities, and other general interest categories throughout the Northern Rockies region, including Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Outside: First person stories of adventures in the great outdoors, taking place in the Northern Rockies region, including Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, including tales of hiking, biking, fly fishing, hunting, etc.

Excursion: A how-to column that covers a topic/location in the Northern Rockies region, including Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Examples include Backpacking Yellowstone, Fishing High Country Lakes, Visiting the Best State Parks, etc.

History: Tales of local legends or historical events that have taken place in the Northern Rockies region, including Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Local Knowledge: Local Knowledge is a column profiling people in the region with a timeless craft, skill or tradition that they are preserving in a modern world, for example, boot making, saddle making, fly tying, heirloom gardening, building sheep wagons, blacksmithing, etc. It’s a West that most of us often miss in this high-tech age of modern conveniences. Length is 1,200 words, payment negotiable.

Images of the West: Part history and part artist’s profile, the “Images of the West” column uses compelling historical photographs and paintings as entrees into a discussion of significant events and themes from our shared past. With a focus on the stories behind the images as well as an interest in the personalities of the painters and photographers, this column tends to skew toward eighteenth and nineteenth century artists, although early twentieth century work is also acceptable. Past “Images of the West” columns have focused on cowboy illustrator and author Will James and on painter George Catlin, they’ve discussed Frederick Remington’s authenticity and Yellowstone Park’s evolving treatment of bears. When considering an article, we look for an author’s unique access to the subject matter, as well as his or her authority within the field. You don’t have to be an academic but it helps if you’ve previously published on similar subjects. Articles typically run from 1,200 to 1,400 words, with four to eight images sourced by the author.

Essay: The hallmark of BSJ editorial is personal experience of place. It’s a way for writers and readers to connect, relate and relive Big Sky Country. We accept short, creative nonfiction essays on living in the Northern Rockies with subject matter related to recreation, family, nature, Western culture, history, etc. Full manuscripts only. In the annual fly fishing issue we publish “Fish Tales” a short essay section of six to eight nonfiction stories of 800 words or less related to fly-angling; tall tales are welcome.

Back 40: On the back page we feature poetry or short prose, subject matter should be appropriate to the Northern Rockies. Maximum length is 400 words. Payment is negotiable.

2019/2020 Deadlines for Consideration
WinterAugust 1Oct. 1November
Fly FishingOct. 1Dec. 1February
HomeJan. 1Feb. 1April
SummerMarch 1April 1June
ArtsMay 1May 20August
FallJuly 1Aug. 1October
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