Author Guidelines

Share What You Know—Submit an Article to Home Power!

If you have an idea, a project, or particular expertise and information that other Home Power readers could benefit from, consider putting together an article for us. Here’s what you need to know before you get started.


Get to Know Us

Home Power is a bimonthly magazine for renewable energy (RE) and sustainable living enthusiasts—homeowners and industry professionals alike. We specialize in hands-on, practical information about RE technologies, and present technical material in an easy-to-use format. You can get to know us best by browsing a few recent issues.


The Kinds of Articles We Publish

We’re interested in nearly all aspects of renewable energy and sustainable living technologies:

  • Solar electricity, wind electricity, and microhydro-electric systems (both on-grid and off-grid)
  • Solar thermal—including space and water heating
  • Sustainable transportation—including electric and hybrid electric vehicles, and biofuels
  • Resource-efficient building systems, including passive solar home design, natural building techniques, and recycled, eco-friendly building materials
  • Energy efficient appliances

We look for well-researched and well-supported information, high-quality workmanship, and excellent graphic and photographic support. The types of articles we publish generally fall under a few different categories:

  • System articles cover real-world RE systems. Well-composed and plentiful photos are necessary for this type of article because the focus is on the finished system. If you know in advance that you will want to publish your project, take lots of in-progress photos. For tips, see “Artwork” on the next page.
  • How-to or do-it-yourself (DIY) articles describe specific methods or skills, or individual projects. These articles require a narrow focus, plenty of photos, and are often written to cover a step-by-step process. Examples of DIY articles include how to install a wind generator, a roof-mounted solar-electric array, or a PV powered attic fan.
  • Basics or overview articles explain fundamental knowledge and concepts behind a particular technology or technique. Example articles include explaining the nuances of charge controller operation; when and how to use series or parallel PV wiring; or the best energy efficient building techniques.


Start with an Article Proposal

Before you start writing, first put together a brief proposal presenting your topic. Submit your idea via our Online Submissions Form.

If you aren't sure what direction your article should take, e-mail us, and we'll assign an editor to work with you to develop your proposal. Once we've received your complete proposal, we'll contact you with our decision about pursuing the article within four to six weeks. If we decide to work with you on an article, we'll assign and editor to develop the content and art with you.

Please do not send us complete articles to review. We often do not have enough time to keep up with producing the magazine, let alone reading full articles. Our submission process makes it much easier for us to review your idea, and we hope it makes it easier for you to suggest article ideas without going to a great deal of work.


Writing the Manuscript

Home Power articles range in length from 350 to 2,500 words. We prefer simple, short, declarative sentences, especially when dealing with technical or complicated processes. In your manuscript draft, use an informal, conversational style like you would use in a letter to a friend. Make sure you define technical terms so that newer readers can understand your article. Use subheadings to organize the information. Remember to tell readers “who” and “why”—the people and motivations are important parts of Home Power articles.

Manuscripts must be detailed enough that our readers can use the information. Provide us with real data and costs, product names, and sources, including phone numbers and Web addresses. Depending on the article type, your editor may ask you to provide additional support materials, such as tables (electrical loads or project costs) and technical information specific to your article. Supplying these details with your written draft will save us from chasing missing pieces later in the process.

As you write your text, your assigned Home Power editor, who will be your main contact through the process, will provide assistance. Once accepted, manuscripts typically undergo extensive edits for accuracy, length, content, organization, style, and basic grammar, and will be tailored by professional editors to suit our content and readership. Our editors will make your text shine.


Artwork—Photographs & Illustrations

Readers will be more attracted to your article if it contains eye-catching photographs and illustrations.

Photos. Thoughtful, well-composed photos will significantly improve your chances of being published, or may even win you the cover spot! If you’re not particularly confident or capable with a camera, invite a more experienced friend or relative to help, and consider these suggestions:

  • The right time of day and proper exposure are as important as the subject; avoid heavy shadows or poor lighting conditions.
  • Avoid “busy” backgrounds (audiences, traffic).
  • People are nice in photos; a fuse box is not very interesting by itself.
  • Potential cover shots are vertically oriented and leave ample room for the Home Power masthead.

Set your digital camera at its highest resolution, and frame the photo subject thoughtfully. Be sure to set your JPEG image compression to its highest quality. Please send us the photo files in their native format.

We can work from high-resolution digital photos, or good photographic prints, slides, or negatives. If you are unable to submit photos at the highest resolution from a 3-megapixel camera or better, we prefer 4- by 6-inch color prints with no fingerprints or scratches. Do not write on the back of your photographs, since the ink can transfer to the front of the next photo. We prefer to scan your original print photos on our scanners.

Photo credits. Please include photo credit information, when applicable.

Artwork. Drawings or sketches can be very useful, but don't labor over the artwork—our graphic designers can redraw illustrations and will always redraw system schematics. Please provide complete information for schematics. Please let us know if the art you supply needs to be credited to someone else.


Copyrights 

Generally, we print only original, unpublished material. If you are writing about someone else’s system or project, we require a written release from the owner before we can consider working with your manuscript. The copyright of the published article is held by Home Power Inc. Unless you tell us otherwise in writing, we will assume that any materials you provide belong to you and are covered by our copyright agreement. If someone else holds the copyright to photos or other items that are part of your submission, we'll need a release from him/her.

Upon acceptance of your article proposal/manuscript, you agree to grant Home Power Inc.:

  • The right to be the first to publish the article.
  • Future rights to reprint the article in any media or form.
  • The right to reuse any portions of the article, including photographs and drawings, in materials promoting Home Power.
  • The right to edit, revise, and adapt the material.

You have the right to submit your unedited, original manuscript to other publishers one year after it has appeared in Home Power, and the right to reprint and post digital versions of the edited and finished article layout, as published in Home Power, for noncommercial purposes.


Publication & Scheduling

Articles are not usually scheduled for publication until we have a complete and accepted submission. We may schedule articles up to a full year in advance of their publication. It takes a lot of advanced planning and coordination to publish a magazine, so please be patient with our process, but feel free to check in with us regarding the status of your article. Please note that acceptance of a proposal/manuscript does not guarantee publication.


Questions? Contact Us

Home Power magazine, PO Box 520, Ashland, OR 97520

For FedEx, UPS, or other shipping only (no postal service): 312 N. Main St., Phoenix, OR 97535

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