Writer's Guidelines | Photographer's Guidelines
African Diver Magazine is a free online diving magazine focussed on all types of diving in Africa. Launched in October 2008 and published every two months, the magazine features scuba diving destinations, marine environmental issues and marine conservation initiatives in Africa. Packed with images that have impact and supplemented with content that is relevant and informative, African Diver Magazine is a must-read for any diver or environmentalist with an interest in the marine environment in Africa.
The magazine is downloadable from our website for free. All previous issues are archived on the website for easy download and collection. In addition, we archive individual articles from the magazine for download so that readers can collect articles that are of particular interest or have a common theme. We also feature, in each issue, a local underwater photographer so that we can promote the beauty and bio-diversity to be found in African waters. It is best to subscribe when visiting the website in order to be notified of future issues of the magazine as well as breaking news.
Our website is the gateway to downloading the magazine and articles, but it is also a source of breaking news, events and reports from our editorial team and is updated regularly. We are constantly working on adding features to our website, for instance a gallery of images by our featured photographers, as well as videos by divers of their underwater exploits.
While our website and magazine activities are located in South Africa, our subscribers come from all over the world - our market is the world-wide diving community with an interest in Africa.
Our readers are an educated group in the age groups 25 to 55 (with the greatest concentration in the 35 to 55 age group) and they travel a lot looking for diving and diving adventure. They also care intensely about the marine environment. They are people with inquiring minds looking for investigative and insightful reporting. The spirit and focus of the magazine is informative and educational- an interesting read with a simple layout and making use of images with high impact. There are regular features – for example; women and diving and featured photographer.
What types of stories and information does African Diver publish?
African Diver is published bi-monthly. Each issue contains five or more features in addition to our regular articles featuring an African underwater photographer and a pioneering woman in diving. Generally our articles feature African destinations, diving in Africa and African marine environmental issues. However, we sometimes include articles from elsewhere in the world if it is of relevance to Africa. Generally, we are interested in features that our readers will find interesting and accessible whether they are explorers/adventurers or just have enquiring minds.
Where a destination is concerned, service information is generally given separately at the end of each feature in a section that includes how to get to the destination, things to see and do there, and where to obtain more information. The writer is expected to send along as much up-to-date service information as possible with the manuscript to help us prepare this information. We may not publish it all but we might need to use it so please give this information from the beginning.
What kind of proposals are we looking for?
We accept freelance queries. Ideas for features are generated both by African Diver staff and by freelance contributors.
How long are African Diver Feature stories?
Feature articles can run up to 3 000 words but generally African Diver regulars run to 800 to 1 000 words. African Diver reserves the right to not publish articles that may have been requested but which turn out to be unsuitable. African Diver will give the prospective contributor reasons as to why the article was denied a place in the magazine.
What does African Diver look for in writing style?
There are no limitations on style, as long as the writing is lively, quirky and interesting, although a sense of adventure and location should be at the heart of every story. We want our writers to project a curious and knowing voice that captures the experience of living and loving our oceans and also the places and personalities, insights and idiosyncrasies of people and life. Those who write for us must see subjects or destinations with fresh eyes and real insight. We place a premium on surprise and good storytelling - the compelling anecdote, the colourful character, the lively quote, and the telling detail.
We are looking for articles that allow our readers to experience a subject or destination directly through the words and actions of people the writer encounters, not just through the writer's narrative. We generally don’t accept stories that simply describe the subject of the article like a diary. Our goal is to make sure that your published article is as interesting, readable, and well presented as possible. We do not want to change your article unnecessarily, but we invariably will have to make alterations. We will be doing this for grammar (UK English is followed) and punctuation reasons; for house style and consistency; to help flow; to make the progression logical; to include information that is essential; and to make sure nothing obvious is left out of an argument.
Submissions should consist of a carefully selected sample of not more than 12 images that were taken on assignment or that relate directly to the subject matter of the article and demonstrate your ability to meet our requirements. Thoughtful study of one or more issues of African Diver is the best guide to putting together such a sample. The photographs must also relate to the article you are submitting. If you do not take the photographs, you must give us written confirmation by the author of the photos that we may publish them with your article. Do not limit your pictures to the animals or issue you are writing about - please include people, curious animals and unusual behaviour, scenes and anything else that helps give readers a sense of what you are saying.
If you are taking a full face-on image, especially on land, we may ask you for a model release form. Please ensure you have one on record to give us or else we may not be able to publish certain images. Photographers must supply complete caption information, including who, what, when and where. Failure to comply will result in payment being withheld. Please write down any quotes that could be used in captions to illuminate the photographs, and obtain telephone numbers of any persons prominently featured in case the caption writer wants to interview them.
Material (Artwork) Specifications:
For online articles: Jpegs – 300 dpi (we will take lower if the image is of an exceptional character but reserve the rights to reject it if the image will pixellate). Longest side on jpeg 600 px unless you are submitting a photo essay/feature that relies heavily on high quality images In that case, 300 dpi and 1600 px (longest side) images are to be submitted with final drafts.
Please note: African Diver and its affiliates are not responsible for lost or damaged materials or loss or damages resulting from electronic transfer or communications. Personal information is held confidential and will not be released without the individual’s written permission