Writer’s Guidelines

WineMaker is designed to meet the needs of the more than one million home winemakers in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to provide practical information in an entertaining format. We try to capture the spirit and challenge of winemaking while helping our readers make the best wine they can.

WineMaker is for anyone who is interested in making wine, from those starting out with kits to more advanced winemakers who use fresh fruit. We seek articles that are straightforward and factual, not full of esoteric theories or complex calculations. Our readers tend to be intelligent, upscale and literate. Whether intended for the beginner, the intermediate, or the expert home winemaker, any article that appears in WineMaker should contain accurate information, useful tips and shortcuts, balanced evaluations and an inviting approach. Articles published in the magazine fall into several categories:

Technical Features: These comprise most of our content and include advanced technical pieces for fresh-fruit winemakers, introductory articles for novices, and how-to articles that benefit all winemakers. We also run informational pieces on equipment, ingredients and winemaking methods. Recent articles have covered: selecting the proper yeast strain, understanding sulfite additions, oaking your wine in barrels, understanding corks, how to buy fresh grapes, and making world-class wine from kits.

Accuracy and consistency are extremely important in technical articles. All technical articles are reviewed by our editorial board, made up of professional winemakers and advanced home winemakers, and articles might be returned to the author for revisions. Length is generally 1,500 to 3,000 words.

“Recipe” Articles: Every issue of WineMaker includes at least one step-by-step article with tips, techniques and detailed instructions for making a particular style of wine at home. Our “Varietal Focus” column has covered Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc; features have addressed Cabernet Sauvignon and Gewürztraminer.

General-Interest Features: These are non-technical features about wine and winemaking. These include interviews with commercial and amateur winemakers, historical pieces, and articles about winemaking trends. Each general feature must have a strong home-winemaking angle. Step-by-step instructions should be included whenever appropriate. Length is generally 1,500 to 2,500 words.

Regular Columns: We have a variety of regular columns, most of which are written by contributing writers. We welcome any suggestions for topics or new columns. These columns include: “Wine Wizard,” a question-and-answer section that addresses common winemaking questions; “Tips from the Pros,” with advice from commercial winemakers on methods and techniques; “Varietal Focus,” which offers step-by-step instructions for making a particular style of wine at home; “Techniques,” which takes a detailed look at one step of the winemaking process; “Backyard Vines,” which offers tips on growing your own grapevines at home, and “Advanced Winemaking,” a column on more advanced techniques and topics.

Cellar Dwellers: This section includes photos of homemade equipment and letters from readers about their experiences making wine at home. The letters should be funny, interesting or heart-warming. No fee is paid for these.

Dry Finish: The last page of the magazine serves as an open forum for our readers. We are especially interested in fun, amusing, first-person stories about winemaking. These articles should be about 600 words.

Illustrations

We count on our writers to provide illustrations with articles. Submissions need not come from professionals. Hand-drawn diagrams or charts are helpful for technical articles. We also can use snapshots, as long as they are in focus and fairly well lit.

Manuscript Preparation

We welcome queries. Indicate the subject of your proposed article, the angle you plan to use, whom you plan to interview (if applicable), and the reasons you think the article would be interesting to our readers. If you have been published before, send a few samples of your work along with the query letter. We also will review unsolicited manuscripts.

Articles are generally due a few months prior to the publication date. We prefer to receive manuscripts as an e-mail attachment.

Any artwork (tables, figures, graphs, etc.) should be noted and captioned within the manuscript. Artwork may be either color or black and white.

All writers are expected to provide accurate, well-researched articles and to double-check the spelling of names and other proper nouns.

Allow six weeks for response to queries.

Compensation

Our pay scale ranges from $75 to $300 depending on the length and complexity of the article as well as the experience of the writer. We buy all rights, and payment is made upon publication of the article.

Where to send it

Address queries and other submissions to:

WineMaker
Attn: Editor
5515 Main Street
Manchester Center, VT 05255
Phone: (802) 362-3981
Fax: (802) 362-2377
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.