The following information is intended as a guide for the submission of materials to be considered for publication in Ceramics Monthly magazine (CM). Each includes a brief explanation of its importance to our readership, as well as the requirements for submitting materials.
About Ceramics Monthly
Ceramics Monthly engages a wide variety of readers, including artists/potters, educators, students, gallery and museum personnel, and collectors. At our core, we are a magazine for everyone who is interested in learning about, thinking about, and talking about making things out of clay in a knowledgeable and fulfilling manner. From how-to and technical instruction in the studio to clay in the larger culture, Ceramics Monthly is the window onto the world of studio ceramics.
Who Writes for Ceramics Monthly?
Most CM contributors are directly associated with ceramics, but they also include art critics, historians, collectors, publicists and enthusiasts who have a topic of interest to CM subscribers. We appreciate that studio ceramics is a tight-knit community, but for purposes of journalistic integrity we require that authors of reviews or analytical texts have no close personal or professional relationship with the subject.
What Kinds of Articles are Needed?
Because of our readers’ diverse interests in ceramics, many kinds of articles are accepted, but the following categories are typical of what Ceramics Monthly publishes most:
Tips and Tools(back to top)
(up to 500 words and 5 images) This popular department comes straight from our readership, and everyone is encouraged to send photographic and written explanations of innovative techniques, tools, or tips that make studio life and the creation of work easier or more enjoyable. These should consist of up to five images to illustrate the studio process or making of the tool, as well as up to 500 words of text to walk your fellow readers through the project.
Techno File(back to top)
(1000 words) Techno File is intended to explain and illustrate the science of our basic endeavors in the studio, culminating in a practical application that demonstrates the science. Techno Files should include a scientific explanation of, and a practical studio application for, a ceramic topic that most studio potters and artists should understand. The three sections of Techno File are as follows:
- Practical Studio Application (500 words)
A written and pictorial/graphical demonstration of how readers will be able to apply the topic or concept being discussed in the studio. This can be a glaze recipe with a test tile to show the real-life “proof” of the subject at hand, a reference chart that delineates the variables and associated results being discussed, etc.
- Scientific Explanation (500 words)
An articulation of the physical and/or chemical reasons for the topic being relevant to studio ceramics. This should be accompanied by charts, graphs, or other visual support whenever possible.
Terms that are necessary for the reader to understand, which are not necessarily part of the typical studio-ceramic vocabulary, but are needed in order to discuss the topic in a reasoned, informed, and consistent manner.
Techno File topics can be related to materials, firing processes, issues surrounding forming, etc., but the topic should be fundamental to most studio endeavors (e.g., silica, heatwork, plasticity, glaze fit).
Clay Culture(back to top)
(1000 words maximum) Clay Culture can mean several different things, but in CM it is a place to discuss the culture of the studio ceramics world, as well as clay as it exists out in culture (any culture). Because of this, a very broad range of content is considered for Clay Culture, and the best way to submit ideas or suggestions is to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org (include low-res images or web links with your pitch when possible).
Exhibition Coverage (Exposure) (back to top)
In order to be considered for inclusion in print during your exhibition, all materials must be received three months prior to the issue date. Submissions should include the location, date, names of the exhibiting artists (with their complete mailing addresses and contact information) and a full description of each of the works/images submitted (see image and caption requirements below).
Studio Visit (back to top)
(1000 words) Studio Visits are meant to reflect a conversation that might happen if we were to visit someone’s studio. Though not presented in Q & A format, the text is based on several questions on topics that readers have expressed interest in.
Glaze Articles (back to top)
(750-1000 words) Our regular glaze articles are focused on a particular style or type of glaze (e.g., Tenmoku, Celadon, Aventurine, Barium Blue, Microcrystalline Mattes). The structure for these articles is as follows:
At least two variations on the type of glaze. Keep in mind that the vast majority of our audience fires around cone 6. If different versions of a glaze perform differently because of the variations in the formula, they all may be worth showing. Include color and other variations, as well as application tips specific to the type of glaze.
Approximately 5 images of the type(s) of glaze being discussed. Each recipe should have at least one nice, clear surface detail shot (but this could come from a large shot of a full piece).
- Text (500-1000 words)
Historical, origins if any, should be included for the type of glaze being presented. Explain the basic physical and chemical nature of the glaze (what makes it do what it does–and how), any limits or ratios that hold true for this kind of glaze, and any pertinent notes on what one needs to keep in mind when mixing and/or applying this kind of glaze (does it need to be thick; what are the potential pitfalls specific to using this kind of glaze).
Topical Articles (back to top)
(750-1500 words) These feature articles are typically solicited by the editors. Inquiries and pitches are absolutely encouraged on topics of significance to the studio-ceramics field. Send inquiries to email@example.com. For recent examples of topical articles, see “The Industry of Making Pots,” by Donald Clark, or “The Art of Function and the Function of Art,” by Euan Craig.
Profiles (back to top)
(750-1500 words) We prefer accounts covering the full range of the potter’s or sculptor’s experience, including aesthetic concerns, business practices, influences, etc., but profiles should focus on a particular aspect of the artist’s work or approach that is significant in the context of contemporary studio-ceramic practice. The idea is to use an artist’s work to illustrate a larger point about the place of ceramics in our world and our culture.
We require that profiles be written by someone who has no professional or close personal relationship with the subject. We do not accept first-person profiles. In addition to the main manuscript, profile articles should include all of the following:
Several images of the subject’s work (see image and caption requirements below) that are pertinent to the ideas discussed in text should be included., as well as an image of the subject in his or her studio (we love to see people in studios).
- Monthly Methods sidebar
Up to 500 words on processes or techniques specific to the subject’s work (often provided by the subject), along with up to 5 images that illustrate the process or technique. This should focus on something that is particular to the subject’s work, and obvious in the finished pieces. It should go beyond basic working methods, materials, and processes to address a problem the subject has solved in a creative way, or a way of working that he or she has developed over time that serves the work in a way that typical processes do not.
- Glaze and clay recipes should be included whenever possible, and should be accompanied by images of works with those glazes.
- Full contact information for the subject (mailing address, e-mail, and telephone).
Technical Articles (back to top)
(750-1500 words) Ceramics Monthly publishes a range of articles relating to the making of ceramic art and craft. These include such topics as glaze and clay body formulation, innovative studio processes and forming methods, equipment and kiln construction, studio safety and health, materials updates, etc. These should be geared toward an intermediate to advanced skill level, and should include the following:
- Visual support in the form of diagrams, plans, illustrations, images, charts, and any other pertinent visual support materials, in digital and/or hard copy format (see image requirements below).
- Definitions of terms not typically used in studio ceramics, but necessary to understanding the particular technical topic at hand.
Exhibition Reviews (back to top)
(500-1000 words) Space is limited; authors are encouraged to submit proposals. Texts should include critical analysis of the work (what makes it good, bad, relevant, innovative, controversial, etc.), as well as pertinent background information of value to potters, ceramics sculptors, students, educators, and collectors. Publishable images of each work discussed must accompany the text (see image and caption requirements below).
We require that reviews be written by someone who has no professional or close personal relationship with the subject.
Spotlight (back to top)
While Spotlight is not an authored piece of content, but a Q&A format interview between CM and a subject that is meant to highlight a particular project, aesthetic issue, or studio challenge, we do accept suggestions and pitches for topics and artists to be covered in this department. A pitch should include several images supporting why you think a spotlight focus is warranted, several possible questions you feel our audience would want to know the answer to, and a brief explanation of why you feel this would be important to the field.
Image Requirements (back to top)
The quality of images is extremely important in determining manuscript acceptance. While not required, it is highly recommended that artists seek the services of a professional photographer with appropriate experience and proper equipment. Images should be in focus, properly exposed, with full depth of field and full range of contrast. No part of the work should be hidden by shadow. Backgrounds should be neutral (typically gray, black, or earthtones; avoid primary colors). It is best to submit more images than are likely to be published, in order to ensure the best options for layout.
Click here to read our helpful tips for shooting process shots.
- Image Format We use professional-quality digital images as uncompressed four-color (CMYK), 300 ppi image files (tiff format), with a minimum print size of 5 inches (or 2000 pixels at 300 ppi). However, if you do not have experience or the capability for converting images, send the original image file that was saved directly from the camera (or as close to that as possible).
Images under 10MB in size can be emailed, but should be archived (stuffed or zipped). Image files over 10MB should be burned to a CD and mailed to our editorial offices (see sending a complete submission below) or uploaded through a file-transfer site (Hightail, WeTransfer, and Dropbox are approved free file transfer services), with download links sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Uploaded files should also be archived to disc or on your computer.
Printed diagrams and schematics are acceptable for visual explanation of hard-to-photograph tools, equipment and processes, as are charts for technical data. These should be submitted at as large a size as possible, in a high-contrast format (black, or a dark color, on a white ground is best). If hard copies of diagrams are submitted, they will be returned if a postage-paid envelope is included.
- Image Captions All images need to be accompanied by a separate caption sheet. Images should be listed according to file name or number.
Caption information for finished work should include the title of the work (when applicable), dimensions, specific ceramic medium (e.g., earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, etc.), description of forming and decorating techniques, firing temperature or cone, and date of completion. Any additional information that will enhance the reader’s understanding of the work is encouraged.
Example: Untitled, 23 in. (58 cm) in height, handbuilt and wheel-thrown earthenware, slip trailing and mishima, glaze, fired to cone 04 in an electric kiln, 2015. Photo: Jane Smith.
- Caption information for work in process (for sidebars or technical explanations) should explain which step in the process is being depicted, and why it is important to the overall process. Any tools or techniques should be identified in captions, even if you think it is clear in the image.
- Photo Credits All images should be accompanied by the photographer’s name and contact information so that credit may be duly noted. Whenever images by more than one photographer are used to illustrate an article, each image should be identified with the appropriate photographer’s name. It is the author’s responsibility to secure permission to use photographic materials. Ceramics Monthly does not credit collections.
Manuscript Preparation (back to top)
For manuscript lengths, please refer to the word counts associated with each type of content above. Please submit a digital copy (on disc or via e-mail) as well as a hard copy of your manuscript. Include your name, mailing address, telephone/fax number and e-mail address on the title page. For profile articles, include this contact information for the subject as well.
Sending a Complete Submission (back to top)
Enclose a cover letter, manuscript text (hard copy and digital copy on CD), images (on CD or transferred digitally as mentioned above), captioned image list, and any other support materials in one package.
Include a self-addressed, padded envelope with sufficient postage if you would like your materials to be returned.
Mail the package first class to: The Editor, Ceramics Monthly, 550 Polaris Parkway, Suite 510, Westerville, OH 43082. Digital copies of manuscripts may be e-mailed to email@example.com.
Evaluation and Acceptance (back to top)
When your submission arrives, it will receive immediate attention. While we are unable to acknowledge receipt of unsolicited materials. All submissions are reviewed on a once-per-month basis. Publication contracts for accepted content will be mailed immediately after review. Submissions not accepted will be notified promptly (and materials returned if postage paid envelope is included). The average time from acceptance to publication is between four months and one year, depending on article length and subject. Feature authors and artists are notified of the issue in which his or her content will appear approximately one month prior to publication.
Editing, Layouts and Proofs (back to top)
Texts are edited first for style, grammar, punctuation, and clarity (as well as technical accuracy), then to meet layout requirements. Article design takes place after initial editing. Ceramics Monthly does not accept layouts from authors or subjects. Because changes may take place up to the time the presses roll, we are unable to provide final proofs; however, galley proofs are available on request.
Copyright (back to top)
We ask for exclusive worldwide rights for the text (both print and electronic versions, including but not limited to publishing on demand, database online services, reprints, or books), and nonexclusive rights for the use of photographic materials in print or electronic media. This nonexclusive agreement for images allows Ceramics Monthly to use the image(s) in question, but in no way restricts the continued use of the photographic material by the copyright holder.
In cases where Ceramics Monthly commissions specific illustrative content (by separate contract with the photographer/illustrator/copyright holder), we will sometimes require exclusive copyright to that content.
Payment (back to top)
Authors of payable content will receive payment upon publication.
- Topical Articles, Profiles, Technical Articles, and Exhibition Reviews are paid at $0.10 per printed word.
- Techno File and Glaze articles are paid a flat rate of $250.
- Tips and Tools is paid with a one-year subscription (or subscription extension).
- Exhibition coverage (including press releases, curator/juror statements) is unpaid.
- Images are unpaid, except where a contract exists between Ceramics Monthly and the copyright holder specifically for the purchase of exclusive copyright.
Copies (back to top)
Following publication, authors and subjects of feature articles will receive two complimentary copies. Authors of Exhibition Reviews and subjects of Exhibition Coverage receive one complimentary copy. Additional copies are available at a discounted rate on a first-come, first-served basis.
For More Information
If you want to learn more about submitting content to Ceramics Monthly, you may reach us, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. (EST) at:
Ceramics Monthly, 550 Polaris Parkway, Suite 510, Westerville, OH 43082
Telephone (614) 794-5869
Fax (614) 891-8960
The following links will take you to the appropriate forms in order to submit content:
Print and post a Classified Ad.
Submit a Call for Entries listing for your exhibition.
Deadline for Call for Entries:
March 2018 Issue: January 15th, 2018
April 2018 Issue: February 12th, 2018
May 2018 Issue: March 19th, 2018
June/July/August 2018 Issue: April 16th, 2018
September 2018 Issue: July 16th, 2018
October 2018 Issue: August 13th, 2018
November 2018 Issue: September 17th, 2018
December 2018 Issue: October 15th, 2018
January 2019 Issue: November 12th, 2018
February 2019 Issue: December 10th, 2018
Place your conference, exhibition, workshop, fair/festival, or other event in the online Calendar listing. (Coming soon!)
List your organization’s Residency or Fellowship using the form here.
Place your gallery in the Gallery Guide listing using the form here. **Deadline is July 10.
List your organization’s Summer Workshops using the form here. (Print versions of Workshop listings appear annually in the April issue and are due toward the end of January for inclusion in that issue).
We are accepting submissions for our annual readership-wide contest! This year’s theme is “Drink Up!” and we’re looking forward to seeing your sculptural or functional drinking vessels. Download the prospectus for more information.