Article Submission Guidelines
Pottery Making Illustrated provides well-illustrated, practical, step-by-step instruction for all skill levels on all aspects of forming and decorating ceramic art as well as information on forming skills, tools, equipment, safety, and more. Here are some guidelines on how you can contribute.
Who We Want
We’re looking for professional ceramic artists with intermediate to advanced skills that have an interest in sharing their techniques, skills, material, and studio information with our readers. Writing for PMI provides you with an opportunity to share your knowledge, experience, and expertise with like-minded studio potters in the US and internationally.
What We Want
Feature-length articles on entire projects from forming to firing (750–1500 words, 10–20 process images, images of finished work including the piece(s) demonstrated in the process, plus additional images of finished pieces highlighting the same technique). Department-length articles (500–750 words, 6–12 process images plus images of finished work if applicable) on skills, recipes, short processes, etc.
Throwing skills and throwing projects
Hand building skills and projects: slab, coil, and pinch
Surface decorating skills and projects
Design: forming and surface based
Clay recipes and technology
Glaze recipes and technology
Glazing skills and projects
Tools and equipment
Studio set up and safety
Kilns and firing: electric, gas, and atmospheric
Health: studio, materials, and long-term physical maintenance
What We Don’t Want
While we will thoughtfully consider any submission, the following types of articles are generally not a good fit for Pottery Making Illustrated:
Reviews of professional ceramic shows
Articles advocating unsafe procedures
Projects for children younger than high-school age
Write concisely about a process, technique, or project. Be brief but don’t omit pertinent information. Write a simple and short one to two paragraph intro about your work or influences, then get straight to the process. Some authors like to wax on about the how and why of their work and end up using all their words before they even get started.
Phrase your article as if you’re giving direction to a class or workshop. Tell the reader what to do rather than explaining what you did. Be active rather than passive and use the present tense.
Describe processes and procedures in sequential, step-by-step format. Include corresponding image numbers within the text (figure 01, figure 02, etc.) to indicate which image is being referred to. The number in the text should correspond to an image file name.
Safety is of the utmost concern. When possible, please provide health and safety information and recommendations.
Include a concise, 2–4 sentence bio about yourself at the end of the text. This text can also include your website and social media links.
Readers love clay and glaze recipes. If you’re are willing to share the recipes shown in the images and written about in the text, please include those in a separate text doc.
Include 1–2 sentence captions describing each image in a separate text doc. Finished image captions should include a title, dimensions, materials, process, firing type and cone temperature, and year completed. Include all necessary photo credits. It is your responsibility to obtain the rights for any photographs, illustrations or other third-party materials submitted.
Include all captions on a separate sheet of paper or Word Doc. file. Make sure image file names clearly match up with caption numbers.
The quality of images is very important in determining article acceptance. Any images submitted for publication should be in focus, properly exposed, with a full range of contrast, and full depth of field. Here are some additional guidelines:
Format: We require professional quality digital images for publication. Digital images should be delivered as uncompressed, four-color (CMYK), 300 ppi image files with a minimum print size of 8 inches x 11 inches, tiff or jpg format.
We like to use finished images very large and all images, both processes and finished pieces, are considered for the cover.
Guidelines for strong step-by-step photographs: Take close-up images that focus clearly on what is happening in each step. Clear the background of any studio clutter. Take photographs from the same angle/on the same axis for consistency. Shoot in a well-lit area but use diffused lighting to avoid harsh shadows. Process images should include the artist’s hands demonstrating the technique being written about.
Take more images than you assume we will use. Send them all.
Graphics: Use drawings, charts, and tables as visual aids where applicable. We may redraw images or reformat tables and graphs for style. Label all graphic elements with an identifying number. Submit a separate sheet with the corresponding numbers and captions.
How to Submit
You may want to submit a cover letter of your article idea along with a detailed outline before you write the entire article.
Submit text in a text document (Word, Pages, TextEdit). Do not send a PDF of your text. Do not add your images to the text document. Images should be submitted separately.
Images can be sent via Dropbox (or similar file-transfer method), or through snail mail on a CD. Do not submit your images on a thumb drive. Label the file names of images to match the images numbers included within the text: figure 01, figure 02, etc.
Acknowledgment of materials received will not be sent.
Submission materials will not be returned.
Be sure to keep a copy for your records.
Submit all materials with a cover letter either by mail or email to:
Holly Goring, Editor
Pottery Making Illustrated
550 Polaris Parkway, Suite 510
Westerville, OH 43082
Evaluation and Acceptance
When your submission arrives, the editorial staff will consider it for publication. Acceptance decisions are made at monthly review meetings. Publication contracts for accepted feature articles will be mailed at that time. Submissions not accepted will be notified via letter. The average time from acceptance to publication is between two months to one year, depending on article length and subject. Payment and copyright information will be included in an acceptance letter and publication contract.