Contribute

American Rider welcomes original written and photographic material from our readers. No guarantees of publication are made, but all material will be read and reviewed.

Subject Matter

  • National/regional American motorcycle-related events
  • Interesting regional rides/roads/biker attractions
  • Vintage bikes/bikers
  • Well-written personal tour accounts

Basic Requirements

Our format favors articles 750–1,000 words in length, accompanied by a selection of photos that illustrate the subject matter. All stories should be held to below 2,000 words. Send text in .doc or .txt or .rtf files and provide 15–25 high-resolution JPEG or TIFF images with your article. Hi-resolution or scanned or mailed photos may be used for historical images if relevant.

Event Reporting

If you’re interested in contributing an event report, please pitch it to us in advance so we can make plans for it. Generally, reports will need to be received within a week of the end of the event. You should try to get a quote from the event organizer, especially a post-event summary of how well this year’s event was compared to years past. Bonus points for quotes from attendees about the event or a particular bike being discussed.

The classic “Five W’s”—Who, What, Where, When and Why—are the building blocks of reporting and should be included in every story. It’s also helpful to structure reports in the “inverted pyramid” fashion, with the biggest, most important facts in the beginning, and the least important details at the end. Find a unique element, an offbeat angle, or a fresh perspective. Make your coverage entertaining and informative. The phrase “A good time was had by all” will invariably be deleted, as will similar tired clichés.

Be sure to use some sort of word processing software that helps check spelling and grammar. Grammarly.com can be very helpful. Don’t just write and send. All writing is rewriting. Get a smart friend to edit it for you. We recommend that once you believe that it’s perfect, print it out and read it away from your device – as a reader, not the writer. We’ll bet you’ll find more things to change that will improve your story, which will ensure a greater chance of your piece being published.

Novice writers are encouraged to read The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White to bone up on the mechanics of writting. The book is readily available online and can found at many libraries.

Photo Specifics

Photos should be included with article submissions. Always use the highest resolution and size settings your camera allows. 

We accept unmodified .jpg and .tif files with a resolution of at least 300 pixels per inch. JPEG files less that 8mb (1200 px x 1800 px or 4 x 6 in.) in size will run small. JPEG images selected for a full spread will require an image size of at least 30mb (4875 px x 3300 px or 16.25 in. x 11 in.).

Please include caption information (the names of the individuals pictured, the action occurring in the shot, the location pictured, etc.) at the bottom of your event report document, referencing the photo numbers.

Pictures of parking lots full of motorcycles are often boring, though a well-composed shot giving a general overall view of the event is welcomed. Look for interesting subjects—people, bikes, products and activities (there’s no shortage of entertaining targets in this culture). Shoot images that portray the main ideas of your article.

There are many online resources to consult if you want to improve your skills as a photographer, along with many books. Our best tip? Shoot first, ask questions later.

Submitting Material

Your submission can be sent to us in a number of ways. Please be sure to include your name and phone number with your material.

Text:

Articles formatted as text files (.txt), Word documents (.doc), or Rich Text Format (.rtf) may be sent as e-mail attachments to connect@americanrider.com.

Photos and captions:

High-resolution digital photos should be submitted via the interactive SendThisFile form below. Please submit photos and your caption document in a single zipped folder that includes your name and the name of the article that corresponds to the photos.

To submit editorial contributions, please request a password and specific instructions from connect@americanrider.com.

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