Contributor Guidelines – WEST magazine


I recently sent a proposal for a magazine article to West magazine. Almost immediately, I received notice it had arrived and was assured a response would follow shortly. Surprise! It did. Sadly, I now have another rejection letter to add to my pile but Assignment Editor, Bruce Masterman, was kind enough to include the Contributor Guidelines should I care to make future proposals. See below:

WEST Magazine – Contributor Guidelines

Who We Are

WEST is published three to four times a year by Western Financial Group Inc. (Western), based in High River, AB.

The company owns and operates more than 100 insurance, banking and financial services offices in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Many of these offices were at one time small family-owned businesses that have been purchased by Western. The company continues to add new offices every year.

WEST is designed to help Western communicate with its customers. It also serves as a corporate branding tool, to help establish in their minds that Western knows and respects Western Canada and the people who live here, that it can be trusted to do the best job and therefore is a good company with which to do business.

More than 120,000 copies of each issue are distributed free, mainly to customers across Western Canada. WEST is also sold by subscription, with information about how to subscribe printed in each issue.

What WEST Covers

WEST is a literary celebration of Western Canada.

We cover all that is special in this vast region, with a particular focus on the rural West represented by small towns and surrounding countryside.

WEST pays tribute to the people, history, culture, tourism, economy and the unique little quirks that make Westerners different than people from anywhere else.

As you will see from reading the current issue at (click on the WEST link), we publish longer pieces that inform, enlighten and entertain, in addition to weird, funny and unusual little stories that readers might find both interesting and amusing.

Back issues can be obtained by contacting Associate Editor Danielle Bernier at 403-652-2663, or by e-mail at

Each issue of WEST has five or six major features (800 to 2,500 words), a Health column, Cooking and Terroir columns, and several punchy, interesting and sometimes quirky Round Up items (200 words max) and Backgrounders (up to about 400 words).

WEST Writing and Photography

WEST pays up to 60 cents a word, upon acceptance of an assigned article.

A flat rate of $100 is paid for Roundup items of 50 to 200 words.

Payment covers one-time publication in WEST magazine, and perpetual use on the West/Western websites.

West reserves the right to edit all articles for space and to meet West’s editorial style and mandate. We pay on the basis of words assigned, not words published.

West – through our art director at RedPoint Media in Calgary – obtains photographs from archival organizations, agencies and freelance photographers.

In some instances, we assign a photographer to take photos to illustrate an assigned feature.

Photo useage and rates are negotiated by RedPoint Media, which handles our photography, design and advertising. Payment ranges from $600 for a cover photograph to $150 for each photograph used inside. For features that use multiple photos, West pays $150 each up to five photos, and a flat $750 fee for five photos or more. Please contact art director David Willicome at or call him at (403) 240-9055.

Photo payments include one-time use of published photographs in WEST magazine and perpetual use on the West/Western websites.

Making Submissions to WEST

WEST encourages proposals for articles and photographs.

Although many writers and photographers we deal with are experienced, we’re always on the lookout for new talent.

Always query us with an idea before you write the article.

E-mail queries directly to: Assignment Editor Bruce Masterman at

You also can mail queries to:

West Magazine

Western Financial Group Inc.

Box 5519

High River, AB

T1V 1M6

In your query, please tell us how you plan to approach the story, how many words you think you’ll need to tell it, why the story is important to Western Canada, why you’re the best person to write it and why you think the article is perfect for WEST.

Along with your query, tell us who you are, describe your experience as a writer or photographer, and indicate where your articles or photographs have been previously published.

Pitching Stories to West

If you’ve got a great story idea, the editors at West magazine want to know about it. But we need more than a one-line pitch roughly describing what you have in mind. Following is a brief guide outlining how you should shape your query to West.

Your query should show us that you:

  • Can write effectively.
  • Can spell and use grammar properly.
  • Have a coherent, well-thought-out idea that fits West’s content.
  • Have credentials or expertise to write the article.
  • Are professional in your approach to writing.
  • Are familiar with West.

Your query should include the following information:

  • A description of the general story idea.
  • Why you think it’s perfect for West.
  • Why West readers would want to read it.
  • Why you are the perfect writer to deliver it.
  • How you plan to approach the story, including the sources you plan to interview.
  • How many words you think you need to tell the story.
  • How long it would take to deliver a first draft to us if we assign it.
  • If you will you have photographs for us to consider.

Even if you do all these things, there’s still no guarantee we’ll give you a green light on your query.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t like it. It might mean it’s just not right for us, we’ve already published a similar piece or have one in the works.

We try to respond to queries within one week. Good luck.

This entry was posted in Canadian Authors, Marketing, Red Deer Writers' Ink, Self-publishing, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Contributor Guidelines – WEST magazine

  1. Guide Fleury says:

    Thansk for the information maybe I’ll try and make a submission one of these days. Its good to see local publications as well.

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