Q: What is this
A: It's to answer the questions we've been asked about writing articles
for Visions. Hopefully, it will help you get an idea of what we're looking
for and the best way of appearing in Visions.
Q: How current
A: The last update on this file was September 2nd, 2005.
Q: What type of
material are you looking for?
that's a simple one: anything related to magic! Effects, opinions, tips...
you name it! Got a neat trick you'd like to show others? Send it in!
Came up with a neat marketing idea? Send it in! Got a pet goat for sale?
Keep it, thanks anyway. Otherwise, any topic directly related to magic
or the related fields is just what we're looking for!
Q: How do I send
the article to you?
A: By email, in plain-text only, please.
Q: My article
really needs pictures/diagrams/etc to make sense. Can I send those in?
A: If your piece really can't do without pictures and the like, then
yes, send them in as attachments to the original plain-text.
Place pointers inside the document so I'll know where you'd like the
picture to go ("INSERT IMAGE 1 HERE" is good enough; I'll
take care of the rest).
Q: What about
video? I'd really like to include video.
A: That gets a bit trickier given all sorts of limitations (especially
when trying to email a 200MB video file). Write
me before you send it and we'll work it out.
Q: I've written
an article and I've sent it a lot of magazines. Can I send it to you?
A: Sorry, but no. In publishing, this is called a "simultaneous
submission" and can cause all sorts of problems. On the net especially
it usually leads to finger-pointing over theft and who stole from whom
and who copied what and all of that nonsense.
Q: My article
has already been published elsewhere but I'd still like to send it to
you? Will you publish it?
A: Absolutely. Re-printing material that's already been published is
not a worry. Just be sure that you still hold the copyright (some magazines
and websites will take ownership of your material as a condition of
publication). Also, be sure to specify where and when the article first
appeared so we can reference that when we re-print it.
Q: Speaking of
copyrights... if I send you my article, do I still own it?
A: All the material on Visions is held in copyright by The Visions Group
and the author, which would be you. Legally, we both own it, but TVG
only has the acknowledged right to publish the article on the website
hosted at http://www.online-visions.com, to make a single back-up copy
for business continuity purposes, and to re-print it in any antholgy
collection directly related to Visions (such as annuals). All other
uses are reserved to you, the author of the article.
Q: You published
my article. Since I own it, can I have it re-printed elsewhere?
A: Yes, you can, with the following provision. Any article re-printed
elsewhere must state explicitly the following: "Originally appeared
in Visions, The Online Journal of the Art of Magic (http://www.online-visions.com).
Re-printed with permission." There are a multitude of reasons for
this, most especially keeping folks from thinking someone is stealing
something from somebody. Believe me, when an article gets re-printed,
the emails start flowing. The other good reason is that it's simple
Q: Will my article
appear anyplace else? Like in a book or something?
A: Quite possibly. There is always the likelihood of ebooks or even
printed collections of the material that appears on Visions (as we did
in the Lybrary.com collection
for Visions: Year One). Of course, if you want your material to appear
someplace else -- go for it! Just remember the "re-print"
Q: I sent in
a trick and I now I want to make it and sell it. Can I do that?
A: Absolutely! You hold all the rights except for single-publication
and back-up. Manufacturing rights are entirely yours!
Q: My spelling
and grammar really stink, but I have a great idea for an article. Should
I even bother sending it in?
A: Yes, you should! We get a great many pieces from folks who have problems
with the language, usually because English is not their native language.
It may take an email or two between us to get the meaning straight,
but don't let poor grammar and spelling stop you from sending in a great
piece! We'll work it out.
wrote an article I disagree with. Can I write a rebuttal? Will you publish
A: Of course! Open debate is good for everyone involved, and rebuttals
-- articles presenting opposing views -- are part and parcel of debate.
Stay away from personal attacks, though; civil discourse is always a
Q: Are there
any guidelines to how you want the articles formatted?
A: Nope. Don't worry about formatting, especially since we're dealing
with plain-text here. During editing, we'll take care of any formatting
that needs to be done (or we think needs to be done) to make the article
easier to read.
Q: What personal
info should I include with my article?
A: This is really important. Be sure to include your full name as
you want it to appear in the article, plus a short (one paragraph, about
100-250 words) bio. Also, please let me know if you don't
want your email address published with the article -- as a rule, we
always include that so others can write to you directly about your article.
Q: I've written/created
something. Can I mention it in my bio?
A: Sure! Feel free to include the purchase info (website, cost, etc)
and we'll include it in the bio.
Q: What will
keep you from publishing an article?
A: There are only a few things and that just because of what is usually
referred to as "editorial discretion". In general, make the
article about magic, use common sense and you're article will be fine.
Q: I sent in
an article. Will you critique it for me even if you don't publish it?
A: We'll try, but I can't promise how quickly we'll get back to you.
We receive a lot of submissions, too many to allow for many long, lengthy
analyses. But we do appreciate your sending it in and, even in the event
of rejection, we'll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
Q: How long should
my article be?
A: The old adage of using just the right number of words and not one
more usually applies, but that's a bit trick at times. Generally, about
1000 words will suffice. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule, though: we've
published shorter pieces. So send it in and, if we feel it needs to
be longer, we'll let you know!
Q: I'm just a
beginner, but I think I've got a neat idea. Should I send it in?
A: Definitely! Hey, we were all beginners once (I still think I am and
I've been doing this for decades) so don't let that stop you. Being
a beginner might actually be an advantage to you. So send it in by all
Q: Where can I ask another question?
A: As always, just drop me