Submission Guidelines

Feature Articles

The Canadian Organic Grower (TCOG) magazine depends heavily on volunteer submissions. We welcome articles from all parts of Canada and from COG members abroad.

We try to provide a variety of articles in each issue on topics of specific interest to farmers, market gardeners, home gardeners and consumers of organic food. We also consider articles on topics such as cooking, nutrition, environmental concerns and progress within the organic movement.

General Guidelines

Before you begin to write, please contact the editors to discuss the topic and length of your article. Contact Joanne Thiessen Martens at editor@cog.ca.

Most articles are 500 to 1500 words in length and tend to fall into the following categories:

  • Personal experiences, observations or techniques. We are looking for new and different ideas on growing and marketing.
  • Research and its results. From formal research conducted by universities, colleges and governments to simple experiments done by individuals at home, these informative articles can point out new directions for readers to move in or simply increase their understanding of organics.
  • How-to articles related to farming and gardening. Whether it’s your own experiences or an account of how an expert does things, all steps should be thoroughly explained, and diagrams/photos should be supplied where needed for clarity.
  • Profiles of growers, of operations or of well-known or important people in the organic movement. These almost always include new ideas or techniques for readers to try. We like to include at least one profile of a Canadian organic enterprise in each issue. These can be organic (or transitional) farms, processing plants, marketers or others.

Farm profiles require relevant information, either in the article body or in a sidebar, such as:

  • the subjects’ names
  • farm workers (number of part-time and full-time workers, apprentices, etc.)
  • location (including distance to the nearest city)
  • soil characteristics (e.g. type, drainage, depth)
  • climatic characteristics (e.g. frost-free days, rainfall, corn heat units)
  • livestock (breeds, numbers, etc.)
  • crop rotation (describe what is grown each year of a typical crop rotation, including green manure and overseeded crops)
  • certification status (if and when the farm was first certified and by which body)
  • acreage

Make sure names are spelled correctly. Don’t get creative when quoting someone: if their exact words don’t fit into your article, paraphrase them, but make the original intent of the speaker clear to the reader.

Photographs

We welcome and encourage photo submissions with every article. Photos should support the content of the article, have good visual appeal, and be clear and in focus.

Try to get pictures of people actively working in their gardens or field. Please indicate who or what is in each photo. List groups of people from left to right and from back row to front row. Try to capture the same person, place or thing from more than one angle as you take pictures. Give us the photographer’s name so we can credit them.

With digital photos, we need high-resolution shots. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that the photo file size is at least 1 MB (preferably 2-5 MB) in size. Submit photos as jpg or jpeg files rather than embedding them in a Word document. If they are too large to send by email, contact us to make other arrangements.

Other Supporting Content

Other graphical content may be submitted with articles where appropriate. Examples of graphical content include diagrams, graphs, and tables of data or other information. Graphs and diagrams should be generated in Word or Excel and embedded in the file with the article.

Fact Checking

Please supply phone numbers and email addresses for interviewees so that we can fact-check where necessary. Also, provide Latin names for any unusual crops, weeds or insects described in the article.

Book Reviews

We welcome reviews of recently published books relevant to the organic sector, particularly those written by growers with experience. Reviews are 500-1000 words in length. We cannot offer an honorarium for reviews; however, reviewing is an excellent way for writers to break into the magazine and to share knowledge with other growers. If you are interested, please contact the librarian at library@cog.ca.

Photography Submissions

We welcome submissions of photographs for general use in the magazine and website, including the magazine cover. Photos should depict themes relevant to the organic sector, such as farm scenes, crops, livestock, equipment, products, people, markets, prepared food, etc. Photos should have good visual interest and be clear and in focus.

Photos for the magazine must be high resolution (at least 1600×2400 pixels; more is better). Cover photos must be portrait orientation and at least 3000 pixels wide by 3600 pixels high.

Compensation and Expenses

We currently rely heavily on volunteer writers and photographers. At our discretion, we may offer a modest honorarium for published articles and photographs.

Expenses are not reimbursed unless discussed and approved in advance.

Upcoming Submission Deadlines

Fall/winter issue submission deadline: September 15, 2017 (publish date: Nov 30, 2017)

Spring submission deadline: December 15, 2017 (publish date February 28, 2018)

Ready to Submit?

Please submit articles and photography to Joanne Thiessen Martens at editor@cog.ca.

Please submit book reviews to library@cog.ca.