Author Guidelines

Thanks for considering to contribute to Model Aviation. Being the voice of the AMA, we strive to provide diverse content relating to all aspects of model aviation. If you have a story or feature you want published in Model Aviation, please read the guidelines and submission information below.



Text should be single-spaced on 8-1/2 x 11 white paper with 1-inch margins. Authors should write all text from a first-person point of view. Characters should be in uppercase and lowercase (capitals and small letters) in a fashion similar to these guidelines. Italics should be used for emphasis instead of uppercase letters or underlines. Please do not make manual corrections on your manuscript!

Preferred method of text submission is CD-ROM, with word-processing program indicated (Microsoft Word is strongly encouraged), backed up with an ASCII (generic) file and a printout of the file (Macintosh users please save as text-only file[s]). Use as few computer commands as possible.

Electronic submission of text: We can read attachments to E-mail messages or text pasted directly into the original message.

How-to information should be presented in the direct and orderly way, but realize that a large part of the reading audience is not at an advanced level of modeling, so even rather basic information should be included. Keep slang terms to a minimum and include an explanation of abbreviations, acronyms, etc. used, for the benefit of the less-experienced modelers who may be reading your article/column.

Give the brand names of commercial products rather than (or in addition to) a generic description.



We will accept glossy color prints from 35mm cameras, slides, and digital photos. If your camera has a date-stamping feature, please turn it off. Do not mark on the backs of the photos with felt-tip markers or ball-point pens. The ink may bleed onto the emulsion of the next photo in the stack, and this cannot be removed. Do note who took the photos so that proper credit can be given when they are published.

Each photo should have a typed, nonrepetitive, descriptive caption of 20-30 words in length. Ordinarily the captions will explain something that is visible in the photos, although some can be more general. Type caption information on a separate page with some type of key for reference.

The following guidelines for digital photos must be followed:

Resolution must be 300 ppi (pixels per inch) at an image size of 5 x 7 inches, and laser proofs must be furnished with the files. Model Aviation will attempt to match color proofs as closely as possible.

Compressed formats should not be saved again before providing them to us. File formats accepted are .jpg and .tif. Model Aviation reserves the right to reject any photo that does not meet resolution standards.

Digital photos should be submitted on CD-ROM. We will not accept photocopies or color copies or prints from home ink-jet printers, except to provide a proof of the digital file furnished, nor do we accept E-mailed photos. Do not imbed photos in text; they must be saved as separate files.

As technology develops and consumer-level equipment improves in quality, we will review our policy on digital photography.



Construction articles require full-size drawings in pencil, ink, or CAD (Computer Aided Design). These can be submitted to us as nicely arranged and lettered pencil drawings on vellum, to be traced in ink by a draftsman, or the plans can be submitted as finished ink drawings with mechanical lettering on drafting Mylar film (or equal). If the latter, we can pay more. However, professional‑quality work is required, and we cannot suggest that an inked drawing be submitted unless the person doing so is a professional and practiced at this kind of work. Inked drawings should have a 1/2-inch border and should provide a blank area in the lower right‑hand corner to allow us to insert a plan number.

Pencil drawings can be reproduced to have the same quality as ink, if carefully and neatly done. Callouts must be neat, and of uniform size. You may produce the callouts on a computer and paste them on.

Pen weight should be no smaller than .35mm for inked and plotted drawings. Suggested weight for the border is .60. Plans must comply with standard sizes for large copiers (no larger than 36 x 51 inches per sheet).

Some CAD plans may not be of high enough resolution to be used. If redrawing is necessary, payment will not be as high. A full‑size plot should be submitted, along with a disk or CD containing the drawing files.

If CAD is used, a full‑size plot should be submitted along with a disk containing the drawing files. CAD files should be submitted in the native format of your CAD system, along with complete data regarding the name and version number of the system. If your CAD drawing is in 3‑D, then it should be converted to 2‑D before submission.

Some CAD systems require data regarding the plotter be used to replicate the drawing; please include if necessary.

CAD files should be furnished in one of the following formats, which are listed in order of preference:

1. .DWG files: AutoCAD native drawing format

2. .DXF files: AutoCAD Drawing eXchange Format

3. .IGS files: IGES format per international standards

4. CAL files: CCITT Group 4 files (State DPI and field size)

5. .TIF files: Line Art; state width and height in pixels

6. .PCX files: Line Art; state width and height in pixels

CAD‑generated plot files are not acceptable because they are normally specific to a plotter model and configuration. If your CAD file cannot be read by our computer systems, your draft plots may be submitted to our draftsman for inking. If redrawing is necessary, payment will not be as high. Some CAD plans may not be of high enough resolution to be used.



Black‑and‑white line art or cartoons: Submit clear photocopies until we approve for purchase. Upon approval, submit original black‑and‑white line illustrations on paper that provides smooth lines for inking, such as vellum, illustration board, or Bristol board.

Color illustrations: Color copies of slides or photographs (no originals) should be submitted for approval. Please photograph paintings. All photographic expenses are incurred by the submitting artist. Color originals can be done on any paper suitable for the medium selected for the work.

Cover Photos: Please submit only strong verticals. Only top‑quality original color slides, glossy prints, or digital photos of the correct resolution will be accepted. Use of slow‑speed film is encouraged, in consideration of grain and depth of field. Keep foreground or background detail to a minimum. We prefer action photos or photos of models in flight, but professional studio photography is definitely welcomed and encouraged. “Glamour” photos are not welcome. Model Aviation encourages aspirants to keep a copy of their work, because submissions become the property of Model Aviation and will not be returned. Selection and publication of all art is subject to the approval of the magazine staff.



Model Aviation has a payment-on-acceptance policy (we do not buy all submissions). Once the author is paid, Model Aviation owns the rights to the article and/or model design, and reserves the authority to edit or change the manuscript as necessary. All authors are required to sign the attached "Agreement and Assignment" form and return it to Editor Jay Smith at the address below. Guarantees are not given regarding publication dates. Payment is based on the number of magazine pages expected to be reserved for the article, and the amount of additional work and expense required to get the article into publishable condition.


Editorial Offices

Model Aviation is an official publication of The Academy of Model Aeronautics, Inc., 5161 E. Memorial Dr., Muncie IN 47302; Tel.: (765) 287‑1265; Fax: (765) 281‑7907. Director of Publications, Rob Kurek.

Direct article proposals and author inquiries to
Editor Jay Smith 5161 E. Memorial Dr. Muncie IN 47302 Tel.: (765) 287-1256, ext. 225 E-mail: [email protected].

These guidelines for article submissions were revised and are effective December 31, 2007. This page and all contents are copyright 1995‑2011 by the Academy of Model Aeronautics Inc., Muncie, Indiana.

Author Agreement Form

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