Re: model magazines
Tom Olson refers to articles submitted to the Keystone that made the editor cringe -- at CN LINES we refer to them as "article kits". We get a partially-written article, a few photos, and an expectation that we make something of them. Usually we do assuming that there is something of value therein, but they do take more work on our part, so we don't tend to run them nearly as quickly. We also have one prolific author who does not write well, but does offer informative pieces. Fortunately he recognizes that we need to rewrite his material and has no problem with it.
As for the commercial mags, so far I have been lucky. My MR article was commissioned albeit indirectly by the folks at Waukesha -- seems they'd been sitting on some Patrick Lawson drawings for some time, and I was approached by Patrick to write the article to go along with the drawings, as well as locate supporting photos. It took a couple of days at the National Archives to find the supporting material and photos. Ultimately the folks at MR rewrote it considerably and cut it in half -- not a serious problem as ultimately much of this material became part of a more extensive article that I then prepared for CN LINES.
The opposite took place with RMC. In this case I took an article I'd written for CN LINES, bundled it with Bob McLarty drawings and a few corrections and Bill Schaumburg ran every word that I wrote (unchanged as far as I can tell), along with nearly every photograph I sent him.
My next article will probably only see the light of day in CN LINES though -- I'm working on chronicling the various rebuilding programs for CN's 40-foot box cars. So far the tables alone will eat up at least 8 pages!
Associate Editor, CN LINES
Osgoode, Ontario, Canada