Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
In FMCA’s most recent membership survey, Family Motor Coaching magazine once again was ranked first in importance among FMCA member benefits. Recently I identified the need for FMCA members to assist in the recruitment of new members, and what better way to make that happen than by introducing nonmember motorhome owners to this valuable source of information. While much of the material published in Family Motor Coaching is purchased from freelance writers, a considerable amount of the reading material that makes the magazine so outstanding comes from FMCA members themselves.
Members are encouraged to submit contributions for possible inclusion in Family Motor Coaching magazine. That said, I must add that in many areas of the magazine, we receive more articles, letters, and questions than we have space to print. This can be considered an advantage, however, in that it permits the editorial staff to select from a wide range of material. This in turn provides you with a dynamic magazine that not only supplies valuable motorhome information, but also a broad range of articles for your reading enjoyment.
This month I have asked Robbin Gould, Family Motor Coaching editor, to share with you the ways that members can contribute to the enjoyment we all experience when reading FMC magazine.
If You Like To Write . . .
By Robbin Gould
Family Motor Coaching benefits from the contributions of a group of loyal freelance writers; however, the magazine staff also continues to look for new sources of material. Over the years, FMCA members have proved to be well-qualified sources of chapter news, personality profiles, helpful suggestions for fellow motorhomers, and information about interesting destinations. After all, you’re the ones traveling, attending rallies, and enjoying the benefits of friendship with like-minded RVers.
Although space constraints prevent us from publishing all of the material we receive, FMCA members are welcome to submit articles and letters for consideration. We have an ongoing need for certain types of material, and we often rely on FMCAers’ contributions to fill these areas. First I’d like to explain these editorial needs and then discuss the best methods for would-be writers to contact the magazine.
Family & Friends. This section contains reports on recent FMCA area rallies. It’s also a great place for chapters to share news about their own rallies, anniversary celebrations, charitable projects, etc. Individual FMCA members and families occasionally are featured as well. And when space permits, we like to include photos that depict a memorable chapter event, a humorous sight a reader discovered while traveling, or an individual who deserves special recognition.
Chapter Spotlight. Each month a different FMCA chapter is highlighted in this column. The article contains information about the chapter’s scope and special interest, rally information, the types of activities chapter members enjoy, chapter dues, etc. Chapters that have not yet been featured in this column are eligible. We’re particularly interested in chapters that are looking to increase their membership, as Chapter Spotlights tend to generate considerable interest from readers.
Tech & Travel Tips. This column is coordinated by Bill Hendrix, F761S, and ranks as one of the most frequently read in the magazine. Members share ideas that make the motorhome lifestyle more enjoyable “” tips that save time, money, or effort. They can be technical in nature or a simple solution to a nagging problem. We ask that a photograph, a hand-drawn sketch, or a diagram be submitted with each tip that would benefit from a “visual.” Members receive $25 for each tip that’s published.
The Readers’ Forum column contains letters written by readers, for readers. FMCA members and others are encouraged to comment on articles that have appeared in FMC; to ask fellow readers questions about various aspects of motorhome travel; to recommend campgrounds, service facilities, or other businesses; to share an anecdote or an observation about motorhoming . . . and that’s just for starters. (E-mail: [email protected].)
Tech Talk, coordinated by technical editor Jim Brightly, F358406, with assistance from technical correspondents Ray Hobbs, F10175, and Bill Hendrix, is one of FMC’s two technical question-and-answer columns. Inquiries about towing, chassis operation and maintenance, and various other technical topics are welcomed. Because of the sheer volume of technical letters we receive for this column, we don’t have the resources to answer them all individually. We do publish representative samples, however, so that all readers can benefit. (E-mail: [email protected].)
House Calls With The RV Doctor, FMC’s second technical Q&A column, is coordinated by “RV Doctor” Gary Bunzer. As the column’s name implies, Gary fields queries related to the “house” portion of the motorhome “” operation and troubleshooting of appliances, components, etc. (E-mail: [email protected].)
Many of the feature articles published in Family Motor Coaching are submitted by freelancers who make a living by writing or who pursue it as a hobby. Some of them are FMCA members, as you’ll note by the membership numbers included in their bylines.
At times, an FMCA member who is not a regular contributor may encounter a destination that he or she would like to share with fellow members, be it a state or national park, a city, a museum, or some other site of interest. The competition for travel articles is particularly fierce, because we receive a large number of articles and story proposals of this type. We do, of course, entertain all article ideas.
We’re always looking for articles on miscellaneous topics as well “” features that focus on various aspects of the motorhome lifestyle. These include profiles of motorhomers “” preferably FMCA members “” who have interesting hobbies or jobs and/or use their coaches in unusual or noteworthy pursuits; articles about health, fitness, or nutrition; how-to craft pieces; and nostalgic looks back at early-day motorhomes or RVing adventures. FMC readers may recall a recent article about a Louisiana restaurateur who fed and entertained search-and-rescue troops working in the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina; another that discussed traveling with children; and a third that provided hints on working while RVing.
Instead of sending a completed article, it’s best to submit a “query” by letter or e-mail first in which you propose your idea and explain what you would intend to cover. This will save you time and effort if we already have an article about that topic in-house; have covered it too recently to repeat the topic; are expecting an article on the same topic from another writer; or the topic falls outside the editorial focus of our magazine.
Photos. We ask that photos be submitted with article manuscripts or, as mentioned above, with “Tech & Travel Tips.” We can use high-quality color prints or transparencies, or high-resolution digital images. Because of reproduction requirements, digital images should be at least 300 dpi and approximately 4 inches by 6 inches in size. If submitting a large number of digital images, it’s best to burn them onto a CD and send them via postal mail rather than attempting to e-mail them. Captions should accompany photos of people, places, events, or activities that need identification.
Contacting the magazine. If you’d like more information about how to submit a “Family & Friends” story, a “Chapter Spotlight,” or a “Tech & Travel Tip,” please contact us via regular mail (Family Motor Coaching, 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244) or via e-mail ([email protected]). The same goes if you have an idea for a feature article. To send a letter to the “Readers’ Forum,” “Tech Talk,” or “RV Doctor” columns, mail it to the FMCA national office or use one of the e-mail addresses included above.