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Author Guidance

Writing for Horizons, Author Guidance

Preparing an article for submission

Essentials to help you get your article ready for submission:

  • Approach: The article should aim to benefit Outdoor Learning practitioners, for example by sharing ideas, knowledge or reflecting on practice. Some articles may issue a respectful, well- balanced challenge to the status quo. Articles should not sound like an advert for authors or their organisations, nor should articles read as a rant.
  • Finding a voice: Horizons follows a magazine style approach and we do not publish overly academic articles. Articles should be easily accessible to read, including brief explanations (where necessary) for lesser known technical or academic terms.
  • Article length: Articles are usually between 500 and 2000 words, this allows us to publish a variety of topics per issue. Don’t limit chances of getting published by sending an article which is too long.
  • References: Although Horizons follows a magazine approach, articles often include references to support discussion, or to share useful resources with readers. References should be numbered at the end of the relevant sentence (1)- with full details of author, date, title, publisher/ url, page number or image reference (etc) listed at the end of the article.
  • Article exclusivity: It is expected that articles submitted to Horizons have not been published elsewhere. If you wish to submit an article that has been, or expected to be published elsewhere, for example if it is important safety information, or the article featured in a publication not viewed by the mainstream Horizons readership, please get in touch. Once published in Horizons, an article should not be published elsewhere in the same format without consent from the IOL Horizons editorial team.
  • Extra requests: To help with signposting to your article in the magazine we may ask you for a resource recommendation. More information will be supplied when the request is made.



Although Horizons follows a magazine approach, articles often include references to support discussion, or to share useful resources with readers. References should be numbered at the end of the relevant sentence (1) with full details of author, date, title, publisher/ url, page number or image reference (etc) listed at the end of the article. Some examples of how we reference:

(1) Payne, G (2006). Social divisions. China: Palgrave Macmillan.
(2) Burton, L (2015). Under-representation of women in sport leadership: A review of research. Sport Management Review, 18(2), 155-165.

Please do not use footnotes for your references as we need to be able to easily edit and transfer your work between different files.


Author profile and image requirements

Each author should send a high resolution JPEG profile image and up to 100 words profiling yourself, your work and your organisation. Profiles can be as serious, amusing or ironic as you feel best fits the article, though remember your profile will be preserved with your article in the Horizons archive.

Ideally high resolution JPEG images should be supplied with your article. More technical ‘how to…’ articles might have between 8-10 images to help guide the reader through. Other articles may have between 2-8 images- some of which may be tables, charts or drawings as well as photographs. Let us know when you submit your article if you haven’t got any images; not having images may delay the review and publication process. We need to know who has copyright for the images you send us and if people have given their permission for images to be taken and used in publications (not specifically for Horizons).

IOL reserves the right to use photographs submitted for Horizons in other IOL communications, such as website, social media, newsletters, promotional literature and other publications. Where possible we will attribute the image copyright owner.

Submitting your article

Send your article (with references) and author profile in an unformatted word document to Horizons editor Carmen Byrne. Please proof check your article and also make sure your text has two spaces after full stops and one space after commas.

Title your email subject with Horizons submission/ Author name/ article title. If you have images, send a PDF to show their position against the text. This will help with the editing process.

Send high resolution images (photographs, diagrams etc.) and your author profile image to Carmen Byrne at IOL including the title of your article.

Publication process and operational information

Horizons is not-for-profit and operates with a minimal staff resource. We do not pay for content, and the magazine is edited and designed in-house on a cost covering basis.

The magazine is published quarterly: Winter (January), Spring (April), Summer (July), Autumn (October). Though you can submit an article at anytime, issue submission deadlines are late-October, early February, early May, early August. Articles are selected, edited and published over a yearly cycle so we can ensure a variety of content per issue.

The editorship is a part time role, and so, although you will receive an acknowledgement when we receive your email, it may be a number of weeks before it is reviewed.

Sometimes the editor will reply with questions or guidance to support the development of your article, and sometimes the editor will introduce an author to a Horizons Panel member. This is when, for example, we consider the article to be a really strong good practice story, which only needs a little bit of development to really bring it to life. For more information about the Horizons Panel go to the Panel page.

Not all articles will be printed, and the editor cannot provide individual feedback on why an article is not printed. Articles which don’t meet the guidelines will not be printed.

Authors will receive a complementary printed copy of the Horizons issue their article has been published in. IOL are also happy to announce that Horizons is distributed using a fully compostable film packaging and where possible environmentally friendly printing processes are used.

If you feel your article has been unfairly treated, email your comments to the IOL Office.


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Pre-submission checklist

  1. Have you checked your article approach aligns with Horizons?
  2. Have you written in a magazine style: professional and accessible?
  3. Have you explained any less well known technical or academic language?
  4. Is your article easy to follow? Are you trying to say too much in a short word count?
  5. Have you answered any questions or statements you set yourself at the beginning of the article?
  6. Are references numbered in text and listed at the end of the article?
  7. Is your author profile and image ready?
  8. Have you got images for the article?.
  9. Do you know who owns the copyright for the images?
  10. Have the people in photographs given their permission for photos to be used in publications?
  11. Have you asked a friend or colleague to review your article? It helps to have a fresh pair of eyes.
  12. Have you set the documents up correctly (word doc and pdf with images to the editor; images to Fiona)?
  13. After you’ve checked everything, put your article aside for a couple of days and then re-read it before you send it to us. Giving your article a last look over is always good practice, and you’re bound to spot something you missed earlier!

Examples of how your article might look


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