Write for us / Draw for us
Ecotecture is the online journal of, for and, most importantly, by the ecological design community. Our mission is to bring your information to your fellow designers around the world so we can support one another's efforts to design a sustainable future. We see ourselves as an online virtual conference where designers everywhere can describe, discuss and debate the principles and practice of their craft.
The traditional way to get the word on ecological design to the community at large would be for a magazine's staff to do the reporting, travel to the sites, interview the designers and update their readers on the developments. In such a traditional magazine, the content would be determined by the editorial staff, ultimately the publisher.
Our resources are limited, however, especially compared to those of typical mass media publications that seem dedicated mostly to trashing the environment. But even if Ecotecture had the financial resources to maintain a staff of roving reporters, we could not possibly have the intellectual resources to understand and anticipate the important developments in the worldwide paradigm shift that is ecological design. There are too many ideas, too many specialties, too much ferment for a top-down content strategy and an small core of writers to reflect the emerging culture.
That is why we need our fellow designers, architects, builders, planners theorists and reporters to tell the worldwide design community what you are doing or have learned about. Only by making Ecotecture a vast resource where specialists in the hundreds of aspects of ecological design can learn about one another's work and share their own can we reflect the incredible diversity within the field.
If you want to share your ideas and experiences with the ecological design community, your are cordially invited to do so. Before sending your queries or submittals, however, please take a few minutes to read our publication and submission requirements below. We look forward to hearing from you.
JOURNAL ARTICLES AND E-BOOKS
Ecotecture publishes two types of material, topical articles and images posted on our Journal and self-contained instructional materials such as manuals, books, and online courses available from our online store. Journal material is accessible without cost; instructional material can be downloaded for a fee.
Journal articles are first posted on Ecotecture's home page. After an article has been on the site for a while, it is moved to the Library and replaced by a new current article. Most Library articles remain on the site indefinitely as part of an ever growing resource.
Some Journal contributors will also want to publish instructional materials. Such works are available only through Ecotecture Publication and Design's web site. If you are interested in publishing an instruction manual, E-book or online course with us, please write the firstname.lastname@example.org. The rest of this page is for Journal contributors only.
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THE BENEFITS OF WRITING FOR Ecotecture:
The Online Journal of Ecological Design
Let's get it over with, money is not a benefit of writing for the Journal. We do not have the resources to pay authors. In fact, at this point Ecotecture is run as a labor of love by a volunteer staff. We only hope that you love of the idea of a free resource for the entire design community enough to contribute a little of your time to it.
That said, there are many ways that you as a designer/author will benefit by sharing your work with Ecotecture's audience. They include:
- Worldwide exposure and recognition for your ideas and projects.
- Retention of the copyright to your work for your own future use.
- Free professional editing and help with your manuscript preparation.
- A higher percentage of the proceeds from any Ecotecture Publications instructional material you may create.
- A free download key for all Ecotecture Publication PDF's and courses.
- Possible future payment for certain journal materials (see below.)
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
There is a great deal of talk in the ecological design field to the effect that enough theorizing has been done and that we need only real projects and firm data. Similarly, some designers see ecological design as limited to energy considerations, political issues, planning issues, technology or education.
Such preconceptions don't hold much water with us. For humans to live in harmony with nature and to begin to design our systems so that they are compatible, functionally and aesthetically, with the natural ecosystems that surround them will require a paradigm shift of immense proportions. Virtually every aspect of human activity, culture and philosophy will have to be reexamined. Religious teachings as old as Genesis will have to be restated if we are to value our God-given planet enough to save it.
While Ecotecture is primarily a design journal, therefore, we take a broad view of design, refusing to limit it to architecture, planning, industrial ecology or transportation systems. Rather, we are interested in any human system, including economic and communication systems, which can be designed on ecosystemic or natural models. An article on the relationship between the internet and neural networks as complex systems, for example, would be of interest to us and, we hope to most of our readers as well. It could stimulate a new design solution to a seemingly unrelated problem.
Also, Ecotecture does not subscribe to a particular philosophy of ecological design. Just as we promote design and planning paradigms which enhance biological and cultural diversity, we promote intellectual diversity within the ecological design field by making room for a variety of opinions, sometimes controversial and even disputed by us, to be expressed on our web site. We feel that only through the open presentation of thesis and antithesis can the new synthesis which is the ecological design paradigm emerge. Ecotecture really is the journal of your ideas and experience.
No Greenwashing Please
Our only requirement is that all of our articles be genuinely concerned with the planet and making it a better place to live for all of its biota. Cooption of that ideal is not welcome.
When in the 1980's, for example, sustainable development became a focus for UNESCO, "sustainability" soon became a hip buzzword. It was then adapted, or, rather, coopted by the corporate "community," and perverted to take on a very different meaning than originally intended. Soon the boardrooms, buzzmalls and bars were bursting with talk of sustainable profits, sustainable yields, sustainable corporate structures. But those "sustainable" profits were, for the most part, based on the same old exploitation of natural "resources" for the increase, often to obscene levels, of a few people's wealth. In that context, "sustainable" sounded good, meant nothing, or, worse than nothing.
The one content consideration we do ask is for you to send us complete, well formulated queries and submissions. The possibility of living in harmony with nature is so exciting that many people, when encountering it for the first time, struggle to express themselves and any ideas they may have on the topic. Such comments and formulations are welcome on Ecotecture's site in our Forum.
If you want to submit a Journal article, however, it should be on a topic you have explored thoroughly, and that points others to new thinking and research. Articles have a beginning, middle and an end, and vary in length between two and ten thousand words. Since most of our readers are designers of some kind, and visually oriented, we encourage our contributors to include illustrations, whether they be photos of completed work, designs or just schematics in the case of theoretical presentations.
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Some topics do not require or merit full length articles. In the world of design, may such topics are "sight bites," photos or sketches of projects or ideas, usually accompanied by a caption or short explanation. Ecotecture supports sight bites on its Gallery page. The submittal requirements are the same as those for articles, so please read the material below before submitting a sight bite.
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Our submittal requirements reflect our available resources. We have little staff and less budget, so we need to make efficient use of our time. Since Ecotecture is your magazine, we ask your cooperation in helping it succeed. Please adhere to the following submittal requirements for your article.
Queries ONLY Please (PLEASE!)
A "query" is a short letter sent by an author to a publisher to inquire about its potential interest in his or her proposed article or book. The purpose of the query is to save both parties time if there is no interest on the publisher's part. If you are unfamiliar with the query protocol, read our sample query.
PLEASE send us an email query as your first contact. Your email should be addressed to email@example.com and consist of two parts:
1. A one-paragraph introduction to yourself
2. A synopsis of your proposed article in 250 words or less in the body of your email. (NO ATTACHMENTS!)
Do Not Send:
- Complete Articles
- Any type of email attachment
Digital Submissions Only
All submittals must be digital. Typed or handwritten submittals must be retyped by us, and we don't have the time. If you don't know how to use a computer, scan an image or send an email attachment, find a friend who does and have her or him help with your submittal.
Your article should be submitted in electronic format, preferably saved as an RTF or HTML file. Illustrations should be sent as JPEGS only. (Please do not send PhotoShop files or any other illustrations that are slow to download.) Detailed instructions for submitting your article will be sent with our acceptance letter.
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WHAT TO EXPECT
• Please Be Patient. Again, we have a tiny staff and are almost overwhelmed by the response to our journal. We respond to all queries, but it may take us a few weeks to do so.
• If we are not interested in publishing your article, you will receive a boilerplate email. Please do not be offended or disappointed if we do not publish your material. For a variety of reasons, we may not find your idea of interest or benefit to our readers at this time. That does not mean that it is not well presented, interesting or beneficial, just that it does not fit in with our current publishing plans. It may be that we have already accepted an article on a closely related topic, for example, or that we are planning an entirely new department on your topic to be written by our in-house staff.
• If we are interested in publishing your submission, we will notify you via email. Our email will include a short contract form that states the terms of our publication agreement. We ask that you print the agreement, sign it, and return it to the address on the form.
WE CANNOT PUBLISH YOUR SUBMISSION UNTIL WE HAVE YOUR PRINTED, SIGNED AGREEMENT IN HAND.
The agreement deals with issues of copyright and payment and is designed to protect your rights as an author and prevent possible misunderstandings between you and Ecotecture as well as protect you against copyright infringements by others.
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