Contributor Guidelines


Contributor Guidelines

We welcome your contributions for possible publication in School Nutrition. The following are specific recommendations to increase the chances of your article or idea being accepted. Also, please review a copy of "12 Tips for Contributing to School Nutrition" before submitting your article or query.

General Information

School Nutrition is the official publication of the School Nutrition Association and is read by SNA's 55,000 members. From new program regulations and legislation to technological innovations, best practices and cafeteria renovations, school nutrition professionals rely on School Nutrition to bring them the practical information they need to succeed in this rapidly changing business. It is their #1 source for K-12 foodservice solutions and strategies.

Publishing 11 issues per year, School Nutrition stands alone as the focused, authoritative source on the K-12 school nutrition market. No other foodservice magazine provides our depth of coverage for professional development success.

Article Requirements

Query: We recommend that you send us (via e-mail to ) a query letter and/or outline that describes your proposed article so we can be sure your idea is on target with our editorial needs. Be specific and provide details as to how your article will be developed. Expect that query review may take some time, however.

Length: Feature articles should average between 1,700 and 2,700 words (or more if the topic requires greater detail). Regular departments (such as “Nutrition Matters," “Playing it Safe,” or “Tools of the Trade”) should be a minimum of 800 words and not exceed 1,700 words.

Specifications: Following query approval, articles may be submitted via e-mail to snmagazine@schoolnutrition.orgWhen submitting through regular mail, we prefer articles submitted on CD. (Even if you send a diskette, be sure to include a laser-printed copy. This is helpful in case the CD is damaged, incompatible or in some way unusable.) We use Microsoft Word for Windows, but can convert from some other formats. Always include your name, title, business mailing address, phone number and fax number with your article. Articles sent without an approved query and handwritten articles will be rejected without review.

Tone: Write in a personal, direct tone in an active voice. Whenever possible, give specific examples from an actual school nutrition environment, preferably by an SNA member school or district. Quotes are encouraged. Sidebars (short accompanying pieces of tips, pointers or resources) can be helpful if they illustrate points in the article.

Artwork: We accept electronic images, saved as jpeg, at a high resolution (300 dpi) and sized as a conventional 3x5 or 4x6 image. We do not accept prints printed on standard paper; photographic paper only. We will accept prints on photographic paper or slides as necessary. Include captions, but do not write on the backs of photos. Identify people and the activity in the photo on a separate sheet of paper or on a paper label attached to the back. Indicate if you need to have pictures returned. Know that if we accept your artwork, we may need to keep it for several months. We also encourage charts, graphs and other artwork; please contact editorial office in advance for appropriate specifications.

Topic Areas

The editorial content in School Nutrition is divided into feature articles, food articles, regular departments and columns. The Editorial Calendar lists feature topic areas that are planned for a specific issue. For a copy of the calendar, refer to SNA's website ( ) or contact the editorial office.

Feature articles: These are usually written by the editorial staff or assigned by the editors to writers or experts in the industry. If you are interested in writing on a specific topic, you can send us a query and outline of your article idea; the editor may opt to have you serve as a resource for interview rather than an author. Also, feel encouraged to submit your name as a potential expert.

Food articles: These focus on a specific food topic, often accompanied by recipes and photographs. Query the office for specifications before submitting to this department.

Regular departments: Although we assign many of these departments to regular contributors, if your article idea is particularly appropriate for “Cafeteria Classroom,” "Marketing Notebook," “It’s Your Business,” “Partners for Progress,” "Nutrition Matters," "TechStop," “Ideas at Work,” “Playing it Safe” or “Tools of the Trade,” "Commodity Exchange" or "SizeWise," we will consider it for publication. “On the Market” features new product releases selected at the sole discretion of the editorial staff.

Editorial Policies

Review and acceptance: For features and departments, we will review all articles for timeliness and appropriateness and will attempt to notify authors of our decision within 12 weeks of receipt. Note, however, that your article may not be scheduled for publication at the time of its acceptance. In addition, advertising and space considerations may “bump” your article to a different issue. Published authors will receive two complimentary copies of the magazine in which their article appears, as well as return of diskettes and artwork. Press releases submitted for “On the Market” will be reviewed for appropriateness to the school foodservice market. Advertisers with regular schedules are frequently given preference, but duplication of releases will not be permitted.

Product endorsements: Feature articles must be non-promotional and generic in nature. The editors will delete references to product brand names in articles or recipes. However, authors do receive bylines, and we credit all photographs, artwork and recipes.

Originality: Aside from occasional book or magazine excerpts, adaptations or reprints, we accept only previously unpublished manuscripts.

Copyright: All published material is copyrighted by the School Nutrition Association under the “work made for hire” provision. Article submission implies author agreement with this policy. We retain rights for electronic publication and reprint opportunities; in certain circumstances we will negotiate the return of all other rights to the author.

Proof review: We reserve the right to alter any accepted manuscript for clarity and adherence to School Nutrition’s editorial style. Manuscript submission implies author agreement with this policy. With certain exceptions, we do not provide authors with proofs of edited versions of their manuscripts.

School Nutrition
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