Submission Guidelines - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Popular Woodworking Magazine invites woodworkers of all levels into a community of experts who share their hard-won shop experience through in-depth projects and technique articles.

We ask that you familiarize yourself thoroughly with the magazine, and the quality and types of articles we typically publish, before sending your query. It will also be to your benefit to make sure we’ve not published on a similar topics/project within a 2-year period.

Any project submitted must be aesthetically pleasing, of sound construction and offer a challenge to readers. Project submissions must include three-view construction drawings and professional-quality digital images to be considered.

Send your manuscript via e-mail to Andrew Zoellner at

Query Guidelines
On average, we use five features per issue that are written by freelancers, usually professional or highly trained amateur woodworkers. Our primary needs are “how-to” articles on woodworking projects, and instructional features dealing with woodworking and techniques. We rarely publish freelance articles about woodworkers and their particular work. The tone of articles should be conversational and informal, as if the writer is speaking directly to the reader. Word length ranges from 1,200 to 2,500. Typical payment for features range from $1000 to $3000, depending on the total package submitted (including its quality) and the writer’s level of woodworking and writing experience.

All submissions, except “Out of the Woodwork” columns and “Tricks of the Trade,” should be preceded by a query. We accept unsolicited manuscripts and artwork. Digital queries are preferred. We try to respond to all queries within 60 days.

Queries must include:
• A brief outline of the proposed article (see sample query below).
• A summary of the techniques used to complete the project. Include step-by-step illustrations if possible.
• A short biographical sketch, including both your woodworking and writing experience and accomplishments. Also provide your address, daytime telephone number and email.
• A color photo(s) (preferably digital) of the completed project/technique.
• A construction drawing or SketchUp model (preferred).
• A list of all materials needed.

We receive and look at many great submissions each month, so submit only your best work.

• End Grain: This one-page article, averaging about 550 words, reflects on the writer’s thoughts about woodworking as a profession or hobby. The article can be either humorous or serious. This is a good entry point for first-time freelancers. We purchase seven of these columns a year. The writer does not need to be a professional or even experienced woodworker.

• Tricks of the Trade: Payment varies from $50-$100 for this collection of tips from readers. Whenever possible, please include sketches or photos to illustrate your technique, jig, or whatever it is you’re submitting for consideration.

Don’t worry about the quality of your Tricks of the Trade pictures, as long as they help describe what you’re talking about. Our artist will use them to create a drawing for the column. For Tricks, never hesitate to submit something because “I’m not a writer.” We can fix the words. When submitting a Trick, either by mail or email, always include your full mailing address and phone number. We’ll need to know where to send your payment or prize, and an editor will need to contact you by phone if your trick is selected for publication. If you live in the U.S.A., be aware that Popular Woodworking Magazine will need your social security number to process payment. However, to protect that information, we suggest you do not include it with your submission. If your trick is selected for publication, we’ll ask you for it then.

We understand that some readers submit their tricks to various magazines at the same time. That’s your prerogative, of course, but be aware that no magazine likes to see the same trick in a competitor’s publication. To keep everyone happy, please let us know immediately when a trick you submitted to Popular Woodworking Magazine has been accepted for publication by another magazine.

Sample Query
SaturdayTableThis article will show readers how to build a “Saturday Table” from measured drawings of the original, from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky (this is the first time these plan will be published, anywhere). A “Saturday Table” is a collective name for a small occasional table made up of offcuts from the previous week’s work. What’s unique about this table are the 8-sided legs and the simple band saw cradle I built to produce them.

– Prep the stock on the jointer & planer
– Prepare for top panel glue up with hand-planed finish-joint
– Glue up panel for top

– Mill six leg blanks (extras are always good for test cuts)
– Build band saw cradle out of scrap
– Measure and dill holes in leg blanks at rotation axes
– Create flexible pattern for leg facets
– Place blank in cradle and cut first taper, then check
– Cut the remaining square tapers on band saw
– Work freehand to create octagonal tapers with plane and paring chisel. Don’t measure – it’s not necessary and I’ll show why
– Mark and cut mortises for tenons

– Create mortises with dado blade on table saw
– Fit tenons to mortises
– Create screw pockets on drill press or with chisels/gouges

Glue up
– Undercut tenons to provide breathing room for seasonal apron shrinkage
– Assemble table base
– Secure tenons with hand-made round pegs
– Center undercarriage to top and attach
– Finish to suit

End note
– Perfect measurements are not necessary; after all, our ancestors didn’t have laser levels and micrometers, and you don’t need them, either.

– Walnut
– Glue
– Screws

Kerry Pierce has been a professional woodworker and woodworking teacher for more than two decades. He has written more than 10 books on woodworking, including “The Wood Stash Project Book,” “Quick and Easy Jigs and Fixtures,” and “Authentic Shaker Furniture.”

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