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Lion Roars Submissions

The Lion Roars™ Submissions

I. Policy about Submission of Materials to The Lion Roars 

A. Members are encouraged to submit articles and photographs (hereinafter “Materials”) to LCCA for publication in The Lion Roars or on the club's website, There shall be no remuneration for any such Materials submitted and published by the club. Members may preliminarily propose an idea to the Editor prior to developing Materials for submission. Materials may be submitted to the designated Editor by email (the preferred route) or by U.S. Mail. 

B. Digital photographs a minimum of 4 Megabytes (4 Mb’s) or 300 dpi (or a technical equivalent thereof) and actually sized to 4x6 inches are preferred. However, 4x6-inch color prints are acceptable, and LCCA will perform the process of digital scanning without charge to the photographer. After publication, the color prints will be returned to the author. The Editor prefers engaging photos that tell their own story without reliance on a narrative caption.

C. Materials submitted for consideration for publication will be promptly acknowledged upon receipt, and a notice of acceptance (or rejection) will be provided in a timely manner. Materials not accepted for publication will be returned to the author. If sent by mail, include a self-addressed envelope with appropriate return postage. 

D. Materials published by LCCA are for the exclusive benefit of its members. When an author submits Material to LCCA for consideration for publication, such author declares to be true that: 

1) the Material is the author's work and is not plagiarized from the work of others. 

2) the same or similar material has not already been submitted to, accepted for pending publication by, or published by any other entity.

3) the author has not and will not submit Materials accepted by LCCA to any other entity either simultaneously or subsequently. Authors who violate this rule will not be permitted to submit Materials to LCCA in the future. 

E. All Materials published by LCCA are copyrighted; therefore, no such Materials may be reproduced, republished, or transmitted in any form by any means for any purposes without the written consent of LCCA. 

F. Requests from other entities for permission to republish Materials published by LCCA will be directed to the club's President for consideration and decision. If permission to republish is granted, the Materials, when republished, must contain this customary acknowledgement: 

 Article/photo by (name of LCCA member) is republished with the permission of the Lionel Collectors Club of America (LCCA). 

II. Submission Form for Authors

For convenience, authors may open this pdf file, print and sign it, then send it by U.S. Mail to the Editor. 

Lion Roars Submissions 2024.pdf

III. Guidelines for Authors and Photographers 

The LCCA invites members to tell their story about their experiences in the train hobby and share it with others through the club's color magazine. Articles and color images may be prepared and submitted to the Editor for consideration for publication according to the Policy about Submission of Materials (see above). 

A) About Preparing Text

To optimize acceptance, follow these guidelines for preparing text. Articles about Lionel toy trains – past and present – are favored. The Lion Roars seeks articles about the train hobby, layout design and construction and operation, history and nostalgia about toy trains, historical information about LCCA, family enjoyment of toy trains, collecting and operating toy trains.

Submission of materials for publication in The Lion Roars is limited to LCCA members except by waiver from the Editor. Contact the Editor in advance with your idea; someone else may already have developed it or be in the process of preparing the same or a similar concept. Best route for an initial contact is by email, then by phone.

Junior Members are encouraged to submit articles to The Lion Roars. It’s okay for dad and mom (or grandparents) to assist a Junior Member, but the article should read “like a kid wrote it.” 

Many articles are presented as two to three finished pages, including photos. Use the word count feature of Microsoft Word software or similar to determine the number of words. About 500 to 700 words and one or two photos will fill a magazine page. An article of about 2,000 words plus four or six photos is typical. 

Prepare the text in a word processing program (like Microsoft Word) document with 1-inch margins on all four sides, single-line spacing, indented paragraphs, only one space between sentences and only one line space between paragraphs. Before submitting your text, apply spell checker and grammar checker to it. Make your high school English teacher proud of your literary effort! 

Text may be submitted to the Editor in Times New Roman (12 points), which is The Lion Roars standard for editorial processing. The Lion Roars graphic design team will add magazine formatting to it during the page layout process. 

The Lion Roars applies the Associated Press Stylebook to materials for punctuation and usage, plus some editorial provisions based on the specialized subject matter of the hobby. Several proofreaders are involved in the editorial preparation process. In event of different recommendations from proofreaders on matters of style, punctuation, and usage, the decision of the Editor is final.

All submitted material is subject to adjustment for length to fit the space available, and the Editor reserves the right to adjust content and usage with feedback from authors during that process, avoiding any change to meaning. 

Authors should send text to the Editor as a Word document (or similar) attached to an email message directed to: Or, send the word document on a CD or thumb drive to the Editor by U.S. Mail. 

Authors are considered volunteers, and remuneration is not provided. LCCA declares a copyright for each issue of the magazine. Unauthorized use of copyrighted materials by others is prohibited, except by written permission according to LCCA editorial policy.

B) About Taking Photographs - Digital or Film

Carefully composed, well-lit photographs in sharp focus and free of “flash shadows” are preferred. A three-to-five-megapixel digital camera or smart phone camera will provide a satisfactory image if the camera is set to the highest picture size available. The more megapixels, the better. Typical photo files used in The Lion Roars are in the range of 1.2 to 2 MB (megabytes) or higher. These can be transmitted as JPEG files attached to an email message to the editor at

TURN OFF the "date stamp" feature; it’s a distraction and can be difficult to remove. The Lion Roars provides a photo credit to the photographer(s). 

The Editor will accept photos produced in the old technology, i.e., 4x6-inch color prints produced from film. After use, the photos will be returned in your self-addressed, stamped envelopes. Polaroid shots are not acceptable.

The byline to a The Lion Roars article includes a head-and-shoulders shot of the author. Authors must include a color head shot photo of themselves along with their submitted materials. 

On-Camera Flash Units 

Although this handy feature is often useful for snapshots, an onboard flash unit often casts an offset “flash shadow” behind objects in the foreground of a model railroad layout. Flash shadows are very difficult to remove from an image, and many otherwise great photos are rejected because of this.

Tips for avoiding flash shadows 

Take pictures of close-up items outdoors at midday, but pay attention to the shadows cast by the sun. Bright overcast daylight is the best light for taking photos outdoors.

  • Point the flash to the ceiling, if possible, so that light is indirectly “bounced” off the ceiling onto the scene 
  • If your camera will accept an outrigger flash unit, use it but apply the “bounce flash” method. If there’s no alternative, use the on-camera flash unit, but cover it with a white handkerchief over the light source – this should soften the presence of the flash. 
  • If you are using a smart phone camera, turn off the flash. 


Many digital cameras have an autofocus feature which is helpful for snapshots, but the technology can be “confused” by a model railroad setting; it may not be able to auto-select the “right” spot for focusing. Tips about focusing: 

  • If your camera enables manual focusing or directed focusing, set the focus on the main object in the frame; the focus will naturally fade away into the background, which is okay. 
  • For pictures of trains in action along a main line, a 45-degree angle from the front and side of the loco is usually best with the train moving left to right. Many model train catalog “beauty shots” are taken with this orientation. 
  • “Depth of field” can be achieved with lots of light on the scene, a slow shutter speed, and the camera mounted on a tripod for stability during the exposure.


Prepare text as suggested captions for all photos, even though captions may not be used in the magazine if the subject of the photo is self-evident or sufficiently described in the text. It is helpful to number your photos and refer to the photo numbers in the text of your article. Identify persons by name (and their LCCA member number in parentheses) in left to right order. Number each photo for identification. Submit plenty of photos; the Editor will select the best ones for publication as space allows.  

Revised 11/18/2023