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Lion Roars Submissions

I. Policy about Submission of Materials to TLR

1. 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 "sound out" an idea with 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.

2. Digital photographs at 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 represents that:
    a) the Material is the author's work and is not plagiarized from the work of others
    b) the same or similar material has not already been submitted to, accepted for pending publication by, or published by any other entity
    c) 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.

5. 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.

6. 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).
            [Adopted 4/08/08, Effective 5/01/08]

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. No form, no consideration.

LCCA Authors Agreement Form

III. Guidelines for Authors and Photographers

LCCA invites members to "tell their story" about their experiences in the train hobby and share it with others through the club's full-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. TLR seeks articles about the train hobby, layout design and construction and operation, history and nostalgia about toy trains, historical info about LCCA, family enjoyment of toy trains, collecting and operating toy trains.

Submission of materials for publication in TLR 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 e-mail then by phone.

Junior Members are encouraged to submit articles to TLR. It’s OK for dad and mom (or grandparents) to assist a JM, 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 WORD software to determine the number of words. About 750 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 as a 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 TLR standard for editorial processing. The TLR graphic design team will add magazine formatting to it during the page layout process.

TLR 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 the meaning. 

Authors should send text to the Editor as a WORD document attached to an e-mail message directed to: Or, send the WORD document on a CD to the Editor by U.S. Mail. 

Manuscripts sent as hard copy (only) may be accepted; however, the pages must be scanned and captured as digital characters for subsequent editing and processing. This time-consuming task puts hard copy at a disadvantage for consideration. Hand-written text is not acceptable.

Authors are considered volunteers and remuneration is not provided. LCCA declares an informal 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 crisp focus and free of “flash shadows” are especially welcome. A three to five megapixel digital camera will provide a satisfactory image if the camera is pre-set to the HIGHEST quality setting available. The more megapixels, the better; up to a point of diminishing returns from overkill. Typical TLR photo files are in the range of 1.2 to 2.0 mb. These can be transmitted as JPG files attached to an e-mail message to the Editor at a high-capacity address intended for photos:

TLR follows the industry standard of 300 dpi (high resolution) for digital images. A digital camera pre-set to the HIGHEST quality setting as a 4x6-inch (or higher) output size will help assure a good result in LCCA print and web-based publications.

About 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
DO NOT USE the on-camera flash unit, use incandescent flood lamps instead
POINT the flood lamps to the ceiling 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
Desperate measures … if there’s no alternative, use the on-camera flash unit, but cover it with a
white 3x5-inch index card taped in place over the light source – this may soften the presence
of the flash

About focus …
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 OK
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 L to R. Many 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.

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

The Editor will accept photos produced in the "old" technology; i.e., 4x6-inch color prints derived from film. After use, the photos will be returned. Polaroid shots are not acceptable.

Prepare text as suggested captions for all photos, even though captions may not be used in the mag if the “meaning” of the photo is self-evident or sufficiently described in the text. Identify persons by name (and their LCCA member number in parentheses) in L to R order. Number each photo for identification. Submit plenty of photos; the Editor will select the best ones for publication as space allows.

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