Editorial Guidelines

What is OUTBACK?

A bi-monthly magazine that captures the essence of remote Australia and, by showcasing it in a positive way, brings into reality a world that is unknown to many people.
Essentially, OUTBACK is about life beyond the city. It is an accessible, experience-oriented publication. We are more interested in things that people can see, touch and feel for themselves than "looking glass" pieces that can be seen only in print. We're just as interested in people as in places. More often than not we want to see people in their environment.

Where is the OUTBACK?

Anywhere that is remote, different, challenging, non-urban. It is in south-west Tasmania, the High Country of Victoria, along the Great Divide in New South Wales, just as much as it is in Central Australia. It doesn't have to be all red dirt!

Who is OUTBACK, who's in OUTBACK, and who's the target?

OUTBACK is owned by R.M.Williams Publishing. The subjects we showcase are as diverse as the outback itself. Station owners, jackaroos, stockmen, travel and hospitality operators, pilots, doctors, miners, fishermen - you name the occupation - anyone who has a close involvement with the outback is a potential subject.
They're young, old, male, female, black, white, brindle. We love them all. Our market is 50/50 city/country, male and female, upmarket and middle market, primarily 30-55 age group; people who identify with R.M.Williams - the man and the products - and what this represents to Australia and Australians.


The outback is the emotional and geographic heart of Australia, but usually receives only cursory coverage in the media. Modern day Australians are examining who they are, what they represent, and what this country to which they belong is all about. Many of the answers lie in the history, heritage and traditions that were forged in outback/remote areas. In a nutshell, OUTBACK seeks to be recognised as the quintessential Australian magazine; the publication that, if someone asked, Is there a magazine about Australia?, the answer would be "Yes, OUTBACK".

What type of material do we want?

Real stories about real people and real places that strike a chord with readers. We want great experiences, great characters, great accomplishments and just plain great stories.
OUTBACK is NOT an agricultural publication and the only articles with any agricultural bent are about stations. Station stories are all pre-assigned and are about properties with a special significance.
The bulk of our subject matter falls into one of these categories:
Out There: soft adventure experiences that qualify as being "quintessentially outback" in nature.
Profiles/People: an insight into bush characters and people with a very strong link to/involvement with the outback. Preferably not well-known identities.
Stations: properties of real substance, historic interest, or are simply "special".
Outback Story: in essence our cover story, a major feature about a unique or especially interesting aspect of outback life.
Dining: great outback dining/food experiences. They must be good!
Outback Life: aspects of living in the outback that are different to the everyday lives of most people; in effect, a unique insight into how other people live and work.
Outback Pubs, Towns, Places to Stay or Visit: anything that qualifies as offering a genuine outback environment or experience.
Outback Tracks: a journey through a remote or especially interesting region of outback Australia, focusing on the people, sights, sounds and the whole experience. Definitely not a technical four-wheel-drive piece.
Outback Events: largely photographic coverage of different, out-of-the-ordinary outback events. Heavily people-oriented.
Historical items in a contemporary context: we're interested in linking the past with the present - historical items that have a contemporary twist.
We're open to suggestions and are happy to discuss ideas, although it is imperative that the proposal be submitted in writing first. We do not accept material on spec and will not discuss an idea for which a written outline hasn't previously been sent.
And please, don't expect that a proposal will appear in the next issue! The average length of time it takes for a contribution to be published, from the time of receipt, is six months.
For a detailed guide to OUTBACK sections, email publishing@rmwilliams.com.au

What we don't want

Items about politicians and politics; negative pieces about the state of roads, hospitals or services; old-timers' reminiscences; ocker subjects of the kind you'd expect to see in down-market publications; landscape photos and stories that totally ignore people; technical 4WD treks.

Writing style/copy format

Present tense; no use of first person; casual, relaxed, conversational; magazine not newspaper style (don't tell the story in the first para, run sentences together, build up the interest, use people as the means to the end etc).
Copy should be generated in Microsoft Word and submitted by email to mmuller@rmwilliams.com.au
Photos: Digital RAW files (if this is not possible, please supply unedited JPEGs in the highest resolution possible). Please also supply low-resolution JPEGs for positional purposes. Clearly identified captions are essential.

Publication dates/deadlines

OUTBACK is published at the end of January (Feb/Mar issue), March (Apr/May), May (June/July), July (Aug/Sept), September (Oct/Nov) and November (Dec/Jan) each year.
In most cases (unless specifically pre-arranged) material submitted less than eight weeks before publication will be held over for a subsequent issue.


We do not accept words and photos sent on spec. Items that have not been previously discussed have virtually no chance of being used. In the first instance, email an outline of 50-100 words about the piece, its thrust, photos and the section of the magazine it suits to mmuller@rmwilliams.com.au.
Mostly we will assign/commission material, although at times we will ask for words/pics to be sent on the basis of payment on usage.
We will not publish material in the same style and format as has appeared in other publications, and never within six months of appearing elsewhere. Similarly, we require a six-month window before a story or photo in OUTBACK may be published elsewhere.


We pay at the rate of approx. $350/page for words and photos. If different contributors are involved, text payment equates to 40-50 cents a word. We will assign a photographer to an item if we don't (or can't) get suitable photos from the writer or from other sources.
Payment is made for acceptable editorial material after the publication has been completed and sent to the printer (usually the third week of the month that the magazine goes on sale ie. payment in late March for the April/May issue, which will be on sale at the end of March).
If an item is assigned and the material submitted is considered unsuitable, it is the responsibility of the contributor to make amendments before it can be published and payment made.
When we enter into an arrangement for multiple items, which may be used in one or more issues, we may negotiate a one-time package rate (irrespective of when they're used) or make part payments. In these cases we'll enter into a specific arrangement with the contributor(s).
All contributors are expected have their own travel, medical, property and public liability insurance when on assignment for OUTBACK or any of its publications.


OUTBACK retains copyright of all text published in the magazine, digital platforms and associated titles. Copyright of photographs remains with the photographer, unless otherwise agreed. However, OUTBACK reserves the right to use published photos to promote the magazine on OUTBACK and R.M.Williams websites, through social media, on posters and other point-of-sale material, in advertisements and any other context that enhances circulation.
Unless otherwise agreed, photos that are re-published in a subsequent issue attract a rate of half the usual rate of payment.
When OUTBACK agrees to publish text or photos from a contributor, it does so on the explicit understanding that text and photos gathered for OUTBACK's use cannot be published in Australia for at least six months from the date of publication in OUTBACK or associated titles.


In some situations we'll pay or meet travel costs. But these always have to be pre-arranged. Never enter into a contra arrangement for the supply of a vehicle, airline ticket etc without our knowledge and approval.
For editorial enquiries, contact Editor-in-Chief, Mark Muller.