12 Tips for Contributing to School Nutrition

  1. Remember that the national magazine is a professional development tool. Almost every item included in it is designed, in some way, to give school foodservice professionals information, ideas, tips and advice that will help readers improve themselves and their programs. News and reports about local activities should be presented in the context of innovation. If the item is not particularly new, different or instructive, the information may be better suited for your state publication.

  2. Review several issues of the magazine. Where might your information best fit? Would it work in one of the regular departments, such as “Nutrition Matters,” “Ideas at Work,” “Cafeteria Classroom,” “Playing it Safe,” “Food Focus” and so on?

  3. Review the Editorial Calendar. Is there an upcoming topic that might be appropriate to your activities?

  4. Keep an eye on SNA's Web site (, e-newsletters and USDA's "Mealtalk" listserv. We will post requests for story leads on upcoming topics. This is an excellent opportunity to respond and possibly be interviewed for a specific article, or to volunteer to write one on the proposed topic.

  5. Review the Contributor Guidelines. For an article in the main, food or regular departments, write us a query letter (Editor, School Nutrition, 120 Waterfront St. Suite 300 Oxon Hill, MD 20745; or send us e-mail at: Tell us your idea, what makes it special or unique, what information you would include in the article, how it would help your school foodservice peers and so on. Please allow up to 3 months for us to review your query and respond to you.

  6. For inclusion in an annual wrap-up of creative promotional and outreach activities, please send brief reports and photos to "Promo Wrap" at our editorial address. Be warned, however, that we receive numerous short pieces like these and may not have the space to run them all. The items reflecting the most innovation and the best quality photos are usually the ones chosen for publication.

  7. When sending your materials—the earlier the better! We start the specific planning for an issue about 5 to 6 months ahead of time. We will start editing copy about 3 months in advance.

  8. For inclusion in the National School Lunch Week or National School Breakfast Week wrap-ups in April and November, send your article and photos to NSLW Wrap (or NSBW Wrap) at the above address.

  9. Have patience. The magazine has a small staff that also works on other communications projects for the national office. We will do our very best to get back to you in a timely fashion.

  10. Be involved! Many of the SNA members who write articles or are interviewed or profiled in the magazine come to our attention because of their participation in SNA meetings, focus groups and so on.

  11. Don't be discouraged. Unfortunately, we cannot print all the news and information we receive. There are so many interesting activities going on in local districts, but we simply cannot cover them all. If a particular item you submit is rejected, please don't let that stop you from submitting something else that might be a better fit!

  12. Stay in touch. We encourage our readers to give us feedback on the articles that appear in the magazine. Did you like a particular piece; was it helpful? Do you have an opposing view? What would you like to see more of? Less of? Do you have a list of topics that you'd like to see covered in the magazine in a future issue? Let us hear from you!


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