Be an American Lutherie Author

Organize your facts, complete your research, share your discoveries, have a little show-and-tell fun, make friends, and influence people all at once: Write for American Lutherie!

The “right way” is a myth. Everyone has something to tell and something to learn. The more one knows about lutherie (or anything), the more one realizes how much more there is to know. We exist to provide a forum of information exchange between Guild members, and we are interested in publishing information and methods which are backed by experience.

We strive to make each issue of American Lutherie diverse in its content. We encourage members to share their knowledge, techniques, experience, and opinions through the Guild publications. This steady stream of information flows to the members and perpetuates the Guild’s forum. The sharing of information is what makes the Guild work; sharing enriches the understanding and skill of individuals as well as elevating the level of the craft.

We are a nonprofit educational organization; we don’t buy content. Members are urged to contribute articles (large or small) on how to do something; how to make something; construction methods; how to evaluate something; the uses of a specific tool; lutherie-related scientific or historical research; as well as interviews for our “Meet the Maker” series, letters, and reviews. Please contact the editor by e-mail before starting on a major project or an interview, as it is possible we already have something in the works that could change your direction.

We don’t primarily look at length when considering an article. We are more interested in “information density.” We have a lot of stuff waiting to be printed, and a limited number of pages. Take all the space you need to get the lutherie aspect across, just be sure that it moves along at a good clip and that there is something useful and/or enlightening in every part of it. If it is too long, the editor will suggest ways to tighten it up.

We work closely with our authors to make their articles the best they can be. In addition to checking spelling, grammar, and usage, we may ask for clarifications and propose changes. We’ll be sure your photos look the best that they can, and work with you on graphics. We’ll often send a proof for you to read and approve. And we’ll send you an extra copy or two of the magazine, because we know you’ll want to show it to your Mom.

Be aware that the process of editing and laying out a major article or interview can be a complex task and take considerable time. It’s like making a guitar; there are a lot of steps involved, and it takes time to produce quality work. For this and other reasons, there are no particular submission deadlines and we will not guarantee which issue an article will appear in.

We want to be the first publisher of anything we print. That is, we do not reprint articles that have already appeared in other publications or on the Internet. Authors of American Lutherie articles retain the copyright and grant to GAL an irrevocable license to publish the articles and to republish them in collective works and revisions. We ask that authors who later reprint their articles in other publications or on the Internet give GAL full credit as the original publisher and provide a link to the GAL website. GAL retains exclusive right to the layout of all articles and all graphics produced by the GAL staff. Do not scan our magazine pages and put them on the Internet.

Text of articles should be submitted by e-mail. Just flow the text into the body of an e-mail message. Or an attached Word doc is OK. If there is special typesetting involved, like a lot of foreign-language diacriticals or math formulae, a Word doc is probably best. If you use a Mac, be extra careful. We are strictly Windows, and we can sometimes have issues with native Mac applications. Please be sure that any formats you use are Windows-compatible. This is a good reason to send us text in the body of an e-mail rather than as an application file.

Please send photos as separate files, not as pictures placed in a Word doc. Photos should be large, not-compressed, hi-rez, extra-virgin files right off a digital camera. Just attach them to the e-mail message. Our connection is robust and fast, so large attachments are fine. Or you can use a file transfer site like, which is easy and free. If the photos are “chemical,” please send the negs if you have them, or good prints if you don’t. We will return original negs and prints if you so request.

We’ll electronically redraw diagrams and charts in most cases. Send a sketch and we’ll send back a proof for your approval.

If you are planning to submit a full-scale instrument plan, please contact Tim by e-mail before you begin. We will electronically redraw it, so a pencil tracing plus a full list of dimensions will be a good start. We do not use CAD, but a DXF file can be a good start in some cases. Good hi-rez photos, both full views and details, will be very helpful.

To contact the editor with questions, and to submit files:

Tim Olsen, editor:

tim (at)