Door_BuckThe Last Straw has been covering natural building in magazine format since 1993.  We are largely a reader written publication and this page describes our guidelines for written and photographic submissions.

Donated articles and photographs are always sincerely welcome on any topic relating to straw-bale and natural building and extending into other aspects of sustainable design and construction, materials and products, energy systems, water and waste management systems.

Letters to the Editor are also encouraged. Remember, your input is what keeps TLS up-to-date, functional and relevant! We work with offerings respectfully, though we may have to edit, postpone or decline their use. The Last Straw Team reserves editorial responsibility for the contents of the journal.

Articles may be published online, in the print publication, or both at the discretion of the editorial staff.

We request that the following guidelines be used for all submissions:

Copy should be created using Times font, 12 pt, no bold, no colors, no underlining except for web sites, and no indentations for paragraphs. Don’t take time to reformat copy you receive from others; we can do that here. We’ve set up some format, spelling and other rules we could share upon request.

Word Count – with 30 pt heading

  • text only 900 words fills one page
  • text/two photos 500 words fills one page
  • text/two photos and no heading on second page 1000 words fills two pages
  • text/one photo 700 words fills one page

If several photos are used in an article and captions are added to the photos, the space for text will be reduced accordingly.

The TLS Managing Editor and/or Guest Editor may edit content except to correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. it is not our intent to edit content, but clarification may be needed from time-to-time.  If we feel radical changes may be needed for clarity we will contact you first, but we reserve the right to make any changes to content you submit.  Inappropriate content will not be published.

Send us as many photos as you can.  The more to choose from, the better, and our readers like to see pictures.   We may use more images on the website than in the print version, depending on available space.  Send them in original their original size – NO NOT REDUCE THEM.

Submit photographs separate from your text.  Use captions within your text to indicate where photos should be placed.

Photographs, drawings and illustrations submitted will be enhanced by TLS Layout/Graphics; if photographs, drawings and illustrations are not of print quality, we will contact the person submitting the photo to arrange for other graphics. Final layout is the responsibility of the Managing Editor. If errors are noted after the issue is published, please notify the Managing Editor so that corrections can be made before the issue is placed online. Errata can always be included in the subsequent issue.

We ask that you send in captions for photographs, drawings and illustrations. We also like to give photo credits, so if the photos you submit are from someone other than yourself, please include the name of the photographer.  Please respect copyrights of images that are not your own.

Photos, drawings and illustrations are accepted in 300 dpi JPG or TIF format. Please do not download or copy photographs and illustrations from web sites. Color photographs are encouraged; they may not appear in color in the print issue, but they will be in color in the online version.

Photo size should be about 7″ on the long side, but we will accept any size.  If the image is for the issue’s cover, a larger sized photo and higher resolution will be required.  You should let TLS know if the photograph is to be returned, and if so please include a stamped self-addressed envelope.

Reviews of books related to natural building.  These should go beyond summarizing a book’s plot or describing its topic.  You should give us some insight or examine a theme or idea more deeply.  If you have questions, please let us know.

Mail photos and hard-copy to:

The Last Straw Journal
P.O. Box 1809
Paonia, CO  81428

Electronic submission may be sent to: