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Writers’ Guidelines

Writing for AAA Washington

Help AAA Washington’s members experience the best travel experiences the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Your writing will appear on AAA Washington’s website, in our member publication — Washington’s most-read magazine, Journey — or both.

AAA Washington serves more than 1.2 million members in Washington state and northern Idaho. We aim to educate, inform and equip our readers with expert guidance and insider tips to help them choose, plan and enjoy travel destinations and activities. We also recognize the responsibility of earning and retaining the trust of our readers, which we fulfill by providing compelling, relevant and unbiased content. Download our media kit to learn more about our members and our 2021 editorial calendar.

Topics: Travel and More

Travel content is at the core of what AAA Washington’s magazine and website offer. But we will consider other topics that are related to the services AAA offers, which include automotive technology, traffic safety and insurance.

Costs and Coverage

AAA Washington always puts members first. AAA editors and writers, including external contributors, must be objective in their writing and strive to experience travel — including hotels, restaurants and cruises — as AAA members would. While researching and writing an article, AAA editors, writers and contributors will not accept special prices or service. To further avoid special treatment, they may choose not to reveal that the experience is part of writing an article. Contributors will not accept comped (free) transportation, meals, lodging or other considerations in cash or in kind in connection with a AAA assignment. In rare cases, exceptions may be considered, but they must be discussed and approved by a AAA editor in advance. Contributors will disclose to the editor any such offer extended (even if informal or declined) and any personal, family or business relationships a contributor might have with the subject of their work or related beneficiaries, real or potential. If in doubt, disclose it.

Expense Reimbursement

AAA Washington may reimburse part or all of the expenses associated with writing an assignment. These exceptions must be discussed and approved in writing by an editor in advance.


Accuracy and precision are crucial. Verify details — including spellings, numbers, locations, quotes and other verifiable information — before submitting your story, support more qualitative conclusions with evidence, and provide contact information and links for sources. Ensure that destinations you visited are still open at the time you submit your story and flag seasonal operations/closures. Check in with sources if it’s been a few months since you spoke with them.

Writing Tips

  • Go off the beaten path. What can we offer readers that they can’t get anywhere else? Go beyond tourism officials and PR contacts and find the people who define a place or who have been shaped by it.
  • Research before you report, while you report and after you report.
  • Include details and context.
  • Aim high — seek the most interesting truth you can tell with a headline, and relentlessly focus your reporting and writing to deliver the goods.
  • Be skeptical but never cynical. Assume nothing. Be brave.
  • Be useful. How can you help readers experience a place, make memories and preserve it for future generations?
  • Use AP Style for clarity and consistency.

How to Pitch

Email with a headline and subhead that will grab a reader’s attention, then describe what you’ll offer readers that they can’t get anywhere else, how you’ll do that and who you’ll talk with. Propose a word count, eye-catching art options, your pay rate (flat, hourly or per word), any estimated expenses and include a two-sentence author bio that demonstrates your expertise and explains why you’re the perfect person to tackle that particular project. Let us know if you’re working on the story or something similar for publication elsewhere or intend to. Writers who haven’t previously worked with Journey’s editors should submit three writing samples and may be asked to write on spec.

Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.

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