How long should an article be?
As short or as long as you like. Articles of two to three thousand words are ideal for the magazine format of the Journal. Longer articles are welcomed but the editor might split them into discrete parts for serialisation over several issues.
What should I write about?
Anything you like. The Journal is dedicated to Twentieth Century Wargaming. This can include:
- Reviews – of figures, models, books, rules
- News – of companies, historical interest
- Research – into weapon systems, conflicts, battles, tactics
- Scenarios – air, land or naval; tactical, operational or strategic
- Rules – home-made, variants to existing sets, comparisons between different sets, how they have evolved, interesting mechanisms
- Battle reports – particularly of scenarios previously presented in the Journal
- Personal recollections – favourite periods and why, collection reviews
- Alternative History
As long as it is post 1900. See the Journal itself and sample articles reproduced on the society website for ideas.
How many images should I send?
As many as you like. The Editor can then select as few or as many as is best to illustrate the article. Try to send at least a few images or maps.
What format should articles be sent in?
Virtually any format is acceptable. Open Document Files (.odt) Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) and rich text files (.rtf) files are best for electronic copy format.
If you have large files to send, I have DropBox and Google Drive accounts.
One good option is to copy and paste the text in to the body of an email and send it to the Editor via email
How do I submit images?
Images help to illustrate an article. Digital images are preferred and should be sent as files (such as .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .bmp) as separate attachments and not embedded in with the text. Please keep text and pictures as separate files if possible.
Be wary and careful of email programs that reduce the image quality to speed up sending. There is a maximum data attachment size per email so if you have a lot of images to send it may be easier to copy them to a CD or DVD and post that to the editor, or you may need to send them spread over several emails.
Send the photo file at it maximum size. Do not ‘compress’ photographs as that reduces quality and may prevent it being used at an appropriate size for printing. 300DPI is the minimum resolution at the required size for printing and the DPI will fall as the photo is enlarged. The photo file ought to be a minimum size of around 1MB (preferably greater). Do not bother with ‘thumbnail’ pictures.
How do I submit Maps, illustrations and supplementary data?
Maps, diagrams and illustrations are most welcome. Check with the editor if using a drawing package (for compatibility) but the drawing facility in Word/OpenOffice/LibreOffice is quite adequate. If drawing by hand, avoid hard pencils as these make drawings difficult to scan – pen and ink drawings are best, or a good quality unfolded printout. Do not draw on to graph paper. The editorial team can arrange to redraw diagrams if needed and will often tidy them up or add some colour to give the illusion of a ‘house style’. For tables, MS Excel, LibreOffice Calc, OpenOffice Calc is probably the best option.
Do I need to include hard copy with my submission?
Do I need to format the article?
No formatting is required other than to improve readability for the editor. Please do not use clever or complex formatting in your submission. A simple indication of headings, sub-headings and photo captions will suffice and save us a great deal of time.
What else do I need to send?
Apart from including your Society membership number, you might consider supporting your article with some separate and supplementary source references, historic context and ancillary information.
Are there any tips for taking photographs?
Yes. Good quality photographs that are correctly focused and exposed are required to ensure the best reproduction when printed in the Journal. Here are some basic tips:
- Read the instructions and learn the appropriate techniques of how to get the best out of your camera.
- Practise to improve your photography. Hold the camera steady (use your elbows to steady yourself) when you press the shutter release button to prevent ‘camera shake’ - better is to mount it on a tripod or use a bean bag to keep it stable and use the ‘self-timer’ release to take the picture.
- Set any digital camera to record/take the largest photos and at the maximum (or finest) quality setting.
- Ensure that there is sufficient lighting over the subject being photographed – a flash is generally no good. Take photographs outside using the natural light is best.
- Choose a small aperture (large f-stop number) for the best ‘depth-of-field’ if you are able to.
- Check and set the right focus, exposure and white balance.
- Use a macro lens or the macro setting for close up photographs.
Can I submit my articles to other magazines?
In submitting an article you agree to let the Society reproduce it in any medium it chooses (hard copy, PDF, as part of its website). However you still hold the copyright and can therefore publish it wherever you choose – on your blog for example – or sell it and have it published professionally.
The Journal’s Reviews Guidance
The following guidance covers the conventions used within the Journal when presenting its reviews. Any number of people write reviews for the magazine and it’s easier on the eye and more efficient if they have the same look about them. This is not about changing what you write in your reviews but the order in which you present it. If you can adopt any of the following then it will help us greatly but most importantly if you can’t do all this then don’t let it stop you writing something anyway. This guidance is not meant to be any sort of a bar to people contributing.
Figure, vehicle, terrain reviews
The title of the review consists of the following -
Scale, manufacturer, brief item description (code), price, website
There’s no need for any complete sentences in the title bit, it’s just a keyword description. Thereafter write anything you want to in whatever way you want. For extra house points do it in the house style of magazine (see the guidance on the site). We are just trying to capture the key points in the title so that people can see at a glance if they’re likely to be interested.
1/200th, Smithy’s Miniature Men – pack of five armadillos for the Mexican Texan wars (code snouty1), £78.00 plus £0.90 p&p. firstname.lastname@example.org
This pack of five rodents(?) is just what I have been looking for to complete my Alamo set up. The poses are remarkable and the detail astounding for the scale…blah blah blah etc. etc.
Book, magazine, rule reviews
The title of the review consists of the following -
Title by author. Publisher. Year published. Number of pages. Details of illustrations and appendices. ISBN number.
Again no need for any complete sentences in the title bit and once more thereafter write anything you want to in whatever way you want following the house style. The aim is as above – present the key points in the title so that people can see at a glance if they’re likely to be interested.
The Unsung Heroes of the Alamo – our armoured friends by Professor I. M. Liar. Helion books 2016. 73 pages, 4 colour and 6 b&w plates. No appendices or list of sources. ISBN 0-234-9786-323-2
A stunning new piece of research revealing the hitherto underplayed role of the humble armadillo in the defence of the Alamo. I picked this up in the bargain bins at The Works and was astounded to read the story of Davy Crockett, the tame armadillo and the musket packing grease…etc. etc.
Send reviews in any electronic format (Word, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, RTF etc.).
The Journal’s House style
The following guidance covers the conventions used within the Journal. We have put these together because people write in different ways and when material from different authors is put together in a single document the differences stand out and are distracting. So these are not about what is right or wrong but just about adopting a common approach. If you can do any of the following it will help your editors enormously…
- Leave only one space, not two, after a full stop
- Write numbers in full (one, two, three…) up to twelve; thereafter, numerals are acceptable. Because wargaming tends to refer to numbers in many different ways, there are exceptions, such as regimental numbers (the 2nd Dragoons), die rolls (he rolled six 6s) and game turns (turn 3). Obviously use numerals in charts and tables!
- We use 1 January 1941 as the convention for dates (rather than January 1st 1941 or 1st January 1941 or any number of other possibilities)
- We use Roman numerals for the World Wars, so WWI, WWII rather than World War One, the Second World War, the 1st World War etc.
- We try to avoid the use of abbreviations. Army ranks tend to be in full but Lieutenant Colonel and similar are probably better rendered as Lt Colonel. Also etc. is probably okay (and okay is preferred to OK) and very useful, as is i.e. but notice that, for preference, they have some associated full stop marks
- With measurements avoid the use of “ and ‘ as abbreviations for feet and inches but cm, cms and mm are fine. Try to stick to one unit of measurement if describing something. So 40mm by 70mm rather than 4cms by 70mm and use by rather than x – so 4cm x 70mm is right out
- If there is something which is worth abbreviating (usually because it is long, possibly foreign and is going to be used repeatedly like the Bundesrepublik Deutschland) then write it in full with its abbreviation immediately after in brackets and use the abbreviation thereafter
- Also try to avoid ampersands (&). Postage and Packing is however p&p (but not P&P)
- We use British English spelling. This is particularly noticeable around words such as organisation, realisation, militarisation (use s rather than z)
- If your article includes foreign terms that’s fine, but try to be consistent in their use. So if you’re writing about la légion étrangère then keep with that, rather than skipping to the legion, la legion, the legion etranger, la legion étranger, le Legion etrangère or any number of other mixes of English and, in this case, French (both correct and incorrect) in later paragraphs.
- Conventions on dice are 1D3, 2D6, 9D10 etc rather than 1d6, two six sided dice, 3 D10s. And we are trying to reintroduce die as the singular of dice!
- When presenting a list of bullet points (such as this) don’t use a full stop at the end of each one, just at the end of the last one
- We try to avoid the use of italics within articles (but sometimes can’t resist). Mainly for emphasis, they should be infrequent
- The house style is single ‘quotation marks’ rather than “double”
- Please be parsimonious with exclamation marks!!!! One or two in an entire article is usually plenty and often too many. More than one at the end of a sentence is a definite no-no
- For those of you in the know we avoid the use of the Oxford comma. For those of you who have no idea what an Oxford comma is don’t worry about it – it’s really quite obscure
- We try to avoid contractions such as I’m, you’re, he’s, its. They tend to be overly chatty but, at the same time, we recognise (no z in that word) that, occasionally, there are chatty articles in the magazine, so we let some slip by
- Names of boats or regiments or similar should be in single quotation marks (and not in italics instead or as well) when first used and then should appear in the normal script. Same for foreign terms for battalions, regiments etc. So initially ‘bandera’ (a Spanish equivalent of battalion) and subsequently bandera
- Army, Corps, Division etc. numbers should be as they are traditionally presented elsewhere. For example the Armies of NW Europe in 1944 are generally presented as First Army or Third Army whilst the Corps of the German Army during WWII are generally presented in Roman numerals - XLVIII Panzer Corps. Battalions as parts of regiments should 2/40th (i.e. the second battalion of the fortieth regiment). Armies and Corps can be capitalised (still no z) whilst divisions, regiments and battalions should be in lower case.
Notice the superscript 1st and 2nd in the two bullet points above rather than First, Second, 1st 2nd etc. We do that too
We don’t guarantee to manage to present all material in this fashion but it is what we aim for. All help gratefully received!