STRATEGY & TACTICS WRITERS' GUIDELINES

Submission Format:

  • Include a cover letter with the article's title and your name, address, e-mail and phone number. Place your name and contact info on the first page of the article.

  • Make sure you have sent in a Writer's Agreement or contact Decision Games and we will send you one.

  • Always include a hard copy print-out of the article, double-spaced, one inch margin all around.

  • If at all possible, submit your article on a 3.5" disk in TEXT (ASCII), Claris or Microsoft Word 4.0 format. If you are unable to submit material via IBM or Mac format, DG can scan or input material BUT this will delay the article and reduce your compensation. To submit a scannable article, make sure the hard copy is double-spaced and typed (or printed using laser or high-quality dot matrix equipment).

  • Provide at least one illustration, map, diagram, or graphic for every 1,500 words; these graphics are very important to the "look" of an article. Graphic material can be submitted by photocopying and citing where the picture, etc. can be found. Our graphics department can turn them into illustrations, and occasionally colorize them.

  • Provide a list of modules and suggestions where you would like them to appear in the article.

    Feature Article Style:

  • Analysis. The article should discuss "why" things occurred, not just provide a strict narrative. Try to avoid a rehash of general history which readers can obtain from other popular sources. People are buying S&T to discover new ways of thinking about military history. The balance between historical narrative and analysis will vary depending upon the subject. If you are dealing with something everyone is familiar with, such as World War II, you need to have more analysis because most S&T readers already know what happened. On more obscure subjects you can use more narrative simply because people are finding out about it for the first time. Also, try to show something along the lines of "lessons learned" and how events affected later history. This serves to connect the article to today's military situation. Bringing up big issues gets people thinking about the interrelationship between military, political and social factors.

  • Hard Data. The article should contain modules giving orders of battle, tables of organization, weapons specifications, and the like. This makes the magazine a source of information for future game designers.

  • Avoid the obvious. It is too easy for us in the 20th century to look back and criticize decisions made in the midst of the fog of war. Try to see things from the perspective of the commander at the time and place of battle. How did he see things, and what influenced him? Look at non-material factors such as leadership, training and doctrine, as well as the more conventional material factors of weapons and logistics. Also, cover command control and intelligence. For example, don't write an article on the Barbarossa campaign in 1941 that reduces down to the cliche of "if only Hitler had listened to his generals." We all know Hitler was not a military genius. What is needed is an analysis of things like Hitler's underlying political theories, and how they influenced his military policies.

  • Entertainment value. There should be some "life" to the article. For example, interesting facts about historical personalities or units can be included as modules. Mini-biographies are especially welcome. You can have a touch of humor, irony, or whatever to keep things interesting to the reader. Obviously, these should not dominate the article. The idea is to have some lighter items which nonetheless have historical significance.

  • Strategy & Tactics. Let's not forget the title of the magazine. An article should typically show show what the supreme commanders were thinking, and how they planned to win. Similarly, there should be some discussion of tactical methods and how the opposing armies interacted with each other.

  • Use military style dates [e.g., 6 June 1944, not June 6th, 1944].

  • The first time you use an acronym, spell it out and place the abbreviation in parentheses [e.g., Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)].

  • It's "World War Two" not "WW2".

    Data File

    A Data File is a short article (c. 2000 words) which provides a complete order of battle, map and quick description of a battle, campaign or war. It can also be hard data for a military force. For ex: the current order of battle for US forces in the Middle East, to include units and equipment. We are also looking for short articles on current military developments.

    FYI (For Your Information)

  • Did You Know Short (up to five sentences) military history items which have some anecdotal interest.

  • Hard Data Orders of battle, technical specifications of weapons, etc. which are useful as a data base. Information is frequently used as a resource for researchers. This should be presented in chart format.

  • Short Pieces Short articles (preferably less than 750 words) on military history. Often, short pieces are useful for bringing up areas which would not normally warrant a longer article. Short pieces can use more of a narrative style (rather than the analytical of the main magazine articles). Graphics are not required.

    Contact the FYI editor for more info

    Compensation as of August 1999 (contact the publisher for latest rates):

  • Standard rate of compensation: S&T is $40 per 1,000 words plus discounts. Discounts are 10% on subs, 30% for Desert Fox and 40% for DG product. 2nd most asked question, writer discounts can not be combined with other offers.
  • A deduction of up to 30% from total compensation will be made if the article is not submitted electronically, or if the required number of graphics are not included. May also pay a reduced rate for articles for words in excess of 7500 per article (we have to keep the articles manageable, folks!).

    Editor, Strategy & Tactics
    Decision Games
    PO Box 21598
    Bakersfield CA 93390
    USA

    e-mail the S&T editor: Joseph Miranda

    FYI editor Ty Bomba

  • ...and remember: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS put your name, address, phone number and e-mail on EVERYTHING you send, including the article itself!


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