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Submissions Guidelines

Call for papers

Contributions are invited for the Summer 2023 issue of Soundings issue 84 for which the copy date is Friday 4th August. Find out how to contribute

Guidelines for contributors

Prospective writers are encouraged to contact the editors to discuss their ideas and to make reference to the style guidelines below.

When each article is submitted it should have with it: 
1. An abstract of about 400 words
2. A couple of sentences to describe the author, for inclusion on the notes on contributors page. These will normally consist of the author’s job and a recent publication, if applicable. If not applicable, something else which indicates their suitability as an author.
3. Author’s name and address.

Email with initial proposal. Once your proposal is agreed, send your article as an rtf file.

Submissions of a paper to Soundings will be taken to imply that it presents original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere. By submitting a manuscript the author agrees that he or she is granting the Publisher for a fixed term the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the paper including reprints, photographic reproductions, microfilm or any other reproduction of a similar nature, and translations. He or she will not be required to assign the copyright. Our preferred article length is 4000 words.

Please note: we do not accept unsolicited poetry submissions.

Proofs will only be sent to authors on specific request, arranged in advance.

Complimentary Copies and Offprints
Offprints are not supplied, but every author will naturally receive a free copy of the issue to which he or she has contributed, and may purchase further copies (and back numbers) on trade terms.

Style Guide
Although Soundings maintains very rigorous standards, our aim is for the journal to be accessible to a readership outside academia as well as within. We therefore ask authors not to write in a traditional academic style, and to avoid jargon. We also ask for footnotes to be kept to an absolute minimum, and to be used for referencing sources rather than simply for indicating lots of other articles in the same field.

References and Notes
We produce digital versions of the journal which contain hyperlinks to website references – please make sure you copy and paste website addresses into your article so we have the correct version.

For style, please see below. In general we aim to have very few footnotes in Soundings. Only use footnotes when absolutely essential. Each reference should follow this basic format: name, book, publisher date.
Note the commas. Book in italics, no brackets around publisher.
p6, not p.6 or p. 6
pp67-69 not pp. 67-69 or pp.67-69
op cit not op. cit.
ibid not ibid.

  • Follow style of Hart’s Rules and the Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors. Generally consistency is all-important.
  • Extracts (quotations of 60 words or more): indent without quotation marks, with a line space above and below, giving reference by superscript numeral and endnote.
  • Italics: for names of ships, play titles, newspapers (only The Times, The Guardian and The Economist have ‘The’ as part of title), paintings, film titles, books, magazines, journals, TV programme names. Poem, essay and short story titles in roman and single quotes.
  • Quotations (less than 60 words): single quote marks, but double for quotation within quotation. Square brackets for author/editor’s insertion of words not in the original, eg ‘in many respects [hers is an] exemplary biography.’
  • S/Z: please use s spellings (eg organise, apologise, etc)
  • Dashes: spaced ‘en’ rules – to be typed thus.
  • Ellipses: three dots with spaces on either side thus  even if a sentence ends of starts with one.
  • Paragraphs: first paragraph of chapter/section is full out, following paragraphs are closed up and indented.
  • Hyphens: maintain consistency (keep list if in doubt): compound nouns, eg film-maker, make-up (but not established compounds, e.g. soundtrack, comeback, breakdown, etc); adjectival phrases, e.g. middle-class (but not the noun, e.g. ‘the working class’); but normally not between adverb and adjective, e.g. well illustrated, widely known); clashing vowels, eg co-operate, re-introduce (but not rewrite, rethink, etc).
  • Foreign words/phrases: check with Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors for accents and italicisation. Roman only for words/phrases in common usage, eg rendezvous, role, regime (note: no accents).
  • Contractions: omit full point of contractions (which end in last letter of word), e.g.: Dr, Mr, Mrs, St, edn, eds, Ltd; and after metric units (preferred to Imperial measures, but please be consistent), e.g.: cm, m, km, kg, etc.
  • Abbreviations: end with full points (since truncated), e.g.: p.m., ed., vol., no., etc. And for initials of people, e.g.: R.A. Butler, Edward W. Said, etc. No full points with initials for organisations etc, e.g.: RAC, BBC, SWP, HMSO, USA, etc.
  • Dates: use 1950s not fifties, ’50s or 1950’s. Use 1984, not ‘84; and use 1914-18, unless 1899-1902. For complete dates, give thus: 25 June 1992 (not 25th June 1992, or June 25, 1992). Spell out nineteenth century, not 19th century (and note hyphenation of adjectival usage, e.g.: a nineteenth-century tradition).
  • Numbers: spell out to 100 (e.g.: eighty-nine), then use numerals (e.g.: 253). The exceptions are measurements (see below) and millions/billions (e.g.: 7.8 million). Thousands: use comma only in five- or six-figure numbers, ie. 4000 but 45,000.
  • Measurements: use figures (numerals), e.g.: 8 km, 15 hectares, etc. Film/camera lens measurements thus, 16mm, 35mm (closed up as shown).
  • Percentages: use figures, and spell out per cent (two words) (e.g.: 20 per cent).
  • Notes and References: when you really do need to give a reference, use a superscript number in the text, and list footnotes at the end in the following way: author’s (or editor’s) surname (with first name preferably, or initial[s]), title (italicized) and subtitle, publisher, place and date, e.g.: Stuart Hall and Martin Jacques (eds), The Politics of Thatcherism, Lawrence and Wishart, London 1983. Only add page references where appropriate at end. Use ibid and op cit, according to Hart’s Rules, e.g.: Hall and Jacques, op cit, pp49-53.
  • Capitalisation: check with Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors for capitalisation of proper names etc. Do not capitalise socialism, communism, fascism, the left, the right, etc. For chapter/section headings use upper and lower case for first letter, e.g.: The end of fordism and organised capitalism.

Book Reviews

Book reviews (and books for review) should be sent to the following address:

Deborah Grayson, Reviews Editor
c/o Lawrence and Wishart
Central Books Building, Freshwater Road, London RM8 1RX

Book reviewers should note the following variations from the main style guidelines:

  • Manuscripts:: The maximum length is usually 1500 words.
  • References and Notes: Footnotes should be kept to an absolute minimum. Page references to the book(s) reviewed should be incorporated in the text (eg: ‘as the author herself claims (p23)’). References to other works requiring footnotes should be avoided where possible.
  • Book Title: Publication details of books under review should include the number of pages and the price of paper and cloth editions where appropriate, eg.: Robert Markley (ed.), Virtual Realities and their Discontents, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore 1996, 171pp; £12.50 paperback, £32 cloth.

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