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Submissions and Contribution Guidelines

The Admin

Have you got an idea to share with a large audience of military and non-military personnel?  Get it published through the Wavell Room and reach the right people to drive discussion or influence decision making.

Use our “get in touch” form to start a conversation with us about how we can help you do this.

“In all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory, or an unjust interest.” (William penn)

Our published articles fall into four main categories:

  1.  Short reads and opinion.  These are designed to be read quickly and are easily accessible to readers on mobile devices.  These types of articles are typically around 1,000 words.
  2.  Long reads (with more rigour and use of referencing).  There is no limitation on length, but for these articles we seek a demonstration of rigour and evidence in the assertions that are made.  These types of articles would generally be more academic in nature, either as a report or essay, but these can be used to share new concepts and original thinking in more depth.
  3.  Podcasts.  We can arrange to record a podcast with you, or if you have a podcast topic that you would like to hear about, get in touch.
  4. Book Reviews.  If you would like to write a book review for us, get in touch.  We can provide the reading material to fuel the review and offer guidance in the writing.

Writing Guidelines (largely borrowed from our partners War On the Rocks)

Read The Wavell Room, War on the Rocks and Strategy Bridge. This is the best way to understand the kind of articles we will accept. Check out the topics our writers address. See how they structure their arguments, keep the reader’s attention, and cite their work.

Pitching and Submitting. Start by sending your pitch through our contact form .  The pitch should include your main argument and why your experience makes you well-suited to address the topic in question. Feel free to attach your CV, bio, or in fact what you feel is a completed article. Take this opportunity to brag about yourself!

If it has been three days and you have not heard anything about your pitch, please do get in touch again to check in on its status. If we accept your pitch and ask for a full submission, it can take anywhere from one day to a few weeks to review and edit your article. We try to pair articles with subject matter expert reviewers. This can take time, but worth it. Trust us. If you are not willing to wait, you should probably not submit to War on the Rocks.

Double submissions. We are only content to publish previously published work with the written permission of the publisher.

Please do not seek to publish elsewhere simultaneously or in addition to with us. We are a team of volunteers and time is our most important resource. We put a lot of time into editing submissions.

The eye catching opener. Open your article with a provocative question, engaging anecdote, shocking fact, or humorous observation. Catch the reader’s attention from the very start.

Tell us what you are going to tell us, tell us, then tell us what you told us. In other words, state your argument clearly and up-front in your first or second paragraph. This thesis statement should be one or two sentences. Do not leave us wondering halfway through your article what your core argument is. Then give us the meat of your argument in the body section. Use a lot of evidence. If yours is a longer article on a complex set of issues, consider using section breaks with titles. This makes the article easier on the reader. And finally, give us a strong conclusion that sums up your argument and offers a clear way forward. Don’t just describe, prescribe.

No jargon. We want your articles to be widely read and understood, so please don’t use language that is only comprehensible to military personnel, civilians working in Defence and Security, or academics in this area. This includes the use of acronyms, only a few of which are acceptable.  You can elaborate on acronyms in your text if you need to use them.

Use clear and engaging language. Intersperse long sentences with short sentences. Avoid passive voice. (Passive voice should not be used. See what we did there?). If you are writing about something theoretical, use real-world or even fictional vignettes to illustrate your point. Every article can be exciting. Nothing has to be dry.

Do not assume knowledge on behalf of the reader. While many of our readers have military experience, many do not. Remember that most of our readers do not share your particular expertise. Please take care to explain concepts and contexts that are basic for your area of specialty — without dumbing them down.

Feel free to insert yourself into the article. Whilst we love writing in the 3rd person, you are writing about something as an expert, or knowledgeable in your area and it is that you have written the article, which creates most value.  Don’t hesitate to talk from your own perspective, where it adds to the story you are telling.

Cite your work. Any factual statements (speeches, statistics, events, etc.) and arguments of other thinkers should be cited with an embedded hyperlink wherever possible. It usually is. For a book, a link to its Amazon or Google Books page will do. When citation via hyperlink is not possible because the source is not available online (for example, an interview you conducted or an email exchange), you should try hard to refer to the source in your text. Footnotes are acceptable, but in text source links are best.

This form of citation is important because it allows us to more easily fact-check your submission and forces you to make sure you have all your facts right. It also allows readers to see the foundations of your argument for themselves. Facts that are common knowledge for you and your peers may not be common knowledge for our readers. We don’t have the time to do your sourcing for you, even if you are a current or retired senior official or military officer. Please place the hyperlink over the words or phrase that you might use to search for the source on Google.

Please make an effort to link to other Wavell Room articles in order to ground your arguments in debates that have played out in our forum.

What makes a great book review? The best book reviews are those that are not easily identified as a book review until the reader is halfway through. Instead of writing a book report or a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book, use the book’s core contentions as fodder for your own original argument.

Author Details. Please add your two- to three-sentence biography at the bottom of the submission as it will appear on the site. This is the place to demonstrate your authority to our readers. Tell us what you have done and what you have written. You can also add hyperlinks to this as well, if you wish to point readers to the Amazon page for your book, your personal website, or any social media handles.

Review process. We will often send articles to be reviewed by subject matter experts. If we accept your article, you should expect questions and criticism aimed at improving it. This is meant to help you, so do not take it personally.

Making edits. If we choose to publish your article, you will receive a draft with edits and comments made using the track changes function in Microsoft Word

Plagiarism. If you plagiarize, your article will be rejected and you will never again be welcome to publish with us. Plagiarism is defined in King’s College London’s Academic Honesty and Integrity statement as “taking of another person’s thoughts, words, results, judgements, ideas, images etc., and presenting them as your own.” Plagiarism does not only mean using someone’s exact words as your own. It also includes the re-purposing of concepts and findings without attribution.  Nearly all plagiarism can be avoided through

Think International. The Wavell Room has a global readership, ensure that what you’ve written can be understood or enjoyed by readers in another nation.  We have strong readership from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

Avoid unnecessary capitalisation. A trait of many service personnel is to overly capitalise words which do not require it.

Pen names, organisational considerations, and secrecy.  Where serving members contribute, we only use first names or pen names in order to offer the individual a right to personal security and in order to comply with a specific request from the UK MOD.  However, we are keen to use full author details where possible  in our posts to demonstrate authority and reliability in the article.

The author providing the contribution is ultimately responsible for the content that is written, to ensure that it is not breaching and official guidelines and is not information which should not be discussed on an open public place, such as the internet.  We are not journalists and will not reveal or participate in the leak of any information that is classified.

As you would expect, we are obligated to report any clear breach of classified information to the authorities.

Only reference and link to open news reports or analysis of these documents.

If you are allowed to publish and you work for the government or are in the military, you may want to add a disclaimer to your bio that your views do not represent those of whatever organisation you work for.  We have a template disclaimer that is used on all of our articles, but are happy to amend this should you wish for something else.