Writing for the Spartan Association

So you’d like to write for the Spartan Association website? Fantastic, and welcome aboard!
Though there are a couple of things we’d like you to pay attention to when creating your article. Simple stuff, really.

Length

First of all, your article should be 1,000 words in length. If it has to be longer, you can write a series of 1,000 word articles all with the same title, but with (Part X) at the end, with X being the number of the article in the series. Obviously, this can go on as long as you like. Though if you are planning to write your Magnum Opus in this way we’d suggest splitting it up into smaller series, to keep it interesting.
Captions do not count towards word length, in case you were wondering.
You can get a word count from more powerful writing software, like the word processors found in office packages or in the more specialised writing programs. Lightweight text editors may include the functionality, sometimes as a plugin, though many do not. You can use whatever software you wish to write your article, we won’t judge.
If you are wondering what a 1,000 word article looks like, take a look at the length of the article that you are reading right now. This is the amount of text you’d need to write to qualify your article for the Spartan Association website. We have set 1,000 words as a limit because it is long enough to be non-trivial to read, but short enough that it doesn’t become a wall of text. We’ve all visited those websites before, yes? But not for long, I’d wager.

Relevancy

The Spartan Association is interested in articles that are specifically relevant to the miniature wargaming hobby, though other tabletop gaming forms may qualify for our website. At all times please keep in mind that your article is to be written for tabletop wargamers to read.
As an example, you might have a particular interest in a certain period of history. It is fantastic that you want to write an article about that period, but think about how it is relevant to the tabletop wargamer. Does it consider possible rule sets for re-fighting an action? Does it discuss suitable miniatures that could represent the troops and uniforms that you describe? Does it show how the battlefield can be abstracted onto a tabletop for gaming? Your article should always be relevant to the hobbyist in all of us. History books abound in all of our collections (at least those of us interested in historical gaming); gaming interpretations most likely do not.
For those writing fantasy or science fiction articles: beware of legalities with possible intellectual property (IP) infringement. If your work challenges somebody’s IP, we most likely will not publish it without changes. Nevertheless the Spartan Association is not in the business of using other people’s trademarks without permission. You can, however, create new stuff (scenarios, terrain articles, painting guides, tutorials, battle reports, etc) without upsetting the apple cart. Discussing rules in depth, however, is possibly crossing the line, as is publishing statistics for models, or entire stat cards without getting the publisher’s permission. We will discuss this with you if we feel changes are warranted. Be reassured that we won’t just reject your work outright.
In all cases use common sense with this. If you were the copyright holder, how would you feel about having your work used without permission?

Images

As we are publishing for the web, your article will best be accompanied by images of some sort. It may be diagrams of a battle or battle report, photos of relevant models or miniatures, steps for painting in a new way that you are describing, or whatever else you may need to complement your work. Again make these original. No direct copies from books, magazines or other sources will be acceptable. If you need help creating diagrams or other images please contact us. We may be able to help you out. All model and miniature images should be your own (or otherwise original) photography and accompanied by the name of the manufacturer of that model or miniature so we can add it to the caption.

References and Citations

Okay, we aren’t writing for academia here. But if we are claiming to have standards, it’s somewhat important. In-text citations are not necessary (it’s a fairly informal writing style that we encourage) and these can be substituted for links wherever possible. We are an online magazine, and this is convenient for our readers.
However, you must add a “Sources and Further Reading” list at the end of every article, which does not form part of the word count (it doesn’t have to be long, but if you used somebody else’s work as inspiration or reference, you must include details of that work in this list). Please use the latest MLA style (https://style.mla.org/works-cited-a-quick-guide/) as a basis for this. MLA is a referencing standard that is fairly simple to apply, and forms of it can already be found in various wargaming magazines (usually the ones that specialise in historical gaming topics). We use this style for all of our articles’ “Sources and Further Reading” lists. Again, if you need help, contact us.

Submitting Your Article

Please submit your article and all images in a single zip file to admin@spartanassociation.org. If you need help zipping your files just ask. We prefer your article submitted in either .txt format (the best and easiest for us to work with) or .doc/.docx (because so many people use Microsoft Word anyway). Other formats we may or may not be able to read or use. If in doubt, again, just ask us. We won’t bite.
Articles must be submitted by the 15th of the current month to be included in the next month’s release. Having a due date this far back gives us time to properly edit and format your article for publication.

Getting Started

Now we’ve got the formalities out of the way, it’s time to get writing. Grab your ideas and start hitting that keyboard! We look forward to reading what you create. Enough talking, it’s time to hammer out some content…