To submit an article to Hector Drummond Magazine please e-mail hector at hectordrummond dot com with ‘Submission’ in the subject line as well as the name of your piece. It’s best to send your piece as an attachment to help it stand out against all my other e-mail. I can read Word files, RTFs, ODTs, html, etc. I can also read PDFs but am not keen on them, but if that makes it easiest for you because you have graphics to go in then that’s fine. It’s also okay to send graphic files as attachments, if that’s what’s easiest for you.
Just send the piece, don’t write to ask permission to send it.
There is no minimum or maximum word limit (but obviously I’m unlikely to publish too many 5,000 word rambles). I am interested in articles on a variety of topics, not just Covid-19 and lockdown, that’s just the topic of the moment. Recent articles have been very science-based, and dry, but again, that’s not all I want, I’m interested in articles/posts on culture, politics, history, literature and non-fiction, current affairs, humour, economics, music, philosophy, law, biography, all sorts of things, as well as science. Even book reviews. But not latest CD reviews.
Punchy or witty short posts are good too, but they’ll have to be better than your average blog post. If it’s just a bog-standard daily post (eg. ‘What was up with Boris Johnson at today’s press conference? More questions than answers, I feel’, etc.) then I won’t be interested.
The site is somewhat UK-centric when it comes to politics and current affairs, but an article can come from anywhere in the world (although if it’s about your local politics then a bit of scene-setting might be useful.)
Please make sure your article is complete before you send it to me, and not just a rough draft. Also make sure you’ve given your article a good proofread. See proofreading notes at the bottom.
Please state whether you want anonymity or credit (you can also use a pen-name), and add a description of yourself if you want. Links and self-promotion are fine and normal, so if you want to please describe and link to your own website, blog, book on Amazon, back catalogue, Twitter page, CD, podcast, ballet, etc. (You can even add contact details if you so desire.)
If you do want a bio please add it when you send me the story, or send it to me as soon as I accept your piece. If you don’t want a bio please state that at the outset. Publication of articles is sometimes delayed because a writer has not sent me a bio but hasn’t said that they don’t want one.
I don’t mind if you’ve submitted to multiple places at the same time. You can let me know if you’ve done that, but don’t feel obliged. I won’t get annoyed if you pull it from me because somewhere else accepted it first, I’ll just say ‘well done’. Nor do I mind if you’ve had (or still have) the piece up at your own blog, or at another website.
Copyright stays with you.
(1) I can’t guarantee I’ll say yes. Apologies in advance if it’s a no. Welcome to the writer’s world. It may be a perfectly good piece, but I do have my own idiosyncratic tastes (plus I don’t want to swamp the site with too much material). Clarity of expression is likely to help.
(2) There is no money involved. I’ll show you my overdraft balance if you think there’s any money in this sort of writing.
Proofreading/formatting notes (my prefs, may not be the same prefs elsewhere):
Use a single space between sentences.
Don’t put spaces before colons or semi-colons.
Use single quote marks for scare quotes or when introducing a term (e.g.: This was considered to be the ‘right’ thing to do).
Don’t overdo scare quotes. (Some inexperienced writers seem to think that every slightly unfamiliar term should be in scare quotes.)
For quotations, use double-quote marks. (I may decide to use single-quote marks for a piece instead, sometimes I do, but in that case I’ll make the changes myself.)
For a use of quote marks (or scare quotes) within a quote, use single quote marks (or double quote marks if you’re using single quote marks for quotations)
Don’t put spaces around backward-slashes, eg. use ‘morals/ethics’ rather than ‘morals / ethics’.
Use backward slashes sparingly.
Don’t overdo exclamation marks.
Don’t overdo capitals, italics, bold or underlining.
Please don’t use any list-style formatting, or Word’s bullet point feature.
Use ‘en-dashes’ (surrounded by spaces) rather than hyphens, except when hyphenating a word, eg. ‘The crowning glory of the story he liked to tell – as opposed to the story his enemies told – was that he used to be in charge of selecting which impossible thing the Queen would believe each morning’.
The en-dash (aka ‘en-rule’) is this: ‘–’.
The hyphen is ‘-‘ (eg. ‘short-term’).
And then there’s the longer em-dash (aka em-rule): ‘—’. Avoid the em-dash please.
Use an en-dash, not surrounded by spaces, for number ranges, eg, ‘172–3246’ (or else write ‘172 to 3246’).
The en-dash in Word (on Windows at least) can be typed by pressing Ctrl-hyphen.
Unlike some places, I don’t mind a sentence starting with ‘And’ or ‘But’, as long as it’s not clunky.
Please include links where suitable. I don’t expect loads of links, but if you’re discussing a particular article or post please include it to save me searching for it. Links don’t have to be in the form of hyperlinks, they can just be inserted into the appropriate place in the text and surrounded by ‘<‘ and ‘>’ so that I can see that they’re links, and I can then turn a suitable bit of nearby text into a hyperlink. Or you can add to the bottom of the article for me to insert into the text (say where, if you want to).