Authors' guidelines

1) The language of the magazine is English; spelling and grammar should conform to good English practice. "International English" or American is not acceptable unless the author is American. Foreign words or phrases may be used if they are well-known or are accompanied by a translation. Latin abbreviations may be used and will be typeset in italics.

2) The subject must be relevant to the interest of the readers. This is a magazine about the Somersetshire Coal Canal, readers are not interested in general canal articles unless they have a particular relevance to the SCC. Articles on matters not directly related to the SCC may be acceptable if their relevance to the SCC is significant and is properly explained by the author. Announcements of events and other matters of interest to the readership are welcome, as are independent reviews of relevant books. Promotion of the Society's own events, products and services is allowed - but promotion of other commercial items or services will not be not permitted.

3) Space is limited, so the article must be concise and should avoid needless repetition. It may be helpful to subdivide the subject so that it falls under a number of natural subheadings, this will also make it easier to typeset and easier to read. The Editor should be warned well in advance if any article is likely to exceed three pages in length. (e.g. 1200 words + two half-page photographs.)

4) Illustrations in the form of photographs, maps or diagrams are helpful if they are relevant, they also help to break up the blocks of text and improve the layout. The llustrations submitted should be labelled or numbered in some way and accompanied by a list of captions (and picture credits where applicable) similarly numbered to prevent confusion. Copyright illustrations cannot be used unless the Editor is satisfied that their use in Weigh-House has been agreed by the legal copyright owner. (All photographs, maps and drawings may be assumed to be copyright under English law unless there is evidence to the contrary).

5) The article may be submitted in plain text and may be simply Copied from the author's word processor and Pasted into the body text of an e-mail. If the layout and typography are important, the text may be sent as an RTF attachment. Do not attempt to typeset the article yourself in Word, the various versions of Word are not standardised, and the whole thing will have to be unpicked and typeset again for the magazine (which is laid-up in Pagemaker 6.5).

6) Illustrations submitted electronically should usually be in JPEG, GIF, TIF or EPS formats and not encoded within any other 'wrapper'. Some other formats may be readable, but there is rarely a good reason to use them. Photographs should preferably have a resolution equivalent to 300 dpi for a 120 x 80 mm print; but lower resolution could be acceptable, especially if the picture is intended to be printed at less than a page width.

7) Do not use Microsoft encoding or HTML for your e-mails, I cannot read it. Floppy discs, CDRs, USB memory sticks and SD cards can all be used as 'carriers' for electronic text and pictures, if preferred. Typewritten copy can also be accepted provided it is clean and of high contrast. Handwritten copy will only be considered under exceptional circumstances. Original photographs should not be sent by post except by prior arrangement, the Editor cannot be held responsible for their security.

8) Although the magazine's publication dates appear to be infinitely flexible, this is not supposed to be the case. If you want your article to appear in time for some event, bear in mind that publication can be delayed by many factors, so submit your copy in plenty of time.



The Editor has a library of stock photographs and maps which may be used to accompany an article if the author is unable to supply suitable illustrations - however, the author's own pictures are much to be preferred. If the author would like to include diagrams or maps but is deterred from doing so by lack of graphical skills, the Editor or other members of the Society may be able to assist if they are asked in sufficient time.

If electronic illustration is to be sent, the JPEG format is most suitable for the compressed transmission of the subtle shading of photographs, whereas the GIF format gives the sharp outlines necessary for diagrams. If the size of the file does not matter, an uncompressed format such as EPS or Bitmap will carry both types information without degradation.

Please do not rely upon a computer spelling-checker as your reference standard (even one which purports to be an English version), use a reputable printed English dictionary.
The book "Eats Shoots & Leaves" by Lyn Truss is a very readable and helpful guide to correct punctuation; it does not just state the rules, but explains the reasoning behind them so that the reader is equipped to deal with awkward situations which may arise in future.
The Editor is always willing to help if you have an idea but feel unsure of your ability to write a magazine article about it.


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