TSV Contributors' Guide

TSV has an open submission policy - we're interested in receiving Doctor Who writing and artwork from anyone!

Here are some guidelines that may help you in the preparation of your submission. If you have any questions about submissions that are not covered by this document, please email the editor, Paul Scoones (paulscoones@yahoo.com).

File formats and submission

The following file formats are accepted for submissions: Microsoft Word document, Rich Text Format (RTF).

Submissions should be sent attachments to emails with a covering note in the message body of the email. Exceptions to this are letters for publication that may be submitted as email messages.

Email all TSV submissions to: paulscoones@yahoo.com.

Typewritten submissions are accepted, as these can be easily text-scanned, however we discourage hand-written submissions, other than letters for publication.

Always begin submissions with the title and the name of the writer/s. If a submission is a draft version intended for feedback rather than publication, include a note to this effect under the title so that it is not confused with a publication-ready piece.

Word length

As a general rule of thumb, a page of TSV with no illustrations and a small heading can accommodate roughly 1,000 words of text. For example a 4,000-word article without pictures would take up four pages, five with a few illustrations. You should not feel the need to write to a certain word length unless this has been specifically requested.

Reviews of books and audio stories should be limited to around 500 words, however longer articles providing critical analysis and/or appreciation of past stories (TV, book, audio, etc.) in greater depth are also welcome.

Articles

Opinion pieces and fresh perspectives on topics are especially welcomed.

Purely fact-based pieces (for example how a story was made) are discouraged - this sort of detail is readily accessible in various professional publications. The exception to this is where it concerns a subject that has not been covered to the same level of detail in other books or magazines. If in doubt, check with the TSV editor.

TSV only publishes material about Doctor Who. We do not accept or publish material about other television series or subjects, except where the point of the article is to examine a Doctor Who connection.

Fiction

Fan fiction is welcomed. The stories need not necessarily include the Doctor but should recognisably include at least some elements that mark it out as a uniquely Doctor Who story. Multi-part stories are discouraged - the story should begin and end in the same issue. The only conceivable exception to this rule would be a series of linked stories where each part could be read as a single story independently of the others.

Comic strips are accepted. However, first-time contributors of comic strip stories are asked to first submit for approval a single completed page, a synopsis of the rest of the story and an indication of the number of pages the entire strip will take up. As with text fiction, it is requested that the story begins and ends in the same issue.

Crossovers with other series are generally discouraged unless they are short vignettes.

If you have written or are writing novel or novella-length Doctor Who fiction we may be interested in publishing your work as a stand-alone issue under the TSV Books imprint. In this instance please contact Paul Scoones (paulscoones@yahoo.com)

Reviews

TSV publishes reviews of television stories, videos, DVDs, audios, novels, books, magazines and fanzines. It is always a good idea to check first with the editor in case there is already a review or a reviewer assigned to a particular item.

When writing reviews, try to avoid disclosing plot developments that would spoil surprises for the first-time viewer / reader / listener. All aspects of the TV stories can be discussed openly, however. Also bear in mind when writing reviews that your readers may not have read, listened to or seen the work in question. This is especially relevant for books and audios: be aware that you should qualify your statements so that the reader will understand what you're discussing.

Although TSV is a non-profit fanzine, it adheres to professional standards in terms of content. When writing your reviews, please think about structure and language. In particular, as the subject matter is Doctor Who, the language used should be appropriate for the topic and suitable for any other high-street science fiction, film or television magazine. Mild expressions such as "crap" are acceptable, but please don't use stronger swear words.

Format

Single character spacing between sentences.

Single line spacing between paragraphs.

Short related asides or supporting material in articles is ideal for box-outs. These should be marked out within the submitted document as follows:

BOX-OUT#1 BEGINS>>>>>>>>>>>>
The text of the box out
BOX-OUT#1 ENDS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Check your facts to the best of your ability.

Factual articles should include a brief bibliography citing any major sources, and also acknowledge any individuals who have made a significant contribution to the finished piece.

Spelling, Grammar & Punctuation

Spell-check and proofread all writings before submission.

If you're using a word processor with a spelling and/or grammar function, please always use this to check your document. This applies to draft versions submitted for feedback as much as final versions. It is difficult to assess an article's worth if it is plagued with spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors. If possible, set spell-checker options to UK rather than US spellings.

Proofreading entails reading the work to check that it makes sense and that you haven't made any mistakes or left anything out. Sometimes reading a piece of writing aloud can reveal errors or badly worded passages that would have otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Common spelling problems:

  • Time Lord not Timelord (the only exception to this is the pop group The Timelords); Sontaran not Sontaren; Doctor Who not Dr Who (unless you are referring to the Peter Cushing films); Gallifrey not Gallifray; Gallifreyan not Gallifreyian or Gallifrian; Definitely not definately; Ghost Light not Ghostlight; Galaxy 4 not Galaxy Four; Love & Monsters not Love and Monsters; Tooth and Claw not Tooth & Claw; 42 not Forty Two; Smith and Jones not Smith & Jones.
  • Use the -ise ending on words, not -ize.
  • Date format should be 6 April, not 6th April.
  • Seventies or 1970s, not 70s; do not put apostrophes into decades: the 1990s, not 1990's.
  • Use science-fiction or SF; don't abbreviate to sci-fi.
  • Dialogue in fiction should be in single inverted commas; quoted passages in other pieces should be double.
  • All titles - be it TV series, First Doctor episode title, book, audio, comic strip, should be in italics.
  • Bridging words (of, and, the, etc) should be lower case, ie Planet of the Daleks, not Planet Of The Daleks.
  • Use the correct form of a title - if it begins with a 'The', include it.
  • Certain First Doctor story titles are discretionary: you may use either An Unearthly Child or: 100,000 BC; The Daleks or: The Mutants (aka The Daleks); The Edge of Destruction or: Inside the Spaceship; The Massacre or: The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve
  • Capitalise acronyms such as TARDIS, UNIT.
  • "It's" is a contraction for "it is"; "its" is the correct form in all other instances.
  • Individuals should be capitalised, i.e. 'Fifth Doctor', not 'fifth Doctor'.
    Positions should not be capitalised: i.e. 'producer', 'script editor'.
  • Name people in context - if it's an actor you're talking about, use the actor's name and not that of their character, and vice versa.
  • The TSV bracket style is like this (this is an example). The bracketed statement is kept within the sentence. (Not like this).
  • The correct nomenclature for the new series for TSV is: series one, series two, series three (all lower case, no numerals).

Artwork, photographs and other images

The following file formats are accepted for artwork, photographs, and other images: jpegs (.jpg), GIFs, PNGs and TIFFs. Art and images should be submitted by email. There is no restriction on the file size, but if you are emailing a file larger than 5MB please consult the editor first. All electronic images must have a resolution of 300 DPI or greater for print. Artwork should be black and white. Photographs can be colour though these will be reproduced in black and white.

Payment & reimbursement

There is no payment for any contribution as TSV is a completely non-profit publication and does not have discretionary funds with which to pay contributors. Contributors with significant quantities of published work (equivalent to two or more pages) in any one issue will receive a free copy of that issue. Current subscribers will have their expiry issue number advanced by one.

Reprinting

TSV may consider work submitted by the creator that has previously been published elsewhere, but this is unlikely. Please consult with the editor before submitting previously published material.

Copyright in any published material is shared between the contributor and TSV. The contributor is of course free to have their work republished elsewhere, however TSV requests that as a courtesy the republication include an acknowledgement that TSV was the source of first publication.