Guidelines for SOS news and blog

Shakespeare Oxford Society newsletter and SOS blog guidelines (5/17/09) revised September 28, 2009

Content emphasizes the publication of news and scholarly articles related to the case for Edward deVere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, as the true author of the Shakespeare canon while also reaching out to authors/scholars to submit articles about a range of subjects that touch on the Shakespeare authorship question more broadly.

Submit copy to:, call 517 548 3817.

Deadlines: Submit articles two months before publication deadlines of June, Sept, Dec, March. Submit news one month before publication date. Submit 500 word blog entries pertaining to your article and news items any time. Do not send manuscript revisions once a paper has been submitted; make your edits and corrections before submission. * see note below on deadlines
Content guidelines: News 500 words – specifics including accurate titles, contacts, links, etc. Features 1-3K words
Photos/graphics: include cutlines saying names of all in photo and circumstance: who, when, what, where. Submit photos or art you have created, have written permission to use, or that is verifiably out of copyright.
Ongoing: books, CD and DVD reviews 300 words; travel 500 words
Blog entries: Anyone can submit a blog entry on any topic at any time. Keep to around 500 words and include links and references — who, what, where, when, how, & why. Blog great performances, great books, great websites, great insights, whatever tickles your Oxfordian fancy.

Preparing a manuscript:
· DO NOT justify text
· DO NOT double space between sentences
· DO NOT indent; double space between paragraphs
· DO NOT use quotations around anything that is not a direct quote, except names of poems and stories are set in quotes
· DO NOT use quotations for partial quotes — if it’s not a sentence, paraphrase and attribute.
· If you have a block quote, set it even with the margin in italics – the typesetter will set it as a block quote.
· Names of books and plays are always italicized, do not use single or double quotes around names of books or plays.
· Scholarly articles are referenced using Modern Language Association stylebook and include a bibliography with each article. One source of info at:
· Only capitalize sonnet when referring to a specific one.

In general:
· Try to keep sentences no longer than ten words. If you need more words, clarify the thought and make more sentences.
· If you find yourself using semi-colons, consider making two sentences instead.
· If you find yourself with a sentence full of commas, consider alternative phrasing — except in the case of a series, and even then don’t make the series interminable.
· Do not use empty phrases like in fact, actually, I thought.
· Italicize foreign words and phrases, and words used in unusual ways – do not italicize anything else (except block quotes and titles of books and plays).
· Don’t start a sentence with the word, it. Substitute whatever it is that IT is. Look askance at every IT.
· Avoid any form of the verb, to be; find a more precise action whenever possible.
· Please make use of subheads to break up your copy and make the content more comprehensible.
· Study Strunk and White’s Elements of Style – you can’t go wrong.
· Read your copy out loud before submitting it – if you can’t speak it, readers can’t read it.
· Pretend you’re trying to explain your topic to a very smart nine-year-old.

You will be asked to sign your choice of releases that will allow SOS to publish your work and distribute it via our website and Gale Group on the Internet. The following letter from former SOS Pubications Committee Chair Frank Davis explains your options.

Options for SOS newsletter and SOS Oxfordian journal writers:
The Publications Committee has voted to give our writers the option of providing the SOS with a “License to Publish and Distribute” in lieu of “Assignment of Copyright.” The choice will be that of the writer. The purpose remains the same: to publish and allow for distribution through the Gale world-wide database, as well as our web site. Our only interest remains to get our Oxfordian literature distributed to as wide an audience as possible. Nothing else.
The advantage of “Assignment of copyright” over “License to publish and distribute” is that our registering the copyright gives the author full protection of the copyright laws, whereas to receive the maximum benefit if the “License” method is chosen, the author will have to register the work himself.
In this world of electronic media, the issue of copyright is very complicated. Although many web sites can be found to discuss/explain and sometimes confuse this issue, you might explore the US Copyright web site: for more information.
Frank Davis, (Former) Chairman, SOS Publications Committee

Release forms will be provided to authors.

All art and photography must be credited with the artist/photographer’s name. You must include written permission to use the work if it is not your creation or verifiably out of copyright.

Please include with your submission a two or three sentence bio for us to publish at the end of your article, along these lines:

Lee Morgan is a mathematician who lives in Philadelphia. He collects eighth century Mercian gold sword collars and enjoys rock climbing. His books include etc. and he has publications in etc. He can be reached at: etc. His website is: etc.

*Note on deadlines:
A wise editor treasures writers, values their time, and reveres their work. A wise editor never berates writers for missing deadlines, but will support and assist them in every possible way. Writers should be aware, however, that every action has a consequence and missing deadlines has consequences for your editor – all your problems become your editor’s problems. If you value your editor’s time as much as your editor values your time, you will be supporting your work and the work of the publication in a most important way. LT

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  • Lynne  On September 28, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    I do not understand either of the following rules:

    1. DO NOT use quotations for partial quotes — if it’s not a sentence, paraphrase and attribute.

    ***It has always been my understanding that one uses quotation marks sround all quotes, whether they are whole are partial. But if they are partial, they have to make sense in the context of the sentence, as in the following:

    Colonial criticism has “flatten[ed] the text into the mould of colonialist discourse and eliminates what is characteristically ‘Shakespearean’ in order to foreground what is ‘colonialist’” (Skura 47).

    ***As you can also see, no paraphrase is necessary. IMO, in cases such as these it is much more acceptable to use the original quote rather than to paraphrase it.

    2. Try to keep sentences no longer than ten words. If you need more words, clarify the thought and make more sentences.

    ***This cannot be correct. I have never seen–or written–a scholarly paper (or a young adult novel) that has such short sentences, and I can’t believe it would be acceptable to do so.

    Perhaps you could recheck these points.

  • Linda Theil  On September 28, 2009 at 9:23 PM

    Lynn is, of course, absolutely correct in her assessment; and as I told her privately, I may have gone overboard in my attempt to reduce the number of 75-word sentences in submissions. My bias against semi-colons and long sentences (which, as you see, I am guilty of ignoring) comes from my newspaper editors who will not allow a semi-colon to appear in any context and who chop relentlessly at long sentences. Neither will they allow partial quotes, saying they are too easy to mis-handle. I realize I am not editing a newspaper, but I hope we may achieve clarity by whatever means it is accomplished. And may I say, I am very grateful for every word shared with me.

  • Lynne  On September 28, 2009 at 11:45 PM

    Thanks, Linda. I really appreciate the fact that you took what I said seriously.


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