Want to Submit Your Contribution to The Wire? Wherever possible, submit your contributions in electronic form, saved in Microsoft Word either as an Email attachment, on a floppy disk or a CD.
Please use the link in the left column, if you cannot send it to us electronically, we are able to work off hard copy but this is the least preferred method of submission.
Before considering what the Editorial staff requires from our contributors, it is useful to know the aims of The WIRE , and what its readers are looking for.
It is also useful to bear in mind the processes involved in the production of The WIRE .
Aims of The Wire
The aims of The WIRE are as follows: -
* To promote internal communications within the serving Corps, both Regular and TA;
* To assist in the promotion of Corps internal recruiting and to support external recruiting;
* To promote communication between the serving and the retired Corps; and
* To act as a medium for the Corps informal history.
The Readership and Their Needs
Although our readership comprises two main groups (the serving Corps (both Regular and TA) and retired Corps) a recent survey indicates that their needs of The WIRE are broadly the same.
They want to know what is going on in the Corps at present and what is likely to happen in the future; i.e. reports/stories about operations, exercises, technical developments, sports, welfare and social activities, and to some, the movement of personnel. They are also interested in elements of Corps history, particularly those from which our heritage and traditions have developed.
So contributors should have these needs in mind when they write their Unit or Branch notes. Certain local happenings and in-jokes within a Troop, Squadron or Branch may mean very little to the wider readership, whilst achievements on operations, exercises, adventurous training, in charitable activities or sport are likely to more meaningful.
The Process for Assembling The WIRE
As contributions, notes, stories, etc. come in to The WIRE office, they are checked, logged and registered. They are then read, and any queries referred to the originating Unit or Branch. The photographs are checked for suitability, and they and the written material are then converted into electronic form. Once in this form, the material is edited and the layout decided. When this has been completed, the complete magazine is laid out electronically and a mock-up hard copy is printed off. The mock-up is then proof-read and checked for visual appeal. Any necessary adjustments are made and a CD is burned and sent to the printers. The printers do another proof-read and produce a set of galley proofs for the Editor to read again and approve before printing proceeds.
If possible, we would prefer your notes to be in 12 point Arial, left aligned with single spacing but this is not critical. The editorial staff will check all submissions on receipt and make any format changes necessary.
It is most important that there is a covering letter or e mail with a name, address and phone number to enable us to make contact in case of any queries on such things as spelling of names, dates or other facts. If your submission comprises a number of separate articles or photographs, please ensure that they are linked by serial number to the first submission.
At the beginning of a unit submission, the name of the CO/OC and RSM/SSM should be printed. The Editor interprets this as an indication that the material has been submitted with the knowledge of the CO or OC concerned. Apart from that, we include the name of incumbent CO/OC and RSM/SSM at the top of each article and you should be aware that we rely on the unit to keep us up to date on these key appointments. Make sure that all disks, CDs and photos are identified with some form of unit title.
Photos are not usually returned, but if you wish them back, please indicate this clearly and provide a return address. There is one exception. If your photo has been selected for the front or back cover, we retain the originals for the Archives.
The dates for submission are published on the Contents page of each Wire. Note that these are the final dates for submissions to arrive at The Wire office. You need to allow sufficient time for handling and delivery by that date.
If you have a particularly important event that that you wish to report on (e.g. a Royal Visit, an important exercise or sporting fixture) and it occurs very close to or after the deadline date, then contact the Editor well beforehand to discuss it. We will do our best to accommodate you but this will depend on how many other units have the same problem and are also asking for an exemption to the deadline. If there are many, editorial discretion will be applied to prioritise the events.
Contributions arriving after the deadline will not be carried forward to the next issue automatically. The Editor will usually send an Email or letter to the contact address (see above) informing the unit contact. If the unit wishes the item to be carried forward to the next edition, then it must be resubmitted and updated with any necessary additions or amendments.
Style and Content
The Wire has an established style, which has evolved over the years. Those tasked with writing articles or co-ordinating unit inputs should to read some recent back copies for guidance on style and format to use. For example, we do not publish nicknames unless it is obvious that the nickname is in fact the used name. Obviously constructed 'nicknames' are usually in-jokes which no-one outside the unit will understand and they will not be printed.
The focus should be on issues that will have a broad appeal. Stories on local issues and in-jokes are better suited to Unit/Branch newsletters, rather than The Wire. Even stories on broader issues can fall short if they merely recount what happened in a purely sequential way. Try to capture the atmosphere, by including how people were feeling, what was learned, or something that a reader can easily identify with. A bit of dialogue is sometimes quite effective in doing this.
The story must be interesting to read. Focus on quality, rather than quantity. The Editor is always happy to advise on writing style and form. Wherever possible, give the task of writing Wire notes to someone who can write well.
Length of Contributions
Although we do not wish to constrain contributors too much, especially when they have a good story, there has to be some limit in the size of contributions. The following should be taken as a general guide for a maximum figure:
Major units: Around 8 - 10 A4 pages in single spaced Arial 12 point, plus 5 - 10 photos. After editing and transferring to the publishing software, this will be roughly 2 - 4½ pages in The Wire plus photos.
Minor units: Around 4 - 8 x A4 pages in single spaced Arial 12 point, plus 5 - 10 photos. After editing and transferring to the publishing software, this will be roughly 1 - 3 pages in The Wire plus photos.
Photos play an important role in The Wire. As well as bringing a story to life, they can give impact to a page in a way that invites people to read it. The old saying: 'A picture is worth a thousand words' is as true today as it ever was. We could add another: 'A page without a picture seldom gets read'.
As a rule, action shots are more interesting than groups of people, i.e. a good shot of players in action on a football pitch is more appealing than a group photo of the team. Having said that, there should be room for a victorious team with a trophy.
Photos should be related to and supported by the text. All photos should be accompanied by a caption which explains the contents clearly and unambiguously. It is helpful if a photograph is linked to a paragraph or section of the accompanying text. It is also helpful if the desired location for a photograph is indicated in the text.
All photos must have clear, sharp focus and should show clearly the people or things you are trying to illustrate. A photo will usually be reduced in size prior to printing, so you need to visualise if it will still work when it is smaller. Photos of large groups of people are best avoided because individual faces become less recognisable when the picture is reduced.
Photos should be sent in digital form as separate high resolution jpeg files, preferably 1Mb or better. They can be emailed or sent on a CD. They will not fit on a normal floppy disk. Even printed good quality photos are rarely satisfactory. Do not embed photos in your text.
Be aware that the gateways which provide external access to the internet and hence to The Wire will not usually accept more than 5Mb.
Bad Example No faces are visible so it could be anybody falling off their skis. The photo is also slightly out of focus
Editing and Co-ordination of Unit Notes
Frequently a unit's notes are a combination of many pieces of work written by a number of different people. It is highly desirable that they are edited and co-ordinated (and possibly pruned) before submission to us. It also helps the Editor if different elements of the submission are prioritised.
Reader feedback has told us that a summary of a Regiment or Squadron activities and deployments is most welcome as the first section in the notes. This can then be followed by a series of individual articles or reports expanding on the same or similar topics.
A Good Example Sharp focus with detail and recognizable faces at an important occasion for this unit.
Please include the names of authors of major reports and pieces, and we will acknowledge them. If you consider that any photos submitted are good enough for the front or back cover, please let us know the photographer's name. If a photograph has been taken by a professional military or civilian cameraman, then it is usual to attribute it accordingly.
Protectively Marked Material
Take care that the submission does not contain protectively marked information, maps or pictures or include personal details and locations which might be a risk to unit or personnel security.
All material published in The Wire becomes Crown Copyright. If you wish to include material in your contributions that has been published elsewhere, we require proof that you have permission to do so.
The Editorial Staff are always willing to help you. If in doubt, please seek their advice sooner rather than later. If you believe you have an important submission which should be given some priority, then contact the Editor and discuss it with him. There may be occasions when your submission has not been published. The most common reason for this is that your submission was received after the deadline and other items took priority. Check with the Wire Office to find out why. Please remember that The Wire is limited in size and inevitably there will always have to be cuts and the Editor's word is final!
Another Good Example Sharp focus and good colour of an action sports shot.