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Writing for Renewal

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Renewal welcomes contributions and ideas for new articles and essays, or 'feedback' pieces on existing published articles. We also welcome suggestions for articles and potential authors.

Guidelines for contributors

As a general rule it is advisable to submit an abstract or outline to the editors (by emailing editorial@renewal.org.uk) in the first instance. This will be discussed and where appropriate sent to external referees for comment, in order to inform editorial feedback and guidance aimed at maximising the potential of the article.

Style and structure

Renewal is read by academics and students, policymakers and political strategists, journalists and broadcasters, politicians and campaigners, social practitioners and active citizens. All members of this audience should be borne in mind when writing for the journal.

The ideal Renewal article is rigorous and original enough to be published in a peer-reviewed academic journal, and readable and interesting enough to appear in a political weekly or newspaper op-ed section. This means that everything published in Renewal should be clear and accessible, accurate and informative, fresh and thought-provoking, abreast of the latest published research and political developments – and a pleasure to read.

Of course writing styles will and should differ, and each contributor will have their own distinctive voice. But all are urged to avoid clichés, repetitious phrasing, excessively complex or over-long sentences, and unnecessary technical jargon. Sexist terminology should be avoided (e.g. male nouns and pronouns when referring to people of both sexes.)

Articles should aim for a transparent and logical structure and err on the side of clarity by signposting and summarising their argument and key messages at the beginning and the end. We usually recommend that, unless very short, articles be broken up into sections, marked by sub-titles, which can be further broken up into sub-parts which can be marked by sub-sub-titles.

Word count

The most common length for a Renewal article is around 4,000 words, with shorter interventions and commentaries at 2,000 to 3,000 words and more scholarly essays with a significant element of new research at 5,000 to 6,000. Exceptions to these general guidelines should be discussed with the editors.

Book reviews should aim for 1,000 words and not exceed 1,500, unless more than one book is being reviewed in which case a longer wordlength may be negotiated with the editors.

Blog pieces are usually around 800 words, though there's some flexibility.

Submitting copy

Electronic copy should be supplied wherever possible by e-mail in Word format to editorial@renewal.org.uk.

On separate sheets, please provide a brief biographical note, and contact details that will enable editors to reach you if we need to discuss last minute production issues.

Date of publication

Please be aware that as Renewal is a quarterly journal that aims to respond to topical issues the editors need to retain a degree of flexibility when it comes to allocating less time-sensitive pieces to issues. However it is rare for a piece to be published more than six months after submission of final copy and editors undertake to keep contributors informed of publication plans.

House style

We use endnotes only for quotations and figures. We also encourage authors to include a short list of further reading for background/context/theory at the end of articles. 

Renewal's house style is aligned with that of our publishers, Lawrence & Wishart. Below are detailed guidelines:

Extracts: (quotations of 60 words/3 lines or more):

- indent without quotation marks

- with a line space above and below (i.e. double return)

Quotations (less than 60 words):

- single quotation marks

- double marks for quotation within quotation

- i.e. Anna Coote argues that ‘a “normal” paid working week has changed’.

- Punctuation at the end of a quotation should be outside the quotation marks as in this example, and in the following: ‘A “normal” paid working week has changed’, argues Anna Coote.

Paragraphs:
- indicate by double hard return
- no indent

References:

- should be given as a list of endnotes at the end of each essay/chapter

- check references are all complete and correspond correctly to superscript numerals in text

- footnote superscript number should be placed outside sentence punctuation: e.g. ... as Fredric Jameson notes.17

- when giving references, give the following information in the following order: Author’s (or editor’s) name (including first name – preferably – or initial[s]), title (italicised) and subtitle, publisher, place and date:

Example: Peter Purton, Champions of Equality: Trade unions and LGBT rights in Britain, Lawrence & Wishart, London 2016.

- add page references where appropriate at end.

- Use ibid and op cit according to Hart’s Rules, e.g. Hall and Jacques, op cit, pp49-53.

- use p or pp to indicate page numbers with no full stop, as above

- page ranges should be separated by a hyphen - not a dash – i.e. pp19-20 not pp19–20

- there should be no hyperlinks, and any web addresses should not be underlined (or in any colour other than black)

- journal issues should be in the form shown in example:

  Example:  Barry Stoller, ‘Music, Marxism, and the hype about D.I.Y. (“Do-It-Yourself”)’, Monthly Review, Vol 49 No 7, 1998, pp34-43.

- conference titles should have capital letters but not be in inverted commas or italics.

- all endnotes should end in a full stop

- websites should be referenced: Author, ‘Article title’: http://www.wherever.co.uk, date. E.g. George Eaton, ‘Why a Labour Majority at the next General Election has become far easier’: http://www.newstatesman.com, 10 June 2017. There should be no link and no underline on the web address, and please try to keep it simple – no long urls.

Spaces:

- do not use double spaces in any situation

Dates:

- use 1950s, not fifties or ‘50s or 1950’s

- use 1984, not ’84; and use 1914-18 and 1939-45, unless 1899-1902

- for complete dates, give thus: 25 June 1992 (not 25th June 1992, or June 25, 1992 or 25th June 1992)

- date ranges should be separated by a hyphen - not a dash – i.e. 1930-45 not 1930–45

- spell out nineteenth century, not 19th century or 19th century

- hyphenate for adjectival usage: ‘a nineteenth-century tradition’ or ‘twenty-first-century thought’, but not for noun: ‘in the nineteenth century’.

Italics:

- names of ships, play titles, newspapers (The Times, The Guardian and The Economist have ‘The’ as part of title), paintings, film titles, book titles, magazines, journals, TV programme names. If unsure check online to see whether ‘the’ is part of the title.

- poem, essay, leaflet and short story titles are not italicised and have single quotation marks

- Do not italicise non-English words in regular usage, e.g. persona, modus operandi, schadenfreude

- conference titles should have capital letters but not be in inverted commas or italics.

S/Z:

- s spellings preferred (organise, apologise, etc).

Dashes:

- spaced ‘en’ rules i.e. when used to separate a sentence dashes should be typed thus – with a space either side, not - and not like this—with no spaces

- hyphens should be small like this - as in ‘nineteenth-century tradition’ etc. Not ‘nineteenth–century tradition’ and not ‘nineteenth—century tradition’

Ellipses:

- three dots with spaces on either side thus … even if a sentence ends or starts with an ellipsis

- omit all other punctuation, even if, for example a sentence ends before the ellipse. I.e. not ‘the “normal” wage has changed. …’ But ‘the “normal” wage has changed … ’

Hyphens:

- always hyphenate with the small hyphen - not – or — including in dates, e.g. 1922-23

- most important is to maintain consistency (keep list if in doubt), but some advice includes:

- compound nouns should be hyphenated, e.g. film-maker (but not established compounds, e.g. soundtrack, comeback, breakdown etc.)

- do use for clashing vowels, e.g. co-operate, re-introduce (but not rewrite, rethink etc.)

- do use for words with two meanings (e.g. recreation and re-creation)

- do use for adjectival phrases, e.g. middle-class (but not the noun, e.g. the working class)

- hyphenate five-year-old, but not no one.

Foreign words/phrases:

- check with Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors for accents and italicisation

- do not italicise words/phrases in common usage, e.g. rendezvous, role, regime (note: no accents)

Contractions:

- contractions which end in last letter of word, e.g.: Dr, Mr, Mrs, St, edn, eds, Ltd should not have apostrophes or full stops at the end. (Note for footnotes, ed. for single editor, eds for several editors.)

- no punctuation after metric units (preferred to Imperial measures, but please be consistent), e.g.: cm, m, km, kg

- no full stop for etc if followed by other punctuation or if in the middle of a sentence

Abbreviations:  

- end with full points (since truncated), e.g.: p.m., ed., i.e., vol., no.

- full stops for initials of people, e.g.: R.A. Butler, Edward W. Said, etc

- no full points with initials for organisations etc, e.g. RAC, BBC, SWP, HMSO, USA, etc.

Numbers:

- spell out to 100 (i.e. eighty-nine), then use numerals (i.e. 253)

- always spell out ages of people and amounts (e.g. six bottles, ten years, four days etc.)

- the exceptions are measurements (see below) and millions/billions, i.e. £7.8 million.

- thousands: use comma only in five- or six-figure numbers, i.e. 4000, but 45,000

- use figures, and spell out per cent (two words), i.e. 20 per cent

Measurements:

- use figures (numerals), e.g. 8 km, 15 hectares, etc

- film/camera lens measurements thus, 16mm, 35mm (closed up as shown)

Percentages:

- use figures, and spell out per cent (two words), i.e. 20 per cent

Capitalisation:

- check with Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors for capitalisation of proper names etc.

- do not normally capitalise socialism, communism, fascism, the left, the right, the labour movement, the prime minister, etc. Labour Party (not Labour party)

- for chapter/section headings (subheadings) use lower case bold (after initial cap, and excepting words which are normally capitalised): e.g. The end of Fordism and organised capitalism. Do not use small caps

General:

- use italics for emphasis, not bold or underline

- keep layout simple

- don’t indent for paras – use double return

- send tables separately and mark in the text where they should go. Send in a format (preferably Excel) which allows style editing (e.g. size of table, change of fonts) by typesetter – i.e., in particular, do not send scans of tables as we cannot then align them with journal/book style

- only leave a single space after punctuation.

- be consistent in your spelling, style, etc. That way, any changes can be made globally

- do a spell check. Make sure your spellcheck language is English (British). Always check Word’s suggestions, they are not always right

 

We are constantly aiming to improve these guidelines so please let us know if anything is unclear.

Thank you. 

Renewal