This is an FAQ specifically for anyone who’s interested in becoming a Who Back When correspondent. That is, if you’d like to have your Whovian articles published on WhoBackWhen.com and you have any questions about the process, then this is the best place to start.
If you’d like to join, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name (and pseudonym if applicable), as well as some notes about what you’d like to write, and we’ll get back to you asap!
(For a more general FAQ about this site and our glorious podcast, check out this page!)
1. What can I write about?
You can write about pretty much anything you like. The only exceptions can be found in the final point of this list. Basically, though, anything Whovian goes. Did you just read a great Doctor Who novel and want to review it? Great! Want to review the (now former) Doctor Who Experience, a Doctor Who audiobook, comic book, cosplay festival or prop exhibit? Holy Smokes, please go for it!
Not only reviews are welcome, of course. WBW’s very own @DrewBackWhen recently published a two-part essay on Pop-Verse about the Doctors’ legacy and the 13th Doctor’s imminent arrival. If you’d be interested in penning something of similar profundity, by all means. Perhaps an essay on alien morals, the portrayal of race, or gender roles in Doctor Who. How about the role of non-Brits? I’d read that!
The possibilities are endless. :-)
If you are interested, please get in touch with us before you put pen to paper, though, as someone else may already have called dibs on that topic.
2. Can I submit just one article or do I have to commit to writing a bunch?
One-offs are absolutely fine! We’d love to get some regular contributors, though. If you’d like to write a whole series of articles, that would be absolutely wonderful. Whether they’re articles on unrelated topics or a string of papers united by a common thread such as posts about each of the individual companions, reviews about individual instalments in a series of comics, or what-have-you, go for it!
3. What about latest news?
Yes! Again, if you’d be interested in this, let us know in advance, as this may be something best suited to a dedicated correspondent or two. Let’s say the BBC just released a new trailer or there’s just been a huge announcement about upcoming DW developments — yes, we would love for someone to cover such things.
In addition to the article format, we have a video page format ready and waiting, by the way. Thus, the correspondent(s) can easily embed that new trailer and write a few lines about it.
4. How long would an article need to be?
Minimum word count: 1,000
Maximum word count: 10,000
Minimum word count: 50
Maximum word count: 250
5. Is anything required outside of the article?
Depending on what you’re writing about, some screenshots may be very useful, and if you’re citing other articles, it’s obviously a good idea to list/link to your sources.
Besides that, one illustrative image will always be added to each article, along the top of the page as well as in searches. Run a search for, say, “Dalek” on this site and you’ll see what we mean — all of those images that pop up are representative of the respective search results. If you can’t think of a good image to go with your article, though, don’t worry; we’re sure we can help.
6. How often can I get published?
This depends a little on how many submissions we get and how often you submit your articles / how many articles you already have ready and waiting. Let’s say “not more frequently than weekly” for now.
7. What about work that has been published elsewhere?
If it’s your work and you have permission to republish it, then sure, but we prefer original work. Under no circumstances will we accept plagiarised work. That includes copy-pasting a BBC article onto WBW, even if you give them full credit for it.
8. Would I get credit for my work?
Absolutely! Every correspondent, even one-timers, would be asked to provide a name or pseudonym and to write, say, a two-line author bio that will appear below the article. Sign up for a Gravatar as well, if you haven’t already, and it will show up there. (Incidentally, these are the same that appear when you post a comment or a mini-review.)
9. Can I promote myself on the article page?
Yep, that’s what the author bio is for. Use it to introduce yourself as a writer, designer, anything! Do you have a Twitter feed? Great! Let us know and we’ll link to it in the bio, too.
10. Will you edit my work?
To a point, yes. We’ll certainly proofread it and make amendments if required, but if this entails too much work on our part, then we may abstain and not publish the article in question. Don’t be discouraged by this, though. It’s just to say, if you’ve run your article through Google translate before submitting it to us, then odds are we’d basically need to rewrite it ourselves and it consequently wouldn’t be accepted.
11. Will I get paid for my articles?
Sorry, we’re afraid we can’t offer payment. We don’t get paid to host or produce the podcast, or to run this website. In fact, quite the opposite. We’ve spent the past few years paying for hosting and whatnot. There may come a day when we pop some ads on this site, but if it ever generates any revenue it’ll go toward paying the bills in the first instance.
12. What won’t be published among the Who Back When articles?
Please don’t send us reviews of the classic or new Doctor Who serials/eps. You’re more than welcome to pop them in the review/comment section on episode pages, but as we’re already reviewing them for the podcast, it might cause some confusion for site visitors.
Also, please refrain from ‘shameless plugs’. Feel free to plug your own YouTube show/podcast/website/etc in your mini-bio. (See #9 above), but please don’t send us an essay about it.
Lastly, it goes without saying that we’ll reject any offensive article submissions, be they racist, sexist or in any other way disrespectful.