View Full Version : An Offer to Potential Authors

Tom Odom
02-20-2007, 04:06 PM
To many, the idea of writing is harkens back to memories of dental work; it is painful and it leaves you numbly speechless. Over the past 6 years or so I have repeatedly asked hundreds of Soldiers the question: "How many of you liked your high school English teacher?" Soldiers being soldiers, the handful of positive responses to that question had nothing to do with the subject of English. That almost instinctual aversion to the idea of writing is therefore understandable. Writing like any other skill takes practice, patience, and not a little determination to develop. I would encourage all to set improvement of their written communication skills as a worthy goal. But I will also say that what counts most in writing are the ideas communicated; writing is the delivery means.

For the past six years I have focused on ideas as the platform for the writing program at the Joint Readiness Training Center. Simply stated I tell Soldiers if they can jot notes on a box top, I can turn it into a useful article. Our publication record through the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) validates my approach.

The Small Wars Journal community is a community of experience. I will make the same offer to this community that I make to Soldiers at the JRTC. If you have ideas and you want to publish, jot those notes on the digital box top we call email and send them to me. Once the article is ready SWJ will look at it for relevance and quality. If SWJ publishes, I will again look at it for use with CALL. If SWJ does not take it for publication, I will still look at it for publication with CALL. Concurrent publication on 2 fronts is a good deal for those looking to write.

I welcome all potential authors; I will tell you up front that I will give priority to those serving in uniform, using a ".mil" email. Common sense rules apply on subjects and security.

Best regards,


02-20-2007, 04:25 PM
That's a very generous offer from Tom, a published author, frequent contributor to SWJ / SWC / et al, and already the encouraging / enabling force behind even more authors' contributions.

Small Wars Journal is totally aboard with Tom's effort and potential collaborative publication with CALL.

CALL is well established and respected within its domain. CALL has a commanding presence within its market, which is of necessity but unfortunately narrow (in their distribution, not in their scope) due to its access constraints.

SWJ is not (yet ;)) the force that CALL is, but we are broad and inclusive where they are constrained to be narrow and deep. So together, we can be a mile deep AND a mile wide.

So has it been said. SO LET IT BE WRITTEN. And so let it be published!

02-20-2007, 06:56 PM
Actually, Tom, I didn't like my English teacher(s). From grade school to college. What I disliked the most about people who are drawn to teaching English, are all those absolute, immutable rules, that you MUST follow, that change in usage, and also through time. From 1968 (Kindergarten) to present, even the simple contraction its/it's/its' has changed. But those English teacher "nazis" acted as if it were written in stone.

Seriously, though, I will think long and hard about what I could write to contribute. That is a very generous offer.

Bill Moore
02-20-2007, 09:00 PM

Like many others I like to express my thanks for your offer. I have been longing to write an article (hell even a book), but like that old saying "there are only two things between you and me, air and fear", applies in this case. I have the ideas and desire to write, but it scares the living you know what out of me. I'm taking some time off this week, maybe I'll drum up some ideas to see if they're worthy.

v/r, Bill