Contributor Guidelines

Dickens Quarterly: A Guide for Contributors

This aims to guide you through the preparation of material to be included in an issue of DQ and to explain the process to any first-time contributor. Like every journal or published series, DQ has a house style which ensures consistency of presentation and which we set out below. A great deal of time can be saved and fewer changes need to be made if you can apply the house style to your article from the start. DQ was redesigned in March 2010. Johns Hopkins University Press took over the printing and distribution both in electronic and print formats in 2014. Please look at any issue from then on if you are in any doubt about any aspect of the DQ style in presentation or content, or ask the editor or production editor.

A copy of this Guide is available as a pdf on the DQ website ( and can be looked at or downloaded from it.

The Process

Four issues of DQ are published each year and therefore there are deadlines to be met for each issue. Each issue needs 4–5 weeks to be printed and distributed, therefore the press dates are 31st January for the March issue, 30th April for June, 31st July for September and 31st October for December. Any overrun of these dates means the issue will be late, so please bear them in mind and allow time for any corrections or changes to be made and for the checking of revised proofs: the less hurried, the fewer the mistakes.

Once your article or review has been accepted for an issue, it needs to be emailed or sent in digital format to the editor(s) for review. When this has been done, the editor sends it on to the production editor for setting. Once set, proofs are sent in pdf form to each contributor and to the editor(s) for checking and correction. Please do this as quickly as possible and email all amendments to the production editor. Further revised proofs will be sent for checking until everyone is happy.

Please make sure that you have the production editor’s email in your email address book, as most university systems block emails with attachments from unknown sources.

When the editor has approved the final proof, the issue goes to press. If you want an off-print of your article, then please arrange this in advance with the editor. Once the issue printed, it is too late!

Copyright Issues

The permission to use any material that is subject to copyright must be cleared by you and a copy of the permission sent to the editor. JHUP needs copies of all permissions for its files and will not go to press until all necessary documentation has been received. Please, therefore, obtain any licenses before you submit your final article to the editor. If the required documentation is not in place, the article will be dropped from that issue and held over until obtained. DQ cannot risk an issue being held up. Check the ‘Warranties’ section in your Agreement with DQ for more details.

If you are not sure whether something is in copyright or not, please find out. Be particularly careful about any material or image downloaded from the internet – not only will the resolution of an image be far too low, but it and other material may well be in copyright.



Our preference is to receive copy in a Word file (.doc or .docx). If you want to use another file format, please check first with the editor to make sure that it is a format that he can open and which is compatible with Word as it will have to be converted into a Word format for typesetting.

Page size and format

The trimmed page size is 152mm/6in wide x 228mm/9in high. The typing area within the page is 110mm/4⅜in wide x 180mm/8in high. Please remember this if you want to use graphics, illustrations or tables in your text: they will need to fit inside this smaller space. The outer space provides the margins with running head (including page number) and footer which has the issue details.

Typeface and line spacing

It does not really matter which typeface or line spacing you use, as these will be overridden in the typesetting process. DQ is set in 11pt Adobe Garamond, a traditional serif face – this guide is set in it – attributed to Claude Garamont, one of the earliest type punch-cutters working in the early 1500s. His faces were redesigned and reissued by a French printer, Jean Jannon, in 1621 and its elegance and economy has ensured its use and popularity to this day. Robert Slimbach redesigned it for digital use a few years ago.

Cited references in the text, etc.

All textual references should include both pagination and chapter number (00; ch. 00) and, where relevant, the book and chapter number (00; bk. 1, ch. 5): note lower case. Citations from any of the following are acceptable: Oxford University Press Clarendon editions of the novels; paperback editions published by Oxford World’s Classics; Everyman editions; Norton Critical Editions, and Penguin English Classics. Most of these editions rely on the 1867 Charles Dickens edition of the novels, although policy about the inclusion of textual variants (substantives and accidentals) differs from editor to editor. Appropriate care, therefore, should be taken for contributions that discuss textual matters.

For references to Dickens’s journalism, please use the abbreviation Journalism and cite the appropriate page and volume number of The Dent Uniform Edition of Dickens’ Journalism. Ed. Michael Slater and John Drew. 4 vols. London: J. M. Dent, 1994–2000. Similarly, references to Dickens’s letters should appear in the text as (Letters 00: 000) and refer to The Letters of Charles Dickens. Ed. Madeline House, Graham Storey, et. al. 12 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1965–2002. For references to Forster’s Life by book and chapter number (bk. 00; ch. 00), please use either John Forster, The Life of Charles Dickens. Ed. A. J. Hopp.. 2 vols. London, J. M. Dent, 1966, or John Forster, The Life of Charles Dickens. Ed. J. W. T. Ley, London: Cecil Palmer, 1928.

Text format

It is much easier if you set up a few basic text styles and apply them to your content. These can be overridden easily in setting, but using tabs or character spaces to indent paragraphs for instance, cannot: they have to be taken out individually. We suggest these as the most useful, but set up what you need:

heading quotation
subhead bibliography/cited works
text with indented 1st line footnote
text with no 1st line  


Please don’t use tabs or character spaces to indent words or paragraphs: apply a style. Don’t put in a carriage return except when you want to start a new paragraph.

Article title and headings/subheadings

Please use upper and lower case: do not type everything in full capitals.

Subheads and paragraphs

If you need two types of subheads, put the major subhead in bold and the minor one in regular typeface. Put two line spaces above and one line space below each subhead. The first paragraph following a new section should be full out to the margin, i.e. without a first line indent; subsequent paragraphs have a first line indent. This applies when there is a section break without any subhead. Put in one line space and have the first paragraph of the new section unindented, e.g.

… of Field’s integrity. And it is noteworthy that Dickens, by denying interest in the matter – “The statement is unimportant to me” – distances himself personally from any hint of collusion in inappropriate behavior.

So how far advanced are we now from the position in 1928, when Ley documented The Daily News report of the gift, and that in 1962, when Collins noted but could not trace it? We now know how and when the …

It is important that you make it clear by indenting – or not – a paragraph following a displayed quotation whether it is a continuation (therefore unindented) or a new paragraph.

Please do not put in more than one character space between sentences.

Don’t worry about the dropped initial capital at the beginning of each article or review: this will be done in the setting.


Any quoted material more than a couple of lines long should be set separately as a ‘displayed’ quotation. Please leave a clear line space above and below – this makes it obvious and quick to spot and set. For example, the Word file:

… return to England and, promising help, was to have conveyed her ostensibly to safe lodgings but in reality to a brothel” (90). In the words of Dan Peggotty:

<ext>“She come ... to London. She – as had never seen it in her life – alone – without a penny – young – so pretty – come to London. A’most the moment as she lighted heer, all so desolate, she found (as she believed) a friend … [she] stood upon the brink of more than I can say or think on …” (734; ch. 51). <extx>

Hogarth’s influence on Dickens is well known and in the story of Emily’s abandonment by Steerforth, Littimer’s involvement, and her return to London, he reworks Plate I of …

The <ext> and <extx> makes it absolutely clear where the quotation begins and ends; useful when a quotation involves several lines of speech or several short quotations grouped together.

Where a quotation is displayed, then no quotation marks at the beginning and end are needed, except if the quotation is direct speech (as in the example above). DQ always uses double quotation marks and then single quotations inside for direct speech or a quotation within a quotation, e.g.

… David finds Dick hard at work “with a long pen, and his head almost laid upon the paper,” surrounded by “bundles of manuscripts,” many pens, many half-gallon jars of ink. Dick greets David affably, and immediately tells him a secret: “ ‘It’s a mad world,’ ” he whispers; “ ‘Mad as Bedlam, boy!’ ” (144; ch. 14). As for his progress with the Memorial, he thinks he has “made a start.” But there is a problem. He asks David when exactly King Charles I “had his head cut off,” and when David supplies the year – 1649

– Dick is puzzled: “ ‘So the books say … if it was so long ago, how could the people about him have made that mistake of putting some of the trouble out of his head, after it was taken off, into mine? … I never can get that quite right. I never can make that perfectly clear.’ ” Nevertheless, his reply to Aunt Betsey’s inquiry is, “‘I am getting on very well indeed.’”

DQ follows American usage by putting punctuation marks such as commas, semi-colons, etc., inside quotation marks, even if they were not part of the original quotation.


Since March 2010, DQ has used footnotes rather than endnotes. Please make sure that you choose this option when setting up your (Word) file and use the “insert footnote” facility rather than doing it manually. Place the superscript reference outside any punctuation, but with the character space following, not between, e.g. “behavior.2 He.” If there is no punctuation mark, then the reference follows the word immediately without any space between, e.g. “Victorian values1 which.”

Cited Works/Bibliographies

DQ uses the MLA system for bibliographic references, e.g.

Harrison, S. J. “Prunes and Prism: Wilde and Dickens.” Notes And Queries 44.3 (1997): 351–52.

Stedman Jones, Gareth. “The Redemptive Powers of Violence? Carlyle, Marx and Dickens.” Charles DickensA Tale of Two Cities, and the French Revolution. Ed. Colin Jones, Josephine McDonagh and Jon Mee. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 41–63.

Wilde, Oscar. Oscar Wilde: The Complete Plays. London: Methuen Publishing Ltd., 1988.

Wright, Thomas. Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2008.


Where a proper name ends in an ‘s’ which is pronounced as ‘z’, the possessive case is indicated by an apostrophe without another ‘s’, e.g. Saunders’, Raffles’ (not Saunders’s or Raffles’s). Where the final ‘s’ of the possessive is pronounced, a final ‘s’ after the apostrophe is required, e.g. Dickens’s, (never Dickens’). Classical names do not take a final ‘s’ after the apostrophe: Ares’, Venus’, Alcibiades’. Do not use an apostrophe in the plurals of capitalized abbreviations, e.g. NGOs (unless it is being used possessively), nor in dates, e.g. in the 1920s (never ‘in the 1920’s’).


It is normal practice to italicize foreign words not in common usage. As there are no firm rules about which words qualify (an unusual word in the 1900s may be in common usage in the 2000s), you can always check with such references as The Oxford Writers’ Dictionary. Include all accents, but remember that some most commonly used words have lost theirs, e.g. cafe, debris, per annum, vice versa, but d.but, déclassé.

Use italics for:

  • titles of published books, major poems (e.g. Paradise Lost), journals, magazines, plays, pictures,
  • paintings, films and ships (but not titles of papers, articles, short stories and short poems, which
  • should remain in Roman/regular with quotation marks)
  • scientific names of species or subspecies
  • foreign words or phrases (see above)
  • Latin abbreviations, e.g. et. al., ibid., c., but not for etc., e.g., i.e. English abbreviations are not
  • generally italicized, e.g. in prep.

Punctuation and Spelling; Numbers and Dates

DQ uses American usage in spelling and punctuation, except in quoted matter when the original source should be followed. DQ house style does not use the ‘Oxford comma.’

Dates: Because of differences between the American and British way of showing dates – 7.3.84 the 7March (British) or 3 July (American) – it is best to spell the month in full without a comma before theyear, e.g. 4 April 1884, and to write the year out in full (1884 not 84) to avoid all ambiguity.

Numbers: Generally speaking, in non-technical contexts, write out words under 100 and figures above, but for clarity use 69, 84 and 105 (not sixty-nine, eighty-four and 105). Again for clarity, use both when comparing two sets of figures running through text, e.g. the manuscript comprises thirty-five folios with 22 lines of writing, twenty with 21 lines and twenty-two with 20 lines.

Spell out ordinal numbers: first, second, third, etc.

Use figures for a sequence of numbers referring to measurement, percentage, quantity and proportion, e.g. a 60–40 split; 3 parts genius to 2 parts madness; population of 1,000 decreased by 90 over three consecutive years. Use a comma in numbers of 4 figures and above. You can elide numbers, e.g, 151–8, but don’t write 2–3,000 if you mean 2,000 to 3,000.

Use figures for page and chapter numbers, volume/issue references in all bibliographic references.

Use figures or words (but be consistent) for ages expressed in cardinal numbers, e.g. as a boy of 10/ a boy of ten, and 40-year-old man/forty-year-old man, but words for numbers expressed as ordinals, e.g. in her twenties, in his twelfth year.

Use words for numbers at the beginning of a sentence. Instead of spelling out an unwieldy large number such as a date, reorder the sentence, e.g. “In 1861 he ” rather than “1861 saw him.”

Page numbers and elision: Page numbers should be expressed as figures. DQ follows the usage of eliding numbers to the tens but not to single units, e.g. 366–89, not 366–389 but don’t elide 366–67 to 366–7. See examples in the bibliographic references quoted above.

Hyphens, dashes, en-rules and em-rules: Before computers when everyone used typewriters, only professional compositors and copy-editors had access to (or knew how to use) en-rules and em-rules. Everyone else had to make do with hyphens for everything. However, computers have changed all that and there is no reason now why everyone should not use them correctly.

Hyphens: the shortest of the three (-), and usually found on a qwerty keyboard on the top row next to the 0. Never use as a dash. It is used when one word qualifies another, e.g. deep-blue, moth-eaten, or when a prefix cannot stand alone as a word in its own right, e.g. pre-war, Sino-American. It should be used to avoid ambiguity, e.g. a snake-eating eagle/ a snake eating eagle (who’s eating whom?). Use for compound adjectives: e.g. nineteenth-century custom, except when the first word ends in -ly, e.g. newly minted coin.

En-rule: so-called because it is the width of the letter ‘n’: –. It is longer than a hyphen and is used in two ways.

a) as a dash with a character space either side. DQ’s house style always uses en-rule dashes.

b) in a range, or when one word does not qualify the second but is equal to it, like balances on a set of scales, e.g. 1888–1901, pp. 44–68, chapters 18–23; mother–son relationship, American–German alliance.

Em-rule: the longest of the three, the length of the letter ‘m’: — and used as a dash without a space either side. DQ uses em-rules in bibliographies to show a cited work has the same author as the work listed immediately above, e.g.

Callow, Simon. “Monster or Saint? Simon Callow Enjoys a Wise and Witty Look at Dickens and His Women.” The Guardian (24 Nov. 2012): Review 11. [Rev. Michael Slater, The Great Charles Dickens Scandal, 2012]. —. “Why @Dickens Would Have Been Hooked on Twitter.” The Sun (30 Nov. 2012): News 28.

Both en- and em-rules can be accessed in Word via the ‘Special Characters’ option in the ‘Insert Symbols’ menu or via the ASCII keys (on PCs): make sure the ‘Num Lock’ key is on, then keeping the Alt key depressed, type on the numeric keypad the code 0150 for an en-rule and 0151 for an em-rule. It will appear when you release the Alt key.

Ellipses: The ellipsis mark (…) can also be usefully accessed via the same method: Alt+0133. DQ uses this form of ellipsis rather than three stops with spaces. A fourth stop can be added to show the end of a sentence. Please do not add any more. Put ellipses in [] in quoted matter to show a cut from the original.

Illustrations, Graphics and Tables

If you wish to include an illustration or graphic in your article, there are a few things you need to do to ensure a good final image. Remember that the printing area on a page is only 110mm wide by 180mm deep, i.e. portrait, and that the illustration has to fit in this space. For an image that is landscape in shape, there are two choices: to reduce the width to 110mm or to set it sideways. Please remember that, except in very exceptional circumstances and only by prior arrangement, all illustrations will be printed in greyscale.

The most crucial point is the resolution size of the image. It needs to be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) at the size it is to be printed and supplied separately, preferably as a tiff or a high resolution jpeg. If you want the size of a very small image to be increased, then the resolution has to be proportionately higher as well. Send the production editor a test file if you are not sure if your image is usable.

For line drawings or images that contain text, a sharper image is usually obtained by scanning at 600dpi at least. Sometimes for text, e.g. copy of manuscript, title pages, etc. it is best to scan at 1200dpi. Images on the internet are often at 72dpi and look wonderful – but they are quite unsuitable for printing. They are at this low resolution so that the file is smaller and will load quickly.

If an image is too big to email as an attachment, then use Dropbox or one of the other services for sending big files such as MailBigFile or YouSendIt. Several offer free trials.

Do indicate in the text where an image should be placed, e.g. “ see Fig. 1 for ...” and make sure that you supply the caption for each image (either as a separate file or at the end of the piece). You may include an image in the Word file to indicate its ideal position, but please supply the image separately (as detailed above): an embedded image is not usually usable.

Tables: It is easy to forget when writing on A4, that a table has to fit into a much smaller width space on the DQ page. Please make sure that it will fit or indicate if it is to be printed sideways. Always supply an example of how it is to look, as it usually has to be reset.


If you are rewriting a book review, then please make sure all the bibliographic information is there. This is how each the book under review is presented at the beginning of each review:

Purton, Valerie. Dickens and the Sentimental Tradition: Fielding, Richardson, Sterne, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Lamb. London: Anthem Press, 2012. Pp. xxvii + 190. $99.00.

Oscar Wilde’s quip that “one would have to have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell without laughing” effectively epitomizes late-nineteenth and twentieth-century dismissive attitudes towards …

Robert L. Patten, ed. Dickens and Victorian Print Cultures. Farnham: Ashgate, 2012. Pp. xlvii + 647. $300; Åí160.

By the twenty-first century, has print culture now become the default lens for historical readings of Dickens? Groundbreaking scholarship by Catherine Waters, John O. Jordan, Juliet John and others has …