Some guidance on writing your NAS Members' Story

We encourage NAS members from around the world to write articles for submission to the NAS website —these appear on the Society’s website and are distributed through its social-media channels. Most articles are published ‘open access’, making this a way for you to communicate your activities to a truly global public.

All members are welcome to submit contributions. If you feel you need help to achieve this, ask the editor ([email protected]) or, alternatively, an NAS officer or member of staff.

Contributions are subject to normal editorial processes to ensure quality and relevance to the NAS readership. Submission does not in itself guarantee publication: the editor’s word is final on this.

Please note that you must be an NAS member in order to publish through the NAS website.

All submissions must comply with the Society’s values as set out in its Statement of Principles, which can be viewed on the website.


Types of submission

Please submit an article conforming to one of the following types:

Short news report
This is a brief report of up to 300 words that quickly communicates an original item of news that the writer believes to be of interest to the nautical archaeological community. It must either arise from activities conducted by the Society or its members, or otherwise be directly relevant to them and their interests. It should be economically written in a detached, fact-based and ‘journalistic’ style. The report should contain 1–3 images.  Writing a short news report will earn you 1.5 credits on publication on the NAS website.

Member experience report
This is a short ‘eye-witness’ report of up to 600 words in which the author describes her/his personal experiences of participating in an NAS-organised activity. It should be conversational, and written in the first person (I, we). It should focus on the author’s own experience of and response to the event and the value of that event to her/him in terms of personal growth and sheer enjoyment. The report should contain 3–6 images. Writing a member experience report will earn you 2.5 credits on publication on the NAS website.

Research/ fieldwork report
This is an article of 750–2,000 words comprising a report on original maritime archaeological fieldwork or archival research into maritime archaeological issues conducted by an NAS member or members. The report can contain up to 10 images. Writing a research/fieldwork report will earn you 10 credits on publication on the NAS website. It can also contribute to a member’s NAS Award.

Opinion piece
This is an advocacy article of 500–750 words addressing an issue of concern to the maritime archaeological community—and perhaps the role of the Society within it. It should normally recommend a course of action with respect to policy and individual action. It may well benefit from being written in collaboration (or at least consultation) with an officer of the Society (i.e. member of staff, trustee, vice president, editor, etc.). The article can contain 1–2 images. Writing an opinion piece will earn you 5 credits when submission is published online.

Long read
This is an extended essay of up to 5,000 words that explores a major theme in maritime archaeology. The report can contain up to 15 images. Writing a long read will earn you 15 credits on publication on the NAS website. It can also contribute to a member’s NAS Award.


Submitting material

Please submit all material to [email protected]


Please submit all images as separate files—not embedded in the Word document. Images should be relevant, compelling, well composed, and at least 1MB in size. You MUST have permission from the copyright holder for EVERY image you submit, allowing you to publish it on the NAS website. You should declare this to the editor on submission of the article.


1. Please write in plain, conversational English for an intelligent, global, but non-specialist audience. Explain your terms.

2. Before writing, identify what is new and compelling in your story, and lead with that.

3. Make sure you answer the “five Ws”: Who? What? Where? When? Why?

4. Remember that your reader might live on another part of our planet and might not know your local geography.

5. Write ethically: protect your site; comply with the law; and respect your readership and the people you write about (even if you disagree with them).

6. Remember the three keywords of journalism: “Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy!”

7. The text should be your own original work. Where you use a section of text from another source, you should set this text within quotation marks and name the source. Using other people’s work without attribution is plagiarism: it is unethical and may breach copyright.

8. Do help the editor by keeping to the word count.


Your story should include the following:

1. A headline: this should be a short and snappy summary of your entire story. Include words that will enable an internet search to find it. 

2. A strapline: this is a brief sub-heading that introduces the author and the subject in a couple of sentences: see published stories as a guide.

3. A dateline: This is a bracketed section at the very start of the main text that tells the reader where and when the article was written: it’s a way of giving an article a sense of place—e.g. “(Exmouth, UK, 2 Nov 2019:)”

4. The body text: This is the main text of the article. Please keep to the word count and follow the style advice above—don’t give the editor unnecessary work by writing long.

5. Images: Please keep to the image number limit as indicated above. Indicate where in the text you’d like your figures to go by inserting a caption—e.g. “Fig. 1: One of the cannons found on the wreck. (Image: Ahmad Sayyagh)”. Always include a picture credit and confirm in writing to the editor that you have permission to use the image in your article.

6. Thanks: if you have anyone you need to thank, add a sentence or two after your body text. Keep it as short as possible.

7. Further reading: we do not encourage academic citation in website articles, but if you want to point the reader towards an interesting read, do this here.