Guidelines for Contributors

1. Arrangement
2. Readership and Level
3. Coverage and Treatment
4. Structure and Style
5. Bibliographies, References, Further Reading
6. Additional Style Points
7. Deadlines
8. Submission of Entries
9. Permissions for Quotations and Borrowing from Yourself
10. Contact

1. Arrangement

The Encyclopedia is planned as a one-volume work containing 516 entries that will be organized alphabetically by headword for general ease of access. There will be cross-references to other entries of interest on the same subject (see section 4; "see also" references).


2. Readership and level

Our aim is to provide a helpful reference work through which a variety of users can choose their own paths. Therefore, it is important that entries be self-contained, written as clearly as possible, and that the use of undefined jargon be avoided.

Targeted users include:

  • students and researchers engaged in Tolkien studies, literature, English studies, philology, from high school level through graduate work
  • students of the humanities, film studies, writing, history, cultural studies, medieval studies, mythology
  • teachers seeking a distillation of research that has taken place outside their own particular specialty
  • journalists, reviewers, and other writers
  • educated nonspecialists, public library patrons

Contributors should write for the general reader, insofar as they judge this to be possible without loss of accuracy.


3. Coverage and Treatment

Thematic Entries
The perspective of each entry will, of course, be specific to its theme and scope. In addition to the basic discussion of the subject, each treatment may also cover the following:

  • origins and development
  • academic and theoretical debates
  • seminal aspects of thought
  • perspectives from different scholars, including Tolkien
  • unresolved issues

Biographical entries
Biographical entries should emphasize significant events and their influence on Tolkien's work.

Entries on individual persons should emphasize the "work," rather than the "life" where appropriate; the reason for the subject's inclusion in the Encyclopedia should be made evident by the article. Such entries should emphasize the relationship and/or influence on Tolkien, and, if applicable, Tolkien's influence on the person's work.

Entries on Tolkien's biography should make clear the significance of specific events as well as their impact on his work.

Biographical information should include the most widely accepted date and place of birth and death; nationality; key events in the life; and major contributions. It may also refer to social, political, and other circumstances relevant to the individual's work. The main written works (when relevant) of the individual in question should be detailed in the References and Further Reading section.

An encyclopedia should have an objective tone. Like all academic reference works, the Encyclopedia overall should serve as a reliable, impartial, and authoritative source. Insofar as they feel able to draw the distinction, contributors should mark the transition from factual to interpretive or controversial material. They are invited to include their own views, while avoiding partisanship or polemic. It is always most appropriate in an encyclopedia article to summarize debates rather than to participate in them. In addition, avoid hyperbole and unsupported statements about the importance, virtue, or glory of people, events, or geographical areas.

Scholarship and Critical Assessment
When writing about Tolkien's and others' work and achievements, it is important not to neglect all aspects of scholarship and debates. Please make certain that such critical assessments are examined in a thorough and unbiased manner.


4. Structure and Style

This is the title of your article. Please present headwords boldfaced in upper/lower case, with proper nouns and titles capitalized. E.g., Tolkien, Christopher or Subject Theory and Semiotics.

Length of entries
Entries will range in length from 250 words to a maximum of 5,000 words.

It is crucial that each contributor keep to the word length specified in the contract. The number of words commissioned per entry refers to the main body of text and does not include references. Please indicate the actual number of words in parentheses at the end of each entry submitted.

A manuscript page typed double-spaced on letter-size paper with one-inch (2.54 cm) margins will include between 250 and 275 words. The following scale can serve as a rough guide to the relationship between the number of words and the number of manuscript pages:



Pages (double-spaced)


"See also" references
The contributions themselves will be extensively cross-referenced. Because we are trying to provide comprehensive coverage, it is important that the reader can find his or her way through the text with the aid of "see also" references.

After writing your entry, please refer to the complete headword list and list "see also" references at the end of the entry. Please bear the different types of potential users in mind when deciding whether the references would be helpful.

"See also" references must be listed at the end of the entry, in alphabetical order, and separated by semi-colons, for example:

See also Calendar; Middle-earth: Astronomy and Cosmology

Non-English terminology
If the article should contain non-English terms, please set the said terms in italics. The word should then be followed by its English translation in parentheses.

In the instance of a non-literal translation, the word must be set in italics followed by the approximate translation in quotation marks.

Special characters (e.g., accented letters, symbols)
If composed in Microsoft Word for Windows or a compatible program, the text can be submitted electronically containing any accented letters, symbols, or special characters. We may, however, request a printed copy as well.

Should any other word processing program be utilized, the contributor must supply a hard copy of the manuscript with all diacritical marks (special characters) either typed or hand-written in their respective places in the text in addition to the electronic copy.

Words in Tolkien's Invented Languages
Words in Tolkien's invented languages should be italicized according to his usage. Place-names and personal names are generally not italicized, but individual words of the invented languages usually are. For example:

Cirith Ungol



Entries over 1,000 words should be divided into sections with sub-headings. Subheadings should be on a line of their own. Further divisions, with sub-subheadings, should be avoided.


5. Bibliographies, References, Further Reading

References and further reading should appear in a single list, with the heading "References and Further Reading." References and further reading are not included in the total word count for the entry.

Number of items to be listed
The total number of items listed should normally be one or two per typed text page and should not exceed 20 items without consultation with Routledge.

Lengthy quotations within the body of the entry should be avoided. If you find that it is essential to use such quotations in your article, please contact Routledge. (See also section 9.)

Please do not include footnotes in your entry.

Further reading
Suggestions for further reading should consist of the most relevant texts and, preferably, those that are available to the general public. Obscure and otherwise hard-to-find works should be avoided.

Special cases

  • Please attempt to cite works in English whenever possible. If sources in languages other than English are essential (e.g., classics in the field), they may be included. A preferred English translation should also be specified if possible.
  • Specify an edition for any work; give standard editions of classic works rather than the most recent.
  • Avoid works that most users would not be able to find in a research library.

Primary Sources
Primary sources should be listed in a separate section of the references under the heading "Primary Sources." Please use the most widely used English transliteration available for sources in languages other than English (Old High German, Old Norse, etc.).

Bibliography style details

Note: Follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, for bibliography style.

  • List items in alphabetical order of author surname.
  • Cite works that can be easily found and avoid obscure sources.
  • Include (at least) one classic work as well as (at least) one recent publication.
  • Arrange books and articles by a single author in date order.
  • For second and subsequent works by the same author, unless there are multiple authors, use 3 em dash (six hyphens), rather than repeat the author's full name. Next, list books co-authored by the primary author by the surname of the second author.

Examples of bibliographic formats

Note: Titles of books are italicized.

Shippey, Tom. The Road to Middle-earth: Revised and Expanded Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.

Co-authored Books
Duriez, Colin and Brian Sibley. The J. R. R. Tolkien Handbook: A Concise Guide to His Life, Writings, and World of Middle-Earth. Montville: Baker Book House, 2002.

Edited Books
Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on the History of Middle-earth. Flieger, Verlyn and Carl F. Hostetter, Editors. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000.

Articles in Books
Shippey, Tom. "Bilingualism and Betrayal in Chaucer's Summoner's Take." In Speaking the Medieval World. Ed. Jean Godsall-Myers. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2003. pp. 125-44.

Journal Articles
Drout, Michael. "Hoisting the Arm of Defiance: Beowulfian Elements in Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion," In Western American Literature. 28.2(1993): 131-41.

WWW Sites
Susan Booker. "Tales Around the Internet Campfire: Fan Fiction in Tolkien's Universe" (September 2004)


6. Additional Style Points

Abbreviations and acronyms
Any abbreviation or acronym you employ should appear in full on its first appearance in the entry, with the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses: e.g., International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS)

Follow Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, for capitalization style.

Dates and time
Avoid phrases that tie the text too closely into the time of writing such as "recently," "lately," "up to date," "latest," and the like. For a similar reason, avoid topical allusions, or examples calling for a relatively local type of knowledge.

Use the month, day, year format, and when necessary, use C.E. and B.C.E. (rather than A.D. and B.C.):
   March 22
   March 1916
   March 22, 1916 (comma after the year when followed by text)
   16 B.C.E.
   21 C.E.

In referring to time periods, please observe the following styles:
   the 1880s, the mid-1900s
   nineteenth century (noun)
   nineteenth -century (adjective)
   mid-nineteenth century (noun)
   mid-nineteenth-century (adjective)
   between 1892 and 1896 (but) the 1892-1896 period

Please check all names, place names, dates and other basic information in the text and bibliographies of entries. There will be no further fact-checking of your entry.

Suggestions for illustrations are welcome. If you have appropriate photographs and visual materials, please send us a copy, along with all information necessary to obtain permission from the copyright holder. In books and journals, information about the copyright holder is usually given in the picture caption or in the acknowledgments or credits section of the front or back cover.

Identification of people and places
Most readers of your article will not be specialists in your field. For their benefit, give chronological, geographical, or cultural clues to identify people and concepts mentioned in your article wherever appropriate. When referring to a character from a specific work, please be sure to identify the latter.

Please use the "italic" function to indicate matter that should appear in italics in print, for example: titles of books, plays, long poems, and names of ships.

Please use gender-neutral language as much as possible.

Some suggestions
Man          Person, individual
Mankind    Humans, people, humankind

Notes and quotations
Entries will not have footnotes or endnotes.

In general, avoid long quotations. If you do include a quotation, however, the exact spelling and punctuation of the original should be faithfully copied. Indented quotations should not have quotation marks unless they report conversation. They should be double-spaced like the rest of the typescript. Your own interpolations into quoted matter should be clearly enclosed in square parentheses. Display source lines on a new line. (See also Section 9.)

Generally write out all numbers up to and including one hundred, as well as any numbers that can be written in two words (e.g., three hundred, forty-five hundred). The exception to this rule occurs when a heavy cluster of numbers appears within a single sentence or paragraph, in which case numerals should be used.

Spell out fractional amounts (e.g., two-thirds, three-fourths) and do not use abbreviated notion for numerical ranges; use expressions such as "170 to 179" in regular run of text and "pp. 170-179" for page ranges.

When dealing with percentages in running text, use numerals for the amounts and spell out the word percent (e.g., "While 53 percent of readers. . ."). When percentages appear in parentheses to provide greater detail, use numerals and the percent symbol (e.g., "The majority (53%) of readers. . .").

Use a serial comma. E.g., "We will discuss Plato, Virgil, and Dante."
Place periods and commas within quotes.
Place colons and semicolons outside quotes.
Begin a complete sentence after a colon with a capital letter.
Use "'s" for possessives even when the singular word ends with an "s" (e.g., Lyme Regis's influence).


7. Deadlines

Although encyclopedia production is a long process, we schedule editing and typesetting of the entry manuscripts in batches, and it is important that you meet the deadline specified in your contract. If circumstances change after you sign the contract, and you cannot meet the deadline, please request an extension from Routledge. We will work with you to agree on a new deadline that works for your schedule and ours.


8. Submission of Entries

We do not accept multiple draft submissions. The article you send must be final manuscript.

Your manuscript should be saved in a Word for Windows compatible format. Remember to put your name at the end of each entry.

Submit your manuscript electronically as an e-mail attachment to the project mailbox at:

The Development Editor will forward it to the encyclopedia's editor for review after copying it for backup and logging it into the encyclopedia database as officially received. Should there be any requests for revision, you will be contacted.


9. Permissions for Quotations and Borrowing from Yourself

Most published sources are protected by copyright. Laws and conventions governing the need for authors to secure written permission to reprint material from previously published works are complex and are generally based on proportion, on degree of literary quality, and on the context of quotation. If your article requires extensive quotation from previously published works, please contact Routledge for guidance and instruction. Please note that the responsibility for securing permission to reprint (and any associated fees) is the contributor's.

Many scholars do not know that reusing their own previously published material verbatim is illegal without written permission from the publisher and inclusion in the Encyclopedia of a credit line noting that the article or parts of it originally appeared elsewhere (even if the copyright on the previously published work's title page is in your name). Please keep in mind that you have contracted to write an original article for Routledge.


10. Contact

For all questions about deadlines and manuscript preparation, please send e-mail to:


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