Writers Guidelines

Editorial Focus

The magazine’s focus is on Early American history; genealogy; civics education; historic preservation; collectibles such as furniture, porcelain, textiles, tools and artwork; women’s history and biography; historic travel and tourism; patriotism; Americana and crafts.

Its primary timeframe encompasses the Colonial period, the 200-plus years between the Jamestown colony and 1820s. It also tends to focus on the American experience as it relates to women, and we like stories that link past and present. Non-fiction features average 1,500–2,000 words; non-fiction departments average 750-1,000 words.

Contact Information

American Spirit is published for NSDAR by Hammock Publishing.

Hammock Inc.
Attn: Jamie Roberts
814 Church Street
Suite 500
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: (615) 690–3406
Fax: (615) 690–3401

We purchase first North American periodical rights of submitted materials and the unrestricted right to use such materials for promotional purposes, unless a restricted use has been agreed to in advance. All additional rights to be negotiated, including electronic usage on Web sites other than those owned or maintained by Hammock Publishing, Inc. Requests by third parties to use published material will be referred to the author.

The American Spirit editorial staff may revise, edit, condense or otherwise alter the submission. Alternatively, the editor may return it to the author for further editing, revision or modification at no additional payment.

Unsolicited manuscripts on appropriate topics received from DAR members will be given fair consideration for inclusion. However, in cases where such manuscripts are used, no payment will be extended to members, who should consider their submission part of their contributions as a member of the National Society owing to our status as a non-profit, service organization.


We require digital formats for all manuscripts and captions submitted, with supporting “hard” copy if special character treatment is required. Submit manuscript and captions electronically as an attachment and/or as the body of an e-mail. Do not send large attachments such as picture files unless you have secured prior approval to do so.

Sources and Style

We expect writers to double-check their facts and be able to document every phone number, Web address, name spelling, etc., in a story. We also require a list of sources with contact phone numbers for fact-checking purposes. Generally we follow AP Stylebook, with some exceptions. (See below.) Please single-space between sentences and paragraphs


If your article package includes photographs and/or other graphics material, please observe the following requirements. Images must be either good-quality color transparencies or 35-mm slides; color photographic prints (not laser-print copies); or high-resolution digital images. A caption sheet must be appended to the end of the feature. Black and white prints are not welcome unless previously discussed. Include usage releases and permissions.


Rather than unsolicited articles, we prefer to hear story ideas. The most successful queries are tightly focused and contain a unique perspective. Direct queries to Jamie Roberts at

To be considered as a freelance writer and entered into Hammock Publishing’s database, please submit resume and samples of previously published work. If return is desired, please include SASE and correct postage. Deadlines are usually 90 days before publication.

January/February: September 15
March/April: November 15
May/June: January 15
July/August: March 15
September/October: May 15
November/December: July 15

Send completed materials to Jamie Roberts at If you have any questions please call (615) 690-3406.

Style Guide

We follow AP Stylebook in most cases. Here are specific exceptions and requirements:

  • Spell out names of months.
  • No spaces between em-dashes and surrounding text/punctuation.
  • Use en-dash between numbers (separating exchange and last digits of phone numbers, hours of operation, dates, etc.).
  • Telephone numbers in the form (202) 628–1776.
  • E-mail or e-mail, Internet, Web site
  • Capitalize all titles.
  • People on first reference: name only. So, Laura Creekmore. People on second reference: follow the NY Times style guide. So, Ms. Creekmore or Miss Creekmore, according to her preference. Bill Hudgins on first reference, Mr. Hudgins on second reference. Important exception: extremely well known deceased people are referred to by last name only on second reference. Thomas Jefferson on first reference, Jefferson on second reference. However, Wanda Simpkins from Topeka would be Mrs. Simpkins on second reference, and Tom Corbett, a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, would be Lt. Corbett on second reference.
  • Use a woman’s name, not her husband’s name (ex: Ann Jones instead of Mrs. John Jones). Do not use Mrs. Ann Jones unless she is divorced.
  • Spell out all military titles only on first reference. Abbreviate on all succeeding references.Use the military way of abbreviation.
  • Do not break or hyphenate Web sites or e-mail addresses (except after @ sign, if necessary). If the web address or e-mail address is longer than the column, you can break it, but don’t use a hyphen (too confusing). If necessary, rewrite sentence to avoid breaking.
  • Do not use politically incorrect terminology, even if it is historically accurate.
  • Use American Indian instead of Native American, unless specifically requested by a source or when referring to an organization that uses Native American as part of its name. Try to determine the source’s preference and use that.
  • Similarly, African American is a preferred term unless Black or a more specific term, e.g., Jamaican-American, is preferred by the source.
  • The names of ships should be italicized; e.g., USS John C. Stennis
  • Do not hyphenate words at “ed” (ex: provid-ed, operat-ed)
  • Ellipses: one space before and after, no space between periods (ex: I am here … you are there.)

Preferred style when writing about DAR:

  • Never use DAR’s or DARs. If writing about the DAR Web presence, the official name is DAR Members’ Web Site or Members’ Web Site.
  • Capitalize official names of DAR chapter and state societies.
  • When naming a DAR chapter, follow with the location: Peter Minuit Chapter, New York, N.Y., NOT Peter Minuit Chapter, NSDAR. Never use NSDAR following a chapter—always specify city and state.
  • Capitalize all DAR titles. Non-DAR titles should be caps only if preceding a name.
  • Do not capitalize chapter or state, unless it is part of the actual NAME of a chapter or state (ex: Peter Minuit Chapter, New York State Society NSDAR).
  • DAR and affiliated organizations’ names: National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, abbreviated NSDAR, also DAR. Never insert periods within the abbreviation for DAR or NSDAR.
  • Use National Society instead of just Society.
  • National Society Children of the American Revolution, abbreviated N.S.C.A.R., also C.A.R. Sons of the American Revolution, abbreviated S.A.R. Sons of the Revolution, abbreviated S.R.
Look Inside DAR

Click here to view slideshow

View Building
Photo Gallery

Subscribe Online Today

American Spirit Magazine

Order this award winning magazine with just a click of a button