So you want to send us your pitch? Great! These guidelines will outline the steps you need to follow to submit an article or adventure idea to our online magazines Dragon® and Dungeon®.
Before you submit your complete article or adventure, use the submission process described below to send us a pitch. We’ll look over your pitch, and if we’re interested in your pitch, we’ll let you know within 60 days. Due to the high volume of submissions we receive, we are not able to send you a personal response for every submission. If you do not receive a response (other than an auto-reply) within 60 days, your submission was rejected.
Essentially, the submission process boils down to the following:
- Using the templates and format described below, create a proposal for an article or adventure.
- E-mail your proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You will receive an auto-reply from our e-mail system letting you know that your submission was received.
- Wait patiently.
- If we like your idea, we’ll contact you via email within 60 days and ask for the complete manuscript.
- Send in your article or adventure to email@example.com.
- Wait patiently one more time.
- We’ll contact you within 60 days regarding the status of your submission (i.e., whether we opt to buy it or reject it).
By submitting any material to us, you acknowledge and agree to adhere to these Submission Guidelines, including the Terms and Conditions at the end of this document. Please read them carefully!
We do not accept any submissions previously published by or simultaneously submitted to another magazine, website, or d20™ publisher. Likewise, we don’t accept plagiarized materials.
If we ask for your completed article or adventure, it should be sent in a Word document or .rtf file. Any relevant attachments (maps, player handouts, and so on) should also be included. Image files should be low resolution.
In the event we buy your manuscript, you must assign your rights to us. That means that once your contract is signed, we’ll own all rights in your submission. The assignment contract, (as well as applicable tax forms) will be sent out shortly after an article has been accepted. You’ll receive the contract by email, and you’ll be asked to sign a hard copy and return it to us, along with an invoice form. If you’re under 18, a parent or guardian must sign or co-sign your contracts. Once we have purchased an article, it might not appear in an issue for several months, so be patient. We’ll do our best to let you know when your work will appear.
Once we have received your signed contract and invoice, you should see a check within 45 days or so. We pay on receipt of an invoice, not on publication, but there’s still a certain amount of delay between us receiving your contract and invoice and you receiving your check. We just ask that you remain patient. Our starting rate for articles and adventures is $.06 per word.
If you’re familiar with the recent print versions of Dragon® and Dungeon® magazines, you should have a very good idea of the types of articles we’re interested in. New feats, spells, monsters, races, and alternative class features all make an excellent basis for articles. We’re also looking for new Ecology articles and Demonomicon articles, as well as articles tied to specific products released recently. Be clear and concise in your proposal, and follow the template below so we can get a good, accurate picture of your idea.
When you submit an article proposal, use the following template:
Type of Article
In five sentences or less, describe the type of article you’re interested in writing. If your article is intended for publication under one of our existing columns or feature concepts (such as an Ecology, Demonomicon, or Spellcraft article), this is the place to mention it. If you’re interested in writing a feature that doesn’t fall into these categories, describe the overall goals of your article, and the game elements (feats, spells, and so on) you want to include. If you’re writing an article with several different rules elements, be sure to describe briefly the thematic link that connects them all.
Example: I’d like to describe the Gnawtooth bugbear tribe as a sample of bugbear society. In my article, I’ll describe bugbear society in general terms, including details on how bugbears relate to other goblinoids. I will also describe the Gnawtooth clan structure, including statistics for the tribe chieftain, shaman, and the bugbear ravagers that form the backbone of Gnawtooth power. I would also like to expand on the existing rules for playing a bugbear as a player character from 1st level. I would also like to include five bugbear racial feats and up to five spells that are common among bugbear spellcasters.
If your article uses material from a non-core book (Player’s Handbook®, Dungeon Master’s Guide®, or Monster Manual®), let us know. Articles intended to supplement new rules from non-core supplements are always welcome. Also, if your article is intended for use with one of our published campaign settings (Forgotten Realms® or Eberron®), let us know.
Estimated Word Count
Articles longer than 5,000 words will likely be ineligible for publication. Give us an overall estimated length of the article you’d like to write, and if possible, a breakdown by section.
Example: I estimate my Gnawtooth article will run as follows:
Total: 5,000 words
Bugbear society: 1,000 words
Tribal Structure: 1,000 words
Stat blocks: 1,000 words
Playing a bugbear PC: 500 words
New feats: 750 words
New spells: 750 words
The process for adventures is similar to that for articles. When you want to submit an idea for an adventure, complete the following and include them in the body of your email submission.
Describe your villain in two sentences or less.
Describe your villain’s goals and motivations in two sentences or less.
Describe your villain’s lair in five sentences or less.
Describe one or two encounters in this adventure, each in two sentences or less.
Provide a plot synopsis of your adventure in one paragraph.
See below for a copy of our encounter format. Use this format to generate all tactical encounters (typically combat encounters or traps, but really any encounter in which terrain is important or a monster’s statistics might be relevant).
If your adventure uses material from a non-core book (Player’s Handbook®, Dungeon Master’s Guide®, or Monster Manual®), let us know. Adventures intended to supplement new rules from these books are always welcome. Also, if your article is intended for use with one of our published campaign settings (Forgotten Realms® or Eberron®), let us know.
Estimated Word Count
Most adventures run around 8,000 to 10,000 words. Side Treks, which are essentially single-encounter adventures that run around 2,000 words, are in especially high demand and a great way to cut your teeth on adventure design.
Tactical Encounter Template
The following template shows how to structure a tactical encounter, including changes this format imposes on other stylistic norms (such as creature statistics). In the template, purple text indicates places within text you should replace with the details of your encounter, returning that text to the color of the surrounding text when you’re done. Red text in brackets makes up guidelines that you can delete once you understand them. Blue text makes up text in the TAG style. Underneath headers appear instructions that you can replace with your encounter’s details—the instructions in these sections are formatted in the style your encounter should use for that section, such as Pull Quote (ENCOUNTER) for the read-alouds, Core Body for running prose, or Sidebar Body for running text in a sidebar. This document contains the styles necessary to execute the tactical encounter format in Word, but you need not use core bold, core italic, and the like —you can use plain italic and bold, and we’ll reformat to the proper styles.
Due to the variable line lengths of statistics blocks, word counts are tricky for tactical encounters. Aim for 700 words for a one-page encounter—it’s easier to trim an encounter than it is to expand one. For two-page encounters, 1,700 words should be enough. You might need more words if you have fewer or smaller statistics blocks than the sample encounters show.
Samples follow the template. The first few samples show one-page tactical encounters for rooms in a dungeon. Outdoor areas use the same sorts of headers and information hierarchy, but the “Features” header changes as shown in the two-page samples. The last few samples show two-page tactical encounters that occur in outdoor areas.
D&D Article and Adventure Submission Terms and Conditions
In submitting any materials to Wizards of the Coast, Inc. (“Wizards”) by sending them to Wizards through its submissions e-mail address at firstname.lastname@example.org, the submitter (hereinafter “Author”) agrees to the following terms and conditions. For the avoidance of doubt, submission of any and all materials (“Work”) is considered acknowledgment of this agreement.
1. Author Warranties
Author warrants that he has clear title to the Work. Author also warrants that the Work has not been published previously and that the Work is not being considered for publication by any other publisher. Author warrants further that the Work is original and does not infringe upon any copyrighted material other than that published by Wizards of the Coast.
2. No Obligation
Author acknowledges that Wizards is under no obligation to acquire the Work.
3. Risk of Loss or Damage
Author agrees to retain a complete copy of all Works. Wizards will not return any Work to Author, and Wizards is not responsible for the loss of or damage to original manuscripts or revisions of it supplied by Author.
4. Independent Development
Author acknowledges that the Work may be similar to the theme, plot, idea, format, or other element of material that Wizards has independently developed or that has or may come to Wizards from other sources. Author shall not be entitled to any compensation by reason of the use by Wizards of such similar material, whether developed or acquired by Wizards before or after Author’s submission of the Work.
This Agreement shall be deemed to be entered into and governed by the laws of the State of Washington applicable to contract made and performed entirely therein and constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties regarding the Work. This Agreement shall take effect upon the date of submission. No waiver by one party to this Agreement of any breach by the other party of any term or condition of this Agreement shall be deemed to be a waiver of any other breach of the same or any other term or condition of this or any other agreement. If any term or condition of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid or void, that term or condition shall be deemed to be stricken without affecting the validity or enforceability of the remainder of the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Except as otherwise provided in the Agreement, any subsequent modification or termination of this Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of and be enforceable by the successors and assigns of the respective parties.