About ‘A Brief History of Team’

What is ‘A Brief History of Team’?

A rather fun title for a football history book, we think. For the time being it is a collaborative blog aiming to explore the wonderfully varied history of all the extant clubs who have played in the English Football League since it began in 1888. Each club will be covered by a 1000-word essay. The aim of each ‘brief history’ is not to be particularly comprehensive, but to focus on reflecting the entertaining and vibrant history of the national obsession through the ages as witnessed by different teams and their fans. Each and every club has its own special place in the story of English football and this project is about celebrating that fact.

Who is behind it?

The project is the brainchild/burden of Alex Walker, a professional writer and editor who runs the Lost That Loving Feeling Nottingham Forest fan site and wrote the book The Glory of Forest. Some of the essays are his, but anyone is welcome to submit an essay for consideration – in fact, the rules (see below) make it a necessity for this blog/book to be the work of multiple authors. The publishing of the book will be overseen by Alex’s company, February Publishing.

What’s this you say about a book?

When every club has been covered on this blog, the essays will be compiled and published under the same title as both physical and electronic books, hopefully on sale in time for Christmas two-thousand-and-something. The intention is to create a unique and alternative publication, one written by passionate and knowledgeable fans looking at the history of their game in original and creative ways.

How do I contribute an essay?

You can submit an essay here. But first, please read the rest of this FAQ and also two or three of the essays published so far to get a sense of what this project is about. We will only use submissions that follow the rules, meet our high standard for both research and writing, and show a bit more creativity and depth than simply rewriting a Wikipedia entry.

Why do you keep calling these blog posts ‘essays’?

They are essays rather than articles or blogs because the art of essay-writing requires the application of both intellect and creativity but within set parameters. Sorry if that makes you feel like you’re back at school, but the rules are there for good reasons.

Okay, so what are the rules?

  • The essay must be between 950-1000 words. We can’t have certain clubs getting more coverage than others, can we? This isn’t a Sky Sports TV schedule…
  • You cannot write about your own club. The whole point is to encourage readers to read about other clubs, so contributors should be doing the same.
  • You cannot write about your club’s rivals. Sentences like ‘The following year the scum further disgraced themselves by getting relegated like the bunch of useless tossers they were and have been ever since’ might be entertaining, but also run the risk of alienating the long-suffering fans of Scum FC.
  • You must cite sources for everything you quote and reference wherever possible. This will not only help us fact-check, but it will also provide a useful resource for further reading, which can only be a good thing.
  • The work must be original. We won’t accept previously published articles as they will carry no value for this project. We want original and unique pieces of history. Needless to say, we will be checking every submission for plagiarism.

Will I get paid for my essay if published?

Yes, but not straight away. This blog will make no money, but proceeds from the sale of the eventual book will be split between the authors on a pro rata basis. These ‘royalties’ will be distributed on a yearly basis and while your contributions probably won’t earn you enough cash to buy a season ticket, you should get a few half-time pies out of it. Ultimately, though, we hope you contribute because football history is your bag and you’re interested in uncovering some of it, as well as being part of a cool collaborative project.

Will I get a free copy of the book if I contribute an essay?

Unfortunately it’s not realistic to send out free hard copies to dozens of contributors without breaking the bank. With the profits already being split between contributors, there will be no revenue left over for freebies. However, contributors will get a free e-book copy in the format of their choice. They will also be able to buy copies of the paperback and hardback editions at cost price.

Who owns the copyright?

By submitting an essay, you are granting us first refusal on the exclusive worldwide right to publish it, both electronically and physically. If we decline your submission, copyright remains with you and you are free to submit or publish your work elsewhere. If your article is accepted, it will be published on the A Brief History of Team blog and probably end up in the book of the same name under our copyright protection. However, you will always be identified as the original author.

Will you edit my work?

Amendments will be made by the editor when necessary to correct spelling and grammar, to make the writing easier to understand, to correct inaccurate information and to make sure the writing adheres to house styles. However, we hope in submitting quality writing you will keep our work to a minimum! If major amendments need to be made to an essay, the editor will consult with the author prior to publication.

Is there anything else in it for me?

Apart from the modest royalties we hope to pay out after the book is published and the glowing feeling of pride we hope a quality project like this will bring, authors are invited to submit a small biography with links to their own websites or other work.

If you have any more questions, please contact the editor.