Submission Guidelines


Essays - Essays are well-researched and follow academic standards of rigorous argument, referencing and analysis, engaging with the theoretical field and making original and innovative contributions to thought. They need to engage with the call for papers. Drain has a flexible approach to essay submissions: while many of them will engage with the main call for papers in some way, other essays will be considered purely on merit. Essays must not be shorter that 5,000 words and can be up to 10,000 words, counting bibliography and footnotes. Essays are double-blind peer reviewed (by two reviewers).

Thought Experiments - Thought Experiments encourage contributors to write (or present visual commentaries) outside of traditional or conventional definitions of writing, genres or types of writing. A Thought Experiment could be a work-in-progress, and can be about anything, as long as it is purposeful, and well-thought-out, and they can be poetic, provocative and creative. As it is supposed to be experimental, a Thought Experiment should be contemporary and cutting edge; it can be a subjective opinion piece, and be discursive and imaginative. Thought Experiments do not strictly need to engage directly with the call for papers but may adapt themes they suggest as a starting point for further exploration or development in entirely different directions. Thought Experiments are double-blind peer reviewed by one or more reviewer.

Creative Writing - Includes poetry, short stories, meditation pieces, new writing. They should engage directly with the call for entries. Contributions are peer reviewed.

Reviews - A critical article or report on a show, artist or publication. Reviews cover recent or current solo and group shows of regional, national or international significance. These should be 1200-1800 words. Reviews do not need to engage directly with the call for papers. Reviews are peer reviewed.

Interviews - A focused and critical conversation between two or more people on their creative practice. These should be 1200-1800 words. Interviews do not need to engage directly with with the call for papers. Interviews are reviewed by a member of the board

Art Projects - Drain would prefer art works created specifically for the web and virtual spaces, but welcomes still images, audio and video works that can be viewed online. Art Projects should engage directly with the call for entries. Art Projects are reviewed by a member of the board.

Drain welcomes suggestions for guest-edited issues on specific themes.  


Word Limit Essay: 5,000 - 10,000 words Thought Experiments : 3,000 - 5,000 words Reviews / Interviews : 1,200 - 1,800 words Creative Writing: 1 - 6,000 words Art Project: 200 - 500 words All submissions must include-
  • The main text/manuscript (reflecting the concept of the issue in consideration).*
  • A brief biography of the author (100-200 words). *
  • A folder with images/video/audio, if applicable.**
*All text should be submitted as a word document. **If the submission has images (or video/audio), please indicate their placement in the text. Images may be included in the body of the text as place holders. However, a separate folder of just the images, with an accompanying image list must be included with the submission. Image captions should be as follows-

Dorthy Smith, Zero Degree, 2010, Masking tape, graphite, airbrush, vinyl and wood. Image courtesy Jill Doe.

  Guidelines for Images, Audio and Video submissions
  • When submitting stills, please format as high resolution JPEG. No smaller than 1920 pixels on the longest side, 300 ppi/dpi,  (8-15 images preferred)
  • When submitting audio files, please format as MP3s, Quick time or send the VIMEO embed code.
  • When submitting video, please format as a compressed AVI, Quick time or send the VIMEO embed code. (Under 10 minutes for audio and video works. Exceptions can be made)
  • Captions for all art works should be included in the format specified above.
  Abbreviations Full points should be used in abbreviations. Note, however, that it is preferable in text to say:
  • ‘for example’ rather than ‘e.g.’
  • ‘that is’ instead of ‘i.e.’
  • ‘and so on’ instead of ‘etc.’
  • ‘namely’ instead of ‘viz.’
  • i.e.
  • e.g.
  • Esq.
  • etc.
  • Co.
  • no.
  • Ibid.
No full points should be used in upper-case abbreviations such as ‘US’ or ‘UK’ but please note that people’s initials are followed by a full point and initials are spaced: D. N. Rodowick Abbreviated units of measurement do not have full points and do not take a final ‘s’ in the plural, e.g. 20 km. .   Capitalization
  • Please keep capitals to a minimum.
  • Use full caps for acronyms, e.g. UN, TV. Use small caps for bc and ad.
  • Use to distinguish specific from general, for example ‘He is a professor at Savannah College of Art and Design ...’ but ‘He is Professor of Art History at ...’.
  • Always capitalize initials of key words in English-language titles of books (titles are italicised); see ‘References’ under ‘Notes’.
    • For images, a list of captions needs to be supplied.
    • Captions should be consistent and clear.
    • Image captions should be as follows-

Dorthy Smith, Zero Degree, 2010, Masking tape, graphite, airbrush, vinyl and wood. Image courtesy Jill Doe.

  Contractions Those ending with the same letter as the original word do not take a full stop, for example Mr (not Mr.)/Ltd/1st/eds/edn/vols/cwt/Dr/Mrs and so on.   Copyright As all articles submitted to the journal are to be accompanied with images, it is the author’s responsibility to seek copyright clearance for these. Clearance needs to specifically grant permission for Drain: Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture to publish the image to be included in Author’s full name and the title of the article.   Dates Please use the following forms:
  • Sunday, 2 October 2001 (the date as arabic numeral, followed by month’s full name, followed by full year in figures - not ‘96)
  • 1920s (not 1920’s)
  • in the nineteenth century (but nineteenth-century art)
  • 1900-11.
  Definite article Normally use lower-case ‘t’ before names of associations, companies and other bodies but, for newspapers and periodicals, follow the use of ‘the’ in the title. Use the following: the Daily Telegraph, the Daily ExpressThe Times, and The Guardian.   Drama references ‘Act III, scene ii, line 297’ should be written as ‘III, ii, 297’.   Footnotes All notes are to appear as footnotes. Author's surname must come first. Please use the following style: Examples of full references to books: Grosz, Elizabeth. Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1994), 24-25. Grosz, 1994, 28-29. If more than one book published in the same year is cited then the date is to be accompanied by a, b, c and so forth. For example: Grosz, 1994a. Examples of full references to journal articles: Patton, Paul. 'Concept and Politics in Derrida and Deleuze', Critical Horizons, 4:2, 2003, 157 - 175. Examples of full references to book articles: Braidotti, Rosi. 'Teratologies', in Buchanan, Ian and Claire Colebrook (eds.). Deleuze and Feminist Theory (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2000), 156 – 172. When repeating the same citation directly under the next use Ibid. For example: Grosz, Elizabeth. Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1994), 24-25. Ibid., 55. OR when the text has already been fully cited once before: Grosz, 1994, 87. Ibid., 100.
  • Keep footnotes to a minimum.
  • Footnotes should not represent a disproportionate amount of the overall text.
  • Do not use footnotes in a heading.
  • Do not use: ‘op. cit.’, ‘loc. cit.’, ‘idem’ and ‘eadem’.
  • ‘Ibid.’ (note full point) can be used to refer to the immediately preceding reference (see note on footnotes).
  • Please do not use ‘ibid.’
  • ‘Ibid.’ should not be italic.
  Fonts and typography
  • Do not use bold type face except for headings and sub-headings.
  • A single space after a full stop.
  • A single space between paragraphs.
  • Do not indent paragraphs.
  • Left hand side justification not fully justified to the page.
  • Indent and form into a separate paragraph any quotations longer than 4 lines.
  • Foreign language is to appear in italics followed by the English translation in brackets.
  • Italics should be used for foreign words except
  • - when part of a foreign-language quotation - when the word has been assimilated into the English language.
  • Use italics for titles of books, films, journals, newspapers, plays, works of art, names of ships, but not for the names of institutions or associations.
  Legal issues Please be careful when criticizing a living individual or organization. Always be mindful of any possible legal ramifications. Copyright for all images needs to accompany the article prior to publication (see note on copyright).   Paragraphs
  • Avoid using lines of asterisks or other symbols to separate text.
  • Leave a line space between new paragraphs.
  Quotation marks
  • Please use single quotation marks throughout, with double quotes for an inner quote: ‘xxxx “yyyy” xxxxx’
  • Displayed quotations (see under Quotations) have no quotation marks: any quotes within a displayed quote will have single quotation marks.
  • Quotations of more than 4 lines need to be indented and appear as a separate paragraph.
  • Original spellings need to be used.
  • If a quotation starts a new sentence, please use a capital. If it continues as part of a sentence, then use lower case.
  • The source of the quote needs to be given at the end of the sentence that the quote appears in as a footnote number (see note on citation)
  Sexist Language
  • Try to avoid using ‘he and she’. Consider using the plural ‘they’ if it seems appropriate.
  • If rewording is not possible, it is preferable to use ‘he or she’, not ‘s/he’ or ‘he/she’.
  • Avoid using the word ‘man’ except when specifically referring to the sex ‘man’.
  • Use US spelling not UK except when quoting a text that uses UK spelling