Contribute An Article


National Defense, published monthly by the National Defense Industrial Association, provides news and analysis on topics of relevance to national security government and industry professionals.

Areas of focus include Defense Department programs, defense industry trends, science and technology, and homeland security, military procurement, defense strategy and budgets.

Our 94,000 readers are a mix of Defense Department military and civilian officials, government and industry experts from the defense and homeland security sectors, and various other technology-oriented business communities and national security think tanks. Our website is read by an additional 100,000 unique visitors per month.

Because of the topical nature of National Defense, manuscripts are evaluated based on news content and timeliness.

Opinion pieces and commentaries also are evaluated based on content and relevance. The magazine prints only original articles. Generally, stories are accepted on a pro bono basis. We encourage contributions from a diversity of voices and communities in the national security field. Our news and analyses are aimed at informing defense professionals and stakeholders, as well as the general public.

Stories must be written in a news-feature format. Scholarly pieces with footnotes and endnotes are not acceptable.

We welcome commentaries from industry leaders who have opinions to share. However, thinly veiled product pitches or advertorials are not acceptable. We also give preference to company-generated commentaries to NDIA corporate members.

Contributors should be established experts in their field.

Editorial material appearing in the magazine is copyrighted.

Authors who are required to submit to government clearance procedures must do so before sending stories to the magazine.

Feel free to “pitch” the idea for an article to the editor in chief via email prior to writing to ensure it is a topic of interest to the magazine’s readers. Top reasons why articles are rejected: thinly veiled ads for a company or products; topic is too “far down in the weeds” and not of interest to a wide number of readers; company is not an NDIA corporate member; author is not an established expert in their field.

Length, Submission Requirements

• Submissions should be between 700 to 900 words for a one-page article and 1,500 to 1,800 words for a two page article. A short biography of the writer is requested. Preferred formatting is Microsoft Word or any text-only format. Send art or charts in separate files. Do not embed in the text.

• Write your story in such a way that it will be comprehensible to a cross-section of readers. Articles should be detailed enough to interest our expert readers, but an author should define terms that would not generally be known by professionals in other industries.

• Language should be concise and clear. Use the active voice.

• Summarize the essence of the story in the first paragraph. Keep it short and direct.

• Articles should be written in inverted pyramid style: Give the reader the main points early on, then fill in the details.

• Avoid technical jargon and overuse of acronyms. If an acronym is used, spell it out on first reference.

• The article should take the readers from one idea to the next in a logical, easy-to-understand way. Avoid long sentences, obscure references and tangential information.

• Do not use bullets and lists. Articles full of bulleted or numbered points are not acceptable.

• Anything that is common knowledge doesn't need to be sourced. But most of the story must be original information. Never use hotlinks. It should go without saying that hotlinks cannot be used in a print publication. If you need to source a fact, do so in the body of the text.

• Do not use footnotes, endnotes, acknowledgments, and esoteric symbols.

• All proper names should be complete, including titles or military ranks if applicable.

• Authors are responsible for accuracy of all material reported.

• National Defense generally follows the Associated Press Stylebook.

• Artwork and other illustrative materials can be submitted in standard electronic formats.

• Copyrighted art will not be accepted unless the copyright owner’s permission is given.

• Manuscripts are subject to rigorous editing for clarity, consistency, and style.

It is magazine policy that once a manuscript is in the editing process, no outside perusal is permitted. Significant changes, however, will be discussed with the author. Edited manuscripts, thus, are not subject to a final review by the writer.

There is no deadline. And no guarantee that an article will appear in any particular month. Once an article is accepted for publication, the editor only then looks for an open slot in the magazine. The sooner the complete manuscript with all necessary approvals (if necessary) is received, the sooner it will appear in an upcoming magazine.

Interested writers and contributors can contact:

Stew Magnuson at (703) 247-2545