Eight Commando books are published each month.   Four are new stories and four are reprints.   They are principally aimed at boys from nine to sixteen years of age, but stories should not be too youthful in treatment for they are also bought by many older readers, including young men in the Armed Forces.


World War II is the setting of most stories, but stories from any other major conflicts throughout history will be considered.   The main character should be young and attractive, so that the reader will readily identify with him.   He can be a tough type or a studious type, but he must be interesting.


Exciting action is required, but this alone is not enough.   Emotional conflict between characters fighting side-by-side is important, and conflict with the enemy is frequently secondary to this.   Commando stories should be about adventures occasioned by the war, not just about warfare.


No horrific scenes are ever used, and the brutal side of war should not be featured solely for the kind of thrill brutality may bring.   If brutality is completely necessary to the plot it should not be dwelt upon and should never be shown in pictures, only told in the wording.


Stories do not have to be about Commandos.   Any branch of the Army, Navy or Air Force may be used.   The principal characters are usually British, but can be any nationality if the story is strong enough.


A great knowledge of technical details and service background is not essential.   We can easily add this to an otherwise sound story.


Themes that tend to be played out - rescuing a VIP or plans or microfilm from enemy-held territory; the wiping out of a secret weapon in enemy territory; the veteran sergeant at loggerheads with the young lieutenant; the young soldier whose father was a hero in World War I; boys or young men meeting as rivals before the war and then opposing each other again when in uniform.   These ideas are still acceptable but they must now have a really original angle to carry the well-worn theme.


A synopsis (a present-tense summary of the story) of roughly 1000 words is required before we commission the script.   This saves the typing of a whole script based on what may be an unacceptable theme.   It also gives us the opportunity of suggesting alterations. E-mail submissions are acceptable.


The technique of telling a story in script form is easily learned and pointers will be given. Scripts should contain about 135 pictures and must be typed in double spacing.


Payment is made on acceptance.


All communications (enclosing an SAE for the return of any paper submission) should be addressed to –


Calum G Laird,


D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.,

Albert Square,

Dundee, DD1 9QJ.


e-mail to claird@dcthomson.co.uk