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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: January ::
Querying Academic Journals
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0051  Tuesday, 23 January 2007

[1] 	From: 	Gabriel Egan <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 22 Jan 2007 16:49:54 -0000
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0046 Querying Academic Journals

[2] 	From: 	Evelyn Gajowski <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 22 Jan 2007 09:12:57 -0800
 	Subj: 	RE: SHK 18.0046 Querying Academic Journals

[3] 	From: 	John Robinson <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 22 Jan 2007 12:43:51 EST
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0046 Querying Academic Journals


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Gabriel Egan <
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Date: 		Monday, 22 Jan 2007 16:49:54 -0000
Subject: 18.0046 Querying Academic Journals
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0046 Querying Academic Journals

Alisha Huber wrote:

>I have _no idea whatever_ how to write a query letter for such a journal. 
Can
>anyone give me a few pointers on style, content, and etiquette?

It ought not to matter too much, and keeping it short is helpful. Just say 
that you'd like the enclosed work considered for publication, that it 
hasn't been offered elsewhere, that you'd appreciate an acknowledgement of 
receipt of the submission, and that you hope they like it. If you don't 
get an acknowledgement of receipt within a few weeks, prompt them once and 
if they still ignore you consider yourself free to try elsewhere.

In the submitted writing itself, the editors will appreciate it if you've 
put the thing into their house style or something close to it (i.e. 
footnotes if they want footnotes, in-text citations if they want in-text 
citations). They'll assume that you know that if accepted you'll have to 
put the thing into their style.

You should always make the submission entirely anonymous so that there is 
no way for the reader to work out who you are from the submission. Some 
journals will insist on this, some will do the anonymizing for you, and 
some won't care. If the editorial assistant usually has to do the 
anonymizing of submissions, she will appreciate you saving her this 
labour.

Avoid journals that don't care about anonymous submission as this shows 
that they don't take their blind peer review obligations seriously.

Gabriel Egan
co-editor, Theatre Notebook (ISSN 0040-5523)
co-editor, Shakespeare (ISSN 1745-0918)

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Evelyn Gajowski <
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Date: 		Monday, 22 Jan 2007 09:12:57 -0800
Subject: 18.0046 Querying Academic Journals
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0046 Querying Academic Journals

For Alisha Huber -

Getting It Published and From Dissertation to Book by Bill Germano (former 
US Routledge VP) both give lots of advice on turning dissertations into 
books and could be useful for submissions of articles.  They include 
sample cover letters, query letters, etc., and discuss components to be 
included in them.

Evelyn Gajowski
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John Robinson <
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Date: 		Monday, 22 Jan 2007 12:43:51 EST
Subject: 18.0046 Querying Academic Journals
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0046 Querying Academic Journals

>I'm a long-time lurker, occasional poster.  I've come upon a problem
>that I thought the membership could advise me on.  In preparing various
>sections of my masters' thesis for potential publication in academic
>journals, I discovered that I have _no idea whatever_ how to write a
>query letter for such a journal.  Can anyone give me a few pointers on
>style, content, and etiquette?  I'd really appreciate it.

Alisha,

Don't bother with query letters. Just write a brief cover letter to send 
in with two copies of your paper.  In your letter don't say it's from a 
master's thesis--no need to poison the well. If the paper is good it will 
be published...eventually. I published two papers I wrote as an undergrad 
at Berkeley. (I revised them heavily before submitting them.)

Try to get some letterhead from your school to write the letter. Use your 
home address; it may take a long time to get a response. (Studies in 
Bibliography took two years to respond to one of my submissions.  That was 
OK because I had forgotten about them and the paper had already been 
accepted at another journal.)

Expect to wait six months for a response.  The journal English Studies 
responds very quickly in my experience. I once sent an essay to them, in 
the Netherlands, and got an acceptance letter in about 30 days--published 
18 months later.  Another time I sent an essay to English Studies and got 
rejected, alas, in about 30 days. (That's a fast turn around time.)

Don't get over ambitious. Everyone wants to get into PMLA and Shakespeare 
Quarterly. Choose a journal that publishes your "type" of essay and have 
another journal in main if the first journal passes. Read the peer review, 
but don't feel you have to react to it.  I've had some awful reviews and 
it was clear to me the reviewer was not responding to my paper but was 
comparing my paper to the one THEY would have written had they written on 
that topic. Guess who comes in second in that comparison?

I've gone on too long. Good luck.

John Robinson

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