Guidelines for Paper Submissions
Eligible members are invited to submit one (1) original critical essay or one (1) creative work (creative non-fiction, poetry, or fiction) to be considered for presentation at the annual convention. Critical essays on any topic of interest in the discipline are welcome; papers on the works of our featured speakers, the Common Reader, or on the convention theme are especially encouraged.
Eligible members are also invited to submit a second original work in any genre that responds to the 2018 Common Reader The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez to be considered for presentation at the annual convention. For more information, review the additional rules about what individuals can submit.
Faculty members are encouraged to moderate roundtables and sessions but may not submit papers, whether attending as Sponsors or as members of Alumni Epsilon.
Paper submissions must conform to the following guidelines:
- Submissions should not exceed either word or 15-minute time limits. Longer works or collections will not be considered.
- Prose submissions should not exceed 2,000 words (excluding the title, footnotes, or bibliography/Works Cited) and should take no longer than 15 minutes to read.
- Poetry submissions should take no more than 15 minutes to present; introductions to individual poems should be kept at a minimum or avoided entirely. Poets may present only those poems submitted and accepted. A poetry collection (two or more works) should have a title.
- Collections of flash fiction will be considered, provided that the total length of the submission does not exceed the 2,000-word limit. The collection should have a title in addition to the titles for individual pieces within the collection.
- Very short prose submissions, single poems, or very short poetry collections will be evaluated but will not be privileged over longer submissions. (We define “very short submissions” as those works that take fewer than 8 minutes to present).
- Members will be asked to describe their works in more detail using keywords provided during the submission process with one keyword from each of the following four groups:
- a theme keyword (Any work that responds to the convention theme must select “convention theme” to be considered for a “convention theme” award. Students submitting works about abolition/slavery should select “convention theme” this year);
- a genre keyword to characterize the genre of your creative work or the genre of the piece your critical work discusses;
- an author keyword to identify the author of the piece your critical work addresses or the author you respond to creatively; and
- a critical methodology keyword for your critical piece. For creative works, select “other” for critical methodology.
- Submissions remain anonymous for those who judge them, as the evaluation process is “blind.” Acceptance is based on the merit of the work alone.
- Decisions of the judges are final. No opportunity for revision and resubmission of a denied work will be provided.
- Members must be present at the convention to read their own submissions. Essays or creative works will not be read on the author’s behalf.
- Authors must be available to present anytime between Thursday, March 22 and Saturday, March 24, 2018. Exceptions will be made only for students who, for religious reasons, are unable to present on a particular day, which must be indicated at time of submission.
- All works accepted for and presented at the convention will automatically be considered for the convention awards. Authors must present their works at the convention to be eligible for awards.
Categories of Submissions
- British Literature before 1500
- Early Modern British Literature (1500-1750)
- Enlightenment and Romanticism (1750-1850)
- Victorian and Pre-War British Literature (1830-1914)
- 20th/21st Century British Literature
- Colonial American Literature
- 19th Century American Literature
- 20th/21st Century American Literature
- Multicultural American Literature (African, Latino/a, Native, Asian)
- World Literature (Anglophone)
- World Literature in translation
- Popular Culture, Film, and Media
- Teaching English Language/Literature; Practices/Pedagogy; ESL/TESOL
- Linguistics or Rhetoric
- Children’s/Young Adult Literature
- Graphic Novels/Memoirs
- Common Reader: The Book of Unknown Americans
- Original Prose (Short Story/Flash Fiction/Fiction/Drama/Screenplay)
- Original Poetry
- Creative Non-Fiction
NOTE: Creative writing may also respond to the Common Reader The Book of Unknown Americans.
Contributors must not identify themselves in any way on any page of text submitted. Your work may be disqualified should your name appear on any part of your submission, and you will not be considered for a convention award if your name appears in the document or file name.
- Polish: Submitted work should be free of grammatical errors and mechanical mistakes.
- Formatting: Use a standard 12-point font (Times New Roman or Arial recommended). A collection of poems must be contained in one Word document file (.doc or .docx). Each poem within the document should begin on a new page. Provide the title of your collection at the beginning of your document.
- File Name: Use the title of your collection as your file name. Do not use your own name in the file name.
- A poetry submission may consist of a collection of poems or one poem; presentations may not exceed 15 minutes, so manuscripts (and any introductory information) must be adjusted accordingly.
- Though formatting should be appropriate to the poem, most poems will be single-spaced, and both title and individual lines or stanzas will be left justified, that is, aligned on the left-hand margin. Avoid bold letters or underlining in titles, and do not put quotation marks around your own title(s).
Prose (Critical Essays, Creative Works)
- Polish: Submitted work should be free of typographical and grammatical errors. Titles of literary works identified within essays should be properly punctuated.
- Formatting: Use a standard 12-point font (Times New Roman or Arial recommended). Essays should follow appropriate and updated style guidelines, such as MLA or APA. Work must be submitted as a Word document file (.doc or .docx).
- File Name: Use an abbreviated version of your title as your file name. Do not use your own name in your file name.
- Manuscripts should not exceed 2,000 words (excluding title, works cited/references, and notes) and should be double-spaced with one-inch margins. Titles should appear at the top of the first page, rather than in a running header or on a separate cover page, and should be centered. Avoid bold letters or underlining in titles; do not put quotation marks around your own title.
- Flash fiction: In addition to adhering to all other guidelines for prose, a flash fiction collection must include a title; each new piece should begin on a separate page. Also, be sure to use the phrase “flash fiction” when prompted to provide keywords in the submission process.
Submission Deadlines and Notifications
Submitters will receive confirmation, acceptance, and registration information via the email addresses associated with their accounts. Therefore, it is vital that members use email addresses that they check regularly and that will be active through April 2017.
- Submissions are due Monday, October 30, 5:00 p.m. Central Daylight Savings Time (CDT).
- Acceptance and denial notifications will be emailed no later than December 13, 2017.
- Your confirmation to secure a presentation slot is due by January 16, 2018.
Submission links for critical essays and creative works will be posted here on September 25.
Convention submissions are managed by EBMS event management software through NIU Outreach Services. You will be required to create a new account if you do not already have one. Be sure to set up your account with an email address you will retain through April 2018.
Questions regarding the online submission process should be addressed to the 2018 convention staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.