Paper Submissions


Convention Award Winners

2015 Convention Best Paper Presentation Award Winners

Submission Link and Deadline

The submission deadline has passed.

Acceptance and denial notifications will be emailed December 16, 2015.

Guidelines for Paper Submissions

Eligible members are invited to submit ONE original critical essay or creative work (creative nonfiction, poetry collection, fiction, or drama) to be considered for presentation at the annual convention. Essays on any topic of interest in the discipline are welcome; essays on the works of our featured speakers are especially encouraged.

Eligible members are also invited to submit a second original work in any genre that responds to the 2016 Common Reader, The Soul Thief, by Charles Baxter, to be considered for presentation at the annual convention. Read rules: What Individuals Can Submit.

While faculty members may not submit papers either as Sponsors of their chapters or as members of Alumni Epsilon, they are encouraged to moderate roundtables and sessions.

Paper submissions must conform to the following guidelines:


Critical Essay


Creative Writing

Paper Format

Contributors must not identify themselves in any way on any page of text submitted. You will not be considered for a convention award if your name appears in any way on your submission.

Prose (Critical Essays, Creative Works)

  1. Document formatting: use Times New Roman font, 12-point, double-spaced, and 1 inch margins on all sides, and be free of typographical and grammatical errors. Essays must follow the Modern Language Association style guidelines as defined in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (latest edition). Titles should be no more than four spaces down from the top and centered (avoid bold letters or underlining). Each work (maximum of two if one is on Common Reader) must be submitted as a Word document file (doc or docx).
  2. Use an abbreviated version of your title as your file name. Do not use your own name as your file name.
  3. Prose manuscripts should not exceed 2,000 words (excluding title, bibliography, and notes).
  4. The submitted body of work (including any introductory comments necessary to contextualize the work) must be presentable within an 8 to 15-minute time slot.


  1. A poetry submission may consist of a collection of poems or one long poem but must take at least 8 minutes but no more than 15 minutes to present, including any introductory comments necessary to contextualize the work.
  2. A collection of poems must be contained in one Word document file (doc or docx). Create a new page for each poem within the Word document file, provide the title of your collection at the beginning of your document, and use the title of your collection as your file name.
  3. Formatting for poetry submissions should use a 12-point Times New Roman font and be free of typographical and grammatical errors. Titles for the individual poem(s) should be no more than four spaces down from the top; avoid bold letters or underlining.

Flash Fiction

  1. Flash fiction may be submitted in a collection that fits the submission guidelines for poetry collections, using a reading time of no fewer than 8 minutes and no more than 15 minutes, including any necessary introductory or contextual remarks. As with poetry collections, give a name to the collection that will serve as the title for the submission, and start each piece on a new page within the submission.
  2. To aid the fiction evaluators (judges) to recognize that the submission is a collection of separate short works, we suggest that you give a descriptive title. You may also put in a short introduction that makes it clear you are submitting a collection of flash fiction pieces. Also, be sure to use the phrase “flash fiction” as the “genre” keyword in the submission process.

Submission Deadlines and Notifications

Submitters will receive confirmations and acceptances through email using the email address associated with their account. Therefore it is vital that submitters keep their email addresses active through March 2016 and check them regularly.


Questions regarding the online submission process should be addressed to

Instructions for Submitting Paper Submissions Online

A link to online submissions will be posted here on September 28.

Step 1: Sign In

Step 2: Authors

Step 3: Add Submission

Topic: Select your topic from the pull-down menu.

Critical Essay


Creative Writing

Step 4: Other Information (required)

Keyword Group: Theme
Please select the theme most important to your work.

Abolition / Slavery; Addiction / Mental Health; Alienation; America / American values; Animals (and Humans); Apocalypse / End Times / Eschatology;  Authenticity;  Beauty / Ugliness; Birth or Rebirth; Capitalism / Industry; Carnival(esque); Ceremony / Hospitality; Change / Transformation; Child / Adolescent / Family; Convention Theme; Death / Trauma / Grief; Deception; Disability; Diversity;  Dreams / the Unconscious; Educational Institutions; Fame / Celebrity Status; Friendship / Enmity; Gender; Holocaust / Genocide; Humor / Satire; Identity / Identity Politics; Imperialism / Colonization; LGBTQIA+; Liminal moments & places; Loneliness / Abandonment; Pedagogy; Romance / Love; Social Class; Symbols / Fetishized Objects; Theism / Atheism; Utopia / Dystopia; Veterans; Virtues / Vices; Voyaging / Questing; War; Other

Keyword Group: Genre
If yours is a creative submission, you should select the genre of your submitted work. If, however, you have written a critical essay, you should select the genre of the primary text or work you discuss. Select “other” only if no other genre category approximates the genre of the work you have studied.

Allegory; Autobiography /Memoir; Bildungsroman (Coming of Age); Children’s Literature; Confessional Literature; Digital Media; Drama, Comic; Drama, Tragic; Epistolary Literature; Fairy Tales; Fantasy;  Film & Television; Flash Fiction; Folklore, Fables, or Myth; Frame Tales; Gothic; Graphic Novel; Horror Genre Fiction; Lyric Poetry; Magical Realism; Marriage Plot; Metafiction; Music or Song Lyrics; Mystery Genre Fiction; Narrative Poetry; Picaresque Novel; Prose Non-Fiction; Realism; Romance Genre Fiction; Satire; Science Fiction; Speculative Fiction; Travelogues; Utopia / Dystopia; Young Adult Literature; Other (your choice)

Keyword Group: Author
If yours is a creative submission, you should either select “other” or select an author who has inspired your creative work. If, however, you have written a critical essay, you should select the author of the primary text or work you discuss if they are included in the list. Choose “other” if they are not on the list and supply their name(s).

Austen, Jane; Brontë Sisters; Chaucer, Geoffrey; common reader author; Conrad, Joseph; Dante Alighieri; Dickens, Charles; Donne, John; Douglass, Frederick; Eliot, T. S.; Ellison, Ralph; Faulkner, William; Fitzgerald, F. Scott; Hawthorne, Nathaniel; Hemingway, Ernest; Joyce, James; Keats, John; Marlowe, Christopher; Melville, Herman; Milton, John; Morrison, Toni; O’Connor, Flannery; O’Neill, Eugene; Poe, Edgar Allan; Rowling, J. K.; Rushdie, Salman; Shakespeare, William; Shelley, Mary; Tolkien, J. R. R.; Twain, Mark; Vonnegut, Kurt; Wilde, Oscar; Wilder, Thornton; Woolf, Virginia; Other.

Keyword Group: Critical Methodology
If yours is a creative submission, you may either select “other” or a critical methodology that illuminates your text. If, however, you have written a critical essay, you should select the critical methodology you have followed in your analysis.

Anthropology/Linguistics; Archetypal / Mythic Criticism; Autobiographical Criticism; Cultural Studies; Deconstruction / Post-Structuralism ; Dialogic Criticism (Bakhtin); Disability Studies; Ecocriticism / Ecofeminism; Feminist Criticism; Gender Studies; Marxist Criticism; New Critical / Formalism / Close Reading; New Historicism; Old Historicism; Political Criticism; Postcolonialism; Psychoanalytic / Psychological Criticism; Queer Theory / LGBTQIA+ theory; Reader-Response Criticism; Reception Theory; Structuralism/Semiotics; Trauma Theory; Other


Step 4: Review and Save

Step 5: Additional Submission on the 2016 Common Reader

Repeat the submission process to add a second submission if one of the submissions is on the 2016 Common Reader. Read rules: What Individuals Can Submit. You can also exit and add a second submission at a later date.

Step 6: Submission Confirmation

Please check your confirmation and retain it. The confirmation is a do not reply email from It will include a five digit number that may be used as a reference in future communications with

Some Chapter Sponsors ask you to forward your confirmation e-mail to them. Please do so.