Reviewed by Carie S. Tucker King, The University of Texas at Dallas (cxI085200@utdallas.edu)
Chair: Victor Villanueva, Washington State University
Speakers: Anna Plemons, Washington State University, “Navigating the System”
Lauren Rosenberg, Eastern Connecticut State University, “One Author’s Experiences”
The publishing process for Studies in Writing and Rhetoric (SWR) is proposal driven. It begins with about a 40-page proposal and a sample chapter. Reviewers get 40 days to respond to your proposal; they will send comments for the editor and comments for the author, and the editor will respond with one of the following determinations:
- Decline (We are not interested in this work.)
- Revise and Resubmit (We might be interested in this work.)
- Accept with Major Revisions (We are interested if you make the following major changes.)
- Accept with Minor Revisions (We are interested if you make the following minor changes.)
- Accept as-is (This determination never happens.)
A monograph is a sustained argument about conversations, and the author is intervening in the conversation. SWR is limited to four monographs a year, and the turn-around is one year for the entire process, so be prepared to wait if your work is accepted.
You will immediately receive a rejection if
- you are not proposing a monograph,
- you are proposing a work that is not SWR appropriate,
- you are proposing a trendy topic with only recent and only non-diverse resources, or
- you are proposing something that is not a dissertation. (This discussion in the panel was not clear to me, but I made a note of it.)
If you submit a proposal, you will receive reviewer comments. If the comments are positive (that is, they're interested in the project), the author resubmits a full manuscript and the full manuscript goes through a re-review.
Villanueva stated that SWR does not get enough proposals from faculty at two-year colleges; the editorial board would like to encourage more faculty members at two-year colleges to propose monographs.
Plemons then shared the process of submitting a proposal. (She stated that CCCC is “developing a human process” for submission; her comment made the audience laugh.)
- Go to NCTE’s Web site.
- Log in.
- Go to the book page. (The publication is a CCCC publication through NCTE, so be sure to stay within SWR.)
- Log in as an author.
- Submit your proposal.
- Choose SWR for the proposal recipient.
- Follow through the submission process.
She emphasized that the abstract is very important and should be framed specifically.
Rosenberg then shared her experience as an author. She said the process is doable and authors must move forward without fear or anxiety. Her manuscript came from her dissertation, but by the time she submitted the manuscript, the document was very different than her original submission.
She presented her writing-process experience through these stages:
- Submitted proposal.
- Was rejected but received valuable feedback.
- Considered reviewers’ responses for revision.
- Responded with thanks and questions.
- Met with reviewer (who offered) for help and a new perspective.
- Resubmitted the document five years later (after a full rewrite).
- Received editor’s review and feedback. (The editor suggested changes in her tone, voice, style, authenticity, personal style, and focus.)
- Returned to initial lens and revised the document.
- Submitted a new proposal and was accepted.
She shared about the review process as well:
- Reviewer One offered help but did not follow-up when she tried to get help.
- Reviewer Two gave very discouraging response requesting a new and groundbreaking method.
She encouraged writers to join a writing group that collaboratively looked at reviews and worked through each other’s works together. Her writing group helped her ask, “What is my driving theoretical view?”—the “so what?” question.
While Reviewer Two gave her hard comments, she responded and applied those comments to her revision.
Once she got through the submission, review, and revision processes, she moved into the production process, which took six months. This included a contract, a check for honorarium, work with the acquisitions editor, and various design decisions about typesetting, cover design, and further edits. Rosenberg shared that she had some say but she also listened to her editors and considered their expertise. (For example, she did not want to lose the emphasis on quotes by using block quote formatting, so she spoke up about her preferences and expectations.)
The panel encouraged reviewers and writers to consider the following advice:
- Do your homework: Know what exists on the market.
- Look at works cited!
- Look at scholarship and put aside politics: quote a variety of sources in the corpus.
- Do not assume that the age of the scholarship matters. (Two of the panelists recommended that writers consider foundational scholarship that will be older.)
- Review others’ books.
- Publish yourself.
- Share information with others.
- Market yourself.
The panel was valuable to me. I did not learn a lot, but I appreciated hearing the different perspectives of an editor, a reviewer, and an author.