Paper Submissions

Eligibility

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 or on the convention theme are especially encouraged.

Common Reader: Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert, by Terry Tempest Williams to be considered for presentation at the annual convention. For more information, review the additional rules about what individuals can submit.

New This Year

To be considered for the new Stemmler and Dennis LGBT& Awards, any work that corresponds to an LGBT& theme must select “LGBT&” under the Theme keyword, and any work that uses Queer Theory / LGBT& Theory must select “Queer Theory / LGBT& Theory.”

Paper Submission 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, headnote, 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).
  • Due to space constraints, any title of more than 50 characters will be abbreviated in the program. You are strongly encouraged to limit your own title accordingly. Remember that word processors will count characters for you.
  • 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:
    1. a theme keyword
      (Any work that responds to the convention theme must select “convention theme” to be considered for a “convention theme” award; any work that corresponds to an LGBT& theme must select “LGBT&” to be considered for the Stemmler & Dennis LGBT& Awards.)
    2. a genre keyword to characterize the genre of your creative work or the genre of the piece your critical work discusses;
    3. an author keyword to identify the author of the piece your critical work addresses or the author you respond to creatively; and
    4. a critical methodology keyword for your critical piece. For creative works, select “other” for critical methodology.
      (Any work that uses Queer Theory / LGBT& Theory must select “Queer Theory / LGBT& Theory” to be considered for the Stemmler & Dennis LGBT& Awards.)
  • Submissions remain anonymous for those who judge them, as the evaluation process is “blind.” Acceptance is based on the merit of the work alone. Members must not include any identifying information on submitted documents, including their name, the name of their institution, or the name of the faculty member to whom the work was originally submitted.
  • 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 28 and Saturday, March 30, 2019. 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 automatically will be considered for the convention awards. Authors must present their works at the convention to be eligible for awards. No work that includes identifying information about the author will be considered for an award.

Categories of Submissions

Critical Essay

  • 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, Latinx, 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
  • AltLit
  • Common Reader: Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert*

Creative Writing

* For Common Reader submissions, include an explanatory headnote of fewer than 100 words that makes the connection between your own work and the Common Reader clear to your reader. This headnote will not be counted against your word limit.

Paper Format

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.

Poetry

  1. Polish: Submitted work should be free of grammatical errors and mechanical mistakes.
  2. 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, docx, or PDF). Each poem within the document should begin on a new page. Provide the title of your collection at the beginning of your document.
  3. File Name: Use the title of your collection as your file name. Do not use your own name in the file name.
  4. 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.
  5. 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)

  1. Polish: Submitted work should be free of typographical and grammatical errors. Titles of literary works identified within essays should be properly formatted.
  2. 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).
  3. File Name: Use an abbreviated version of your title as your file name. Do not use your own name in your file name.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 2020.

  • Submissions are due Monday, October 28, 2019, 5:00 p.m. Central Daylight Savings Time (CDT).
  • Acceptance and denial notifications will be emailed no later than Monday, December 16, 2019.
  • Your confirmation to secure a presentation slot is due by Tuesday, January 15, 2020.

Submission Link

The submissions link will be posted on September 30 through the October 28, 2019, 5:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) submission deadline. For questions, please contact englishconvention@niu.edu.

Please submit using a desktop computer or laptop. Mobile devices are not configured for submissions.
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 2020.

Questions

Questions regarding the online submission process should be addressed to the 2020 convention staff at englishconvention@niu.edu.

Instructions for Submitting Paper Submissions Online

Use only a desktop or laptop computer. Do not use a phone or tablet to make a submission.

Step 1: Sign In

Paper Submission Link

  • Go to Account Set-Up for details on setting up your account, resetting your password, or changing your account profile information.
  • The submission deadline is October 28, 5:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT)

Step 2: Authors

  • After you have successfully logged on, choose: Submitter Account | Add As Author/Co-AuthorNote: Sigma Tau Delta allows only one author.
  • Choose: Continue button.

Step 3: Add Submission

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

Categories of Submissions

Critical Essay

  • 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, Latinx, 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
  • Novels/Memoirs
  • AltLit
  • Common Reader: Common Reader: Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert*

Creative Writing

* Creative writing may also respond to the Common Reader Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert. Include an explanatory headnote of fewer than 100 words that makes the connection between your own work and the common reader clear to your reader. This headnote will not be counted against your word limit.

  • Title: Type in the title of your paper. Due to space constraints, any title of more than 50 characters will be abbreviated in the program. You are strongly encouraged to limit your own title accordingly.
  • Attach Document: Select your word document. FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY!
    1. Label your Word document by the full title or an abbreviated title of no more than 50 characters. Remember that spaces are counted within the character count. Do not include your name in the paper, and do not use your own name as your file name.
    2. Save your Word document file as a .doc or .docx on your computer’s hard drive. Errors can occur if your file is uploaded from a server or external drive. Do not upload your paper from a cell phone.
    3. Click the Browse button to select your document.
    4. Click the Attach button.
    5. If your document is correctly attached, you will see your document file name listed below the document box.

Presentation Type: Select Paper Presentation

Step 4: Other Information (required)

  • Keywords : Select one keyword from each of the four groups. Your selection of keywords will help us build panels that best reflect your creative or critical work and assemble the most interested and invested audiences:
    • a theme keyword (Any work that responds to the convention theme must select “convention theme” to be considered for a “convention theme” award.);
    • 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.
  • Membership Type
  • Chapter State
  • Chapter School
  • Academic Level
  • (Your) Induction Semester
  • (Your) Induction Year
  • Chapter Advisor’s Name (If you are an Alumni Epsilon member, type “N/A in the field.)
  • Chapter Advisor’s Email Address (If you are an Alumni Epsilon member, type “N/A” in the field.)
  • Verify the following statements:
    1. “This is an original work authored by me.”
    2. “As instructed, the title of this submission is no more than 50 characters.”
  • Answer the following:
    1. “Would you like to be invited to serve as a session chair at the convention?” (If you reply Yes, you will receive an invitation email in January.)
    2. “Please indicate all dates on which you are unable to present for religious reasons.” (Reply by selecting the date and then from pull-down menu Unable to Present.)

Step 5: Review and Save

  • Click Continue and review the information for your submission. You may make edits at this time (choose the Edit button). To save edits, click the Accept button at the bottom of the page.
  • Click Save Changes to submit.

Step 6: Additional Submission on the 2020 Common Reader

Repeat the submission process to add a second submission if one of the submissions is on the 2020 Common Reader. Read rules: What Individuals Can Submit. You can also exit and add a second submission before the deadline.