Please share your experiences working with these journals! Feel free to add other journals to the list. Try to stick with this format: each journal should be separated by dashes, and responses under each journal should each have their own bullet and date of posting.
Back to Literary Studies Journals
Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/NZ Literature Edit
ARIEL: A Review of International English LiteratureEdit
- I cannot recommend ARIEL enough. The process was rigorous but fair. The reviewer comments made my essay much, much stronger, and the staff were uniformly excellent. All in all the process took about two years from submission to print, with regular communication along the way. Great experience.
- Got rejection after three weeks from date of submission. They said the paper is "insightful" and "provocative, but "the large number of submissions the journal receives makes it impossible to publish many fine essays". Good experience anyway!
- Had good peer review feedback from this journal. Overall good experience with publishing with them - it was about a year from submission to publication. My only note of caution is that the editor completely changed several sentences within my article, in one case changing the meaning. This was done without my permission and was not changed in the digital version of the article as was promised.
- My article also succumbed to an overzealous grad student copy editor, who seemed compelled to change something on every page. Her emendations resulted in a sentence or two that didn't make sense. There's a typo (that was absent from the MS) in the first sentence! The editor was unresponsive to my requests to return the MS to the original form. To my chagrin, this article has been cited several times, so someone has been reading it. I agree about the thorough peer review. Submission to acceptance to publication was a bit sluggish but not egregiously so (18 months? it's been awhile), IIRC.
- I have reviewed for them but not (yet) published there (and I am not on the board) -- that in itself gives the J some credibility and status imho. They kept on me to get the review in, and also sent me the follow up revision. They actually listened to me (and whomeevr else, I have no idea.... blind process). I like this journal a lot.
- Great peer review, quick feedback and responses from editorial staff. Sent initially August 2013, had revise and resubmit in March, with targeted deadline for June. Submitted on June 4, got accepted July 21. Final editing due by end of August for publication in early 2015. The reader feedback, especially reader #2 was incredibly thorough. Highly recommend publishing with them.
- Had a very positive experience here. Submitted May 2014, received acceptance with suggested edits September 2014 with tentative publication date in the spring. Reader feedback was thorough, extremely helpful, and genial. Update: It was almost exactly one year from acceptance to publication (Sept. 2014-August 2015).
- I also had a positive experience throughout the process. Received a revise and resubmit within about 4 months and an acceptance less than 2 months after resubmitting. The reader reports were thorough and genuinely helpful. As a bonus, they were really professional and easy to work with.
- Once things were in motion - received a wonderfully thoughtful R&R, made edits, kicked it back -- the process was quick. Everyone was professional and lovely in communications. Recommended!
Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies JournalEdit
- Awful. Submitted January 2014. Followed up with email in May to editor email address on the site. No response. Followed up on follow up in June. No response. Followed up on follow up to follow up in July, no response, and also contacted the Review Editor. He said he would follow up. It's now August. I sent an email to their graduate assistant, no response. In sum: 8+ months 'in review,' no word on if it's been sent out or if they've contacted the reviewers. Just no. response. (Had wonderful experience, however, with ARIEL above.) Update: in October 2015 I got an acceptance with request for minor revisions. Did them promptly for November, but didn't make the December issue. Inquired about when it would be published, and was told that the May issue will be a review issue, but that the editorial staff is 'positive' that it will eventually be published. So, who knows. Thank goodness the manuscript is unrelated to my primary research, and there's no urgency on my end. So, perhaps December 2016?
- The experience was painstakingly slow, but I had no problems getting status updates when I emailed the editors. Submitted March 2013, received a R&R in January 2014 that came with an extremely generous and helpful reader report. Submitted revision in March 2014, received word of acceptance in July 2014.
Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and LettersEdit
- Fall 2018. Such a disappointing experience. They had my manuscript for over 14 months without rejecting or sending to reviewers. I contacted them after 7 months and they apologized, explaining they have a backlog, but are still interested in my manuscript. 8 months after that, they didn't even bother responding to an email requesting an update. I ended up regretfully pulling the submission and sending elsewhere.
- Terrible experience. They kept my submission for half a year, failed to respond adequately to repeated requests for updates, and finally sent a template desk rejection. No explanations, justifications, or apologies were provided. Editorial staff seem to think it's a bit of a nuisance to respond to emails. 2015..
- Avoid! This journal sat on my article for two and a half years without giving me a decision. I inquired every six months, and was repeatedly told that the article was with anonymous reviewers and they expected a decision soon. After I finally emailed them to withdraw the article, I received a rejection within a week. The final decision included no reference to any reviews: I don't think anyone ever actually read the piece. I immediately submitted to another journal and the article was in print in less than a year. (Date of initial submission: 2007)
- I agree with the above!
- I had a slightly more positive experience but can understand the frustration; initial subission in Jan 2010; full acceptance in Feb 2012 with no requests for revision--but the submission appeared to have undergone 5 peer-reviews and none of these comments were conveyed to me. Am glad to publish there, but the wait period was far too long. [update 2013: article was published 2 1/2 yrs after submission, with errors that were not in my final copyedited version. I would not publish with this journal again.]
- A roughly similar experience, and this was just for a book review. Initially submitted 2/2011. They switched to an online submission and review system in 4/2011, so I resubmitted that way. Officially accepted 4/2012, then again 7/2012. It finally appeared in print 2 months later. They seemed to get their act together near the end of my dealing with them. It seemed like a long process for a book review, and it doesn't even appear that anyone read it.
- I submitted an article and 11 months later finally got a decision after it sat the whole time with the online system stating that 2 of 3 reviews were completed. I contacted them after 8 months and was told a decision would be soon. I contacted them again after the 11th month and all of a sudden I received a rejection with the 3 reviews comments. 2 accepted and the 3rd rejected although the comments were encouraging. They also informed me that they do not allow revise and resubmit!
- Received acceptance without requests for revision after 4 months, with one sentence of affirmation. However, it took two years after acceptance to arrive in print, within minimal communication from the journal. When it was printed, numerous errors had been introduced by the copy-editors. These were resolved in the online edition after about two months. Thrilled to publish in the journal, but a somewhat frustrating experience overall. Similar the the experience described above.
Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry
- Excellent experience. Received acceptance within a month of submission; editorial assistant was quick and accessible for proofs, etc. Article out in print within 4 months of original submission.
Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial StudiesEdit
- my ms. does not to have appear to have undergone peer-review before it was accepted. original submission in 5/2010; publication 12/2011; editorial assistant was highly unprofessional and did not respond to emails; however I think she is no longer with the journal
- I had a good experience with the journal. Submitted in April 2014. Accepted with minor revisions (which were brief, but helpful) in three months. Paper was accepted for publication in November 2014. Due to the backlog, paper was published in early 2016, but an online version was made available in late 2015. Like most journals published by T&F, all communication/submission was done through their Manuscript Central site, which is a mild annoyance to use. Overall, I was happy with the process.
Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial StudiesEdit
- I had a very positive experience with the series editors and main editor. Professional and helpful.
Journal of Commonwealth LiteratureEdit
- Very quick turnaround. One month until the article was sent to reviews, two months for the reviews to come back. Revise and resubmit (with minor changes). Four more months before online publication. Excellent communication with the editors and throughout the publication process. Not bad at all.
Journal of Postcolonial WritingEdit
- Submitted an Article in Feb, Received a response (on a weekend!) in July. Strangely, the decision came exactly a day after I sent an inquiry email about the status of my article. They rejected the article saying the article is insightful but lacks integration of analysis and theoretical discussion. The second reviewer had the same argument but was worded differently.
- 6 months from submission to conditional acceptance. They changed the word limit - it's now 7000 words and STRICT.
- Formerly World Literature Written in English. Good pedigree and pretty well regarded within the field, and seems to be one of the better organized postcolonial journals out there. 22 months from initial submission to publication - 8 months from submission to conditional acceptance with very helpful reader reviews; just under a year from submission of revised essay to publication. Very strict with word limit, though (required additional cuts even after final acceptance), so don't expect to sneak through with anything over 8000 words.
Journal of West Indian LiteratureEdit
- Poor experience. Submitted article for consideration in March 2013. Did not hear from the editor for almost six months so I sent an inquiry. Still no reply, sent another e-mail in October. Editor informed me that there was a significant backlog and my article had not yet begin the review process. Withdrew shortly afterward. The editor was very apologetic and suggested another title. The journal has a good reputation, but if your work is time-sensitive or you need the publication credit sooner rather than later, you might want to look elsewhere.
- Awful experience. Submitted an 7.5k article to them. Took them 2+ weeks to find a reader/confirm they'd send it out. The took EIGHT MONTHS to procure a single reader report of two short paragraphs that only addressed one-third of the submitted article (and rejected it for criticizing a "star" in the field and on the board). No second review. Fortunately I had in the meantime submitted it elsewhere after 4 months and it got in there just fine and dandy. Never again for this journal, which seems very in-house (editors are in the same dept/school, one of them a former student of MD, and even the same family (the Seths of AUstralia). They clearly are clique-ish and dont pub outsiders or people on the margins of postcolnial studies. But if it is tepid liberal poco speak you seek, seek no further.
- I submitted an essay in Feb 2015 and it took them until Jan 2016 to return an editorial decision of revise and resubmit (with a very brief report from one of the editors -- not an external reader's report). The editors comments are helpful, but I still don't understand why it took almost a year to hear back from them (if it was sent out for review that would be one thing). I'm a little concerned about resubmitting the essay and having to wait another year for a decision.
- Had a terrible experience both submitting and reviewing for them: They sat on my paper for eight months without sending it for review. When I finally offered to withdraw it, they send me a rejection mail within a couple of weeks. I somehow have the feeling that the paper was not properly reviewed. In the interim, they had sent me a paper for review and I had recommended drastic revisions as I found the language to be complex to the point of being obfuscatory and some of the key quotations had been taken out of context. However, they chose to publish it as it in its current form. All this was 2012-13. I hear the journal has some new members in the board now, and things could be better.
- Moved quickly. After two anonymous reviews, received Revise and Resubmit with helpful comments. Did revisions, resubmitted, and had article published. Took four months to get initial decision, six more months before article was in print. (Date of initial submission: 2010)
Research in African LiteraturesEdit
- I submitted an article three years ago and to this day I have received no responses from anyone involved at the journal, despite sending several email inquiries over the years and even leaving voicemails. At a certain point the RAL email inquiry, which I knew would never get a response, became a kind of comical annual routine. They may not have liked the article enough to fast-track it, but I know for a fact that the piece is a genuine scholarly contribution as it was picked up by another frankly more well-established journal. Whatever their reasons for this apparently standardized unprofessionalism, it is not a good model for them, and I genuinely hope they get the message.
- Although the process started slow, it ended up being a very positive experience. I submitted in late August and by December I had heard nothing. I sent an email inquiring about the status of my article, and it was sent to readers two weeks later. I received an R&R in January with a brilliant reader's report (this particular reader deeply engaged with my argument, offering critiques that helped the article become much stronger). Resubmission in March, full acceptance in May. 9-10 month process overall, with a much stronger article in the end. My interactions with Molly were always helpful. Now it's a two year wait for publication.
- Having read the below comments and submitted there twice (once accepted and once rejected) I can say that if they want to publish your piece the process is quick (if somewhat disorganized) and easy, but if there are any doubts they will just ignore you for months and months on end. Like a bad friend, they can be reached easily when they want something from you but will ghost on you if they don't. My acceptance was quick with minimal edits while my rejection was an agonizing 2 year ordeal. Thankfully my rejected piece was picked up in a heartbeat by English in Africa in part because of the feedback from RAL so there was at least that.
- Submitted an article 12 months ago. Got a confirmation it was received from Molly, who said it'd be sent out for review. No updates, even after three email follow ups from me inquiring if they had any idea when I could expect to hear more. Update: still no word, now 14 months after. Inquired one last time, and copied in Dr. Korang (the editor)-- nothing. Will let it sit while I prepare the manuscript to submit elsewhere, and withdraw as soon as I'm ready to send it off. Such a disappointing experience. Update: I finally called to check, went straight to voicemail. Left message. No word. I'd be concerned that they didn't receive my message *except* that my professional website got 2 hits from Columbus shortly after. Sounds like no-response has become their MO indeed. (Final update: revised for another journal, and withdrew my article from consideration at RAL today. Got a 'thank you' from Molly literally 20 minutes later. If the policy is not to respond to *any* queries regarding status, it should be made clear from the confirmation of receipt of article email, from the get-go.)
- I'm in the same situation as the below poster. 12 months with no contact. I've sent emails and left voice messages to no avail. Previous reviews are largely positive - perhaps there has been some turnover or internal reorganization. I hope they get things sorted out.
- A frustrating experience. Submitted nearly 11 months ago with no feedback. I've contacted them several times for an update--the first few requests were ignored, and I was finally told "we'll let you know" but without even a loose timeline. I'm extremely frustrated, no matter what the results end up being.
- Good experience. I received an acceptance with minor revisions after less than six months from the time of submission. I didn't receive the reader full reports, but instead only a few comments from one reviewer that needed to be considered in the final revision. Molly, the editorial assistant, is a wonderful human being, extremely helpful, professional, and accommodating with last minute changes.
- Great experience. It took about two months to get back the initial acceptance, then after that everything moved very quickly and smoothly. The editor was very positive and responsive. Feedback was constructive and helpful. Only minimal changes requested. Article was in print within six months. (Date of initial submission:2014)
- Moved very quickly. Received the anonymous review in four months. Article was in print 2 months later.
- My submission was sent to two readers and an initial decision made in six months. I didn't get to see the readers' reports; instead the editor gave me a Revise and Resubmit decision along with a few key points from the reports. I took a while to revise, but once I resubmitted, the article was accepted in just over two months, and published four months after I submitted a final version. Not counting the time I took on revision, the whole process was one year. (Date of initial submission: 2010)
- Submitted article to email@example.com in May 2011. Followed up in September. Received reply within a few days indicating that the article was accepted for a special issue (did not submit for it specifically). Minimal revisions were made by RAL editorial team to bring the article into agreement with house style and integrate a few notes, none of which changed the meaning/tone of my arguments. Notified few months later that issue had gone into production with final proof version attached. Article published in 2012. The whole process was handled quickly and professionally. I was very happy with the experience and the results!
- Very positive experience. Had a conditional acceptance in four weeks, with only minor changes necessary. I took a while to get back to them, but after I sent the revised essay, it took about 5 months to get a proofed copy. About two months later, the piece was in print. Very professional staff. Detailed and genuinely helpful reader reports. Great experience.
Safundi: The Journal of South African and American StudiesEdit
- Fairly quick and straightforward review process (about three months). Both reader's reports were among the most helpful and to-the-point I've ever received, and were more-or-less in agreement with one another. As a T&f journal, Safundi isn't carried by all U.S. universities, but you'll get a wide readership in South Africa and the Commonwealth. My only complaint is that it seems a bit "clubby," but then so are a lot of field-specific venues.
Sargasso: Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language, and CultureEdit
- Publishing in Sargasso was a positive experience. The whole process took approximately 12 months, a rather quick publication given that the journal publishes only twice a year. The Editor responded quickly to all of my inquiries and the 2 sets of comments I received on my essay were quite valuable. Once I submitted a revised version someone cleaned up my bibliography and spent a substantial amount of time copyediting. I appreciate the thematic approach to volumes and the personal touch that came with communication with those who run the journal. Sargasso has a substantial number of institutional subscriptions and a multingual focus. It's available through dLOC but needs a parallel electronic format.
Small Axe: A Caribbean Platform for CriticismEdit
- The most prestigious journal in Caribbean studies. When I've published here, people in my field read my work and colleagues not in the field were impressed to see I was in this journal. Read by two anonymous reviewers who gave very good feedback. Six months from initial submission to acceptance, six months from acceptance to seeing the piece in print. (1/2012)
- I agree with above. It was impressive, six months from submission the article was in print.
- A long path to rejection. Submitted in June 2014. A week later, I received an email asking for the submission's abstract because their website was having issues. At the very end of July 2014, I receive word that submission made it through initial review and that I will hear back in 4-6 months. Complete silence after 6 months, so I email in February 2015. No response. I follow up again in April 2015 and finally receive word in May 2015 from a new managing editor that my submission is still under review. A couple of weeks later, I finally receive word of rejection. I was provided with brief excerpts from two readers reports that weren't very helpful. I inquired about full readers reports, but did not get a response. I love this journal, but the extended process and lack of constructive criticism makes me wary of submitting again. (added July 2015)
South Asian Review Edit
- This journal moved quickly, and I had excellent feedback from the editor, the readers, and the copy editor. Their comments were rigorous and detailed to the point of pedantry (a description I intend as a compliment), which considerably improved my arguments and my thinking about the larger project that had produced the article. However, I can't help wondering how much of this welcome scrutiny was due to my being obviously not South Asian: the other articles in "my" issue contained pretty obvious errors.
- 7/2014- Beware! SAR accepted my article and then edited it heavily, making substantial changes without then sending me a page proof. I am very unhappy with many of the changes and feel that they are detrimental to the quality of the article overall. I contacted the editor who said they would investigate, but I never heard from them again, even after sending two follow-up querys.
- Submitted an article in 2014 and did a revise and resubmit... wasn't a strong piece so I wasn't surprised that it was ultimately rejected. Submitted a more polished piece from my dissertation April 1 2016... followed up with them April 8 to confirm (my experience here is a lot of prompting is required) and was told the editorial process would begin. On April 14 I got a strange email saying the editorial staff had reviewed it, it was close to being publishable, and they had some suggestions to expedite the process. I did them duly and returned April 21, and asked what the status of the paper was (whether it was even sent out for outside review, was accepted conditional on revision, revise and resubmit... etc.). All the usual lingo was missing. Received a reply today that they would review the copy and send it to an outside reviewer; that "we will provide a more definitive decision for you then." The turnaround for feedback was alarmingly fast on that first version, but who knows how long the revised will be. A most unusual practice, in my experience. UPDATE: still waiting in March 2017. Was told in October that I would get more info within a week, and now silence, even after three emails from me inquiring about the status. In my opinion, not worth the time and trouble to send them work.
sx salon: A Small Axe Literary PlatformEdit
- A great place for publishing reviews and interviews. The online format lets them get work out quickly: if you submit something relatively polished it can be just a couple months from first contact to publication. Even with the speed, they have careful copyeditors that result in professional issues.
- Does anyone have experience submitting here? Any idea how long it takes for submissions to be reviewed & level of feedback? many thanks in advance.
- Transition is an expertly and gorgeously produced journal that generally turns submissions around within four months. However, as I understand it, the journal is not peer-reviewed.
Wasafiri: The International Magazine of Contemporary WritingEdit
- Had a pleasant experience writing a review for this publication; I would recommend it to others (2011-2)