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American Literature Journals

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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.

Back to Literary Studies Journals


American Literary HistoryEdit

  • Desk rejection after 5.5 weeks via (nice) form letter. Happy about the quick turnaround.
  • Desk rejection after 6 weeks with brief suggestions.
  • "Reject and resubmit" after 3 months. I sent back extensively revised version 6 months later. "Accept with Revisions" after 6 months with 1 month to do revisions.
  • Form letter rejection after about a month. 
  • Desk rejected after a couple of weeks. They praised the article, but said it did not fit the journal.
  • Same as above: 2-week rejection; praised the article but said it did not fit.
  • A lightning-quick desk rejection: two weeks! Form letter with no comments, but it was nice to have it back so quickly to send to a better-suited journal.
  • Revise and resubmit with 3 readers' reports after 5 months; another revise and resubmit with 2 different readers' reports after another 6 months or so; another revise and resubmit directly from the editor; further suggestions from the editor; then finally an acceptance pending further edits. I have heard from several others who also had multiple revisions. Communication was always very thorough, and I was happy to have finally published with ALH, but it literally took years from initial submission to publication.
  • Desk rejection after one month. Polite, with complimentary remarks (the adjectives suggested that the letter wasn't completely boilerplate).
  • (March 2015) 5.5 weeks for desk rejection with a half sentence explaining what they would have wished from my article. Nevertheless, editor implied I should send as is to another strong journal he recommended, which was nice, though I plan to try elsewhere.
  • Desk rejection after about a month.
  • Rejection with two sets of readers' comments after about three months.

American Literary RealismEdit

  • Rejected my article, which in itself is not troubling; at the same time, the reasons provided indicated that the reader had not even examined my piece. Even more so, when this error was mentioned, I received a terse "don't bother us with the facts" response.
  • Sat on my submission for 5 months, then just told 'no'. When I enquired if there was any kind of readers' feedback, I received a 5-word "report". Avoid.
  • Like the previous reports, I suffered a negative experience. After 4 months, I received a rejection that claimed the article was a "broad summary" of the analyzed work. I don't know how many seconds the reader took to read my work, but it seemed as though he/she had not examined it at all. I'd love for the editor to point out how my entire article is a summary, but I received absolutely no feedback, only a suggestion to "submit to Studies in American Naturalism." Condescending much?
  • My experience with this journal was positive. It was 3 months from submission to acceptance, though it took over a year to see the final product in print. Still, it was my most painless publishing experience to date.

American LiteratureEdit

  • Very fast turnaround, detailed reports - about five months from submission to acceptance (via R&R)
  • Rejected but helpful and encouraging, suggested other journals.
  • Quick turnaround. Two months for desk rejection. Editor praised the work, said it was too narrow (one author, one novel). Suggested two other venues. Good experience overall. It seems that 'broadness' is key to getting a piece accepted there. :)
  • Online system is very nice for keeping track of progress, great experience overall. 4-6 weeks with editor, 5 months with two readers (one beyond generous with suggestions and references), 3 months for me to turn around R&R, another 4 months for second reading (then further minor suggestions), publication 1 year after decision.
  • Rejection within two months. Editor also said it was too broad (advice: avoid single author submissions).
  • Submitted March 2010; approximately a month later received a very kind, positive review, but a rejection of the article on the grounds that it was not broad enough in scope. Editor sent suggestions of alternative venues.
  • Excellent experience, overall.
  • Very quick response (less than 1 month) with a rejection. Editor praised the work with a general comment but said it did not address a broad enough field of American lit (it was an article on a single author). Gave suggestions for two other venues.
  • Ditto about rejection, re: single text no-no, not broad enough, general praise comment, and suggested two other venues, 2 month turn around (Jan 2015)
  • Great experience: 2.5 month initial review before a revise and resubmit (with constructive, helpful reader reports); was given 3 months for revisions; another 2 months of review before acceptance. Article appeared in print a little over a year later. Would absolutely submit there again.
  • Swift response--five weeks for desk rejection. Editor praised work, explained that rejection was based on narrowness (single novel), and recommended three other journals to consider. Nice to feel some optimism and possibility in the wake of a rejection!
  • Submitted Nov 2015, got a desk rejection about 6 weeks later, also with a nice pat on the head: "persuasive and compelling". As others have noted, my letter included this justification: "we find the focus of your essay on a single work to be a little less broad than what we are looking for just now." This remark about the submission being about 'a single work', which was repeated in the submission-specific praise, raised some doubts for me about whether my submission had actually been read, as I had actually devoted equal space to four different works by one author. Perhaps this was just an infelicitous choice of words. In any case, I was pleased by the quick turn-around.

American QuarterlyEdit

  • After two months, I received an email saying the editors had decided to sent my piece out to reviewers. About a month after that, I received a rejection with two extensive reader's reports. Total time from submission to official rejection was about 3 months. Based on my reader's reports, I gather that it's essential that articles they accept include significant discussion of colonialism, race, ethnicity, or native studies. I would submit elsewhere if your article isn't centrally concerned with these issues.

American StudiesEdit

  • Four months after submission, I logged into the online system to check the status of the article, and it still read, "awaiting assignment." Terribly frustrating for someone facing the pressure of the tenure clock.
  • Wretched experience. After four months I inquired and was told all was well. After six months, I inquired and was informed that one reader had dropped out. Promised readers reports and a decision next month. After multiple (unanswered) inquiries, finally got a decision four months later. Terrible communications--never again.
  • Vile experience. Condescending letter of rejection implying I was an inexperienced scholar.
  • No answer (just "awaiting assignment") after many months. E-mail queries about this to the journal itself, and to the editor at his university address, also unanswered. It's like they went out of business or something.

Arizona QuarterlyEdit

  • Desk rejection 10 days after submission. Appreciate the fast turnaround, although I wish I was given a reason.
  • Sent essay, via mail, late July. Received confirmation of receipt shortly after. Mid October received letter from the editor that article was accepted. Reader reports came several weeks later with no changes suggested and very complimentary feedback. Journal professional and timely.
  • In my experience, journal is very responsive and quick. Hadn't heard anything within three months, sent an inquiry, and the journal prodded the reader to hurry up; received an acceptance several weeks later.
  • I had exactly the opposite experience with Arizona Quarterly in 2009. They sat on my submission for 5.5 months and finally when I sent them a reminder, they took another month to get back with a 1-line desk rejection. I think it is unethical for a journal to be taking 6.5 months to send out a desk rejection. I believe the paper I sent in wasn't too bad either, given that it got accepted by a reputed journal from Duke UP within 6 months.
  • My essay was under review for over six months before I contacted them, though my essay was accepted for publication as is. Overall, it has taken three years since submission for the thing to finally see the light of day.
  • Terrible experience. I submitted an article in 2012 and heard nothing for six months. I wrote to ask for an update after seven months passed, received no response. After yet another email from me, and one more month of waiting, I received a 1-line response saying it was still with an external reader. When the essay finally came back as a rejection, now one year and two months after I originally submitted the essay, the reader's comments addressed only the first six pages of the article in a scatter-shot manner--I got the sense that the reader did not read past those first six pages.
  • Desk rejection within a month of email submission (summer 2015). No editorial comments provided--disappointing result, but at least swift so I can move on to other options.
  • Submitted in 2014. 5 months for a single reader's report. Very, very brief (200 word) response, with little advice.

Early American LiteratureEdit

  • A good experience. I received a revise-and-resubmit five months after submission, took two months to make the revisions, and received an acceptance a month after. Nothing but timely, professional communication throughout. And there was certainly no pressure to cite the editor's work.
  • Make sure to quote editor's work in your essay.
  • Overall very good experience. It took two years for the article to come out. It was sent to one reviewer, which gave minimal but good feedback, recommending acceptance. But the editor went over this recommendation, came up with more requests for revision, and I got a R&R. It finally got accepted about a year after the initial submission. Corresponding with the editor was a pleasure, the emails were very friendly and courteous (which, by judging from some of the posts on this wiki is quite rare).

Edgar Allan Poe ReviewEdit

  • I had a very good experience with them. Had about a two-month turnaround from submission to acceptance (with minor revisions); reader reports were useful; communications with the editorial team were timely and informative.
  • Now with The Pennsylvania State University Press

Edith Wharton ReviewEdit


European Journal of American StudiesEdit

  • Heard back a year later - article was accepted, but reviewer suggested revisions. Resubmitted a year later (my bad), article coming out about a year and a half after resubmission.

ESQ: Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and CultureEdit

  • How does it compare to J19?
  • Good experience. Three-month wait between submission and R&R, then a two-month wait between resubmission and acceptance. Great communication from editor and assistant editors, and constructive feedback from readers.
  • Submitted article on author covered by the journal; they said they had just published a lot of articles on that author and thus were not interested in this submission at the moment, but encouraged me to try another time.
  • Extremely slow. After taking 5 months from submission to my receiving a revise and resubmit (which isn't terrible), they took another 7 full months to review the revised manuscript, despite my being told it would take no more than 8 weeks. I emailed every month and was repeatedly assured I would get word by the end of that month (which happened 5 times). Finally, after deciding the manuscript was simply lost under a pile of other manuscripts, I implied I really needed to send the manuscript elsewhere when I finally received a rejection a few days later.
  • Now seven months from original submission with no word. No response to emails.
  • I had a similar experience to commenters above. Submitted article but no confirmation was received after two months. I emailed again, and they told me that it had been overlooked. They then sent it out for review. Six months later, I had yet to hear back (now 8 months from original submission). I emailed again. This time, an editorial assistant was quite responsive. She said reviewers were taking a long time because of the new term. Three months later I emailed again. The same assistant, again very helpful, said there was still no word. A few weeks after that I got quite nice rejection letter from the editor with two reader reports. The first report was petty and more or less useless. The second was thoughtful and helpful for revision. Total time to rejection: 11 months.
  • ESQ is supposedly under "new management" and is committed to faster turnaround.
  • Great experience - received an invitation to revise and resubmit 6 months after submission (2 reader's reports; one detailed and very useful, one sketchy and not especially helpful) - acceptance 6 weeks after receipt of revision - very careful editing process -- publication 7 months after that. Very professional and responsive; kept me up to date every step of the way.

The Faulkner JournalEdit


Henry James ReviewEdit

  • Submitted to the Leon Edel Prize (see below) in November, heard back in February. Vague rejection with no comments from Editor, reader reports, peer-review, etc., and no mention of whether essay was considered for "regular" publication. No reasons or feedback given.
  • Rejection one month after submission. No reasons given.
  • Revise and resubmit three months after submission (one of the two readers' reports was extremely helpful and constructive); accepted several weeks after resubmission. 
  • Submitted to the Leon Edel Prize (prize for grad students/junior professors, open every November). Heard back two months later. Although I didn't receive the prize, the editor offered an R&R with several editorial suggestions. No peer review reader comments included.
  • My impression as a reader of this journal is that they want quick turnarounds.
  • A rather quick turnaround! revise and resubmit requested about two months after submission (really thorough notes from two peer readers); took my time with edits, but it was accepted a day or two after resubmission without resending to original peer readers

J19 Edit

  • Any sense of how it compares to ESQ?
  • Submitted an article draft on June 10th. Received confirmation of submission on June 13th. Received rejection notice with brief but helpful reader's report on July 19th. All communications were succinct and very professional.
  • Would agree with previous commenter. Went through a rigorous Revise & Resubmit only to have one reviewer who seemed stubbornly unsympathetic to interdisciplinary work. I will say, however, all reviewers provided through commentary, much of which was very valuable in my next set of revisions and the turnaround process was just slightly over six months.
  • Be careful if you submit literary criticism or interdisciplinary work. Their reviewers seem to be primarily historians whose ideas about 'sources' are different than literary critics', and assess al submissions like they are history articles. Got a revise and resubmit with very general suggestions about how to change the article, with no concrete recommendations of books, authors, etc. Upon sbmission of the revisions, the reviewer complained the changes were still not enough, yet made no concrete, useful recommendation. Quite a useless process. On the bright side, it all goes very fast (4 months between submissions and fnal rejection) and the editors are nice and responsive.
  • New journal emphasizing historicist work on noncanonical authors; tough to find a submissions address or to contact editorial staff in the beginning but once that was fixed the process ran smoothly.
  • Was rejected after a revise and resubmit but I found the journal very professional. First reader reports were thorough and thoughtful and came 3 months after submission. The final rejection came about 3 weeks after revised submission. Disappointed with results but they handled things professionally.

Journal of American Studies Edit

  • UK-based, publishes a lot of literary research.

Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies Edit

  • Excellent experience; submitted in May 2011; received a revise and resubmit within four months; revised and was asked to make further substantial changes did so; article was accepted; asked to make a few final quick copyedits; article appeared in mid-2012. I had a much more professional experience with this than many other American studies journals.

Mark Twain Annual Edit

  • Acceptance in less than a month. Minimal revisions suggested. Editor was valuable correspondent.
  • Great experience. Helpful advice from editor. Six months from submission to publication (once a year).

Mississippi QuarterlyEdit

  • Received a note that my essay was received and reviewers assigned 2 days after submission. It's been 4 months now, and I haven't heard anything new. Submission guidelines explain that decisions will take between 4-6 months, but I have heard from friends who reiceved notifications as quickly as 2 weeks after submission. I suppose it depends if you catch the reviewers during a busy season.

Nathaniel Hawthorne ReviewEdit

  • My experience with this journal was positive. After about 3 months, I received an R&R with 2 extensive readers' reports, both helpful and constructive. After revising, acceptance came in about 4 months. 
  • Unfortunately, I had a contrary experience. The editor forgot to send my essay out for review, and when comments finally came forth after two jogs, said editor refused to abide by the suggestion of one positive reader who thought the essay should be revised and resubmitted. When I was ready to resubmit, the editor said that it had already been rejected.

Orbit: Writing Around PynchonEdit

  • Looks like they're interested in work on writers other than Pynchon too - there are reviews of books on William Gaddis and they're calling for papers on a special issue on Don DeLillo. Not sure what makes an author count as "Around Pynchon," but unlike Pynchon Notes this doesn't seem to be a totally single-author journal.
  • 10 weeks, two reviews (one fierce, one friendly), revise and resubmit. Accepted a month after resubmissiion with further helpful comments for final alterations. Online system didn't always forward email updates, so log in directly to check your status.

Paideuma: Modern and Contemporary Poetry and PoeticsEdit

  • Paideuma began as a journal on Pound but then expanded its focus to mostly American (U. S.) modernist poetry, with some additional articles on modernist and contemporary poetry from other national and cultural traditions. They have published at least one comparative essay that I know of, so I considered suggesting it for this wiki's Comparative Journals category, but so far, the preponderance of their articles has been on modern Anglo-American poetry. I had an excellent experience with Paideuma. I received an acceptance with minor revisions about 2 months after submitting my essay, and was sent two readers' responses. One was very brief but offered a couple of valuable suggestions, and the second was three pages, single-spaced, and offered exceptionally helpful advice for revision, especially with respect to my essay's organization. The editorial staff was also very meticulous at the proofs stage; they were probably the most careful editors at the micro-level that I have encountered. Paideuma publishes just once annually at the end of each year, and I had to wait until the end of the next year--about a year and seven months from the time I sent them my final revision--for my article to come out. That's a long time but it's also pretty standard these days, in my experience. They were also totally flexible about the word count.

Post45Edit

  • Extremely negative experience with this online journal. Two conflicting readers' reports, a revise and resubmit, followed by a third reader's report from a graduate student in a different field. Lots of contradictory back and forth, followed by a rejection because the journal said they had "misunderstood" the main argument from the beginning. Entire process took seven months. A time-wasting, frustrating and humiliating experience.

Pynchon NotesEdit

  • I think this journal is dead. I had an article accepted about 3 years ago. The editor retired a year later, and I had only one very brief communication with the new editor. Since then nothing. It looks like the final issue was published 2009.
  • They have a big backlog (the website lists 2 special issues plus enough articles to fill 2 more issues), but the '2009' journals are backdated: they contain note-length pieces that friends submitted in 2010. It may not be dead, but if you submit anything longer than a short note, it's likely to be Years before it makes print.
  • Officially dead as of July 2015.

Resources for American Literary Study Edit


Robert Frost Review Edit

  • Quick timeline. 1 month from submission to R&R with short reader reports. Submitted changes and was accepted within another month.

Studies in American FictionEdit

  • Quick desk rejection 3 days after original submission, citing "not fitting our current needs." The quick reject hurt, but I appreciated the fast notification.
  • It was wonderful working with this journal. Fast and clear communication was provided at each step of the review process. Initial submission to acceptance was about 4 months (submit/readers/revise/accepted). Certainly a great publication experience.
  • Not a great experience. I submitted a manuscript only to get a swift desk rejection one month later, after having to prod the editors twice--first, to confirm that they indeed received the essay. Also, the editors offered no basis for the rejection other than it was unsuited for the journal for "several reasons."
  • A fair experience: sent an article in November 2013, confirmation a week later, sent a follow-up email in April 2014, received a rejection in May 2014 (six months after initial submission) -- although the journal says that they don't always include peer review comments, I did receive two reader reports along with the rejection.

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