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NCTE Book Proposal Submission Guidelines - Previous Revision

At NCTE, we believe that investing in educator knowledge is one of the most effective ways to improve professional practice and that you—the education professional—are our most valuable asset.

We’re looking for manuscripts that represent the rich diversity of our profession, provide practical solutions, offer effective teaching strategies, and demonstrate NCTE’s long-standing commitment to sound theory and research.

We welcome proposals from teachers, theorists, researchers, and administrators in English language arts, literacy, English education, and English studies. We welcome new voices in the field, and we encourage proposals from classroom teachers and first-time authors as well as established authors.

Although we publish books for teachers at all levels on a wide variety of topics, we do not typically produce the following types of books:
  • anthologies or single-authored works of creative writing
  • personal journals 
  • student writing
  • dissertations not revised for book publication.
Please use the following guidelines to help us make the most informed decision possible about your project. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

Submitting a Proposal

Please register as an author at our Web-based manuscript submission and review system, Editorial Manager: Once logged in to the system, upload your proposal following the instructions online. Your book proposal should include the items listed below. Please do not submit a full manuscript. Your acquisitions editor may later ask you to send additional materials.

Cover Letter

Include a brief letter that tells us something about you as the author.


Your prospectus should include the following sections:

1) Project Rationale

Please provide specific details about your project, including
  • an abstract or synopsis of the book
  • objectives and reasons for writing the book 
  • how the book will stand out among its competition
  • anticipated readership and size of market
In short, this is your opportunity to tell us what makes this book valuable and to position it relative to others in the field.

2) Tentative Table of Contents and Chapter Summaries

List all chapter titles and important headings, with short (three- to four-sentence) descriptions of what will be included in each.

3) Status of Manuscript

Consider these questions:
  • How much is now written? How long do you expect it will take you to complete the project?
  • What is the anticipated length of your final manuscript? Please plan to limit your manuscript to no more than 300 double-spaced pages (about 82,500 words).
4) Information on Anticipated Permissions and Consents

All publishers require authors to obtain permission to reproduce published work as well as permission from anyone who has contributed in any significant way to the book. Begin the process early by checking your manuscript for materials requiring permissions and identifying the copyright holders. These steps will save you time later in the process. There are two kinds of permissions:
  • Permission to reproduce published work. For previously published work—writing, artwork, photography—authors are responsible for fees charged for reprinting copyrighted material and must obtain written permission. NCTE staff will be happy to advise you.
  • Permission from contributors to your book. Research involving human subjects, samples of student writing, artwork, photographs, observations of teachers and their classrooms—all require consent to publish before they can be used in your published work.

Sample Chapters

Include two or three sample chapters to give us a clear idea of the manuscript as a whole; include the introduction if possible. Please double-space all text.


If your book will contain illustrative materials, please include samples that you might use: tables, charts, photographs, and/or artwork.


If possible, include a working bibliography. In an edited collection, if you don’t plan to have a bibliography, include works cited lists with individual essays. Use a consistent bibliographic style.

If you’re submitting an edited collection, ask your contributors to conform to a specified bibliographic style. We suggest CMS (Chicago), MLA, or APA.

Please double-check any text that includes source citations, making sure that they are accurate and complete.

Résumé or Vita

Include a résumé or vita to give us more insight into your work.

About the Process and the Timeline

All proposals are evaluated initially by the acquisitions staff. Those selected for development are sent to expert readers. These volunteer reviewers will provide written responses to the material.

Because we have a strict policy of anonymous review, we disclose reviewers' names to authors only when reviewers give us permission to do so. Please keep in mind that it may take several weeks to receive responses.

Your acquisitions editor will stay in touch with you throughout review and development.
Ultimately, our focus is not on the process but on you, the author, and your contribution to the profession. We will work to make sure that your NCTE publishing experience is personally and professionally rewarding.

Questions? Contact us at

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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts