General Interest Submissions
We publish articles of general interest as space is available. You may submit manuscripts on any topic that will appeal to EJ readers. Remember that EJ articles foreground classroom practice and contextualize it in sound research and theory. As you know, EJ readers appreciate articles that show real students and teachers in real classrooms engaged in authentic teaching and learning. Regular manuscript guidelines regarding length and style apply.
Characters and Character
Deadline: January 15, 2012
Publication Date: September 2012
Do you love Lady Macbeth? Are you sympathetic to Shylock? Do you think Huck is hilarious? Are you serious about Scout? Do you find Iago instructive? Are you half-hearted about Hamlet? Does Hester Prynne stir your passions? Do you think Nora is a doll? Are you apathetic toward Holden? Does Blanche expect too much from strangers? Would you prefer not to deal with Bartleby? Would you like to take Tom and Laura under your wing? Is Ahab your white whale? This issue of English Journal is dedicated to those characters we love to teach. Love them or detest them, these are the characters that get our students talking. What literary characters from classic, contemporary, and YA literature and nonfiction texts do you enjoy introducing to your students? What writing assignments have you created to engage your students in instructive and interesting character study? What characters have you put on trial, used as fodder for debate, or impersonated in your classes? What character traits would you like your students to develop (or avoid), and how have you used literary or historical figures to help your students to understand and build these qualities? How have you helped students develop personal qualities that are likely to make them healthy, happy, and successful?
What reading and writing assignments have you designed to help students become productive, critically literate citizens of our democracy? How have you encouraged students to explore the topic of character on their own, examining for themselves the kind of characters they would like to emulate?
Mentoring and Teacher Development
Deadline: May 15, 2012
Publication Date: January 2013
Guest Editor: Thomas M. McCann
Everyone—popular media commentators, government policymakers, and academic researchers—seems to agree that the quality of teaching is the most important factor in advancing student learning, achievement, and satisfaction. This consensus argues for the importance of preparing teachers at colleges and universities, but new teachers also need continuing support. Regrettably, some practices in schools—such as giving the new teacher the most difficult schedule and most inconvenient assignment of classrooms—makes the newcomers’ induction into teaching even more harrowing. What are our obligations to help new colleagues, and what are specific ways that we can foster growth for new teachers of English? This issue explores possibilities for mentors and mentoring. We seek stories about mentoring and being mentored, and we invite insights and guidance that can direct others to establish strong and productive mentor relationships or to design formal mentor programs. What do college instructors and university supervisors do to serve as models and mentors and to continue a mentor relationship after teacher candidates leave the campus? What mentoring roles do cooperating teachers serve? What are the attributes of particularly strong cooperating teachers and supervisors? Schools commonly provide formal mentor programs. How are the best of these operated? What are the qualities of effective mentors? What has a great mentor done that was particularly supportive and instructive? Any English teacher can identify a network of people (colleagues, family, friends) who have supported growth and provided encouragement. What are the collaborative experiences that teachers have had in school that continue to serve as reliable supports? How do teachers continue to connect with former classmates, professors, and colleagues to refresh planning and to renew commitment to teaching? How do teachers who can otherwise feel isolated stay connected through online mentor relationships?
Teaching English in the Age of Incarceration
Deadline: July 15, 2012
Publication Date: March 2013
Guest Editor: Marc Lamont Hill
Over the past 40 years, the prison population in the United States has grown from 250,000 to 2.5 million people. In addition, we’ve seen a sharp rise in youth incarceration, zero-tolerance policies, and the militarization of public schools. This special issue explores the ways that the English classroom can be used to highlight, understand, critique, and support/challenge this reality. We seek articles that examine how the English classroom can be used to address the needs of students who are dealing with imprisonment: How can English connect to students whose friends, family, and neighbors are increasingly under criminal supervision? What types of English education are taking place within prison-based settings, including youth detention centers, jails, and halfway houses? How is the prison system supporting and/or undermining English education? We seek work that addresses how issues of confinement (broadly conceived) are addressed within the English canon: How are teachers making use of fiction and nonfiction texts written by authors held against their will in prisons, plantations, concentration camps, and other confined settings? What connections are English teachers making between confinement authors—from Miguel de Cervantes to Malcolm X—and the currently incarcerated? We also welcome articles that locate sites of possibility for social change: How can English language arts be used to spotlight, examine, or challenge the current incarceration crisis? Articles written by or with individuals currently or formerly incarcerated are especially encouraged.
Speaking My Mind: We invite you to speak out on an issue that concerns you about English language arts teaching and learning. If your essay is published, it will appear with your photo in a future issue of We welcome essays of 1,000 to 1,500 words, as well as inquiries regarding possible subjects.
Student Voices: This is a forum for students to share their experiences and recommendations in short pieces of 300 words. Teachers are encouraged to submit the best responses from their classes, not whole class sets, please. Individual students are welcome to submit as well. Current questions:
--What can bystanders do to prevent bullying of students who are different (or perceived as different) from others? (Deadline: November 15, 2011)
--What is an important lesson you have learned from a fictional or historical character you have read about in English class? (Deadline: January 15, 2012)
Teacher to Teacher: This is a forum for teachers to share ideas, materials, and activities in short pieces of 300 words. Current questions:
--What literature fosters the examination of bullying behaviors? (Deadline: November 15, 2011)
--Who is your favorite literary character? (Deadline:January 15, 2012)
Teacher photographs of classroom scenes and individual students are welcome. Photographs may be sent as 8" × 10" black-and-white glossies or as an electronic file in a standard image format at 300 dpi. Photos should be accompanied by complete identification: teacher/photographer’s name, location of scene, and date photograph was taken. If faces are clearly visible, names of those photographed should be included, along with their statement of permission for the photograph to be reproduced in EJ.
Cartoons should depict scenes or ideas potentially amusing to English language arts teachers. Line drawings in black ink should be submitted on 8 1/2" × 11" unlined paper and be signed by the artist.
For information on writing for the EJ columns, see the Columns and Column Editors page.
For EJ Submission Guidelines, click here.
For more information, contact English_Journal@notes.cc.sunysb.edu.