Life Writing Guidelines for Guest Editors

Life Writing

If your special themed edition has been accepted by the editors of Life Writing, then we hope that the following information will help you work towards publication date with no problems.

There are four editions of the journal each year, published in March, June, September and December.

The deadlines for getting final manuscripts to us for each of these editions are:
#1    End of October of the previous year
#2    End of January of year of publication
#3    End of April of year of publication
#4    End of July of year of publication.


Calls for papers:
If you are issuing a call for papers, you should allow at least 6 months for the review process, i.e. if you are preparing manuscripts for a first edition of the year, you should have papers reach you in February of the previous year. Reviewing can be a lengthy process and you should allow at least 2 months for a reviewer to get back to you with comments. If they recommend that the author rewrite, then the paper must go through reviewing again.

Word length:
The total number of words of your edition should not exceed about 60,000. You could allocate these to just articles, or include an Essay. A typical editorial is about 1,000 words, so if each paper is a little less than 8,000 words, you might consider 6 or 7 articles. If you feel that there are excellent articles that can't be fitted into the themed edition, you might recommend to the author/s that they could submit their paper direct to the journal for inclusion in a later non-themed edition. Essays are popular with readers but we do have editions with no Essays at times (see website for guidance on Essays or contact our Essays editor, Kylie Cardell, for more detail).

Guest editors should control the wordcount of articles, as being over-length can seriously delay publication.

Each article should have an abstract of about 200 words and four or five keywords. The form of referencing should follow Chicago guidelines, and we use endnotes and NOT footnotes. If you receive manuscripts that are not set out in this manner, please return to the author and ask them to reformat.
A few illustrations per edition can be accepted, but the author should provide evidence of copyright permission for use, as well as caption and a note about placement in the text.

Each paper must be blind peer reviewed by two readers. We ask guest editors to provide us with the names of the reviewers when they send us final manuscripts. Reviewers may include the guest editors themselves but should not be limited to them. If there is difficulty in finding suitable reviewers, please contact us and we will help in this. We may also sometimes include ourselves as reviewers if the paper falls within our areas of expertise. If the editors are choosing papers that have been presented at conferences, we accept that these have generally already been reviewed by the conference organisers. Nevertheless, we would appreciate being informed about the organisers and any other review process that has taken place.

Please make sure that your authors know that they will have to sign copyright of their article to Taylor & Francis. This does not at all preclude later publication. We have many authors who ask for and receive permission to re-publish. However, it does mean that material cannot be published that has already been signed over to a publisher for later publication (such as a chapter due to appear in a book that is already under contract to a publisher). More details can be found here.

Book reviews:
We welcome book reviews on the theme of your edition, and these do not need to be included in the word count referred to earlier. Otherwise we will supply reviews. You may want to liaise directly with either of our Reviews Editors, Dr Muireann Leech,  or Dr Lis Hanscombe.

If you arrange your own book review/s, please arrange for the publisher to be contacted to provide a tiff or jpg of the cover image, and permission to use the image. Publishers are usually very happy to provide this service.

Final stages:
We are happy to receive completed manuscripts as you receive them. You don't have to wait till they all arrive before emailing them to the journal editor.

As accepted articles are sent in, please let us know the contact details of the author (postal and email addresses).

Usually, once we have all the information requested, and we have checked the format and length, we will upload the article into the Taylor & Francis copyediting system, for contact to be made with the author about proofs, after which the article will be published online into our 'Latest Articles' section. The full online publication will follow once all articles are processed, and the hard copy publication will follow that, as per the schedule shown at the beginning of these Guidelines.

When you have sent the final article, please make sure we have a running order for the articles.

Final thoughts:
We hope these Guidelines will help in what we know is a lengthy process. We do believe that past guest editors would testify to the fact that it is also an enjoyable one. Taylor & Francis are a wonderfully supportive and (importantly) efficient publishing team, and we think you'll be pleased with the end product.

Thank you for considering our journal as a suitable outlet for your work.

Maureen Perkins, Kylie Cardell, Alexis Harley, Muireann Leech, and Lis Hanscombe.