In case you want a recap on writing for publication, here is a break down of the EGO Workshop on Writing for Publication led by Dr. Bronwyn Williams on October 23, 2015. Thanks again to all who attended.
- The process of pulling together his article “Speak for Yourself”
- Thinking about ways of creating a book proposal – moving from dissertation to book proposal
*”Speak for Yourself? Power and Hybridity in the Cross-Cultural Classroom” – Taking a Seminar Paper through the Publication Process
- Began during Bronwyn’s PhD – came about in a comp theory course in which he had to write a “bibliographic essay”
- Presented at a MLA conference on this idea, which happened to be chaired by Doug Hesse [fortunate coincidence]
- Took a seminar on post-colonial theory
- Began to find the connections between these ideas – the theoretical lens came out of here
- Workshops on Writing Across the Curriculum [WAC program]
- Finding connections across these spaces and using conference presentations as an exploratory space.
- Not tons of citations in his published piece or a lot of ground clearing on how this fits into the pedagogy space.
- Not making the moves of citing lots of sources/groundwork, but focusing on “what’s new and how to get to the new”
*EGO members can access this article in the password protected Documents section of this site.
Tips for Publishing as Graduate Student
- Lesson: It’s easy early on as a graduate student to feel like you have to write defensively and that you have to put a lot of theory into things – but published works have a lot less than that a lot of time.
- Resist the urge to spend so much time on setting up previous theory and focusing more on what’s new.
- Reflect on your own pedagogy through critical theory
- Start high when sending things out to publications [big name journals like Cs, CE, etc] – the worst thing that can happen is you are going to get rejected, get comments, and can rework it for another publication
- Send out your best work; you’re going to get reviews, you’re going to get comments regardless
One of 3 Things Happen After You Send an Article Out
- Acceptance – Yahoo! Congratulations
- Revise & Resubmit – Most common scenario; you don’t get it unless they mean it, so revise your piece using reviewer comments and resubmit!
- Rejection – It happens, but don’t let it bring you down. Keep working on the project and try it somewhere else.
- Six months to a year is a fair timeframe for getting a revise and resubmit done based on how much they are asking for – if it’s something minor, do it as quick as you can. Some publications also have their own deadlines to follow for R&R.
- Letter framing a resubmission = very important! It’s crucial that you frame how the author is going to read the revision:
- “Thanks… here’s what I’ve done to respond to the reviewer comments” and be specific in pointing to how you responded to the comments.
- Give a clear reason for why you might not have responded to one of the bigger comments and leave it open for more conversation like “In my revision I decided to not do X for these reasons…”
- No need to write a note for every small thing, just focus on the big ideas.
A Note on Reviewer Comments
- Negotiating between reviewer comments can be a challenge. For instance, one reviewer may say “Your paper is great!” and the other says “It’s terrible!” – what do you do with that?
- Reinforce what is great; a good editor should give you guidance on the reviewer comments in their email and sketch out what the key moves should be. Some editors don’t – and it’s okay to email an editor and say “I got two different sets of reviews, can you give me a sense of what to do here for the publication?”
- It’s normal to feel frustrated by reviewer comments.
- Consider: write a “fake letter” to the person who might have angered you. Don’t send it to anyone or anything, just to get all the frustration out.
Publishing a Book
- Not every dissertation has to become a book, but the book is still often a standard for tenure – it’s good to think about how to work towards a book
- “What might my dissertation look like if I was writing it as a book?”
- If your committee allows it -> write it more as a book rather than as a dissertation form, you can save a lot of time turning it into a book. – no one publishes a book that is in the exact form of a dissertation
- And if they don’t, you can still think through the ideas as chapters in a book
- You have to do certain performances for a graduate committee that you won’t have to do for a book publication
- Get to know the presses and the editors of the presses to think about where a book might fit
- Networking is key – if you can get someone to put in a good word for you too, that’s also helpful.
- Book proposals aren’t very long, 2-3 single spaced pages usually
- Some presses have specific requirements for headings and areas to include, but the moves are the same across writing any book proposal
Key Moves in a Book Proposal
- Here’s the conversation
- Here’s my intervention
- Here’s how I did it
- This is what makes it distinctive
- Table of contents
- Markets and Competitions – where can this press sell it?
- This is who is going to buy it – audiences [grad students, courses, people in other fields]
- This is where it fits on the press’ list: it’s complimenting these other kinds of books you’ve already done
- List possible reviewers for the book – who is connected in the realm and might read it favorably?
- Annotated table of contents
- NOTE: You don’t have to have a whole book written to send out a book proposal – here’s the two sample chapters, here’s the rest of it, here’s when I can have it done by, and see what happens.