About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Literacy in Composition Studies is a refereed open access online journal that sponsors scholarly activity at the nexus of Literacy and Composition Studies. We foreground literacy and composition as our keywords, because they do particular kinds of work. Composition points to the range of writing courses at the college level, including FYC, WAC/WID, writing studies, and professional writing, even as it signals the institutional, disciplinary, and historically problematic nature of the field. Through literacy, we denote practices that are both deeply context-bound and always ideological. Literacy and Composition are therefore contested terms that often mark where the struggles to define literate subjects and confer literacy’s value are enacted.

Given its ideological nature, literacy is a particularly fluid and contextual term.  It can name a range of activities from fundamental knowledge about how to decode text to interpretive and communicative acts.  Literacies are linked to know-how, to insider knowledge, and literacy is often a metaphor for the ability to navigate systems, cultures, and situations.  At its heart, literacy is linked to interpretation—to reading the social environment and engaging and remaking that environment through communication. Orienting a Composition Studies journal around literacy prompts us to investigate the ways that writing is interpretive as well as persuasive; to analyze the connections and disconnections between writing and reading; and to examine the ways in which literacy acts on or constitutes the writer even as the writer seeks to act on or with others.

At this time of radical transformation in its contexts and circulation, LiCS seeks submissions that theorize literacy at its intersection with composition and will prioritize work that bridges scholarship and concerns in both fields. We are especially interested in work that:

  • provides provisional frameworks for theorizing literacy activities
  • analyzes how literacy practices construct student, community, and other identities
  • investigates the ways in which social, political, economic, linguistic, and technological transformations produce, eliminate, or mediate literacy opportunities
  • analyzes the processes and power relations whereby literacies are valued or circulated
  • adds new or challenges existing knowledge to literacy’s history
  • examines the literacies sponsored through college writing courses and curricula, including the range of literate activities, practices, and pedagogies that shape and inform, enable and constrain writing
  • considers the implications of institutional, state, or national policies on literacy learning and teaching, including the articulation of high schools and higher education
  • proposes or creates opportunities for new interactions between Literacy and Composition Studies, especially those drawing on transnational, multilingual, and cross-cultural literacy research

Peer Review Process

LiCS is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal committed to working with authors to publish promising work at the intersection of Literacy and Composition Studies. As they are submitted, manuscripts will first be reviewed by the Submissions Editor and one other member of the editorial team to determine whether they will be sent to Editorial Associates for review. If it is determined that a submission does not fit within the journal’s scope, or is otherwise unsuitable for blind review, the Submissions Editor will provide the author feedback explaining this decision.

Once a submission has been approved for review, it is assigned to two Editorial Associates who review the submission based on the following criteria:

  • The submission fits with the mission, scope, and audience of the journal
  • The submission makes a significant contribution to the fields of literacy and composition studies, situating its research in relation to relevant conversations currently taking place in both fields
  • The submission provides sufficient reasoning and support for its findings
  • The submission engages with and cites relevant scholarship from authors with diverse backgrounds or perspectives

After the Editorial Associates review the submission they make a publication decision. In some “revise and resubmit” cases, the editors will work with authors to substantively revise promising work until it is accepted by external reviewers.

LiCS is committed to publishing and amplifying the work of scholars from diverse backgrounds and from historically underrepresented groups. Prospective authors are encouraged to intentionally consult scholarship that represents and is produced by diverse authors. To support this effort, Cruz Medina has shared his Latinx bibliography:


If you would like to share a bibliography of underrepresented scholarship to support potential authors, please contact us.

Publishing an author’s scholarship implies no endorsement of any statements beyond the scholarship. We affirm our support for scholarship that has undergone our blind peer review process. Statements made by authors in other venues are theirs alone and do not represent Literacy in Composition Studies.

Publication Frequency

Literacy in Composition Studies operates on rolling submissions. Twice per year, submissions will be collected into an issue, assigned a new issue number, and published online. Special issues will be published periodically.

Open Access Policy

LiCS is committed to an online open-access publishing model that encourages collaboration, innovation, and a broader dissemination of research and ideas. Submissions should be original, previously unpublished work not currently submitted for publication elsewhere. We do not charge authors publication fees. Authors retain the copyright to their work; readers may use the work following the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license.


LiCS is published with financial and administrative support from High Point University.  LiCS was founded with financial and administrative support from CSU San Bernardino. CSU San Bernardino continues to provide support for the journal.