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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • Submit along with your manuscript a cover letter that includes:
    Your contact information.
    Your preferred pronouns (for the purposes of personal correspondence with the editors).
    An abstract (maximum 200 words), if submitting an article.
    The relevant IRB protocol number, if your study requires human research protections
  • Submit manuscripts as Microsoft Word .docx files.
  • Cite sources using MLA 9th edition and format the manuscript following the journal’s style guide.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • To ensure anonymous peer review, replace any references to yourself with “Author” and remove identifying information from the file’s properties.
    On a Mac: Select File > Properties > Summary > Delete any identifying information > Save
    On a PC: Select File > Save As > Tools > Security > Remove personal information from file properties on save > Save.
  • If your submission includes figures, images, or multimedia, include these materials as separate files in the following formats:
    Figures and images: .jpg/.png
    Videos: .mov/.mkv/.avi
    Audio: .mp3 or .flac at 192kbps or better.
    NOTE: If you have video files, please reach out directly to to discuss how to transfer those files with your submission.
  • If your submission cites student work, attach signed permissions.

Author Guidelines

Peer Review Process

Article submissions undergo three rounds of review before a publication decision is reached: desk review, peer review, final editorial review. 

In the first round of review (desk review), two editors read the manuscript to determine whether to send it to editorial associates for additional review. If, in this first round of review, editors determine that a manuscript does not fit with the journal’s focus or scope, or is otherwise unsuitable for outside review, the submission editor provides the author with feedback explaining this decision. 

In the second round of review (anonymous peer review), two editorial associates (peer reviewers) recommend a publication decision based on their responses to the following questions:

  • Is LiCS a suitable venue for the manuscript? Does the research presented in the manuscript fit with the journal’s mission and scope?
  • What contribution does the manuscript make to the fields of literacy and composition studies? Does the author situate their research in relation to important conversations currently taking place in literacy and composition studies?
  • Does the author provide sufficient reasoning and support for their findings? What suggestions do you have for improving this aspect of the manuscript?
  • Does the submission engage with and cite relevant scholarship from authors with diverse backgrounds or perspectives?

In the third round of review (final editorial review), all journal editors review the manuscript and the feedback from the editorial associates’ to reach a publication decision. The submissions editor communicates this decision to the author and provides copies of editorial associates’ feedback. In cases where the decision is to revise and resubmit or accept the manuscript, the submissions editor will provide more information about next steps. Publication of accepted manuscripts is contingent upon authors successfully addressing any additional revisions that may be requested before final publication.

Citing Research by Diverse and Underrepresented Scholars:

LiCS is committed to publishing and amplifying the work of scholars from diverse backgrounds and historically underrepresented groups. Prospective authors are encouraged to be intentional in consulting and citing scholarship that represents and is produced by diverse authors. To support this effort, we encourage all prospective authors to consult the pertinent bibliographies below and to integrate relevant research in meaningful ways. We thank the individuals and organizations who shared their work with us.

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


Manuscript Submissions

LiCS seeks a diversity of submissions, including traditional print-based articles and non-traditional, multimedia, and/or multimodal texts. We also accept the submission  of genres across linguistic repertoires (i.e., language varieties, registers, dialects, styles, accents, etc.). LiCS welcomes submissions in new and emerging forms and genres, as well as already-established genres. The descriptions of genre types published by the journal are offered to de-mystify publishing practices and to increase transparency. However, these descriptions are not meant to limit the kinds of forms and genres authors might submit. 

There are two broad categories of manuscripts LiCS publishes, long-form and short-form. The major difference between these two categories is that long-form submissions are sent out for peer review and short-form submissions are reviewed by the journal editors. Long-form manuscripts are sent out for double-anonymized peer review. These manuscripts typically fulfill some of the genre expectations associated with scholarly articles: they situate their intervention within a scholarly conversation, and they offer new artifacts and/or data for interpretation or offer new interpretations of existing artifacts and/or data. Short-form manuscripts are reviewed by the editorial team. LiCS welcomes interviews, symposium essays, book reviews, and new and emerging genres. Submissions may use primarily or solely alphabetic literacy or may incorporate audio, video, images, and other multimedia literacies. LiCS welcomes a range of research methods, including new and emerging methods. 

We seek articles that interpret literacy at a time of radical transformation in its contexts and circulation. Although we are open to a wide range of research and methodologies, we are especially interested in work that:

  • provides provisional frameworks for theorizing literacy activities;
  • studies the literacies of underexamined populations or materials;
  • 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; and/or
  • proposes or creates opportunities for new interactions between literacy and composition studies, especially those drawing on transnational, multilingual, and cross-cultural literacy research.

Manuscript submissions should demonstrate awareness of relevant scholarship in both literacy studies and composition studies. Long-form manuscripts should be no more than 10,000 words (including works cited and notes), adhere to the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook, and be free of internal references to the author’s identity. Manuscripts must not be previously published or under consideration elsewhere. Manuscripts should also cite scholarship from authors with diverse backgrounds or perspectives. We believe that it is through these citation practices that we acknowledge and deeply engage with the valuable work of those in our field who have been historically marginalized, rendered invisible, or tokenized in academia. For assistance, please review bibliographies highlighting minoritized perspectives. When submitting manuscripts that include human subjects participation, authors are responsible for securing any human subjects permissions pertaining to their research. Please note your institution’s IRB approval in the manuscript submission.


Multimedia Submissions

In addition to traditional manuscripts, LiCS welcomes multimedia submissions. To ensure that the journal is able to provide access to your work after internet services shift URL structures or go out of business, we need to acquire full file copies of your work. If your multimedia submission is too large to be included as an email attachment, please provide a URL for access via Dropbox.

To ensure anonymity during the review process, please eliminate any identifying information from your multimedia submission. If it is not possible to remove all identifying content, please email the Managing Editor for instructions on how to proceed.

When submitting multimedia documents, we assume that you either own the intellectual property rights to the materials used or can justify fair use exemption for sourced materials. Because all LiCS articles carry a CreativeCommons non-commercial, attribution, non-derivs license, multimedia submissions should do so as well.

To ensure that content is accessible, please abide by the following conventions when submitting manuscripts for review:

  •     Article text should be submitted as a .docx. If you include any supplementary documents as .pdfs, please OCR all .pdf portions of the submission to ensure machine readability.
  •       Provide alternative text for all images and embedded media elements.
  •       All videos and other forms of multimedia require captions. For help creating captions, consult with your institution’s instructional technology support or disability support office. We use Vimeo to host video files for the journal. You can find out more about captioning on Vimeo here.   
  •       Avoid screenshots that primarily contain text. Instead, transcribe the text and include with the image and image alt text.



Symposium submissions are shorter, editor-reviewed essays (2,000-5,000 words) that extend discussions begun in the pages of LiCS, or that seek to prompt informal exchanges around issues, ideas, and methods of interest to readers of LiCS. 

Symposium responses might extend or re-direct threads from earlier LiCS scholarship. These extensions may offer not only suggestive critique but also rich ideas and arguments that move a conversation forward. Additionally, we welcome the introduction of new, timely topics specifically aimed at beginning important conversations pertaining to literacy and composition. Symposium pieces of this nature should both offer exploration and insights and pose questions for further dialogue. 

For queries, please email the submissions editor, Chris Warnick, at 

Book Reviews

In her book, Reclaiming Composition for Chicano/as and Other Ethnic Minorities: a Critical History and Pedagogy, Iris D. Ruiz argues that “[a] critical analysis of history calls for examining previously excluded historical accounts, or, rather, a historiographic perspective which considers historical accounts of particular populations… those not focused upon traditional histories.” She further suggests that this “historiographic method searches for the silences or the blind spots in the narration of past events and asks, ‘what is missing?’” (150). In this vein, if we ask, “What is missing in our field?”, as Dr. Ruiz argues we should, and consider how LiCS is just one space that is meant to represent current scholarship in our field, we find that the voices (scholarship) of historically marginalized groups have been rendered invisible, have been tokenized in academia, and/or have not been equally represented. Thus, as LiCS continues to strive toward more diverse and inclusive publishing practices, it is important that book reviews represent this goal in a strong way. 

We envision the Book Reviews section of LiCS to be a space that embodies diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is especially imperative in this moment that we work toward building a space where scholars of all backgrounds and experiences (including those whose voices have not been valued) find themselves represented. 

Toward this end, we welcome book review submissions that engage with scholarship that represents diversity—scholarship by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color) and other marginalized groups. We look forward to a future of building a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive Book Review section of LiCS, as part of the journal’s larger continuing efforts toward this overall important endeavor.  

For Book Review queries, please email the book review editor, Helen Sandoval, at

Special Issue Proposal

LiCS encourages scholars to propose special issues as a way to foster robust exchange around a shared inquiry or theme of relevance to our readers. LiCS has the capacity to publish up to one special issue per academic year.

Who can serve as special issue editors: LiCS welcomes scholars working in literacy, composition, rhetoric, and pedagogy to consider editing a special issue. Considering the work involved in editing, we recommend that potential editors find at least one other editor to collaborate with on the issue. 

Graduate student special issue teams: LiCS is committed to supporting graduate students’ participation in publishing. Should one or more graduate students propose and be approved to co-edit a special issue, a mentor from either the Editorial Team or Editorial Board may be named to provide support to the special issue editors. This support may take the shape of serving as a sounding board or offering advice when solicited, or providing more active support, as negotiated by the special issue editors and mentor.

Process for proposing a special issue: Potential special issue editors shall submit a one-page proposal, draft cfp, and cv’s for the editors to the LiCS Ed Team. The Ed Team makes a decision regarding the proposal and may request revisions prior to a decision. The Ed Team typically consults with the Editorial Board about special issue proposals.

The special issue editors are responsible for: 

  • Disseminating the cfp
  • Responding to and making decisions about any solicited abstracts
  • Sending all manuscripts out for blind peer review to two reviewers, in consultation with the Ed Team about the reviewers they are using
  • Making publication decisions in light of reader reports and for providing revision guidance to authors
  • Supervising manuscript revision at all stages the process
  • Doing a first round of copyediting of approved manuscripts
  • Coordinating with the Editorial Team to copyedit and finalize manuscripts

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