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The Mississippi Writers Page
Submission Guidelines

How to submit an article on an individual writer:

First, write to make sure the author you want to write an article about is available. Include with your query a brief description of your qualifications to write about that author (publication credits, academic papers, educational achievement, etc.). You may review a list of authors currently featured or scheduled for inclusion in our database on this page; this list includes writers for whom articles have been submitted as well as those for whom we have as yet not received a submission.

Note, however, that this list is not comprehensive and we are cognizant that many more writers who qualify as “Mississippi Writers” should be added to our database. If you would like to submit an article for a writer currently not listed, write first to explain why that writer should be included as a Mississippi writer. The criteria by which we determine whether a writer should be included in our database is detailed in Appendix A.

Completed article submissions should be sent to John B. Padgett, who administers the Mississippi Writers Page for the English Department. The preferred method for submission is by email, either as a text file (see special formatting instructions below) or an attached word processor document. We also will accept paper submissions sent via conventional mail to the department address listed below. Included in each submission should be a biographical/critical article about the writer, a comprehensive list of books by that writer, and as conditions warrant, a bibliography of biographical and critical resources, a list of media adaptations of the author’s work, and the titles and website addresses for Internet websites relevant to that writer. Also accompanying each submission should be a brief biographical statement about the article submitter. (The article writer’s signature will link to the biographical statement on our contributors’ page.) See the detailed instructions below for more specific descriptions of how to organize and complete your submission.

Submission Format:

The following is a general guideline to follow for article submissions in order to attain some level of consistency among the numerous writers presented on our web site. Not all of the options presented below are necessary or even desirable for all writers. As the author of your submission, it is up to you to determine the appropriate details to include. Likewise, you should decide how long the article should be, based on the author's literary, cultural, or historical significance, level of personal or professional achievement, critical acclaim, and other similar criteria. In general, a "minor" author would ordinarily warrant less than 500 words. Length is also determined, of course, by the availability of information about that writer. See Appendix B for a list of recommended source materials.

A complete entry for an individual writer should include all of the following, in this order:

  1. An article about the writer.
  2. A comprehensive list of books by the author, including place, name of publisher, and year of publication.
  3. A bibliography of additional biographical and/or critical resources pertaining to the author.
  4. Additional relevant information, such as media adaptations (for playwrights/screen writers), Internet web sites.
  1. A biographical/critical article on the writer. Length: 250-1000 words, depending upon writer's significance.
    1. The first paragraph should serve as a general introduction to the writer, summarizing one or several main points for which the writer is or should be recognized.
    2. As a rule, the article should follow a chronological sketch of the writer’s life, ordinarily beginning with the writer’s exact date of birth and birthplace, if known. Include also, as relevant, the following:
      1. Family information
      2. Geographical references: where the author has lived and/or worked (especially those in the state of Mississippi)
      3. Date of major publications and information about them, as relevant
      4. Significant honors and awards received by the author
      5. Major media adaptations (films, plays, etc.)
      6. Other life events significant to the writer or his/her writing
    3. Where possible or practicable, some indication of the critical regard for the writer should be given, either by selectively quoting major critical studies of the writer or by positing your own ideas in a reasonably objective manner. (This may not be the best place to posit your ground-breaking, revolutionary new critical approach to Writer “X.”)
  1. A comprehensive list of written works by the author, separated by genre and sorted chronologically by year. Use this format: Title of Work. Place: Publisher, Year.
    1. Dramatic Works
      1. Plays and other Stage Dramas
      2. Screenplays, Teleplays
    2. Fiction
      1. Novels
      2. Short Stories (Anthologies and/or individual publication information)
    3. Nonfiction
    4. Poetry
    5. Miscellaneous Publications. (Edited works, books of photography, etc.)
       
  1. A selective bibliography of print resources in MLA format, separated by type but otherwise alphabetical by author's last name:
    1. Biographical sources
    2. Book Reviews and Critical Studies
       
  1. Additional information relevant to the writer, such as the following:
    1. Media adaptations of the writer’s work, if applicable, including both primary works (such as those by playwrights, screenwriters, etc.) and adaptations by others.
    2. A listing of Internet resources on the writer, including title of web sites and the full web address (http://etc.).

Finally, some information is needed about the author of the article for our contributors' page. Articles are signed by the article author’s name, which in turn links to the brief bio on that author on the contributors’ page. Please try to be as brief as possible in your bio, but be sure to spell out any special qualifications you may possess as the author of the article.
 

APPENDIX A

Criteria for selection as a Mississippi writer:

We are not bound by the ordinary publication expenses of paper, printing, and overhead costs, and so our tendency is more toward inclusion than exclusion. However, because of the increase in recent years of individual web sites, vanity presses and other author-based publishing services, we have established some minimum criteria to determine who qualifies for inclusion in our writer listings.

The basic requirements to be included as a writer in the Mississippi Writers Page listings are as follows:

  • The writer must have been born or have lived a significant period of time in the state of Mississippi.
  • The writer must have at least three significant publication credits, at least two of which must be books cataloged by the Library of Congress (available online at www.loc.gov).

For living writers:

  • The writer's work must be available for purchase or lending to the general public via libraries and bookstores; works available only from an individual web site (whether for free or for purchase) are not eligible for inclusion in our listings.

Writers and works recommended for inclusion in the writer listings who satisfy one but not all of these criteria will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

APPENDIX B

List of recommended source materials:

In addition to ordinary biographical and critical resources (published biographies, journal and magazine articles and interviews, etc.), the following resources may be helpful in gathering information.

  • Gale Research Guides. The Contemporary Authors series is particularly useful, as it normally includes for each writer a list of works published, awards, a biographical sketch, and a selected bibliography. Please note, however, that their bibliography includes very limited information and is not in MLA format; you may have to locate the actual sources to gather the information necessary to create your own MLA-style bibliography. Note also the year of the volume referenced; it may not be the most up-to-date information on very contemporary writers. Gale databases are also available online for subscribing libraries and institutions at www.galenet.com.

Individual Books:

  • An Anthology of Mississippi Writers, edited by Noel E. Polk and James R. Scafidel. (Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 1979). A nice selection of both 19th and 20th century writers along with detailed biographical sketches.
  • A Directory of Mississippi Writers. Limited in its scope of information, the directory published by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture might nevertheless provide some useful information, including addresses by which you may contact writers (typically a publisher or agent).
  • The History of Southern Literature. Ed. Louis D. Rubin. This classic tome may be useful for critical perspectives on many Southern writers, though it may lack some biographical information.
  • Lives of Mississippi Writers, 1817-1967, edited by James Lloyd. (Reference section of the Library.) A comprehensive list of writers who published works during Mississippi’s first 150 years. Features short biographies of all writers, with more detailed approaches to some, and lists of published works.
  • Mississippi Home-Places: Notes on Literature and History (1988), and Mississippi Scenes: Notes on Literature and History (1992), by Elmo Howell. (Special Collections.) One professor’s exploration of literary (and some not-so-literary) landmarks throughout the state. Part travel-guide, part history, these two books feature fascinating glimpses into Mississippi’s literary past. The books are alphabetized according to places (towns and counties).
  • Mississippi Writers: Reflections of Childhood and Youth, edited by Dorothy Abbott. Four volumes (Drama, Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry.) Ed. Dorothy Abbot. An anthology of works by Mississippi writers that provides a nice sampling of individual writers’ works as well as fairly detailed biographical sketches on each writer.

APPENDIX C

Formatting instructions for text files:

Article submissions sent as plain text via email will lose special formatting codes such as italics and boldface. We ask, therefore, that submitters indicate within text submissions the presence of italics (such as for the titles of books and movies) and, if present, boldface type using the following conventions.

  • Individual paragraphs should be separated by at least one blank line.
  • To indicate italics, put underline marks (_) at the beginning and end of words or phrases to be italicized. A Tale of Two Cities, for instance, would be represented as _A Tale of Two Cities_.
  • To indicate boldface type, put asterisks (*) at the beginning and end of words to be italicized. Early childhood, for instance, would be represented as *Early childhood*.

For any other specialized formatting you wish to include in a text file submission, please indicate in your message what effect you are attempting to represent and how you indicate it in the text.

How to reach us:

Send inquiries to The Mississippi Writers Page at mwp@olemiss.edu, or via conventional mail c/o The Department of English, The University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677.

Mississippi Writers Page Submission Guidelines
<www.olemiss.edu/mwp/>
Revised January 2002


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