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Call for Articles – Ebook Anthology
Teaching Writing: The Grad Student Experience
August 15, 2014
October 31, 2014
500 – 4,000 Words
I’ve always loved teaching, and I always assumed I would be good at it. I mean, if you can write well enough for grad school, doesn’t that mean you can teach?
We all know the fallacy there. Teaching, like writing, takes time to master. And the art of teaching well requires that you adapt your approach not only to every course you teach, but also to every student. But then there are external expectations, too – your faculty, shifting pedagogical theories, and cultural norms can impose a variety of conflicting requirements.
Wouldn’t it be nice if teaching came with an instruction manual? One that didn’t read like stereo instructions?
Teaching Writing: The Grad Student Experience will be an accessible, low-cost resource to help new grad students better understand the challenges of teaching writing. Our goal is to provide an “idea book” for teaching. This isn’t a “how-to,” and it isn’t an A-to-Z of pedagogical theories. Instead, this is our chance to share our experiences of what worked in the classroom…and what didn’t.
We’re not looking for answers – we’re looking for perspectives. I’m looking for stories. For you to share how you began as a teacher, and then how you’ve changed moving forward.
Links for Additional Information
Apply for Reviewer Position
To help you prepare the best possible article, we’ve set up a closed Facebook group to answer questions, exchange ideas, and better coordinate the topics of each article.
You are not required to join the Facebook group in order to submit – we simply think it’s a helpful way to keep everyone motivated and on-track.
Confidential Support in a Safe Space
Writing is hard – writing about your own teaching is even harder. To help, we’ve established a closed Facebook group where you can post questions, provide tips, and read each other’s drafts. To maintain a safe place for support, no discussions posted to the group will be made public. We ask that you do not copy or discuss topics outside the group discussion. This is particularly important because, as grad students, we often deal with situations which could affect our future career prospects. These are concerns I would very much like to address in the anthology, but not at the expense of anyone’s future.
We urge everyone to be supportive and polite as you provide constructive feedback regarding each other’s work and ideas. If you do observe any commenting behavior which is demeaning or potentially abusive, please Send Me a Meassage so I may address it. (If you wish your message to be anonymous, simply list “anonymous” in the spaces for name and e-mail address. Supplying a link to the specific post would be helpful, but isn’t required.)
Before submitting your article for review, please feel free to share it to the Facebook group. We hope that you’ll take a moment to read the article drafts posted by your colleagues, and then comment with your thoughts and questions. During the submission process, we will be as selective as possible regarding which articles are accepted for publication. The Facebook group is your opportunity to “test the waters” before submitting. When possible, I and other editors will also provide early feedback for drafts posted here, and our review will not affect the selection process for your article. (As a warning, though, it might make it difficult for us to conduct a fully blind review, but I think the benefits of early feedback outweigh the potential negatives.)
Submission and Publication
We strive to represent as many grad student perspectives as possible. Please also read our Tips for Successful Articles to ensure your article meets the needs of graduate writing instructors.
August 1, 2014
September 30, 2014
Recommended Article Length:
500 – 4,000 words
We consider all submissions from writers who address the situation of teaching writing as a graduate student. In particular, we’d like to hear about specific situations you’ve faced. This is not necessarily an “everything is great if you just keep trying” kind of anthology. Yes, we’d like to know how you’ve overcome challenges to become a better teacher, but we’d also like to share the challenges you weren’t able to overcome.
Blind Peer Review
Unbiased consideration of articles is one of the most important safeguards to scholarship. When using our online form, please do not include any identifying information (such as your name and e-mail address) in the article field. All articles will be independently reviewed by readers who are unaware of your identity.
Submission and Review Process
Anonymous Publication and/or Submission
In order to safely address difficult topics such as failed teaching practices, employment discrimination, disputes with faculty, and other issues facing graduate student instructors, we offer the opportunity for both anonymous publication and the additional safeguard of anonymous submission. If you select Anonymous Publication in the Submission Form, only I (Ryan Edel) will have access to your name and contact information. For anonymous publication, you can choose to be either included or excluded from the publication credits, but your name will not be directly connected to your article. Anonymous Submission of an article is also possible (wherein no one on the editorial staff will know your name). In our submission form, simply enter “anonymous” in the name and e-mail fields.
Please Note: Accepting anonymous submissions may be difficult if I have no means to contact you. Anonymous publication will not affect the likelihood of article acceptance, but anonymously submitted articles are somewhat more likely to be posted to the 12Writing.com website or remain unacknowledged.
In case of any questions, please Contact Ryan.
There are three main groups of authors we would like to hear from:
Graduate Students who are currently teaching writing while enrolled in coursework or continuing work on a thesis/dissertation.
Faculty Members reflecting on their graduate teaching experiences, and then relating these experiences to their lifelong approaches to teaching writing.
Undergraduate Students either describing what they’ve learned about writing from a graduate student, discussing their expectations of graduate school, or reflecting on student teaching experiences as part of a teacher education program.
Note: authors who submit articles may not also serve as reviewers. If you would be interested in becoming a reviewer, please Apply for a Reviewer Position.
Recommended Length: 500 – 4,000 Words
Most publications are relatively stringent regarding article length – we are not. A short vignette of a couple pages often provides the quick insight necessary to inspire better teaching – conversely, a longer article of twenty pages may illustrate the complex challenges we face in our dual roles as teachers and students. Because of the electronic format, we are not restricted due to traditional publication guidelines. Our two primary considerations are that the articles help grad students become better teachers and that grad student readers will feel motivated to continue reading.
Planned Publication: January 2015
This anthology will be sold as a $0.99 ebook, and this will be directly marketed to graduate students in English departments and writing programs which offer teaching fellowships. Print versions may be made available for future editions. Although no monetary compensation can be provided at this time, all contributors who are accepted for Teaching Writing: The Grad Student Experience will receive credit for their articles (unless publishing anonymously), an unabridged digital copy of the entire text (either in PDF or Word format), and the sincere gratitude of many beginning teachers.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to include all submissions in our anthology – we will be as selective as possible in order to ensure the completed project is engaging for our ebook audiences. Promising articles which are not accepted for the anthology may be offered online publication to the blog at 12Writing.com. This is however not required – if you would prefer to submit your article elsewhere, I would recommend not posting it online first.
Editorial Review Team (ERT)
Teaching Writing: The Grad Student Experience is intended to convey the challenges and diversity of experiences faced by graduate students teaching writing. Independent Reviewers are a crucial component of upholding quality standards while ensuring fair representation for each submission. Assistant Editors will work directly with authors on the revision process, positioning the articles within the individual sections.
A Note About Who We’re Looking For
Teaching Writing: The Grad Student Experience is meant to represent the thoughts, fears, and perspectives of actual graduate students. We aren’t checking to see if you’re brilliant or well-published or anything like that – instead, let us see that you care about teaching, that you’ve thought about the challenges you’ve faced, and that you would like to help other grad students get a better start to teaching. If you find yourself struggling in grad school, you’re certainly not alone, and we’d welcome your input as a reviewer. We’d like our submissions judged by readers who are honest and accepting regarding the nature of the struggle to balance learning, teaching, and that nebulous concept we call “life.”
Reviewers for Teaching Writing will select articles for the anthology through blind review. To ensure that reviewers represent the positionality of graduate student teachers of writing, the following qualifications are required:
It is not necessary that the teaching take place in conjunction with your graduate program – for example, working on a Ph.D. at a four-year institution while teaching first-year composition at the local community college would certainly fit the qualifications. Experience in non-teaching administrative positions or in roles as a one-on-one tutor cannot take the place of classroom teaching experience.
Time Commitment for Reviewers: We estimate that each reviewer will read and provide brief comments for up to a total of 20 submissions between October and December 2014 – this should translate to approximately one or two hours of work per week during these months, depending upon the number of submissions.
Note: reviewers for the anthology may not also submit articles for consideration. If you would instead be interested in submitting an article, please see our Submission and Review Process.
Separating Reviewers and Contributors
In order to maintain the integrity of our blind review process, a reviewer may not submit an article for consideration, and contributing authors may not serve as reviewers. Editorial and administrative staff may submit articles for consideration, but may not be involved in any part of the review process regarding their own submissions.
Assistant Editors will elicit feedback from reviewers and then guide contributing authors through productive revisions. To ensure that assistant editors sympathize with the situations faced by graduate student teachers of writing, applicants should meet the following qualifications:
Time Commitment: From October to December 2014, we estimate that each assistant editor will coordinate a group of three or four reviewers in considering up to a total of 20-40 submissions. Following acceptances, each assistant editor would provide editorial feedback for 3-5 articles, guiding the submitting authors through their revisions. Depending upon submission volume, we anticipate 3-5 hours of work per week from October 2014 through January or February 2015.
Applications for Reviewer and Assistant Editor positions must submit the following to our Editorial Review Team (ERT) Online Form.
Applications for Reviewer and Assistant Editor positions must submit the following to our Editorial Review Team (ERT) Online Form.
Administrative Team (AT)
To better manage the anthology, we are also seeking individuals to fill the following administrative positions. In addition to grad students, undergraduates and individuals applying for graduate programs are encouraged to apply for these positions. It is prefered that applicants for these positions live in the Bloomington-Normal area, and that they be available for weekly or biweekly meetings from October 2014 through March 2015.
Forwards submissions to reviewers and assistant editors; ensures that all authors are contacted in a timely manner regarding their submissions; tracks the status of accepted articles during the revisions process. This individual will work closely with the assistant editors to ensure all articles and anthology sections are ready for our publication deadlines, and then will forward edited articles to the Copy Editors for proofreading.
Prepares final copy for ebook format. This individual will work closely with the Submissions Manager and Copy Editors to ensure that all sections have been thoroughly proofread and that formatting remains consistently reader-friendly throughout the anthology. Will also place images provided by the Design Manager within the ebook format.
Proofread all articles and paratexts after revisions have been completed and approved by the assistant editors. Work closely with the Submissions Manager and Publication Manager.
Solicits visual images for the cover and to complement individual articles. Will be expected to contact outside artists (preferably undergraduates or graduate students currently studying graphic design or related fields.) This individual will work closely with the editor in soliciting, locating, and/or approving appropriate visual materials for the anthology. This individual will also ensure that 12Writing has sufficient publication rights for each image to be used.
Applicants for Administrative Team (AST) positions should fill our our AT Application Form.
Please ensure your article respects the privacy of any individuals mentioned in your writing.
Helpful Privacy Link:
Protecting Student Identities
Do not provide the real names or other identifying information for your students. You may use pseudonyms, but you may not provide any information which would allow a third-party to identify a student you have taught. Be sure that you are aware of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). All works published in the ebook anthology or via 12Writing should be considered public information.
Blind Review Process
For this anthology, all submissions will be considered via blind review – reviewers will not know the identities of authors during the consideration phase of the Submission and Review Process.
Have you had an experience that you’d like to share, but you don’t want anyone to know if was you who went through this? You may Publish or even Submit your article anonymously.
As a college instructor, you may have specific mandatory reporting obligations depending upon state regulations and university policies. As an instructor at Illinois State University, I am required to report suspected instances of child abuse, drug use, and other situations of potential harm. If your article relates experiences which may fall under mandatory reporting guidelines, please be sure you understand the guidelines which apply.
The anthology will be arranged for quick access to “articles of interest.” Please review this list of proposed sections, and then let me know which section best fits your article. Many of the subheadings will change depending on submissions, but they give an idea of what types of articles I’m looking for. Please feel free to use one as a title if it fits your experiences.
My First Day Teaching
What I Wish I’d Known
Grading and Assessment
The Danger Zone, Part I
Racism, Romance, and Grade Appeals – Keeping it Real in the Real World.
The Danger Zone, Part II
Threats, Harassment, Drugs, and Suicide – Sorting Reality from the Reality Show….and Knowing When to Call Security, the Dean of Students, or the Counseling Center.
Questions for Consideration
These are examples of critical issues faced by grad student who are teaching writing for the first time.
Tips for Successful Articles
To maintain quality, here is a list of our general expectations for each article. To succeed as an anthology, Teaching Writing must convey relevant information in an engaging, accessible manner. By implementing blind peer review and rigorous acceptance standards, we aim to ensure that this publication will provide a legitimate publication credit for our contributors.
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