Council of Editors of Learned Journals

Awards

The award deadline is September 7, 2018

The Council of Editors of Learned Journals is pleased to invite the participation of CELJ members (whether new or longstanding) in our Awards Competition, which is organized under two broad headings:

  • The CELJ Awards for Scholarly Achievement (8 categories awarded each year)
  • The CELJ Award for Literary Achievement (3 categories awarded each year)

Below you will find details about the contest, including advice on eligibility, descriptions of individual categories, guidelines for preparing your entry, and information about the awards ceremony.

Eligibility

The journals receiving awards in past years attest to the range and diversity of our membership. There is no typical winner, as is clear from our past awards.

  • Only current members of CELJ may enter the competition. (To check on your membership status, login to this website and your status will be immediately displayed as current or past due. To become current, renew through your Profile or create a new member profile from the navigation bar at the top of every screen.)
  • No journal can compete in more than one category annually.
  • Journals are only eligible to win once every three years (e.g., if Journal X wins Best Special Issue in 2017, it is not eligible for another award, in any category, until 2020). The Distinguished Editor Award, in both the literary and the scholarly division, is exempt from this rotational requirement.
  • Trade/technical journals that work primarily in areas of discourse other than the scholarly or the creative arts are not eligible.
  • Journals must be published in English.
  • Submissions must be of current issues published since September 1 of the previous year. Eligible issues are determined by the printed issue date, not by the stated date of publication. Late issues may not qualify.
  • Electronic journals must display volume numbers and issue dates and be easily accessible through directions provided to the website. If an electronic journal cannot be accessed on the World Wide Web without a subscription, access must be provided to the judges and CELJ Vice President for the duration of the contest and in such a way as not to compromise the judges' anonymity. The same guidelines apply to hybrid journals.

Please note that all applicants should be prepared to send a representative of their journal (preferably the editor) to the MLA Convention should the journal be given an award. Winners will be notified several weeks in advance of the MLA convention. The list of awardees will be posted on the CELJ website within a few weeks of the convention.

Scholarly Achievement Awards

Scholarly journals in the humanities may compete in eight different categories, all offered annually: Best New Journal, Best Special Issue, Best Public Intellectual Special Issue, Best Journal Design, the Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement, Distinguished Editor, Codex for any journal in any discipline covering up to 1500, and Voyager for any journal in any discipline covering 1500-1800. Member journals with a primarily scholarly or critical focus qualify for these eight award contests.

Best New Journal

New journals with three years or fewer of publication history are eligible. Applicants must supply four copies of two different issues, one of which must be the most current issue (with electronic-only journals supplying URLs or other means of anonymously accessing the materials). Submissions may include four copies of a letter from the editor, no longer than one page, introducing the new journal.

Best Special Issue

A special issue from the previous Fall/Winter or current year may be submitted. Also, the journal editor must include a paragraph in the cover letter explaining why the submitted special issue is exceptional. Submissions without the editor’s endorsement will not be considered. Send four copies of the special issue or specify an electronic issue. No additional supporting documentation may be included. A journal may submit only one special issue for this award.

Best Public Intellectual Special Issue

Contestants must reach out beyond academe and connect with a popular audience in terms of accessible language and attractive presentation. Send four copies of the special issue, or specify an electronic issue, that seeks to achieve the democratic mission of higher education. Also, the journal editor must include a paragraph in the cover letter explaining why the submitted special issue is exceptional. Submissions without the editor’s endorsement will not be considered. No additional supporting documentation may be included. A journal may submit only one special issue for this award.

Best Journal Design

Journals that have launched a new journal design within the previous three years may submit. Print journals, send four copies each of the following: the last issue before the new design was launched and two different sample issues of the new design. Electronic journals must provide access to the current website as described in "Eligibility" above and also make available the last website prior to present design, either by sending four copies on a flash drive or by providing a URL where the older site may be examined. Electronic journals must ensure that the submitted links work; nonworking URLs will result in immediate disqualification. Hybrid journals must advise and substantiate what components belong to which stage of the journal's development. Submissions may include four copies of a letter from the editor, no longer than one page, introducing the new design.

The Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement

Journals that have launched an overall effort of revitalization or transformation within the previous three years may submit. This award goes to the most improved journal, regardless of its state at the time the renovations began. A weak journal that has become excellent is eligible, but so too is an admired journal that manages to become dramatically better. Submissions must feature significant editorial change and may also feature change in design and other aspects of the journal's publication. Print journals, send four copies of each of the following: the last issue before the launch of the revitalization or transformation and two different sample issues of the revitalized or transformed journal. Electronic journals, please provide access to the current, revitalized website as described in "Eligibility" above and also make available the last website prior to present state, either by sending four copies on a flash drive or by providing a URL where the older site may be examined. Hybrid journals must advise and substantiate what components belong to which stage of the journal's development. Submissions may include four copies of a letter from the editor, no longer than one page, introducing the journal's changes.

Distinguished Editor

Any editor is eligible. The editor must be nominated by the new editor or by a member of the current or past editorial board. Send four copies of the nomination with supporting documentation. Supporting documentation may include any of the following: other letters of nomination by colleagues familiar with the editor's work; a brief CV in narrative format highlighting aspects of the editorship; selected sample issues of the journal illustrating key qualities of the editor's work; any other materials that can demonstrate the editor's influence on the journal's field of scholarship.

Codex Award

The recipient of the Codex Award will be selected from journals covering the period before 1500. The journal can be in any discipline—history, literature, the arts, music, or any other field—or be interdisciplinary, and it can cover any area of that world as long as the majority of that coverage is in the "ancient" or "medieval" periods. Specialized and general journals may apply; the award is for distinction within this historical field, not necessarily for comprehensive coverage of it. Please send four copies of one or two issues or specify the electronic issue(s).

Voyager Award

The Voyager Award will recognize excellence in any journal covering the period between 1500 and 1800. The journal can be in any discipline—history, literature, philosophy, music, or any other field—or be interdisciplinary, and it can cover any area of that world as long as the majority of that coverage is in the early modern period. Specialized and general journals may apply; the award is for distinction within this historical period, not necessarily for comprehensive coverage of it. Journals covering, say, both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—or any version of “the long eighteenth century”—are eligible for this award. Please send four copies of one or two issues or specify the electronic issue(s).

Literary Achievement Awards

The three individual categories comprising this division rotate on a three-year cycle. Before you submit, determine which one of the three creative arts awards is available in the current competition.

Distinguished Literary Editor Award

Any editor of a creative arts journal is eligible. The editor must be nominated by a subsequent editor or by a member of the current or past editorial board. Send four copies of the nomination with supporting documentation. Documentation may include any of the following: other letters of nomination by colleagues familiar with the editor's work; a brief CV in narrative format highlighting aspects of the editorship; selected sample issues of the journal illustrating key qualities of the editor's work; any other materials that can demonstrate the editor's influence on the field of literary publishing.

Parnassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement

In 2004, we initiated the Parnassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement. This competition solicits a single issue, published within the previous three years, that constitutes an unusually high realization of the creative arts journal's mission in combination with application of the highest standards of learned editorial practice—understood to encompass editing for selection of high-quality content, compelling arrangement of contents, style, visual appeal and readability, etc. Submissions should include four copies of the following: the issue to be considered; the journal's statement of mission or purpose; and a statement of no longer than one page that describes the ways in which this submission marks a peak or exceptional achievement for the journal submitting and that also provides circulation figures. Entries may be special issues but need not be. The award recognizes significant realization of editorial mission.

Best New Literary Journal

New journals with three years or less of publication history are eligible. Print applicants must supply four copies of two different issues, one of which must be the most current issue. Electronic journals must specify which issue, along with the most current one, is to be judged. Submissions may include four copies of a letter from the editor, no longer than one page, introducing the new journal.

Submission Guidelines

Each category will be judged by a panel of up to three editors who independently evaluate the submissions, consulting with the Vice President, who makes final decisions based on the judges' recommendations. When appropriate, the judges may also recommend a runner-up.

Awards will be presented publicly at a CELJ session during each year's Modern Language Association Convention. We will notify winners and runners-up in advance of MLA so they can make plans to attend the ceremony. If you enter the competition, you are expected to be present or to appoint someone to be present to receive the award should you be selected. Results will be posted on the CELJ website after the convention; we regret that the volume of submissions makes it impossible for us to send individual notifications to the non-winners.

If your membership is not current, please join or renew. Submitters are responsible for checking whether their CELJ membership is up to date. Submissions made for journals with lapsed membership cannot be considered.

  • All contest materials must be received in one clearly marked package by the end of business on the deadline date.
  • All submissions must include a cover letter clearly indicating the award category you wish to enter, title of the journals for each category (if submitting multiple journals), and contact information, including email address. Electronic journals must provide access information as described in "Eligibility" above.
  • E-submissions are not allowed except to offer an addendum; for example, an electronic journal might reasonably wish to email a link permitting access to its website, but it must supply as its main entry a hard-copy document, containing all necessary particulars and informing us that electronic sources are also being submitted by email, by the deadline. Please send email addenda to celj@mail.wvu.edu with the Subject Line: CELJ Awards--Name of Award
  • No submission materials will be returned.
  • To ensure prompt delivery, send submissions by courier or first-class mail (but not by fourth-class surface mail).
Please direct all inquiries about the 2018–19 competition to John Duvall, Vice President of CELJ.  Only the Vice President can give definitive information about the competition.

Contest materials must be received by end-of-business on September 7, 2018, at the following address:

Wayne State University Libraries
c/o CELJ Awards
5150 Anthony Wayne Dr.

Detroit, MI 48202 USA

Note: This is a new mailing address for 2018. For questions about mailing, please contact Cheryl E. Ball. Late nominations will not be processed.



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