08.11.09: MLA, Call for Advisees, Chat With An Editor 2009



  • shaping an article submission
  • selecting a publisher
  • drafting a cover letter
  • following style guides
  • corresponding with editors
  • ethical dilemmas
  • trends in scholarly publishing
  • and other issues in journal publishing

For the past ten years, in an effort to help younger scholars 
submitting their work to journals, the Council of Editors of Learned 
Journals, an Allied Organization of MLA, has sponsored "Chat with an 
Editor" at the MLA Convention. With so many requests from editors and 
authors to keep this program going, the MLA has stepped forward to officially sponsor these sessions, which will now take place in the room the MLA maintains for certain associated organizations.

The service gives scholars the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an 
experienced editor to discuss any aspect of the publication process. It 
is not an article vetting service, but rather a chance for authors to 
obtain advice on any aspect of writing, submitting, and publishing a 
journal article, in a neutral and friendly atmosphere. Advisors and 
advisees will meet in Room 203-B of the Philadelphia Convention Center. (Please note the chats will not take place in the book exhibit hall). In recent years, about half of the advisees have been graduate 
students and half have been assistant professors, postdocs, adjunct or part-time professors, and 
independent scholars.

What this service is:

  • A chance to meet editors in a low-key, informational situation.
  • A way to better understand the intricacies of scholarly publishing.
  • A means to further collegiality and scholarly exchange in our profession.

What this service is not:

  • A substitute for a job interview at the MLA.
  • An alternative to going through a journal’s normal referee process.
  • Something that should be treated casually, i.e. please do not make an appointment if you think you might have to change it, and if you cancel please let the Chat Coordinator know in a timely fashion.

Monday Dec 28

9-10  Arthur Kinney and Thomas Hopper, English Literary Renaissance
10-11 James Phelan, Narrative
11-12  Batya Weinbaum, Femspec
12-1 Maire Mulllins, Christianity and Literature
1-2 William Baker, Year's Work in English Studies/Eliot-Lewes Review
2-3 Barbara Cantalupo, Edgar Allan Poe Review
3-4 Richard Kopley, Resources for American Literary Study
4-5 Catherine Tosenberger, Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures

Tuesday Dec 29

9-11 Michael Cornett, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
11-1 Thomas Wortham, Nineteenth Century Literature
1-3 John Bryant, Leviathan
3-4 Peter Rudnytsky, American Imago
4-5 Jana Argersinger, ESQ

To reserve a free 20-minute meeting time on Monday, December 28, or 
Tuesday, December 29, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., contact Professor Nicholas Birns of Eugene Lang College, The New School, at birnsn@newschool.edu. Supply your name, affiliation, and position 
(graduate student, assistant professor, independent scholar, etc.), and 
indicate three times in order of preference (1 = most preferred), or 
indicate that any time is okay.

The last day to make a reservation is Saturday, December 19. You will receive 
confirmation of your meeting time by December 20-22 at the latest, or 
somewhat earlier if the slots "sell out" and the schedule can be 
finalized. Once the schedule is full, a wait list will be made, and 
these advisees will be given meeting times as cancellations create new 

Because of the popularity of this program, it is advisable to make 
your reservation as soon as possible. Every effort will be made to 
accommodate necessary, last-minute changes and cancellations, but please 
only make a reservation if you are reasonably certain of keeping it.