Skip to content


Composition Forum welcomes four kinds of submissions: articles, interviews, program profiles, book reviews, and news. We welcome proposals for special issues as well, featuring essays thematically organized around a central and relevant issue or topic. Send proposals for special issues to our editors.


We welcome articles of interest to scholars and teachers of college composition, specifically articles that explore the intersections of composition theory and pedagogy, and that theorize practice in sophisticated and provocative ways.

The average length of articles published in Composition Forum is between 6,000 and 8,000 words, although longer articles may be considered if they are clearly of superior quality. Manuscripts judged by the editor to be appropriate for the journal are submitted to blind review by at least two external readers. Ordinarily, decisions will be made within twelve weeks of submission. The editors maintain responsibility for the selection.

If your research is based on the work of human subjects, please submit, along with your essay, the appropriate approvals from your Institutional Review Board. Composition Forum advocates the CCCC Position Statement on the Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Research in Composition Studies.

Submissions which include multimedia are welcome. After peer review, our web editor will work directly with you to prepare multimedia for web presentation.

Please review our manuscript preparation guidelines, below, and send letters of inquiry to our editors. Send manuscripts, as well, to our editors. Contact our web editor if you need assistance.


Composition Forum invites queries regarding or nominations for the Retrospectives section of the journal.

The goal of the Retrospectives section is to provide a space for authors of seminal articles or books to revisit and reflect on their earlier ideas, and dialogue with others in the field about how their ideas have changed since publication.

Queries should state which seminal and influential work (article or book) the author would like to revisit, and why. The original piece should have been published at least five years prior.

Readers who nominate another scholar for Retrospectives should explain which piece he or she would like that author to revisit and why. The Retrospectives editor will consider the nomination and, if appropriate, invite the scholar to submit.

Retrospective accounts should briefly outline one or more of the primary arguments made in the author’s original piece, and then discuss how (and why) the author’s view or understanding of this issue has changed in the subsequent years. When drafting, the author might consider what colleagues, readers, and graduate students have written and asked about related to the original piece. The author might also consider commenting on the circumstances of the original text, and how those circumstances influenced the arguments, evidence, tone, etc.

Retrospectives authors are encouraged to take an informal and first person tone, discussing their views and development as writers, teachers, and scholars since the original piece.

Generally Retrospective accounts should be 3,000 to 5,000 words, although longer or shorter pieces will be considered. If the author would like to include long segments from the original piece (for example, appendices, tables, charts, transcripts, etc), he or she should seek reprint permission from the copyright holder.

Please send Retrospective queries or nominations to the Retrospectives editor.


We welcome substantial and relevant interviews with key figures in the world of writing studies. The average length of interviews is 6,000 to 8,000 words, and interviews that include multimedia are welcome. While interviews are commissioned by the journal, we invite suggestions for future interviewees/interviewers.

Please send interview queries—not unsolicited manuscripts—to our interview editor.

Program profiles

Composition Forum invites submissions to the Program Profiles section of the journal. These profiles should describe the ways in which theories, research, and pedagogies shape individual college writing programs. Profiles can also describe program-based research studies. Composition Forum considers writing programs in its most inclusive definition, including first-year composition programs, professional writing programs, writing-across-the-discipline and/or writing-in-the discipline programs, writing centers, graduate programs in rhetoric and composition, and undergraduate major or certificate programs in writing.

Program Profiles are generally 5,000 to 7,500 words, although longer or shorter profiles may be considered. Program Profiles are to include a general description of the program (its history, context, goals), the theory informing the program (as well as why and how the profiled program contributes to our field’s understanding of writing program development and administration), a description of the program’s structure (how the program is organized and/or how it functions), and a description of the constraints (institutional, budgetary, etc.) guiding or controlling the program’s growth and development. (Profiles describing program-based research may include a presentation of research methods and findings.) Finally, all Profiles should include a section that addresses the question: “If I knew then what I know now, I would have done X differently.” Or, “if I could reinvent this program from scratch, I would do X.” Or, “what I’ve learned from my directorship of or participation in this program is X.” Such exploratory comments will serve to inspire, to warn, and to educate present and future program administrators.

Please review our manuscript preparation guidelines, below, and send queries to our program profile editors.


Composition Forum publishes reviews of books, websites, and other texts that may be of interest to teachers and scholars of writing. Single reviews are generally 1500 words, and review essays are approximately 2500 words. While reviews are solicited by the journal, we welcome suggestions for texts to be reviewed, as well as requests to be placed on our list of reviewers.

Please send review queries—not unsolicited manuscripts—to our review editor.

Special issues

Composition Forum welcomes proposals for special, guest-edited issues thematically organized around a central issue or topic. Special issues which include multimedia are welcome.

We invite proposals that discuss the importance, relevance and timeliness of the topic of the proposed special issue and provide an overview of the kind of questions, issues and concerns the special issue will address. Proposals should provide a list of potential contributors or, if you plan to put out a call for submission, a draft of the CFP. We encourage proposals that consider the relevance of the topic to other sections of the journal, identifying, for instance, a potential interview, retrospective, related book(s) for review, or possibilities for program profiles. Please include a brief bio and CV with your proposal.

Contact the special topics editor if you’d like to propose or guest-edit a special issue.

News, calls for papers, and other announcements

We encourage submission of news, calls for papers, and other announcements of interest to the writing studies community for inclusion on our weblog. Send any items you wish to be considered to our editors. Please include the following: a proposed title; a very short summary (less than 40 words); tags (keywords) to be included with the post.

Manuscript preparation

All manuscripts should be submitted electronically to the relevant editor(s) noted above. Please include a prominently displayed word count. Double space all paragraphs, including quotations, endnotes, and the Works Cited list. Please use MLA style, following the MLA Handbook, 8th edition, or the MLA Style Manual, 3rd edition.

For articles only: please ensure your manuscript contains no identifying information—neither on the title page, nor in running headers or footers. Because all articles are blind reviewed, we ask that you substitute institutional names with generic equivalents: for example, “State University” or “Private Liberal Arts College.” This will help our editors send your work out for review as quickly as possible.

Please attend closely to style as you prepare your initial submission and, if your submission is accepted, as you work with our editors to make revisions suggested by reviewers. Once your submission has been copyedited by our editorial staff, it is prepared for web presentation by our web editor. At that point, you will be invited to review it online and point out any problems introduced by the conversion to Web format. You may also correct typos, errors of fact, or address other serious mistakes not addressed by our editorial process. However, stylistic changes or other revisions can not be made at this time.


Please include the following descriptive metadata with your submission of interviews, articles, or program profiles. We will use these metadata to make your article more visible to search engines and other scholarly indexes.

Write a short summary of your article, between 100 and 150 words (less than 1,000 characters). Abstracts will precede your article and be provided to search engines as well. Reviews need not include abstracts.
Provide a set of tags (keywords) we can use for indexing your article in our Delicious index and online databases such as Google Scholar.

Copyrights and licensing

As an open access journal, Composition Forum allows free distribution and use of articles we publish, ensuring the widest possible audience for your work. We use the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license for our journal. You retain the copyright, and grant Composition Forum and our readers rights to use, quote from, print, and redistribute your work, providing you are credited. Furthermore, this license allows the production of derivative works, as long as you are credited, and as long as producers similarly allow their derivative works to be shared. We welcome your questions about our use of Creative Commons licensing.

Composition Forum ISSN: 1522-7502.