Submission Guidelines

Mormon Studies Review

Most contributions to the Mormon Studies Review are solicited by its editors. The guidelines and timetables for each type of contribution (Forum Essays, Review Essays, and Book Reviews) are listed below. The editors are open, on a limited basis, to considering unsolicited submissions that match the Review’s intended quality and scope. Interested authors should send an email query to MormonStudiesReview@gmail.com.

 

TIMETABLE FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS
First drafts due: April 15
Manuscripts back to author: June 1
Final pre-copyediting drafts due: July 1
Issue Printed: January 1


GUIDELINES FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS

Manuscripts should be written in Microsoft Word–compatible formats (doc, docx, rtf) and follow The Chicago Manual of Style on capitalization, punctuation, hyphenation, numbers, quotations, and citations. For a detailed style guide, see MSR Style Guide July 2020.pdf
At the end of the essay, include a two- or three-sentence biographical blurb with your name, affiliation, and latest publication or work in progress.
Submit an electronic copy of the manuscript via email to MormonStudiesReview@gmail.com. It will then be reviewed by the Review editorial staff, and any substantive revisions will be negotiated with you at that time. Thereafter, your submission will be copyedited and sent back for your final approval.
The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not conform to the critical standards of the journal.


GUIDELINES FOR SPECIFIC TYPES OF SUBMISSIONS

FORUM ESSAYS:
Forum essays typically appear at the beginning of the Mormon Studies Review. They are designed to offer different, and at times competing, perspectives on a broader scholarly question. Contributions should offer sophisticated, nuanced, and provocative analysis that is drawn from the author’s background, outlook, and expertise. Authors are encouraged to be brief in their assessment of past work and particular examples so that most space can be dedicated to the field’s future and possibilities. Because each volume’s Forum aims to cover a single theme and there is bound to be overlap, we request that each contributor remain fairly close to the subtopic agreed upon with the Review staff. Contributions should include a brief title.
Forum essays should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words; ideal contributions come to the point quickly and develop their discussion efficiently. While critical thinking is expected, original research for Forum Essays is not mandatory.

REVIEW ESSAYS:
Review essays are often, though not always, based on one or several related books that merit an in-depth discussion or that might serve as an entry point for broader analysis. Our criteria for choosing review essay topics—content, method, perspective, originality, and significance—are evolving and flexible. Most essays are solicited, though we are open, on a limited basis, to considering unsolicited submissions that match our intended quality and scope. Interested authors should contact the Mormon Studies Review editors to explore possible review topics.
Essays should offer both a thorough summary of the book or books in question, and a critical evaluation of them in the context of existing literature. Each essay should have a title that differs from the book(s) under review and that reflects the essay’s theme and approach. Because readers of the Review come from many disciplines and backgrounds, reviewers should make it a priority to clearly explain the book’s or books’ broader significance both inside and outside its/their subfield. In most cases, the book(s) under review should be used as a touchstone from which to engage broader issues or developments within the relevant discipline(s).
Review essays should be between 3,000 and 4,000 words; reviews of a single monograph should tend toward the former limitation, and reviews of edited collections or multiple books should tend toward the latter. Because of space limitations, we expect authors to stay within their word allotment. Deviations from the suggested word count should be preauthorized by the Review editorial staff.
At the top of the manuscript, include the essay’s title, your name, and information for the book(s) under review, as in this example:
Your Name, Title of Essay; reviewing: (1) Richard Lyman Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. 740 pp., with index. $35.00 hardcover, $18.95 paperback. (2) Reid L. Neilson and Terryl L. Givens, eds., Joseph Smith Jr.: Reappraisals after Two Centuries. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 284 pp., with index. $99.95 hardcover, $24.95 paperback.
When quoting directly from the book(s) under review, cite the page numbers in parentheses following the quotation or at the end of the sentence and before the period. When citing other works, include reference information in footnotes formatted according to The Chicago Manual of Style. Please keep footnotes to a minimum. Use italics rather than underlining for emphasis and for titles of works to be set in italic type.


DISCIPLINARY ESSAYS:
Disciplinary essays aim to accomplish one of two things: first, to assess the development of a disciplinary field, as viewed through the lens of how it treats Mormonism. This approach typically works when a field has frequently, if not always consistently, utilized themes or characters from Mormonism, which allows the scholar to trace the broader contours of the field’s development. Second, the disciplinary essay may posit how a disciplinary field could integrate Mormonism, or Mormon themes, stories, or figures, into its studies in order to explore new ideas. This particular approach may be useful when a field has either ignored Mormonism in the past, or underutilized elements of the Mormon tradition.
These essays work best when they approach the topic from a broad angle, often raising more questions than they provide answers. They do not need to be grounded in primary research, but they should be conversant with relevant scholarly literature. They may use particular books, articles, or Mormon material as case studies, but should not be narrow enough to be confused with a book review, or even a review essay. 
The two primary audiences for the disciplinary essays are, first, scholars within the field under examination, and second, scholars who are involved in adjacent fields. Reaching the latter audience will require the author to briefly explain the traditional parameters and methods of the field in question.
Disciplinary essays should be between 3,000 and 4,000 words. Because of space limitations, we expect authors to stay within their word allotment. Deviations from the suggested word count should be preauthorized by the Review editorial staff.

BOOK REVIEWS:
Book reviews are typically focused on a single work, though at times it may be appropriate to include several books in a joint review. Our criteria for choosing books for review—content, method, perspective, originality, and significance—are evolving and flexible. Most reviews are solicited, though we are open, on a limited basis, to considering unsolicited submissions. Interested authors should contact the Mormon Studies Review staff to explore possible book reviews.
A book review should attempt a comprehensive analysis of the work (or works) in question. It should examine the strength of the work’s arguments, originality, and place within broader literature. Because Review readers come from many backgrounds and disciplines, authors should prioritize clear explanation of the strengths and significance of the books they review.

Book reviews should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words; reviews of a single monograph should tend toward the former limitation, and reviews of edited collections or multiple books should tend toward the latter. Because of space limitations, we expect authors to stay within their word allotment. Deviations from the suggested word count should be preauthorized by the Review editorial staff.
At the top of the manuscript include information for the book(s) under review, as in this example:
Richard Lyman Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. 740 pp., with sources cited and index. $35.00 hardcover, $18.95 paperback.
When quoting directly from the book(s) under review, cite the page numbers in parentheses following the quotation or at the end of the sentence and before the period. When citing other works, include reference information in footnotes formatted according to The Chicago Manual of Style. Please keep footnotes to a minimum. Use italics rather than underlining for emphasis and for titles of works to be set in italic type.

 

 

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