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Guidelines for Articles

The Journal of West Indian Literature invites authors to submit manuscripts that fall within the focus and scope of the journal, as set out in “About the Journal.” It is important that you check your article against all of the following items; submissions that do not adhere to these guidelines may be returned to authors.

Our ideal content

We aim to publish articles that work on many levels: those that provide close readings of a text or set of texts but also articles that relate close readings to broader discussion of a scholarly issue. Perhaps you might consider how the text has been interpreted, categorized or link the specific subject to a larger body of Caribbean critical scholarship. Or you might be more interested in a methodological question or a theoretical claim. These are, of course, not mutually exclusive as we think that understanding the context and value of particular texts also feed into methodological or theoretical debates about the region.

We ask our JWIL readers to tell us what the submission contributes to the field, and hope authors will be explicit about the scholarly conversations with which they are engaging, and the form their intervention takes. In other words, how does the article add to/ challenge existing interpretation?


  • Submissions should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words, not including works cited and endnotes. We also ask you to include an abstract and keywords and a short biographical sketch (50 words) with your name, institutional affiliation and research area. The abstract (100-150 words) and bio should not precede your essay, but be entered in the relevant form fields below.
  • The editors reserve the right to amend phrasing and punctuation in articles and reviews accepted for publication. If more extensive editing is required, we will ask the author for approval.


Please submit attachments only as Microsoft Word Files or RTF (rich text format) to avoid delays. No PDF files can be accepted. Scholarly articles, book reviews, and interviews should conform to the MLA Handbook, 9th Ed. Please also see the Journal’s “House Style” guidelines for additional instructions.


  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or, if so, an explanation has been provided to the Editors).
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word or RTF document file format.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses Baskerville 12-point font; uses italics, rather than underlining; and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end. Please ensure endnotes (Notes) precede Works Cited.
  • For images, which you are encouraged to include in your article, please use the best resolution you can but at minimum 150 DPI JPEG or TIFF files.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined above.
  • A reminder: we use endnotes rather than footnotes. All citation details should be incorporated in the body of the text, where possible, in parenthetical citations. In your notes, avoid lengthy discussions that divert the reader’s attention from the primary text. In general, “comments that you cannot fit into the text should be omitted unless they provide essential justification or clarification of what you have written” (MLA Style Manual 7.5).
  • Ensure your name and all identifying features are deleted from the submission, but make sure the title of your article is at the head of the document.

Thank you for your interest in contributing to the Journal of West Indian Literature. Queries may be directed to the Editors at

Website Submissions

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