English Journal is NCTE's award-winning journal of ideas for English language arts teachers in junior and senior high schools and middle schools.
Calls for Manuscripts
All manuscripts should be submitted via the Editorial Manager system.
General Interest Submissions
We publish articles of general interest as space is available. You may submit manuscripts on any topic that will appeal to EJ readers. Remember that EJ articles foreground classroom practice and contextualize it in sound research and theory. As you know, EJ readers appreciate articles that show real students and teachers in real classrooms engaged in authentic teaching and learning. Regular manuscript guidelines regarding length and style apply.
Submission Deadline: March 1, 2021
Publication Date: November 2021
Editor: Toby Emert
It is important to . . . have a story to tell, and to tell it as well as we can . . . keeping ourselves open to the evolving meanings of what we tell and write.
—Carolyn Ellis, Revision: Autoethnographic Reflections on Life and Work
When asked by an editor to “simply” collect her published essays and to write an introduction to them to create a book, ethnographer Carolyn Ellis found that as she revisited her writing, she developed a new relationship with the characters and stories. What she and her editor imagined as a six-month project took three years and resulted in a new form of research: meta-autoethnography. Ellis wrote contextualizing essays that reframed the original pieces, examining the ideas retrospectively with “an ethnographer’s eye, a social worker’s heart, and a novelist’s penchant for stirring up emotional response” (14). She was open to rethinking her research practices and to reconsidering what constitutes synthesis, and that led her to create a new mode of analysis. Envisioning inquiry as flexible expanded the possibilities of her research, which Ellis found exciting and motivating.
For this issue of the journal, we invite writers to share stories about the possibilities of teaching students to conduct research in the ELA classroom. We are especially interested in articles that describe experimental efforts and that highlight model units, lessons, and projects that develop investigative skills, as well as stories of how ideas about teaching students about research have evolved. Which models have you found most useful in helping students understand inquiry processes? What do your students’ research projects look like? How has technology affected your instruction about research in secondary ELA classrooms? When teaching literary analysis, which texts do you find engage students as scholars? What are the students in your classroom teaching you about the evolving parameters of research?
The Art of the Essay
Submission Deadline: May 1, 2021
Publication Date: January 2022
Editor: R. Joseph Rodríguez
Reading and writing, like any other crafts, come to the mind slowly, in pieces. But for me, as an E.S.L. student from a family of illiterate rice farmers, who saw reading as snobby, or worse, the experience of working through a book, even one as simple as “Where the Wild Things Are,” was akin to standing in quicksand, your loved ones corralled at its safe edges, their arms folded in suspicion and doubt as you sink.
—Ocean Vuong, from “Surrendering” (essay)
Essais means “attempts” or “tests” in French. The essay genre is credited to Montaigne, who wrote, published, and revised his book titled Essays from 1570 to 1592. The purpose of the book was to record “some traits of my character and of my humors.”
In the essay “Surrendering,” Vuong describes his literacy journey as interconnected to various moments and people in his life to become a writer. He adds, “I was a fraud in a field of language, which is to say, I was a writer. I have plagiarized my life to give you the best of me.”
For this issue of English Journal, teachers are invited to consider the essay as a genre in today’s classroom and to examine the “attempts” that students and teachers undertake as writers. How do you introduce and guide students to reading and writing essays—from creative and argumentative to expository and multimodal? Which essayists stand out and appeal to your students? How do your lessons and assignments engage students to analyze the writing moves of essayists, memoirists, and even poets when “suspicion and doubt” appear? Which assignments invite your students to rethink the essay as a genre that is neither fixed nor scripted into five paragraphs, but open for creative and critical thinking? How do students “work through” writing essays in their unique voices that can challenge traditional interpretations of the genre? How are students experiencing essay writing and communication in varied forms and media? For this issue, submissions written as essays between 1,500 and 3,000 words are welcome and strongly encouraged.
Submission Deadline: July 1, 2021
Publication Date: March 2022
Guest Editors: Sophia Tatiana Sarigianides and Amanda Haertling Thein
Consulting Editor: Toby Emert
We understand class as a problem of distribution of resources, but we experience it affectively as an emotional process.
—Julie Lindquist, “Class Affects, Classroom Affectations: Working through the Paradoxes of Strategic Empathy”
Although class differences exist because of larger economic structures, people experience class as emotion linked to their everyday lives. Class-based emotion can be positive—for instance, devotion to values and beliefs learned through family histories or care and commitment to neighborhoods and communities where we have meaningful experiences and deep investments. Experiences of class differences can also be difficult because encounters with inequality can generate anxiety, pain, and shame—class-based hurt—that we must work to address and heal. Students bring their experiences of class—often woven with experiences of race and gender—to ELA classrooms through their interpretations of literature, participation in discussions, and writing and language practices. But because class has rarely been understood as more than an economic concept, ELA teaching and learning often remains class-blind.
For this issue of the journal, the guest editors invite teachers to consider the value of making class more visible in the texts we teach and in the conversations we have with students. We are especially interested in articles that explore how units, lessons, and assignments have helped students investigate class not only as an economic concept, but also as lived experience. How have you taught about the intersectional aspects of class, specifically in relation to race, gender, and other social identities? When and how have you incorporated ideas from other disciplines, such as history and political science, to help students engage with the concept of class? How have you guided students to analyze class hierarchies in literature, popular culture, social media, and politics? In what ways have social class identities mattered for the students in your classes as they engaged with ELA content?
Multilingual Arts and Justice
Submission Deadline: September 1, 2021
Publication Date: May 2022
Editor: R. Joseph Rodríguez
[My parents] were sick and tired of the relentless shaming of Black people—the way we talk, the way we walk, the way we dress, the way we eat, and the way we live. I was personally unbothered by the debate and the demeaning messages about a language that my lived experiences had already validated. Black Language for me has always reflected Black people’s ways of knowing, interpreting, surviving, and being in the world.
—April Baker-Bell, from Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy
Language can be home, family, heritage, and bond. Our students speak world languages that include African American English, Arabic, Spanish, and Vietnamese, among many languages, in our language arts classrooms. Their schooling experiences can welcome, validate, and affirm their cultures and languages that possess intellect, creativity, and imagination—from orality and performance arts to literary works we study today with our students.
In the book Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, Baker-Bell challenges linguistic supremacy and dominance and guides us to affirm students’ ways of knowing and speaking that include African American English. For this issue of English Journal, teachers are invited to consider the languages their students speak and how they inform their teaching and learning lives beside their students. How do you introduce and guide students to linguistic imagination, innovation, and cultural knowledge about “being in the world”? Which forms of multilingualism unfold that merit more attention, expertise, and liberation in our English curricula? What does linguistic justice look like in your assignments and projects? How are students’ voices connected to their identities and literacies as they study literary works? Tell us about students’ quests to make meaning across their linguistic repertoires and through your teaching, learning, and support.
Speaking My Mind
We invite you to speak out on an issue that concerns you about English language arts teaching and learning. If your essay is published, it will appear with your photo in a future issue of EJ. We welcome essays of 1,000 to 1,500 words, as well as inquiries regarding possible subjects.
Editors: Peter Elliott, Lone Star College, University Park, Texas; and Alexa Garvoille, MFA Program, Creative Writing, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
“To live in this world / you must be able / to do three things: / to love what is mortal; / to hold it / against your bones knowing / your life depends on it; / and, when the time comes to let it go, / to let it go.” These words from Mary Oliver’s poem “In Blackwater Woods” speak not only to how to live in this world but also to how we learn and teach. As teachers, we hold against our bones so much that our lives depend on—helping a student, learning a difficult concept, speaking up for justice, or reading a favorite text—but then must learn to let go. In the pages of English Journal, we look to publish well-crafted poems that connect our readers to topics central to English education: the impact of reading and writing on young people, words and language, classroom stories, and reflections on teaching and learning. Poetry reminds us, as educators, how to live in this world.
Submit your work by emailing an attachment to email@example.com. Use the subject line “Poetry Submission for Review.” The first page of the attached document should be a cover sheet that includes your name, address, email, and a two-sentence biographical sketch. In your bio, include how long you have been a member of NCTE, if applicable, and a publishable contact email. Following the cover sheet, include from one to five original poems in the same document. Though we welcome work of any length, shorter pieces (thirty lines and under) often work best for the journal. Poems must be original and not previously published. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, though writers must immediately withdraw from consideration any poems that are to be published elsewhere by contacting the editors via email.
Poets whose work is published will receive two complimentary copies of the issue in which their work appears. Additional inquiries about poetry submissions may be directed to the coeditors at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to reading and celebrating your work.
Teacher photographs of classroom scenes and individual students are welcome. Photographs may be uploaded to Editorial Manager at the address above in any standard image format at 300 dpi. Photos should be accompanied by complete identification: teacher/photographer’s name, location of scene, and date photograph was taken. If faces are clearly visible, names of those photographed should be included, along with their statement of permission for the photograph to be reproduced in EJ.
Cartoons should depict scenes or ideas potentially amusing to English language arts teachers. They can be submitted to Editorial Manager at the address above; we can accept any standard graphics format at 300 dpi.
For information on writing for the EJ columns, see the Columns and Column Editors page.
For EJ Submission Guidelines, see Write for Us.
For more information, contact email@example.com.