Author Guidelines

Submission Guidelines

All manuscripts should be submitted using our online submission process: Before you submit your manuscript, please carefully review our essay submission and vetting guidelines and policies below. Book Reviews, Event Reviews, Special Issues and additional forms of writing have specific submission instructions.

Please attach an abstract of 150 words maximum on the first page of your essay, and start the main text at the top of the second page. Do not include any information that will reveal the author's identity in the abstract, the main text, or the endnotes. Manuscripts should be in the range of 5,000 - 10,000 words with a maximum of 10,000 words total, including endnotes, and conform to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. All manuscripts should be submitted as a word document. 

Images should be dis-embedded from the manuscript and submitted individually. Please indicate where in the essay images should be placed and attach images in separate emails. See details about submitting images below in "How to Submit Images."

We do not accept submission of works that are being reviewed by another journal. 

If you have questions after reviewing the below manuscript submission and vetting process, please email us at Please do not send your submission to this email address.

Editorial Policies

Review Process

1. Editor and Associate Editor Review

Every submission is concurrently reviewed blind by the Editor and one Associate Editor. At this stage, the manuscript is evaluated primarily in terms of (1) its fit with the journal, (2) how it addresses existing scholarship and the field at large, and (3) the overall rigor and quality of research and writing. Based on the reviews, the Editor decides whether to reject the manuscript or send it to external review.

2. External Review

The manuscript that has passed the review by the Editor and Associate Editor is sent to two external readers for a blind review. When appropriate, one of the two external readers will be a member of the Board of Managing Editors. The readers are given four weeks to submit a report in which they evaluate the manuscript and provide recommendations to accept, reject, or ask for revise and resubmit. The readers are asked to provide constructive feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript and suggestions for further improvement.

Once the two external reviews are submitted, the Editor weighs the readers' reports and decides whether to accept, reject, or ask for revise and resubmit. Acceptance at this stage will occur very rarely. For authors asked to revise and resubmit, the Editor provides comments on how to strengthen the manuscript based on the two readers' reports as well as the Editor's and Associate Editor's review.

3. Board Review

The manuscript that has been revised and resubmitted by the author will be sent to review by the Board of Managing Editors. The Board will review the revised manuscript and the two readers' reports and will also have access to the manuscript originally submitted. The Board will assess the overall quality of the revised manuscript and how well the author has addressed the issues raised by the external reviewers. The Board will discuss the manuscript at one of the Board meetings and collectively decide to approve, reject, or ask for further revision.

The accepted manuscript will move to the production stage. The Managing Editor will communicate with the author and assist in preparation for publication.

How to Format Your Essay for American Quarterly

Get a PDF of the AQ Style Sheet

Your manuscript should be submitted in 12-point Times New Roman font. Everything, including endnotes and block quotes, should be double-spaced. Please format your manuscript in Chicago Manual of Style’s 16th edition. What follows is a short guide to citing in Chicago Style.

Citing References: Chicago Style

Citations within the Text: Please use only endnotes, not footnotes or parenthetical notation. Reference numbers for notes should generally go at the end of a sentence, after punctuation marks, including parentheses. The only punctuation that can follow a reference number is a dash. Reference numbers should be superscripted. Microsoft Word will automatically superscript reference numbers if you use the “Insert” menu on your toolbar.

Notes Page

The Notes page should be located at the end of the article.

Note Content

    • A book by one author

Author, Book Title (Place: Publisher, date), page number. * note: do not put “p.”

Regina Bendix, In Search Of Authenticity: The Formation of Folklore Studies (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997), 55.

  • Editor or translator

    Editor, ed., Book Title (Place: Publisher, date), page number.

    Translator, trans., Book Title (Place: Publisher, date), page number.

    Ori Z. Soltes, ed., Georgia: Art and Civilization Through the Ages (London: Philip Wilson, 1999), 280.

    Theodore Silverstein, trans., Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974), 34. 

  • A work in a collection

Author (s), “Title of Work,” in Title of Book, ed. Editor(s) (Place: Publisher, date), page number.

Quinsong Zhang, “The Origins of the Chinese Americanization Movement: Wong Chin Foo and the Chinese Equal Rights League,” in Claiming America: Constructing Chinese American Identities during the Exclusion Era, ed. K. Scott Wong and Sucheng Chan (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998), 41-63.

  • A scholarly article

    Author, “Article Title,” Journal Title Volume. Number (date): pages.

    Jay Mechling, “Folklore and the Civil Sphere,” Western Folklore 56.2 (spring 1997): 113.

  • A newspaper article

    Author, “Article Title,” Newspaper Title, date.

    Mike Royko, “Next Time, Dan, Take Aim at Arnold,” Chicago Tribune, September 23, 1992.

  • A magazine article

Author, “Article Title,” Magazine Title, date, page.

Stephen Lacey, “The New German Style,” Horticulture, March 2000, 44.

  • A film on DVD or VHS

Film Title, DVD/VHS, directed by Director (release date; production location: Production Company, date of DVD/VHS printing).

North by Northwest, DVD, directed by Alfred Hitchcock (1959; Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video, 2000).

  • Online sources

    Standard citation , URL, (accessed date).

    Alison Mitchell and Frank Bruni, “Scars Still Raw, Bush Clashes with McCain,” New York Times, March 25, 2001, (accessed January 2, 2002).

    Jessica Reaves, “A Weighty Issue: Ever-Fatter Kids,” interview with Hames Rosen, Time, March 14, 2001,,8599,102443,00.html (accessed July 10, 2001).

  • Interviews and other personal communications

    Source, type of communication, date.

    Jerry Rothman, interview with author, October 14, 2003.

    Jerry Rothman, letter to author, October 14, 2003.

  • Dissertation or thesis

    Author, “Title” (Ph.D. diss./master’s thesis, university, date).

    MaryJo Marks, “Ordinary Pictures and Everyday Language: Photography and Text in 1960s American Art” (Ph.D. diss., CUNY Graduate Center, New York, 2003).

  • Paper read at a meeting

    Author, “Title” (presented at the [description of meeting], location, date).

    Dwain Mefford and Brian Ripley, “The Cognitive Foundation of Regime Theory” (paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, March 1987).

How to Submit Images

We can accept images either as black and white photographs or as electronic scans (this is preferred).

Do not submit images embedded in Word or PDF files. Using our online submission process, please submit your images individually, labeled as such: Author Last Name figure number. file extension. For example: SmithFig1.jpg


5 x 7 is the average size submitted; however, please scan images at 100% if possible.


TIFF format is preferred for photographs. The resolution must be at least 300 dpi at a size of no less than 4 inches x 6 inches. JPEG format is acceptable IF the dpi (resolution) is at least 300 for grayscale images (photos) and 1200 for black-and-white line art (charts, diagrams, drawings at a size of at least 4 inches x 6 inches). EPS format is fine for line art.


Please submit captions in a separate file clearly noted by figure number.


The placement of images should be noted in the text, such as: [Insert figure 1 here]


You are responsible for getting proper permission for your illustrations and should submit the permissions along with your final essay before your essay is copyedited. Images are in the public domain if they were published in the U.S. prior to 1923 or if they are the work of the U.S. government. A good source for public domain images is the Library of Congress website.

An argument for fair use is occasionally possible for images that are discussed in your essay; however, you must consult with us well in advance if you want to claim fair use for an image. Otherwise, you must contact the owners of the images you would like to use and obtain both print and electronic world rights for the use of the images. Please use the template that follows. It is important to explain to the copyright holder that we need world rights chiefly because we have print and electronic subscribers outside the U.S. We need electronic rights, in addition to print rights, because the on-line issue appears in Project MUSE at the same time as the print issue is mailed. The copyright holder may also want to know the circulation of the print journal; it is approximately 6,000 copies per issue.

Please use this template when corresponding with image copyright owners:

I am writing to request permission to reproduce the following material:

This material is to appear in a scholarly article entitled “XXXX” in the < date > issue of American Quarterly, to be published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.

JHUP requests nonexclusive world rights to the material as part of the article only in all languages, for print and electronic editions of the issue; and the nonexclusive world right to grant permission to reprint the material as part of the article only in all languages and print or electronic editions. The electronic edition of the journal is subscribed to by academic libraries with paid subscriptions and retransmitting from site is restricted; online art is not reproducible at original quality if downloaded.

May I have your permission to republish the above material in my essay in American Quarterly? If you are not the copyright holder, or if additional permission is needed for world rights from another source, please so indicate.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please return this form to me at the address above. A duplicate copy is enclosed for your records.

Sincerely yours,



Permission granted:________________________________________(name)


Date: ___________________ Title:___________________________________________

Caption acknowledgment should read: