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Tips and FAQ for Successful Submissions

Some General Tips:

  • Read previous publications so you know the caliber and kind of work that is accepted. Ask your Chapter Advisor for a copy of the Sigma Tau Delta Review or the Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle and/or find a few samples online.
  • Ask your professors, advisors, and mentors for their opinion on what pieces would be best for you to submit.
  • Have multiple people edit your work for both form and content; be sure to do careful, final copyediting.
  • Follow the instructions carefully when submitting your work online so that you are not eliminated for an incomplete or faulty submission. Remember, only currently-enrolled undergraduate and graduate members of active Sigma Tau Delta chapters may submit their work. Chapter Advisors, faculty members, alumni, and honorary members are not eligible to submit.

For the Sigma Tau Delta Review, essays less likely to be published have some of the following issues:

  • The title does not indicate the seriousness of the piece. Have you included: 1) author's name; 2) work; 3) key terms that gesture toward the core argument and do so in a compelling, catchy fashion?
  • The opening paragraphs do not set up the argument. Are you forcing your reader to hunt in "Where's Waldo" fashion through several pages for your main claim?
  • The submission is a five-page close reading with no external sources or argumentative analysis. Just as bad are essays that make general claims about major themes rather than advancing a specific, concrete argument. Neither kind of paper is likely to be published.
  • The submission pairs authors with no clear connection between them; this includes compare and contrast essays, a kind of essay rarely written in the field at large except as a longer study.
  • The submission forces an external theory wholesale onto a text without qualifying or nuancing the theory.
  • The submission uses theoretical terms and movements with little understanding of them.
  • The submission addresses canonical texts, but makes an argument that does not help us see that text (about which much has been written) in a new way.
  • The submission has no works cited.

For the Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, creative work less likely to be published has some of the following issues:

  • The submission was written for a private audience without benefit of feedback, peer review, or workshopping. Seek out feedback from several reliable sources for submissions that have not otherwise been thoroughly reviewed in classes or workshops.
  • The submission has inconsistencies, both large and small, in story elements (character, setting, plot, point of view), tense structure, and/or mechanics that clearly work against it.
  • The submission is a single poem; if you are submitting poetry, submit several poems rather than just one to allow readers to get a better sense of your work.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When will I be notified about my submission?
The publication review cycle runs from May-August. We typically notify authors in August about acceptance or rejection.

When do the journals get published?
The journals typically are published in January of the following year.

If accepted, is my piece copyrighted by Sigma Tau Delta?
As with other professional journals, the Sigma Tau Delta publications copyright your piece so that if you publish it elsewhere it must be acknowledged as appearing in these publications first. We accept only original material.

Will I be able to read my piece at the Sigma Tau Delta annual convention?
Yes, if your work is accepted in the Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, you will be invited to read at the convention. Otherwise, you will need to apply to present at the convention.

Is there a relationship between the publications and the convention?
In terms of judging, no. Hypothetically, a piece accepted for the convention might be rejected by the journals or vice versa. There are different sets of judges and different criteria for acceptance for the two entities.