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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point Times New Roman font; employs italics, rather than underlining; and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • The text adheres to the MLA citation and style requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.

Author Guidelines

Submissions are now open for the 2022-2023 issue of the Digital Literature Review, “Smooth Criminals.” This year, we are looking for thought-provoking, well-researched submissions that explore the complexities of the crime fiction and true crime genres from a wide range of academic disciplines, including literary, historical, gender, and race studies as well as criminal justice, anthropology, psychology, and philosophy. Crime fiction refers to the genre of fiction in which the plot centers around some aspect of criminal activity, which includes numerous subgenres such as detective fiction and murder mysteries. True crime is a genre of nonfiction that takes real crimes and details of investigations and uses literary techniques to report the information. These genres can extend past literary forms and include media such as television and podcasts. We welcome scholarly works of literary criticism that explore the different aspects of these genres and what they reveal about their historical and contemporary contexts. We are also interested in papers that explore the impact the content of these genres have had on specific audiences. For example,what are the techniques, hallmarks, and themes of crime writing, and in what ways have they been challenged or diversified across different cultures? Or, in what ways does a particular crime and its portrayal reveal underlying societal tensions, particularly in regard to race, class, gender, and sexuality? We encourage submitters to investigate the many facets of these genres and their prominence in text, in culture, and in personal experiences. 

We expect essay submissions to be well-researched and to contribute to an ongoing scholarly conversation. Submissions should be between 2,500 and 5,000 words and adhere to MLA citation and formatting guidelines, including using double spacing and 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Essays should be submitted as a Word document. We are also considering creative writing and visual pieces including photography and artwork that explore these same themes; please be sure to indicate the “type” of your work (article, visual art, or creative work) in our submissions portal. For formatting examples, see this past issue of the Digital Literature Review. Please direct any questions to All submissions are due by 11:59 pm EST on Saturday, January 28th, 2022.

Essay Submission Guidelines

  • Paper submissions should be saved as a Microsoft Word document.
  • Papers should be in MLA style format.
  • Papers should be between 2,500 and 5,000 words (or 10-20 double-spaced pages).
  • Submissions are to be well researched and must contribute to ongoing scholarly conversations.
  • All submissions will be blindly reviewed, so please do not put your name on your essay.
  • Submissions will close on January 28th, 2022.

Blog Submission Guidelines

  • Posts should address the theme of “Smooth Criminals."
  • Possible blog submissions may include high-resolution JPEG original photography (digital original prints), drawings, paintings, and digital art. We are also seeking poems or other short creative works, personal stories and testimonies, and TV, film, or music reviews (up to 5 separate pieces). Written pieces should be under 1500 words and submitted as a Word document. 
  • Please include a biographical statement (3-5 sentences) and a rationale (4-5 sentences) with your submission.
  • Please send all blog submissions via email to with “Blog Submission” as the subject.
  • Submissions will be accepted and posted here on a rolling basis.

What happens next?

  • The editing team will review your work.
  • If accepted, you will have a chance to revise your piece and return it to the Digital Literature Review at Along with this, you will need to include an abstract and a short bio about yourself.

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