Call for Papers

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 11:59pm EST on Saturday, January 28th, 2022.