Submissions

Small Axe Submissions Guidelines

All manuscripts should be submitted using our online submissions portal. Before you submit your manuscript, please carefully review our essay submissions guidelines and policies below.

In a separate document please submit an abstract, author bio, contact information, keywords, and essay word count (including footnotes). Do not include any information that will reveal the author's identity in the main text, the footnotes, or file name. Manuscripts should be no more than 7,500 words including footnotes, and conform to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.

Do not submit images embedded in Word or PDF files. Please indicate where in the essay images should be placed. Please submit your images as individual attachments and labeled as such: Author Last Name figure number. file extension. For example: SmithFig1.jpg. Please send a separate list of captions and credit lines that correspond to each image. See details about submitting images below in "How to Submit Images." 

We do not accept submission of works that have been previously published or are under review by another journal. 

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

 

Editorial Policies

Review Process

1. Editor Review
The first stage in our process is an internal review of an abstract to determine whether we wish to send the manuscript out for peer-review. For this reason, your abstract of no more than 500 words should be both cogent and succinct. At this stage the abstract is evaluated primarily in terms of its fit with the journal, and the overall quality and critical practice suggested therein. Authors should familiarize themselves with the Small Axe journal statement available on our website landing page and in the front matter of the journal. Based on this internal review, the Editor decides whether to reject the manuscript or send it on for external review. This stage takes approximately one month.

2. Peer-Review Process
A manuscript that has passed the review by the Editor is sent to two external readers for a double-blind review. The readers are given four weeks to submit a report in which they evaluate the manuscript and provide recommendations to “accept,” “reject,” or “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 the author to “revise and resubmit” the manuscript. Note that it will be unusual for an essay to be accepted at this stage without requiring additional revisions. This stage of the review process takes approximately 4-6 months. For authors asked to “revise and resubmit,” the Editor provides comments on how to strengthen the manuscript taking into account the two readers' reports. Once the essay has been revised and resubmitted, it will be sent out to one external reader for a final review.

 

Format Your Essay for Small Axe

Get a PDF of the SX Style Sheet

Your careful attention to content preparation in accordance with the Small Axe standards described here will significantly enhance the quality of the final product, your reputation, and the impact of Small Axe. Please submit your essay in MS Word, 12 pt. double-spaced, Times New Roman, with 1” margins. Pages should be numbered but without any other text in the header or footer. Please format your manuscript as close as possible to the Chicago Manual of Style’s 16th edition. All spelling and grammar should follow American English. Exceptions are quoted text, vernacular usage, and dates (we follow the European style, e.g., 3 May 1987).

Title
The title of your essay should not exceed 100 characters (including spaces).
If the title includes a subtitle, note that in some situations, such as for the running head at the top of the page, the title may be shortened by dropping the subtitle or the main title. Please make sure any names and terms critical to identifying your essay are in the main title before the colon. Also, consider that your title becomes an online search tool for finding your essay; it should be clear to readers by the title alone what your essay is about.

Author
Your name should be presented exactly how you want it to appear in print.

Epigraph
A maximum of 2 epigraphs are allowed, and they should appear at the start of the essay only. No epigraphs are allowed after subheads. 

Prose epigraphs should be no longer than 75 words total; if poetry, no more than 4 lines. Keep in mind that the combined word count or number of poetry lines still need to meet the 75 words/4 lines limit. Attribution should be author’s name and title of source. Include the date, if that is relevant to the essay content. 

Epigraphs are not footnoted. Citation for the quote should appear elsewhere in the essay where either the quote itself is referenced and footnoted or the author and/or source is referenced and the citation for the epigraph can be added to the footnote.

NOTE: If you want to use a quote from a person or source not referenced in the text of your essay as an epigraph, you must acquire permission to use the material and submit the appropriate permissions forms.

Subheads / Section Breaks
If using subheads: do not begin the essay with a subhead, use at least two or more throughout, and avoid using simply “Conclusion” at the end.

To indicate a section break without using a subhead, add an extra line space.

Acknowledgments
Any acknowledgments should appear at the end of the essay.

Notes
Small Axe uses footnotes. The note call-out number should be placed at the end of the sentence whenever possible, or, if it needs to appear within the sentence, should be placed after the nearest punctuation.

When your essay is copyedited, notes may be combined or page citations placed in the text, as the copyeditor deems necessary.

Citations to sources should follow the samples in the style guide. Please reference the style guide when formatting your notes.

Once a source has been cited in full, any subsequent reference(s) may be shortened to author’s last name, title of source (which also may be shortened), and page number.

Please cite print sources whenever possible. If an online source must be cited, follow the style guide for citation format. An access date is needed only if content being cited is not a dated article or entry.

Please keep note text as brief as possible. Excessive citations and lengthy discussions do not work well in footnote format. No paragraph breaks are allowed in footnotes. 

Block Quotes
Quotes of more than 80 words are set off as block quotes.

Paragraph breaks in the original must be indicated and any deleted text must be indicated with ellipses. 

Run-In Quotes
When quote fragments are run in, they must be used in a way that creates a grammatically correct sentence; if the quotation marks were removed, the voice and verb tense would match the surrounding text. Indicate any alterations or clarifications within the quotes with square brackets.

Emphasis
When a term or passage in a quote is italicized for emphasis, indicate in the note either “italics in original” or “emphasis mine.”

Quotes in a Language Other Than English
If quoting from a text in a language other than English, both the original and an English translation must be provided and can be handled one of two ways: (1) quote the original language in the essay text and providing in the footnote either your own English translation or translation from a published source, properly cited; or (2) quote your own English translation in the essay and provide the original language in the footnote. (Quoting from a published English translation within your essay text does not require the original language in the notes.)

Please be consistent. Do not move back and forth between quoting the original language and English translation.

Captions for Art

If your essay contains images, please indicate in the text of the essay, image placement with “ <figure 1 approx. here> .“  Captions and credit information must be provided for all images.

Captions must include: the artist’s or photographer’s name, the name of the piece, the year, the medium/media, and the size. For photographs please include identity of subjects (if any), location and date.  

Credits must include: any courtesy of or copyright information. If applicable, include the name of the museum or gallery or stock photo agency. 

Miscellaneous
Any persons appearing in your essay should be referred to with full name at first mention.

Foreign terms should be italicized at first mention. If meaning cannot be easily deduced from context, provide an English translation in parenthesis.

For spelling, capitalization, and hyphenation, consult Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the lexicon at the end of the style guide.

 

Abstract and Keywords

Get PDF of Guidelines for Keywords 

Provide an abstract of no more than 500 words.

Provide three to five keywords to aid in online searches for your essay. The title itself is searchable, so do not include names or terms that appear in your title. Consult the publisher’s guidelines for selecting keywords if you need help deciding.

 

How to Submit Images

Get PDF of Art Preparation and Submission Guidelines 

Do not submit images embedded in Word or PDF files. Please indicate where in the essay images should be placed. Please submit your images as individual attachments and labeled as such: Author Last Name figure number. file extension. For example: SmithFig1.jpg. Please send a separate list of captions and credit lines that correspond to each image. Please note that we typically publish no more than 5 images per essay. 

Please send all images electronically.
-Black and white images (scan grayscale) unless specified to be printed full color, then scan cmyk
-Full color images (scan cmyk)

Resolution
300 dpi

Dimensions
8x10 inches (landscape or portrait)

Format
Tiff (preferably)
We can also accept jpegs

Captions

Captions and credit information must be provided for all images.

Captions must include: the artist’s or photographer’s name, the name of the piece, the year, the medium/media, and the size. For photographs please include identity of subjects (if any), location and date.  

Credits must include: any courtesy of or copyright information. If applicable, include the name of the museum or gallery or stock photo agency. 

Captions should include all elements specified in the letter(s) of permission from the rights holder, institution, and/or photographer, but generally should be supplied in the following format, or as close as possible.

Captions in Small Axe must distinguish clearly between a copyright in an artwork and a copyright in a photograph of an artwork (where the artwork may or may not be in the public domain).

Example of caption

Small Axe includes full caption information, whenever available and appropriate, in this order:

Figure number with no period

Artist

Title (in italics)

date

medium on support

dimensions in inches (h. x w. x d.) followed by dimensions in centimeters (1 inch = 2.54 cm)

Name of collection

City of collection

Other collection information such as "gift of . . . ," accession number, etc.

Copyright or credit-line info regarding both the photograph and the artwork (in parentheses)

Artist, title, date, medium, and dimensions are separated by commas, and these elements are followed by a period. Collection, city, and credit lines follow, separated by commas. After this, in parentheses come all copyright and photograph credit lines. There is no terminal period, unless the basic caption information is followed by a descriptive sentence, which is only permitted in exceptional cases. Not all images are of works of art or other objects, and therefore not all of the above data can be included for every image.

John Hans, The Merchants, 1833, oil on wood, 81.5 in. x 82.48 in. (207 x 209.5 cm), National Gallery, London (photograph provided by James Smith, Kingston)

Placement
The placement of images should be noted in the text, such as: <Insert figure 1 here>

 

Permissions

Get a PDF of Permissions Guidelines

Get a PDF of Permissions Form Letter

We require that you obtain the proper permissions for any images and/or epigraphs that are featured in your essay. Please refer to the Permissions Guidelines instruction sheet detailing the process to obtain third-party permissions. 

Keep in mind that our publisher, Duke University Press, has now instituted a new policy regarding epigraphs. The short of it is that epigraphs are now to be treated like images and therefore permissions are required for reproduction. 

If the epigraph is substantially discussed in your essay then it may be covered by "fair use." In order to claim fair use you must fill out the same permissions form. Simply write “fair use” in the top portion of the form that asks for the rights holder’s information, indicate where in the essay the discussion of the epigraph occurs, and fill out the rest of the form as you would normally. 

Prompt return of permissions forms ensures that work moves on to the subsequent phases of the publication process.