The Mississippi Writers Page Submission Guidelines
to submit an article on an individual writer:
First, write to make
sure the author you want to write an article about is available. Include with
your query a brief description of your qualifications to write about that author
(publication credits, academic papers, educational achievement, etc.). You may
review a list of authors currently featured or scheduled for inclusion in our
database on this page; this list
includes writers for whom articles have been submitted as well as those for
whom we have as yet not received a submission.
Note, however, that this list is not comprehensive
and we are cognizant that many more writers who qualify as “Mississippi
Writers” should be added to our database. If you would like to submit
an article for a writer currently not listed, write first to explain why that
writer should be included as a Mississippi writer. The criteria by which we
determine whether a writer should be included in our database is detailed in
Completed article submissions should be sent
to John B. Padgett, who administers the Mississippi Writers Page for the English
Department. The preferred method for submission is by email, either as a text
file (see special formatting instructions below) or
an attached word processor document. We also will accept paper submissions sent
via conventional mail to the department address listed below. Included in each
submission should be a biographical/critical article about the writer, a comprehensive
list of books by that writer, and as conditions warrant, a bibliography of biographical
and critical resources, a list of media adaptations of the authors work,
and the titles and website addresses for Internet websites relevant to that
writer. Also accompanying each submission should be a brief biographical statement
about the article submitter. (The article writers signature will link
to the biographical statement on our contributors
page.) See the detailed instructions below for more specific descriptions
of how to organize and complete your submission.
The following is a general guideline
to follow for article submissions in order to attain some level of consistency
among the numerous writers presented on our web site. Not all of the options
presented below are necessary or even desirable for all writers. As the author
of your submission, it is up to you to determine the appropriate details to
include. Likewise, you should decide how long the article should be, based on
the author's literary, cultural, or historical significance, level of personal
or professional achievement, critical acclaim, and other similar criteria. In
general, a "minor" author would ordinarily warrant less than 500 words. Length
is also determined, of course, by the availability of information about that
writer. See Appendix B for a list of recommended source materials.
A complete entry for an individual writer should include all of
the following, in this order:
An article about the writer.
A comprehensive list of books by the author, including place, name of publisher,
and year of publication.
A bibliography of additional biographical and/or critical resources pertaining
to the author.
Additional relevant information, such as media adaptations (for playwrights/screen
writers), Internet web sites.
A biographical/critical article on the writer. Length: 250-1000 words,
depending upon writer's significance.
The first paragraph should serve as a general introduction to the writer,
summarizing one or several main points for which the writer is or should
As a rule, the article should follow a chronological sketch of the writers
life, ordinarily beginning with the writers exact date of birth
and birthplace, if known. Include also, as relevant, the following:
Geographical references: where the author has lived and/or worked
(especially those in the state of Mississippi)
Date of major publications and information about them, as relevant
Significant honors and awards received by the author
Major media adaptations (films, plays, etc.)
Other life events significant to the writer or his/her writing
Where possible or practicable, some indication of the critical regard
for the writer should be given, either by selectively quoting major critical
studies of the writer or by positing your own ideas in a reasonably objective
manner. (This may not be the best place to posit your ground-breaking, revolutionary
new critical approach to Writer “X.”)
A comprehensive list of written works by the author, separated by genre
and sorted chronologically by year. Use this format: Title of Work.
Place: Publisher, Year.
Plays and other Stage Dramas
Short Stories (Anthologies and/or individual publication information)
Miscellaneous Publications. (Edited works, books of photography, etc.)
A selective bibliography of print resources in MLA format, separated
by type but otherwise alphabetical by author's last name:
Book Reviews and Critical Studies
Additional information relevant to the writer, such as the following:
Media adaptations of the writers work, if applicable, including
both primary works (such as those by playwrights, screenwriters, etc.)
and adaptations by others.
A listing of Internet resources on the writer, including title of web
sites and the full web address (http://etc.).
Finally, some information
is needed about the author of the article for our contributors' page.
Articles are signed by the article authors name, which in turn links to
the brief bio on that author on the contributors
page. Please try to be as brief as possible in your bio, but be sure to
spell out any special qualifications you may possess as the author of the article.
Criteria for selection as a Mississippi writer:
We are not bound by the ordinary publication
expenses of paper, printing, and overhead costs, and so our tendency is more
toward inclusion than exclusion. However, because of the increase in recent
years of individual web sites, vanity presses and other author-based publishing
services, we have established some minimum criteria to determine who qualifies
for inclusion in our writer listings.
The basic requirements to be included as a writer
in the Mississippi Writers Page listings are as follows:
The writer must have been born or have lived a significant period of time
in the state of Mississippi.
The writer must have at least three significant publication credits, at
least two of which must be books cataloged by the Library of Congress (available
online at www.loc.gov).
For living writers:
The writer's work must be available for purchase or lending to the general
public via libraries and bookstores; works available only from an individual
web site (whether for free or for purchase) are not eligible for inclusion
in our listings.
Writers and works recommended for inclusion in the
writer listings who satisfy one but not all of these criteria will be considered
on a case-by-case basis.
List of recommended source materials:
In addition to ordinary biographical and critical
resources (published biographies, journal and magazine articles and interviews,
etc.), the following resources may be helpful in gathering information.
Gale Research Guides. The Contemporary Authors series is
particularly useful, as it normally includes for each writer a list of works
published, awards, a biographical sketch, and a selected bibliography. Please
note, however, that their bibliography includes very limited information and
is not in MLA format; you may have to locate the actual sources to gather
the information necessary to create your own MLA-style bibliography. Note
also the year of the volume referenced; it may not be the most up-to-date
information on very contemporary writers. Gale databases are also available
online for subscribing libraries and institutions at www.galenet.com.
An Anthology of Mississippi Writers, edited by Noel E. Polk
and James R. Scafidel. (Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 1979). A nice selection
of both 19th and 20th century writers along with detailed biographical sketches.
A Directory of Mississippi Writers. Limited in its scope
of information, the directory published by the Center for the Study of Southern
Culture might nevertheless provide some useful information, including addresses
by which you may contact writers (typically a publisher or agent).
The History of Southern Literature. Ed. Louis D. Rubin. This
classic tome may be useful for critical perspectives on many Southern writers,
though it may lack some biographical information.
Lives of Mississippi Writers, 1817-1967, edited by James
Lloyd. (Reference section of the Library.) A comprehensive list of writers
who published works during Mississippis first 150 years. Features short
biographies of all writers, with more detailed approaches to some, and lists
of published works.
Mississippi Home-Places: Notes on Literature and History
(1988), and Mississippi Scenes: Notes on Literature and History
(1992), by Elmo Howell. (Special Collections.) One professors exploration
of literary (and some not-so-literary) landmarks throughout the state. Part
travel-guide, part history, these two books feature fascinating glimpses into
Mississippis literary past. The books are alphabetized according to
places (towns and counties).
Mississippi Writers: Reflections of Childhood and Youth,
edited by Dorothy Abbott. Four volumes (Drama, Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry.)
Ed. Dorothy Abbot. An anthology of works by Mississippi writers that provides
a nice sampling of individual writers works as well as fairly detailed
biographical sketches on each writer.
Formatting instructions for text files:
Article submissions sent as plain text via email
will lose special formatting codes such as italics and boldface. We ask, therefore,
that submitters indicate within text submissions the presence of italics (such
as for the titles of books and movies) and, if present, boldface type using
the following conventions.
Individual paragraphs should be separated by at least one blank line.
To indicate italics, put underline marks (_) at the beginning and end of
words or phrases to be italicized. A Tale of Two Cities, for instance,
would be represented as _A Tale of Two Cities_.
To indicate boldface type, put asterisks (*) at the beginning and end of
words to be italicized. Early childhood, for instance, would be represented
as *Early childhood*.
For any other specialized formatting you wish
to include in a text file submission, please indicate in your message what effect
you are attempting to represent and how you indicate it in the text.
How to reach us:
Send inquiries to The Mississippi Writers Page
at email@example.com, or via conventional
mail c/o The Department of English, The University of Mississippi, University,