- Length. The entire manuscript—text, quotations, references, notes, bibliography—should be no longer than 9000 words. In some cases authors may be requested to shorten essays.
- Format. Manuscripts should be single-spaced throughout, including notes, and formatted for US letter-size paper. Please do not include a title page. Submission title and author name should be centered at the head of the first page, and the author name italicized. Bold text should only be used for section titles. The text body should be left justified. Please include page numbers. At the end of the manuscript authors should include both a short biography, stating the author's institutional affiliation, relevant recent publications, and current research (about 50–70 words), and a brief abstract (max. 250 words). The font for all text should be Times New Roman 12 point.
- Style. Authors are requested to conform to the Public Culture style guide, including exclusive use of the author-date citation system. With regard to aspects of style and spelling not explicitly addressed therein, please follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed.
- Images. Please submit images separately from the essay text, in a zipped file, with each image at a minimum of 300 DPI. If the file is too large to upload to this site, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org via Google Drive, Dropbox, or a free FTP replacement service such as Sendspace or Yousendit. Please indicate clearly in the body of the text where the images are to be inserted and provide appropriate captions. While we welcome proposals as to why particular images should appear in color, all decisions about publishing in color will be made (on both financial and aesthetic considerations) by the editorial office.
- Permissions. Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission to reprint any illustrations. Please note that our publisher, Duke University Press, strongly prefers obtaining permission even when the image is likely under public domain. Please consult the editorial office with any questions.
Groups of Essays
Groups of essays on a single topic or theme may be considered for publication in a Public Culture special section or issue . Please submit all papers together, following the guidelines above, and please also include:
- a short (approx. one-page) description of the common intellectual project of the group of papers
- a very short (250 words) abstract of each paper
- a list of the titles of the papers, their authors, and authors’ names and addresses
Essays accepted for publication will generally be published within 9–12 months of notification. This schedule is somewhat flexible, however, and subject to various contingencies. If you have a particular concern about timing, please consult the editorial office.
How to Make Your Submission
Although we prefer electronic submissions, we do accept initial hard-copy submissions. Contributors are in any event requested to complete the required fields in the Submission Form, including contact information, submission type, and number of images. Note that a failure to include the requested abstract and brief biography may result in delays in the review of your submission. Please do not use ALL CAPS in these fields. Manuscripts, preferably in Microsoft Word, and images, placed in a ZIP file, can be uploaded directly; alternatively, manuscripts can be mailed to the address provided.
You may expect to receive confirmation of your submission within five business days. In the event that you do not hear from us by then, please direct your inquiry to email@example.com.