Council of Editors of Learned Journals

Awards

Final Submission Date: September 11, 2017

The Council of Editors of Learned Journals is pleased to invite the participation of CELJ members (whether new or longstanding) in our Awards Competition, which is organized under two broad headings:

  • The CELJ Awards for Scholarly Achievement (8 categories awarded each year)
  • The CELJ Award for Literary Achievement (3 categories awarded each year)

Below you will find details about the contest, including advice on eligibility, descriptions of individual categories, guidelines for preparing your entry, and information about the awards ceremony.

Eligibility

The journals receiving awards in past years attest to the range and diversity of our membership. There is no typical winner, as is clear from our past awards.

Only current members of CELJ may enter the competition. No journal can compete in more than one category annually. Even “hybrid journals” qualifying for categories in both the creative arts and the scholarly divisions are only allowed one entry. Furthermore, no journal is eligible for an award more than once every three-year cycle. This year’s three-year cycle includes 2015, 2016, and 2017.  Thus, no journal that wins an individual award will be eligible to win the same award for another two years. The Distinguished Editor Award (in both the literary and the scholarly division) is specifically exempted from this rotational requirement.

Journals that publish entirely in full-text print, entirely in electronic format, or in a combination of the two may compete. Trade/technical journals that work primarily in areas of discourse other than the scholarly or the creative arts are not eligible. It is unfortunately impossible at this time to ensure judges' proficiency in languages other than English.

Eligible issues are determined by the printed issue date and not by the stated date of publication; that is, issues publishing late may not qualify. Electronic journals must routinely and prominently display volume numbers and issue dates on both current and back issues, and the issues submitted to the contest must be easily accessible through directions provided to the website. If an electronic journal cannot be accessed on the World Wide Web without a subscription, access must be provided to the judges and CELJ Vice President for the duration of the contest and in such a way as not to compromise the judges' anonymity. Just as print journals must submit all materials by the deadline, so electronic journals must by that time provide directions to the website and arrange for subscription access, along with an explanation of how judges' anonymity will be preserved. The same guidelines apply to part-print, part-electronic journals.

Please note that all applicants should be prepared to send a representative of their journal (preferably the editor) to the MLA Convention should the journal be given an award. Winners will be notified several weeks in advance of the MLA convention. The list of awardees will be posted on the CELJ website within a few weeks after the convention.

Scholarly Achievement

Scholarly journals in the humanities may compete in eight different categories, all offered annually: Best New Journal, Best Special Issue, Best Public Intellectual Special Issue, Best Journal Design, the Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement, Distinguished Editor, Codex for any journal in any discipline covering up to 1500, and Voyager for any journal in any discipline covering 1500-1800.

Member journals with a primarily scholarly or critical focus qualify for these seven award contests.

Best New Journal

New journals with three years or fewer of publication history are eligible. Print applicants must supply four copies of two different issues, one of which must be the most current issue. Electronic journals must specify which issue, along with the most current one, is to be judged. Submissions may include four copies of a letter from the editor, no longer than one page, introducing the new journal.

Best Special Issue

A fall/winter issue of the preceding year or a special issue of the current year may be submitted. Send four copies of the special issue or specify an electronic issue. No additional supporting documentation may be included.

Best Public Intellectual Special Issue

Contestants must reach out beyond academe and connect with a popular audience in terms of accessible language and attractive presentation. Send four copies of the special issue, or specify an electronic issue, that seeks to achieve the democratic mission of higher education. A fall/winter issue of the preceding year or a special issue of the current year may be submitted. No additional supporting documentation may be included.

Best Journal Design

Journals that have launched a new journal design within the previous three years may submit. Print journals, send four copies each of the following: the last issue before the new design was launched and two different sample issues of the new design. Electronic journals must provide access to the current website as described in "Rules of Eligibility for All Categories" above and also make available the last website prior to present design, either by sending four copies on a flash drive or by providing a URL where the older site may be examined. Electronic journals must ensure that the submitted links work; nonworking URLs will result in immediate disqualification. Part-print, part-electronic journals must advise and substantiate what components belong to which stage of the journal's development. Submissions may include four copies of a letter from the editor, no longer than one page, introducing the new design.

The Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement

Journals that have launched an overall effort of revitalization or transformation within the previous three years may submit. This award goes to the most improved journal, regardless of its state at the time the renovations began. A weak journal that has become excellent is eligible, but so too is an admired journal that manages to become dramatically better. Submissions must feature significant editorial change and may also feature change in design and other aspects of the journal's publication. Print journals, send four copies of each of the following: the last issue before the launch of the revitalization or transformation and two different sample issues of the revitalized or transformed journal. Electronic journals, please provide access to the current, revitalized website as described in "Rules of Eligibility for All Categories" above and also make available the last website prior to present state, either by sending four copies on a flash drive or by providing a URL where the older site may be examined. Part-print, part-electronic journals must advise and substantiate what components belong to which stage of the journal's development. Submissions may include four copies of a letter from the editor, no longer than one page, introducing the journal's changes.

Distinguished Editor

Any editor is eligible. The editor must be nominated by the new editor or by a member of the current or past editorial board. Send four copies of the nomination with supporting documentation. Supporting documentation may include any of the following: other letters of nomination by colleagues familiar with the editor's work; a brief CV in narrative format highlighting aspects of the editorship; selected sample issues of the journal illustrating key qualities of the editor's work; any other materials that can demonstrate the editor's influence on the journal's field of scholarship.

Codex Award

The recipient of the Codex Award will be selected from journals covering the period before 1500. The journal can be in any discipline—history, literature, the arts, music, or any other field—or be interdisciplinary, and it can cover any area of that world as long as the majority of that coverage is in the "ancient" or "medieval" periods. Specialized and general journals may apply; the award is for distinction within this historical field, not necessarily for comprehensive coverage of it. Please send four copies of one or two issues or specify the electronic issue(s). A journal can win this award once every three years.

Voyager Award

The Voyager Award will recognize excellence in any journal covering the period between 1500 and 1800. The journal can be in any discipline—history, literature, philosophy, music, or any other field—or be interdisciplinary, and it can cover any area of that world as long as the majority of that coverage is in the early modern period. Specialized and general journals may apply; the award is for distinction within this historical period, not necessarily for comprehensive coverage of it. Journals covering, say, both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—or any version of “the long eighteenth century”—are eligible for this award. Please send four copies of one or two issues or specify the electronic issue(s). A journal can win this award once every three years.

Literary Achievement Awards

This recently developed awards division recognizes the special accomplishments of the creative arts journals among our company, complementing the long-established set of CELJ awards that honor member journals with a primarily critical or scholarly mission. The three individual categories comprising this division rotate on a three-year cycle. Before you submit, determine which one of the three creative arts awards is available in the current competition. Furthermore, no journal can compete in more than one category annually.

Distinguished Literary Editor Award

Any editor of a creative arts journal is eligible. The editor must be nominated by a subsequent editor or by a member of the current or past editorial board. Send four copies of the nomination with supporting documentation. Documentation may include any of the following: other letters of nomination by colleagues familiar with the editor's work; a brief CV in narrative format highlighting aspects of the editorship; selected sample issues of the journal illustrating key qualities of the editor's work; any other materials that can demonstrate the editor's influence on the field of literary publishing. Please provide circulation figures in the cover letter.

Paranassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement

In 2004, we initiated the Parnassus Award for Significant Editorial Achievement. This competition solicits a single issue, published within the previous three years, that constitutes an unusually high realization of the creative arts journal's mission in combination with application of the highest standards of learned editorial practice—understood to encompass editing for selection of high-quality content, compelling arrangement of contents, style, visual appeal and readability, etc. Submissions should include four copies of the following: the issue to be considered; the journal's statement of mission or purpose; and a statement of no longer than one page that describes the ways in which this submission marks a peak or exceptional achievement for the journal submitting and that also provides circulation figures. Entries may be special issues but need not be. The award recognizes significant realization of editorial mission.

Best New Literary Journal

New journals with three years or less of publication history are eligible. Print applicants must supply four copies of two different issues, one of which must be the most current issue. Electronic journals must specify which issue, along with the most current one, is to be judged. Submissions may include four copies of a letter from the editor, no longer than one page, introducing the new journal.

Submission Guidelines

The journals receiving awards in past years attest to the range and diversity of our membership.

Each category will be judged by a panel of three editors who independently evaluate the submissions, consulting with the Vice President, who makes final decisions. When appropriate, the judges may also recommend a runner-up.

Awards will be presented publicly at the annual CELJ meeting during each year's Modern Language Association Convention—either during the CELJ cash bar or a session that has set aside time for the ceremony (please check the convention's schedule). We will notify winners and runners-up in advance of MLA so they can make plans to attend the ceremony. If you enter the competition, you are expected to be present or to appoint someone to be present to receive the award should you be selected. Results will be posted on the CELJ website; we regret that the volume of submissions and cost of postage makes it impossible for us to send individual notifications to the non-winners.

How to Enter

If your membership is not current, please join or renew.

Mail contest materials to the following address:

Cheryl E. Ball
CELJ Awards
Downtown Library
Office of the Dean
1549 University Avenue
PO Box 6069
Morgantown, WV 26506

All contest materials must be received in one clearly marked package (indicating CELJ Awards) by September 11, 2017.

No submission materials will be returned. E-submissions are not allowed except to offer an addendum; for example, an electronic journal might reasonably wish to email a link permitting access to its website, but it must supply as its main entry a hard-copy document, containing all necessary particulars and informing us that electronic sources are also being submitted by e-mail, by the deadline. In your cover letter, indicate the award category you wish to enter—creative arts journals will need to check their submission category carefully—and provide contact information, including e-mail address; electronic journals must provide access information as described above. Please send an e-mail indicating that your package is on its way; confirmation of receipt will be sent only by e-mail. To ensure prompt delivery, send submissions by courier or first-class mail (but not by fourth-class surface mail). For the Voyager or Codex award, send four copies of one or two issues or specify the electronic issue(s).

NB: The address must conspicuously indicate "CELJ Awards."

Submitters are responsible for checking whether their CELJ membership is up to date.

Submissions made in the name of journals not currently registered cannot be considered.

Please direct any and all inquiries about the competition to Gordon Hutner.  Only the Vice President can give definitive information about the competition. 


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