Council of Editors of Learned Journals

Awards

The award deadline is September 1, 2020

The Council of Editors of Learned Journals is pleased to invite the participation of CELJ members (whether new or longstanding) in our Awards Competition. 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. (To check on your membership status, login to this website and your status will be immediately displayed as current or past due. To become current, renew through your Profile or create a new member profile from the navigation bar at the top of every screen.)
  • No journal can compete in more than one category annually.
  • Journals are only eligible to win once every three years (e.g., if Journal X wins Best Special Issue in 2017, it is not eligible for another award, in any category, until 2020). The Distinguished Editor Award, in both the literary and the scholarly division, is exempt from this rotational requirement.
  • Trade/technical journals that work primarily in areas of discourse other than the scholarly or the creative arts are not eligible.
  • Journals must be published in English.
  • Submissions must be of current issues published since September 1 of the previous year. Eligible issues are determined by the printed issue date, not by the stated date of publication. Late issues may not qualify.
  • Electronic journals must display publication dates and 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. The same guidelines apply to hybrid journals.

Awards will be presented publicly at a CELJ session during each year's Modern Language Association Convention. 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 after the convention; we regret that the volume of submissions makes it impossible for us to send individual notifications of receipt or to non-winners. 

Award Categories

Journals may compete in eight different categories, all offered annually: Best New Journal, Best Special Issue, Best Public Intellectual Special Issue, the Phoenix Award, Distinguished Editor, and Best Digital Feature.

Best New Journal

New journals with three years or fewer of publication history are eligible. Applicants must supply four copies of two different issues, one of which must be the most current issue (with electronic-only journals supplying URLs or other means of anonymously accessing the materials). Submissions may include four copies of a letter from the editor, no longer than one page, introducing the new journal.

Best Special Issue

A special issue from the previous Fall/Winter or current year may be submitted. Also, the journal editor must include a paragraph in the cover letter explaining why the submitted special issue is exceptional. Submissions without the editor’s endorsement will not be considered. Send four copies of the special issue or specify an electronic issue. No additional supporting documentation may be included. A journal may submit only one special issue for this award.

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. Also, the journal editor must include a paragraph in the cover letter explaining why the submitted special issue is exceptional. Submissions without the editor’s endorsement will not be considered. No additional supporting documentation may be included. A journal may submit only one special issue for this award.

Best Digital Feature

This award recognizes excellence and/or innovation that draws on the particular affordances of the digital. Journals may submit for consideration a single article, a recurrent feature, or a particular innovation of design from the award period; material may be drawn from all-digital journals, digital arms of hybrid journals, or supplementary digital features of print journals. Any material behind a subscription paywall must be made fully available to the judging panel.

Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial or Design Achievement

Journals that have launched an effort to revitalize or transform 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 and/or design change. 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 should provide access to the previous issues and current issues in an email via URL or by a mailed flash drive. Hybrid 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.

Submission Guidelines

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

If your membership is not current, please join or renew. Submitters are responsible for checking whether their CELJ membership is up to date. Submissions made for journals with lapsed membership cannot be considered.

  • All contest materials must be received in one clearly marked package by the end of business on the deadline date.
  • All submissions must include a cover letter clearly indicating the award category you wish to enter, title of the journals for each category (if submitting multiple journals), and contact information, including email address. Electronic journals must provide access information as described in "Eligibility" above.
  • 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 email, by the deadline. Please send email addenda to celj@wayne.edu with the Subject Line: CELJ Awards--Name of Award
  • No submission materials will be returned.
  • To ensure prompt delivery, send submissions by courier or first-class mail (but not by fourth-class surface mail). If you would like delivery notification, please use package tracking on your shipment; CELJ staff cannot guarantee notifications from our office due to the volume of journals submitted.
Please direct all inquiries about the 2020 competition to Debra Rae Cohen, Vice President of CELJ.  

Contest materials must be received by end-of-business on September 1, 2020, at the following address:

address to come, after COVID-19 return information is available

For questions about mailing only, please contact CELJ staff, Cheryl E. Ball and Julie Warheit. We cannot confirm receipt of packages. 


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