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The Arts in the South. SoQ defines "the arts" broadly, including literature, painting, sculpture, music, dance, film, and popular culture. We also publish studies of Southern culture informed by such disciplines as history, folklore, anthropology, political science, and geography. SoQ defines "The South" as anything south of the Mason Dixon Line, including the Caribbean, to the larger Global South. 

Articles. Each issue of The Southern Quarterly contains 3-6 articles that explore what the South meant, or means, today.  We publish articles that are based on solid documentation, that are grounded in literary or critical theory, and that make an original and important contribution to the study of the American South. Articles should not exceed 20-25 double-spaced typescript pages in length, including all documentation.

Archival Documents.  We welcome submission of important unpublished documents, including letters, literary works, memoirs, etc.

Original Poetry.  The SoQ publishes 4-6 poems about the South in each issue.  Please do not submit more than 5 poems at any one time; no poem should be more than 40 lines. We do not consider work that has been submitted elsewhere or previously published. Poems must deal with the South as defined above.

Review Essays.The SoQ publishes thoughtful review essays on one or more recent non-fiction books or films that contribute to the study of Southern culture. We do not review volumes of poetry or fiction. Usually, the Book Review Editor or the Film Review Editor will solicit reviews. However, scholars who are interested in reviewing for SoQ should contact the Managing Editor to indicate their areas of expertise. Solicitation of a review or the submission of an unsolicited review does not guarantee publication.

Reviews are generally 1,300-1,800 words. In addition to describing the work being reviewed, they should include analysis that places the work in a larger context. This might include discussion of the work in the context of the author/filmmaker’s previous works, work by other authors/filmmakers, and/or the work’s potential impact on the study of Southern culture or a specific field within that study.

Interviews. A hallmark of our journal, the interviews that we regularly publish have included those with Ernest J. Gaines, Robert Morgan, Fred Chappell, Lewis Nordan, Beth Henley, and Dr. Chris Chapman on celebrated African American artist Loïs Mailou Jones.

Portfolios. SoQ also publishes portfolios of original artwork or photography. Artists and photographers interested in having their portfolios featured in SoQ should send digital images of 300 dpi or better. Recent portfolios include "The Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail" (photographs); the paintings of Ulrick Jean-Pierre; "A Guided Tour through Hell: A Photographic Essay of Emmett Till's Mississippi Delta"; and "Survivors of Katrina: Portraits" (drawings) by Paul McCall.

Special Issues. SoQ solicits proposals for special issues which may include essays from conferences. We have published special issues on such diverse topics as the African American church, Southern food and drink, country music, southern cemeteries, contemporary visual art, Southern women playwrights, and Southern film, as well as individual Southern artists and writers. Most recently, special issues have focused on Hurricane Katrina, the South in the Atlantic World, Poetry in the South, the Legacy of Emmett Till, the Tennessee Williams Centennial, and United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey.


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SoQ does not consider multiple submissions or work that has been approved elsewhere. Email submissions of Microsoft Word documents to are preferred over postal delivery. The current mailing address and email address of the author should be included with all submissions.

Formatting. Please consult the Southern Quarterly Style Guide for proper formatting of submissions.

Notification. Please allow at least 3-4 months to review your manuscript before querying us about it.

Peer Review. As a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal, SoQ submits all articles and interviews to readers for their recommendation for revision, acceptance, or rejection. When appropriate, the editor will share comments from readers with the author.

Proofs. You will receive page proofs of your work to review for errors and to make minor changes in the text before final production.

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Acceptance of submissions for publication in The Southern Quarterly is contingent upon the author conforming to all the guidelines below and in the more detailed SoQ Style Guide. The guidelines below are not exhaustive, but represent the most commonly asked questions from SoQ contributors.

SoQ follows the current Modern Language Association (MLA) in-text (parenthetical) method of documentation tied to a “works cited” list. In matters of scholarly style, contributors should follow the most recent MLA Manual and Style Guide to Scholarly Publishing (3rd edition.  New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2008). 


Language and Style. Southern Quarterly is intended for a wide range of educated readers.  Authors should avoid jargon associated with a specialized audience whenever possible and aim for a clear and organized writing style. Unsupported generalizations or language with discriminatory overtones should also be avoided.


  • All submissions should be typed and double-spaced. 
  • We prefer Times New Roman, 12pt. font.
  • Margins should be one inch on the top, bottom, and sides.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph and do not use extra spacing between paragraphs.
  • First submissions should include a cover page with the title of the submission, the author’s name, the author’s contact information, and a short (2-3 sentence) statement about academic affiliation, publications, and current research. Subsequent pages should not include any information identifying the author.
  • Once a submission has been conditionally accepted for publication, the cover page should be omitted and each version submitted should include a running header containing the author’s last name, the date of the current version, and the page number in the upper right corner of each page.  The author’s full name and institutional affiliation should be included after the title on the first page.

Pagination. Pages must be consecutively numbered in the upper right corner of each page.

Documentation. All submissions must include a complete list of works cited, alphabetically arranged in MLA format. Citations of references in the text should clearly link to entries in the works cited. Follow the most recent MLA Manual and Style Guide and see “Specific Guidelines for Documentation” below.

Endnotes.  Following MLA, the SoQ discourages lengthy endnotes and urges authors to keep these to a minimum, using them only when necessary to cite cross-referential material. Incorporate essential information within the text and eliminate entirely if possible. When endnotes are used, they should be shortened as much as possible.

URLs. To aid in verification of references, works cited entries of electronic publications should include full URLs. These will be removed before publication.

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All contributors receive one copy of the issue in which their work appears. Up to ten (10) additional copies of SoQ are available for purchase by all contributors at 40% discount.

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Royalties.  All royalties from reprint rights granted by the SoQ remain with the journal.

Copyright. The Southern Quarterly retains copyright of the materials it publishes (excluding art, poems, and photography which revert to authors upon publication of their work in SoQ).  Authors of scholarly articles in SoQ can reprint their work in any monograph or book they are writing or editing. However, in those instances, the author agrees to print an acknowledgement that his/her work originally appeared in the SoQ. The author also agrees to notify the SoQ of such publication.

Publication Permission.  All contributors will be asked to complete, sign, and return a publication permission form.

Permission to Use Copyrighted Materials. If you have submitted work to Southern Quarterly that incorporates proprietary or copyrighted material of other authors/creators (beyond that allowed by fair use in copyright law), you must get permission from those authors/creators to use the materials in your work before it can be published.  To do so, you should provide information about your work to those authors/creators, have them agree to publication in The Southern Quarterly, and provide a copy of that agreement to The Southern Quarterly.

The process of obtaining permission for images and other copyrighted materials can take a significant amount of time, so contributors should pursue permissions as soon as possible.

In order to reduce the need to seek permission to use these materials, authors should try to refrain from quoting long passages and consider:

    • Why do I need to quote the copyrighted work? Would paraphrasing the material work just as well?
    • Would quoting a smaller passage suffice, or is it necessary to the sense of my essay that I quote a larger passage? (Larger passages should not be used just to make the essay more entertaining to read.  The passage should be relevant to the point you are making.)
    • Would anything be lost to the sense of the essay if the quote is eliminated or reduced?
    • Bottom line: If the entirety of the quote is integral to the comment or criticism, then the author should leave it in.  If the author can reduce or eliminate the quotes without losing the sense of the essay, then that is what should be done.

The Southern Quarterly suggests the following wording when requesting permission to use copyrighted or proprietary materials:

In connection with my work titled [insert title here], I have incorporated the following material to which I believe you have proprietary rights or copyrights:

            [insert description of materials incorporated]

I intend to submit this work to The Southern Quarterly for inclusion in an issue of its scholarly journal and any other Southern Quarterly publication. I request your permission to use, copy, reproduce, and distribute the above-mentioned materials in the work and grant The Southern Quarterly the same rights, including the right to publish/republish the work, or any portion thereof, in The Southern Quarterly journal or any other Southern Quarterly publication, and in any media format including, but not limited to, hard copy, audio, video, and the Internet.

In giving your permission, please provide the following information and sign below:

Person/Organization Name:
Mailing Address:
E-mail Address:
Exact wording of credit line desired/required:

I grant you and The Southern Quarterly the aforementioned rights in the abovementioned materials.


Once you have obtained the appropriate permission, please send this documentation to:

Diane DeCesare Ross
Managing Editor, Southern Quarterly
118 College Drive #5078
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

fax: 601-266-6541

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2006 The University of Southern Mississippi AA/EOE/ADAI
URL: (Last modified: August 25, 2015)