Submission and Review Guidelines

Table of Contents


General Submission Rules

It is the policy of Early Theatre to report expeditiously to authors on their submissions – generally within 2-3 months.

We welcome submissions of articles (approximately 6000 – 8000 words) and notes (300 - 5000 words). Once you submit your paper you will receive a receipt of acknowledgment from us, via email, within 1 week. If you do not receive this acknowledgment within this time period, please promptly resubmit your material. 

We will not consider material that has been previously published, nor will we consider any submission that is being submitted to another journal simultaneously.

Authors must take full responsibility for all figures and tables, and present them as print-ready copy. Authors must indemnify the journal against damage; obtain any necessary permissions; and attest to the article’s originality and legitimate legal status.

We use REED-style for document transcriptions; please see Paleography Guide (REED Style). Digital images of all unpublished manuscript documents must be sent to the journal for paleographical checking. Additional style guides for manuscript documents in early modern English or Latin are available from the editor.

All submissions should conform to the Early Theatre Style Sheet. Please note that citation of available DOIs is a prerequisite for final acceptance. For guidelines for how to check whether a DOI exists for a source you are citing, see our Style Sheet Supplement on DOIs.

Contributors to Early Theatre retain copyright for their work. We require all published authors to grant a limited exclusive license for publication to the journal, according to which authors agree not publish their submissions elsewhere in the same form, in any language, without the consent of the journal for a period of one year, and without acknowledgment of its initial publication in the journal thereafter. 

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to testify to their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
  2. The submission is in Microsoft Word format and conforms with the instructions for Ensuring a Blind Review (please ensure that you have ensured that all identifying information has been removed not only in the content of the article but also in its wordprocessing formatting, using these instructions).
  3. Your preferred mailing address has been included.
  4. For articles, notes, or Issues in Review essays: an abstract of 100 words maximum has been included. For book reviews and review essays: a one-sentence abstract has been included (eg. "This review essay discusses X [general topic]" or "This review considers Y [title of the book you are reviewing]").
  5. An author biography (maximum 100 words) in the following format has been included: [NAME] [the email address which you want published] is a [master's or doctoral student, lecturer, reader, assistant, associate, or full professor, independent scholar] in the [department (as applicable)] at [University (as applicable)]. Give any pertinent details about recent publications or current project that you wish to announce.
  6. Transcriptions from MSS are rendered according to REED guidelines (for example, using italics for expansions). Please consult Paleography Guide (REED Style).
  7. The submission does not embed charts, maps, graphics, or other illustrations in the text of your contribution. Charts or illustrations are submitted in separate files as ‘supplemental content’. Phrases such as 'See figure 1' are added within the text of your contribution to direct readers to the correct illustrative material.
  8. The author takes full responsibility for all figures and tables, and presents them as print-ready copy. Authors must indemnify the journal against damage; obtain any necessary permissions; and attest to the article’s originality and legitimate legal status.
  9. Upon acceptance, the author retains copyright but agrees to licence the content to the journal by means of an limited exclusive license. Specifically, if accepted for publication, the author agrees not be publish this submission elsewhere in the same form, in any language, without the consent of the journal for a period of one year, and without acknowledgment of its initial publication in the journal thereafter. The author may archive the work on their own site or that of their institution.
  10. All text conforms to the following journal style guidelines: the submission is in 12-point Times New Roman font; the text employs italics, rather than underlining; the text uses single quotation marks (double quotation marks appear only when quoted within single quotation marks); the text places final punctuation outside quotation marks, in conformity with the journal's style (which is based on REED practice, itself based on English (UK) practice); the text uses Canadian spelling, favouring 'ize' over 'ise', as is usually the case in the Oxford English Dictionary. (Please check that dictionary if in doubt.)
  11. The text uses end-notes, not footnotes or parenthetical notes. (The only acceptable parenthetical notes give act, scene, and line of a play.) Please refer to our Style Sheet for examples.
  12. End-note references include Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) where available. Please note that inclusion of available DOIs is now considered a prerequisite for final acceptance of any piece submitted to Early Theatre. For guidelines on how to check whether a DOI exists for source you are citing, see our Style Sheet Supplement on DOIs. For guidelines on how to format DOI references, see our Style Sheet, in particular Part B 'End-note Citation Instructions & Examples,' then 'Online Sources'.

Book Reviewers

General Submission Rules

Many thanks for your interest in reviewing for Early Theatre. The following are some guidelines that will help you to prepare your book review for publication and will help us to minimize changes to your writing during copy-editing.

  1. Deadlines for reviews will be agreed upon between the author and the Book Reviews Editor at the time the review is commissioned. Please stick to the agreed deadline except in cases of emergency; journal issues are planned with a certain number of reviews in mind and changes in deadline can cause major problems. Please let the book reviews editor know as far in advance as possible of any problems that arise in relation to deadlines.
  2. Most book reviews for Early Theatre should be approximately 1000-1500 words in length. If you feel that you need more words in order to adequately review your chosen book, please check with the Book Reviews Editor in advance of completing your review.
  3. All reviews should follow the general instructions for contributors to Early Theatre as outlined in our Style Sheet. Please note that book reviews, like other content in Early Theatre, need to cite DOIs where available. For guidelines on how to check whether a DOI exists for a source you are citing, please see our Style Sheet Supplement on DOIs.
  4. Please head your review with full publication information for the book in question, double-spaced and in bold and formatted as follows:
    Name of Author or Editor [First name Last name]. Title [in italics]. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date of Publication. Pp # of pages. Format, price. ISBN (13 digits, no spaces).
    Examples read as follows:
    • Katherine Steele Brokaw. Staging Harmony: Music and Religious Change in Late Medieval and Early Modern English Drama. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2017. Pp 292. Hardback $65.00. ISBN: 9781501703140.
    • Emma Depledge and Peter Kirwan (eds). Canonising Shakespeare: Stationers and the Book Trade, 1640-1740. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Pp x, 272. Hardback £75.00. ISBN: 9781107154599.
    • Ralph Berry (ed.). The Methuen Book of Shakespeare Anecdotes, new edition. London: Routledge, 2016. Pp 205. Paperback £27.99. ISBN: 9781138659599.
  5. After this header, please indicate your name (in small capital letters) as you wish it to appear in the review, and your institutional affiliation on the line below this. 
  6. Double-space all sections of your review and use ONLY Times New Roman 12-point font.
  7. When listing page numbers, use the fewest numbers possible: 140-1 is preferable to 140-141 or 140-41.
  8. Avoid using the passive voice.
  9. Avoid beginning sentences with ‘It is…’ or with adverbial connectives such as ‘However’, ‘Nevertheless’, ‘Moreover’, etc.
  10. Please eliminate all unnecessary commas.  

Peer Reviewers

General Instructions

Submissions to Early Theatre are assessed anonymously by at least two readers, using blind peer-review. The name of the author will be absent from the manuscript; reader reports will also be anonymous. Please ensure that you have removed all hidden identifyfing information from your report's wordprocessing file by following the formatting instructions here. A copy of your report, edited if required, will be sent to the author unless you indicate otherwise.

Key Points for Preparing Your Review Report:

You should note the following key points when preparing your peer review report for Early Theatre. We ask that you please:

  1. Report your assessment within 4 weeks of your receipt of the article. It is the policy of Early Theatre to report expeditiously to authors on their submissions. Reporting within 4 weeks of your receipt of the article will help us to maintain our timetable.
  2. Use your own judgment about the appropriate length of your appraisal. Typically, manuscript assessments for Early Theatre are about 300-500 words long.
  3. Upload your report to our site. In this report, please assess the article's originality, thesis development, argumentation, notes and references, and readability.
  4. Do not feel the need to copy-edit. Your comments on notes and references should indicate their usefulness and scholarship, not their stylistic accuracy. However, if you wish to, you may consult our Style Sheet.
  5. Choose in our system one of the following recommendations: 1) Accept Submission (no revisions required, or minor submissions only as indicated in the reader report); 2) Revisions required (likely acceptance conditional upon significant revisions described in the reader report); 3) Resubmit for review (extensive revisions or entire rethinking of submission required before it can be reassessed); 4) Decline submission (reject without an option to resubmit).
  6. Destroy your copy of the manuscript after you review it or, if you have annotated it for the author’s benefit, please return it to us and we will forward it to the author. This manuscript is a privileged document and should be treated as such.


Contributing Editors for Issues in Review

Initial Instructions

Please follow these guidelines, and consult the editor or managing editor if in doubt about how to proceed.

  1. The approximate length of the section is 25000 words (30000 is the absolute maximum). The editors must be advised immediately if the upper length is anticipated. Each contributor should be writing an essay of no more than 5000 words, or between 4000-5000 words, INCLUDING notes.
  2. The editor should introduce the issue in this section by supplying an overall title for ‘Issues in Review’ and then supplying a title for the editor’s introduction. The introduction may take a variety of shapes, but should introduce the topic by speaking of its currency, outlining its potential for changing views of early drama, and specifically referring to each contributor to this section.
  3. Give the deadlines to each author, and make sure deadlines are kept. The Contributing Editor will select and organize the essays in this section, but the Editor and Managing Editor will locate outside readers to evaluate the section and advise any changes. Peer-review is an important aspect of this section.

    Submission deadlines:

    • May 1 - Initial response to Contributing Editor, agreeing to participate.
    • June 1 - Revised essay to Contributing Editor.
    • June 15 - Complete MS of all the essays to the editors of Early Theatre.
    • July 15 - Peer-review reports sent to Contributing Editor. At this time,the editors will confirm acceptance of each essay, and request that each author fill in an author’s agreement form.
    • August 15 - Final essays sent to Contributing Editor for copyediting. Click here to refer to our Style Sheet and our Style Sheet Supplement on DOIs for how to check and cite DOIs.
    • August 31 - ‘Issues in Review’ sent to the editors of the journal for final copyediting before the journal is sent to the typesetter. Authors will be contacted through the month of September confirming the final copyedited versions of their essays.
  4. The typesetter will send PDF proofs in late October. Contributing editors and authors will have 3 days to respond to the typesetter directly.

Guest Editors for Special Volumes:

Instructions to Guest Editors

A Guest Editor is in charge of one issue or one volume (2 issues), controlling content (pending peer-review) and copyediting, in consultation with the editors of the journal. This is a position of responsibility equivalent to editing a book of essays.

The Guest Editor, in consultation with the editors, will seek peer-review for the issue, either essay by essay, or as a whole issue. At least two reports are required.

The Guest Editor is expected to apply all the copyediting rules and meet the deadline for submitting the issue to the typesetter (usually during the week ending in April 15 for the June issue, or the week ending in October 15 for the December issue). That may mean harrassing your contributing authors. The Guest Editor will write the Editorial introducing the point of the special issue(s) and any project that supports it. Each author must agree to the final copy of the copyedited file. No further changes will be allowed after that point, except to correct typesetting errors.

To consult our Style Sheetclick here.

If unpublished manuscript copy is involved (from a public records office or private estate archive), then the Guest Editor is responsible for making sure copies of that manuscript (electronic preferred) and copies of the essays using such manuscript sources are sent to the journal's paleographer for checking transcriptions. Each author must secure permissions for using private archival material, as required.

If the issue is to include book reviews (June issue), the Guest Editor must make sure that there is room for at least 10-12 book reviews (approximately 40 pages). The total page count for the issue is not to exceed 200 pages (approx 100,000 words). If the Guest Editor believes that the total page count either might approach the maximum allowable or might be far enough under that number to accommodate extra book reviews, she or he should consult with the Book Review Editor to ensure that the issue's length is close to but does not exceed 200 pages. If the special issue is a December issue, then ‘Issues in Review’ will not be included, unless there is a specific issue within the special issue that warrants a section of short essays or notes on that sub-topic. The Guest Editor will make that decision, in consultation with the editors of the journal.

The Guest Editor will proof the PDF pages sent by the typesetter, and make sure all questions from authors are dealt with. Each author will proof his/her essay and return corrections of typesetting errors ONLY to the typesetter and the Guest Editor.