You’ve come to the end of your module, or even your degree: and that was a great feeling for a couple of weeks. But now you’re starting to feel restless and dissatisfied. You’ve been hit by the ‘What’s Next?’ question, now that you’ve realised that there’s nothing on the telly to watch, in all those free evenings that you were so keen to get back.
Well, I can help with that! Let me destroy your peace for you…
Have you considered developing your best essay for publication. No? Well, perhaps you should. Over the last five years there’s been a huge increase in the number of undergraduate and postgraduate journals which are published online: the trend started in America, but it’s now beginning to take off in the UK too. These journals allow you to have the full experience of peer-reviewed publication, with all its stresses, dramas and triumphs, without the need for a Masters degree or a PhD to get your foot in the door.
Some of the journals listed below (and there are many more out there, with new journals being developed every year) are becoming prestigious, so publication would be a feather in your cap and a nice addition to the CV. Submission to a journal won’t cost you anything except your time, or require you to study something new. It would simply involve you making the best use of the work you’ve already produced during your studies.
Here are some places to start. Take a look at their past issues: some might be more suitable for your work than others.
Neo at Roehampton: http://www.neojournal.co.uk/
Aisthesis at Stanford: https://classics.stanford.edu/projects/aisthesis-undergraduate-journal
Logoi at Oxbridge: https://www.logoi.org.uk/index.php/logoi
Berkeley Undergraduate Journal: https://escholarship.org/uc/ucbclassics_bujc
Philomathes at AP State: http://www.apsu.edu/philomathes/
Persephone at Harvard: https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/persephone/contact-us
Neo at Roehampton: http://www.neojournal.co.uk/
Rosetta at Birmingham: http://www.rosetta.bham.ac.uk/submissions.html
Auctor at Royal Holloway: http://www.auctorjournal.uk/submissions.html
New Classicists, funded by King’s College London: https://www.newclassicists.com/
Pegasus at Exeter: http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/pegasus/
LTS Journal at Nottingham: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/languagestextssociety/lts-journal.aspx
Before you jump in with both feet, I should warn you that, whether it’s at undergraduate or professional level, publication is not a relaxing process. You’ll be knocked back – maybe a lot! You’ll be sent harsh criticisms, because classicists tend not to sugar-coat their feedback. You’ll inevitably have to edit out the bits that you liked best. And you’ll spend a lot of time waiting around for somebody to get back to you. It’s not for the faint-hearted! But if you can approach it as a challenge, it’s a brilliant way to carve out your own place in the world of academia from where you stand right now; and your writing will become much sharper and more focused in the process.
So, what are you waiting for? Hard work and criticism await you: but you’re used to that! Go out there and make your voice heard. You never know what might happen!
12 thoughts on “What’s Next? Try Publishing”
Hi Cora, thanks for this article, all the journals you listed are totally new to me. I had half considered doing something like this, but then thought it’d be better to wait until finishing the course (half a master, a master ain’t!), but you’ve encouraged me to give it a shot. I see now why OU word counts are so stingy… good prep for these journals! Maybe I could retool one of my essays, but I get the impression from their submission guidelines that an original piece would be more suitable (maybe they’re sick of papers on timoria and Catullus every year!) Either that or radically rewrite one, perfect chance to revisit a TMA and go off on a different tandem instead of answering the question!
Yes, there’s a knack to retooling an essay so that it sounds like you’re exploring an interesting idea, rather than answering a question which you found a bit annoying!
By all means give it a shot, Leigh! I send things to journals sometimes when I’m testing out a new idea, because the peer review process can give some really useful feedback and set me off in a different direction. It’s not all about the publication: it’s also about the benefits you gain from a critical evaluation of your work. So I’d recommend it to anyone, as long as they’re braced for enthusiastically vicious criticism!
The word counts actually look a bit more generous than we’re used to (phew!) Good chance to put back in a lot of the juicy bits that got edited out of the TMAs 🙂 and explore the various avenues of research that came up in more detail.
Just been reading Neo. Nice to see Ian got published, well done Ian!
Indeed! Ian talks about publishing his Kassman entry here: https://classicalstudies.support/2018/05/31/entering-the-kassman-competition/.
I like the idea of submitting something for publishing. What Cora Beth mentioned above about doing it as much for the experience and feedback is in my view worth while regardless of the outcome. Of course a published article would be great!
It does feel nice to see your work in print, and to know that people out there are thinking about your ideas. Mind you, it hasn’t always worked out well for me! I published my first article in the prestigious ‘Classical Quarterly’ in 2007 (it was accepted while I was doing my PhD, but took two years to get to print, because the manuscript vanished!), and I was very proud. I waited for the inevitable critical acclaim. Well, the metrics tell me that in over a decade it’s been read by not quite thirty people in the whole wide world. And nobody’s ever cited it. My fame is taking a while to spread, it seems.
(The article is here, by the way, in case there are any kind souls who want to push me into the thirties…! https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/classical-quarterly/article/othos-funny-walk-tacitus-histories-127/CE25412114184B1436C68A51F0A89D90#fndtn-information)
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Hi Cora Beth, thanks for sharing your article, which I enjoyed reading. You give a plausible explanation for Tacitus’ passage and addressed all my queries by article’s end. Nice how you tie together the practical reason for his ramblings with the possibility that Otho may have joked about it himself, so it may not have been entirely Tacitus’ literary invention, although it works well that way too. This really helps to flesh out these emperors and shows how we sometimes take classical literature a bit too seriously. The canonisation of witty sayings has led to their jokes feeling a bit stale, having been repeated down the millennia, but they were once fresh and “new” examples of ancient humour are always welcome. I wonder how much other funny stuff is lost on us?
Well, Leigh, it’s quite possible you’re the first of those not-quite-thirty readers to make it to the end of the article…! At the time it gave me an excellent excuse (and a financial grant!) for wandering around the Palatine looking at likely routes and gradients, so it was fun to write.
I certainly think that we’ve missed a lot of jokes; Classics as a discipline doesn’t always respond well to humour! There are all sorts of passages in which you can sense that something is going on, but you just can’t pin down what it is. A lot of my research has been clustered around the question ‘What are we missing?’, because even in the most canonical texts I think there are still important things that modern readers just don’t see.
Of course, it’s worth considering that I may be slightly mad…!
Humour is one of the most difficult things to pick up in foreign language learning, so that goes double for ancient humour. This talk of how to spot humour reminds me of tma1 (seems so long ago now) when we were discussing how to express humour in an academic register. Some of my Loebs put exclamation marks into the Greek text, which looks rather odd, but is really no stranger than use of any other form of modern punctuation. But the fact that the exclamation mark didn’t exist back then might be something that makes us read the texts as dry objects of reverence. I’m sure there is something about the language that hints at exclamation in a way that is lost on a beginner like me. Like the discussion from tma3 on the exclamatory nature of οιμοι. Maybe use of the vocative or phrases like πευ or αγε? A bit of lazy summer research https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-history-of-the-exclamation-point-16445416/ seems to suggest the exclamation mark came from Latin io, with the i eventually jumping on top of the o. However this was only developed in Medieval Latin, so it would’ve been the same case for ancient Latin as with Greek. It could also be our own over exposure to exclamation marks that has made us less observant to more subtle expressions of humour.
Yes, we’ve become very heavy-handed in our use of humour, particularly in recent decades. I blame the emoji – these days people don’t know you’re joking unless you include a smiley face… 🙂