Assay publishes the best peer-reviewed critical scholarship of creative nonfiction to provide a space for work that elevates the genre in an academic setting. While there is no shortage of craft pieces and craft texts, the focus of nonfiction analysis has been on the art of the genre. Critical scholarship that studies nonfiction as literature, not simply art, is lacking in our genre. Our purpose is to facilitate all facets of that conversation to be a resource for writers, scholars, readers, and teachers of nonfiction.
Our online format makes research materials more accessible to scholars, but it also utilizes the available technology to expand the discussion. In addition to the written expression of nonfiction criticism, Assay provides the space for both written and video interviews with writers, as well as providing for more informal discussions of reading and teaching in the genre.
- We only accept unpublished material; we ask for first serial rights and the publication rights revert to you after publication.
- We DO NOT accept submissions of creative nonfiction and we DO NOT accept submissions of scholarly articles on fiction or poetry.
- We encourage simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if your work is being considered elsewhere--and if it is accepted, please inform us immediately so we can celebrate with you.
- We read year round, though our response time may be slower in the summer and during academic breaks (and close to the release date of the next issue). Response time is generally within 6-8 weeks. If you have not heard in this time frame, please feel free to send and email and ask.
- We publish twice a year: October 1st and April 1st.
- Revise and Resubmit submissions will be treated as brand new submissions, without history or expectation of publication.
We are looking for formal academic scholarship on nonfiction texts, techniques, and authors. We welcome all critical lenses, from ecocriticism to postcolonialism and beyond, on texts from traditional to experimental. We seek a wide variety of texts and approaches. Articles should follow MLA style and formatting and be in the 15-25 page range, and must include a Works Cited page.
The conversations section includes short, informal discussions of a craft element or reaction to a work of nonfiction (book length or otherwise) or a nonfiction author. Typically, this section is fewer than 1000 words, but the length limits are very flexible. One mistake we often see: submissions that are too general and do not reference the original text enough. Make sure yours does both. Don't worry too much about length–make sure you cover your subject.
Check out this Practical Note: "Towards the Brief & Informal: In Praise of Other Kinds of Critical Engagement"
In for more guidance. We're looking for any number of forms, including:
We seek formal and informal pedagogy that addresses all levels of students, from first year composition to beginning and advanced creative writing undergraduates, to graduate students. . Pedagogy work does need to be more than "lore," and we do tend to prefer work that is at least informed by pedagogical scholarship (where appropriate).
Our blog supports the work of the journal between issues. We seek brief analytical pedagogical submissions on the following topics: