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Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Writing, Second Edition
John Chaffee et al.
Guide to Publishing Your Work
Publication Venues

Here are just some possible publication venues you may want to consider. Remember to check each one out thoroughly before submitting work. is a publishing site that publishes both fiction and non-fiction in electronic version only. You can visit the site to get a good sense of what kinds of things they are publishing, and what kinds of services they offer. There is no charge for submitting work, or for having it published, but there are a few conditions:
  • In order to participate, you’ll need to become a member.
  • For every work you submit, you have to "Read & Rate" three works by other writers.
  • You must read and accept the Submission Guidelines and Contract before you can submit.
You can get directly to their submission guidelines (from which the above points are paraphrased). Their guidelines are detailed, so spend some time navigating the site and making sure you are submitting correctly. Also check out the Assignments section, which offers topics they are particularly interested in receiving work for.

A brief look at the material up on shows that they are open to a variety of topics and styles and are more than willing to consider work by beginning writers.

Yellow Dog
Yellow Dog is a great example of an online magazine (a zine, or e-zine) that often accepts work from students, both graduate and undergraduate. The content is humorous, ironic, satiric or a mix of all three; this is not the place for traditional academic essay work. Jeff Rice, the e-zine’s editor, says quite simply, "YDog’s a place for satire, humor, etc." Issues include articles and artwork that take advantage of the web format by integrating animation, sound, text and images.

Carleton University Student Journal of Philospohy
The Carleton University Student Journal of Philosophy is devoted specifically to essays in philosophy. It is open to work by undergraduate and graduate students from any school, and its professed aim is to provide students with a first opportunity to publish their work. The journal has recently gone to an electronic format, although submitted work is still reviewed by the editorial board as well as philosophy scholars from Carleton University. This journal is a good example of how electronic venues can be of extremely high editorial quality. A journal like this one is as professional as any print journal you might find. Be sure to read their call for papers and submissions guidelines.

University of Toronto Journal of Bioethics
The Univeristy of Toronto Journal of Bioethics is an electronic journal devoted to publishing work that explores "the moral implications of science, medicine, and research in society." The journal is available in both print and electronic formats. Like The Carleton University Student Journal of Philosophy, UTJB is specifically open to undergraduate student work. And like the journal out of Carleton, UTJB is committed to publishing work of exceptional quality. Submissions are peer reviewed, which means that submitted work is read by at least one other scholar (or expert) in the field. Be sure to read their instructions for authors. The editors can be reached at

Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review
The Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review published by University Honors College, accepts submissions from undergraduates in all academic disciplines from any school; you may want to query the editors first to see if your specific topic fits what they are looking for. (To "query" an editor means simply to send a short e-mail or letter asking whether they are accepting work of a specific kind or topic.) PUR has been publishing for over twenty years, and submissions are peer reviewed by the editorial board and faculty readers. Be sure to review their submission guidelines.

Note that the editors choose one submission per issue to receive The Edythe Portz Prize, a $250 honorarium. Note also that a $10 fee is required with each submission.

The Undergraduate Publication Directory
The Undergraduate Publication Directory is a great resource to help you find the most appropriate venue for your academic work. Remember that the first step towards getting your work accepted is determining the right venue. Take a look at the venues listed in this directory to see if any is suitable. From there, follow the directions as they appear for each individual publication.

Poets & Writers
The Poets & Writers website is a great resource for writers looking to publish their work, as it offers articles on writing and publishing as well as information on venues. Be sure to check out the Classifieds section to check out current calls for submissions.

Internet Search Engines
You may also try using an Internet search engine to search for journals on a specific topic; if, for example, you have an essay you’ve written for English class on child labor in the Victorian era and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s "Cry of the Children," you can combine any search terms from your topic with something like "undergraduate journal" to see what comes up. If specific searches like that do not turn up anything useful, try more general terms, like "Victorian undergraduate journal," or something along those lines. Four of the major search engines to try are Excite, Yahoo!, Google and Netscape. Even if you don't find a suitable venue, you may come up with more information for your paper!

Local Newspapers and Newsdirectory
Newspapers are often willing to accept unsolicited contributions from writers. To find newspapers from your local area, or from around the world, take a look at Newsdirectory, a directory for newspapers worldwide.

Remember that each newspaper is likely to have different guidelines in terms of what they are looking for from contributors, so again, be sure to check each paper individually. Remember also that newspapers have staff writers that do most of their local reporting (and they can get their other news from national and international news wire services like Reuters), but you may be able to write reviews, provide local current affairs reporting not covered by staff writers, or publish a letter to the editor or an opinion piece.

The web page for most newspapers will include contact information for submitting letters to the editor as well as for story ideas specific to the paper’s various sections. Again, you'll have better luck if you familiarize yourself with the style and content of previously published work before deciding to submit your own.

Community Magazines
You may be able to find publishing opportunities through your local community magazines, regional magazines, or arts and entertainment magazines (some will even pay for published work). These can be a good venue for opinion pieces; music, theatre and movie reviews; or certain kinds of persuasive writing. Most will not likely be suitable for academic essay or report writing, however. These kinds of magazines will often, though not always, differ in style and content from newspapers, so it is a good idea to decide whether your particular writing style and interests are more suited to the local arts and entertainment magazine or to the local newspaper.

Opportunities at Your School
It's always worthwhile to check out local publishing opportunities at your own school. Consider looking into journals published by individual departments, clubs, or organizations (especially those geared towards undergraduates). In addition, your school newspaper will likely be eager to get more student work, including journalism, opinion pieces, or current affairs reporting. Be sure to check out graduate and undergraduate essay prizes offered by your school as well, which may include opportunities for publication.

Create Your Own Website
Consider the possibility of assembling work by fellow students and building a web site that features that work, and perhaps information about the contributors or the class from which it derives. Many colleges and universities provide free web space to students. In effect, you can write your own e-book." The downside of this project is that it does not necessarily guarantee that your work will be read by a public audience larger than your own class. However, even having to consider that thirty other students may be reading your writing will give you a good sense of the importance that audience has as you write, revise, and edit.