A Look at the Submission Process

The GWRJournal follows an editorial review process similar to many established peer-reviewed journals. Here’s an overview of what happens to your article if it’s submitted to the journal.

NOTE: Please remember that at any given time our editorial team is working on multiple issues of the journal at once. As such, it can (and usually does) take a few semesters for an article to move from initial submission to publication in the journal.

Step 1: Submission

You submit your article at grassrootswriting@gmail.com. Submissions can be sent at any time, although we do have a submission deadlines we promote to encourage writers to submit. If you want to conduct an interview for your article, you should get your interviewee to sign our consent form.

Step 2: Confirmation

You receive a confirmation email from the editorial team letting you know that your article has been received and will be reviewed.

Step 3: Initial Review

Your article undergoes an initial review, where the editorial team determines how “ready” your article is to go through the editorial process. Does it fit with the scope and aims of the journal? Some of the questions the initial reviewers ask are:

  • did you actually conduct and write about writing research, cultural-historical activity theory, or other common topics we publish in the journal?
  • is it written with the appropriate tone and audience in mind?
  • how close is it to our Submission Tips?
  • is it at least 1,500 words long (though longer is preferable)?
Time Frame for Initial Review

The initial review may happen soon after submission if your submission coincides with an already-scheduled review time. However, if you submit just prior to:

  • Summer Break – you’ll hear back in the Fall Semester
  • Winter Break – you’ll hear back well into the Spring Semester.

Step 4: Re-Evaluation Period

If the initial reviewers identify some specific things they would like to see you work on to prepare your article for the next step in the review process, you will receive a detailed letter from the Associate Editor outlining the types of revision the initial reviewers would like to see. You will be invited to revise and resubmit your article for consideration again. However, if the initial reviewers believe your article is developed enough to go through the next step in the review process, you will receive a briefer email letting you know that your article will be sent to two anonymous reviewers, which is the next step in the process.

Step 5: Review Letters

If your article is accepted under the initial review, it will be sent to two anonymous reviewers, who will closely read your article and write letters to the Associate Editor making suggestions on what you can do to further strengthen and improve your article to prepare it for publication. The Associate Editor will take these two letters, write a cover letter with some additional insights and advice to go with it, and will send all three letters to you. It will be your responsibility at that point to revise your article, taking into account the editors’ suggestions as much as possible.

Time Frame for Review Letters
  • Generally, getting feedback from reviewers at this stage in the process takes at least a month
  • You will be given at least another month to revise and resubmit your article

Step 6: Revision Assessment

After you have resubmitted your article, taking the first round of review comments into account, the editorial team will determine whether you sufficiently revised to keep moving forward. If minimal revision was made, your article may be sent back to you and additional revisions will be requested. If it appears that you were thoughtful and diligent in taking the reviewers’ suggestions into account, your revised article will once again be sent to the guest reviewers. This time, they will dig into specifics more, providing a bullet-pointed list of additional revisions or suggestions they have and also often providing some in-text comments right in a version of your article to help you dig into your next round of revisions. Then, once again, the Associate Editor will write a cover letter to accompany this feedback from the guest reviewers and will return it to you.

Time Frame for Review Letters
  • Generally, this stage of feedback takes at least an additional month
  • You will be given another month to revise and resubmit. However, if suggestions for revising are minimal at this point you may have a shorter deadline

Step 7: Associate Editor Feedback

If you once again resubmit your article and have adequately addressed the feedback the reviewers gave you, it will be time to move past the review stage in the process. However, some writers undergo one more additional round of review feedback first. (To ensure you don’t keep revising and resubmitting, take the feedback you receive from the editors seriously!) After you have completed your revisions at this step in the process, you will begin to work directly with the Associate Editor to prepare your article for publication. This will involve at least one—though often two, and sometimes three—rounds of detailed suggestions from the editor for further revisions. You also will be asked to submit additional components of your article—such as the images you used, an abstract, and an author bio and photo—if you have not already submitted these items. At this stage, you will need to make sure your article follows our Editorial Style Guide.

Step 8: Copy Editing

Once the Associate Editor is satisfied with the revisions you have made in addressing his or her line edits, the Associate Editor will let you know that your article is ready to undergo copy editing. It will be sent to one or more of the journal’s copy editors for a detailed review.

Step 9: You Check the Designed Article

After copy editing is completed, your article and any images that accompany it will be sent to the designer and the article will be laid out. Once the design is complete, you will receive a PDF of what your designed article looks like so you can review the copy editing changes that have been made, the overall layout, etc. and point out any edits you’d like to see.

Step 10: Proofing of the Whole Journal

Once those changes have been made, our editors put the article (along with the rest of the journal) through a thorough proofread.

Step 11: You Give Final Approval

You’ll get once more chance to take a look at your article once any proofreading changes and design tweaks have been made. Once you give the official “OK,” your article will be ready to print along with the rest of the journal.

Step 12: Finally!

You get to sit back, relax, and wait for your copy of the journal (and your $50 stipend for contributing) to come in.


It’s a lot of hard work, but hopefully when you see your name in print and see your article published in the GWRJournal, it will all be worth it!