Submission Guidelines

CLT Article Style Guide | CLT Book Review Style Guide


Editorial Policy


Article Style Guide

• Style. We welcome submissions on contemporary Chinese literary and cultural topics. Our preference is for a clear and livelydiscussion style intended for a broad audience, accompanied by a minimum of scholarly apparatus.

• Editorial Policy. A manuscript, or its essential content, must not have been published previously in English or be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Contributors will receive a free copy of the issue in which their work appears.

Advance inquiries, addressed to Deputy Editor in Chief Jonathan Stalling (, are welcome. Please include in the body of your email or cover letter a brief explanation concerning the parameters and purpose of your essay and how it contributes to the ongoing scholarly conversation about contemporary Chinese literature or culture. If we invite you to submit the full text of your essay, please send it as an email attachment in MS Word (PC or Mac), with formatting (styles) kept to a minimum.

Every effort will be made to promptly notify contributors that their texts have been received, but please allow a minimum of six weeks for evaluation of your submission and for a response concerning acceptance; all texts that pass initial in-house screening will be sent to at least two outside readers in the field. Unsolicited manuscripts not accepted for publication will be returned if accompanied by sufficient postage.

N.B. We are especially interested in previously translated unpublished Chinese literature (short fiction and poetry), and invite you to submit samples or full texts for review.

• Length of Prose Texts. The maximum length for regular articles is 5,000 words (approximately 20 double-spaced pages), but we are interested in shorter essays as well (2,500 words or even shorter will be considered).

• Text Preparation. In matters of style and formatting, follow the guidelines in the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., 2010, hereafter CMS ( when preparing your document. For matters of spelling, we prefer the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary ( Double-space throughout the text and leave the right margin unjustified (ragged). Number all pages, and leave 1” margins on all sides. Place the article title at the top of the first page, then place your name on a separate line. Brief epigraphs may be used and should be placed at the left-hand margin preceding the text.

• Author Information. Your affiliation or city of residence should appear at the end of your article and be placed at the right-hand margin, italicized. Following your affiliation, please include your author biography of two to three sentences about yourself and your current projects (85 words max).

• Titles and Names. We prefer for the title of a published work to be given in pinyin upon first reference in your article, followed by the title in Chinese characters, and then a parenthetical English translation, either your own or a previously published one—for example, Tan xiang xing 檀香刑 (Sandalwood Death). Subsequent references should be either all in pinyin or all in the English. Personal names should be presented in pinyin first, followed by the Chinese characters, such as: Mo Yan 莫言. Please use the most well known version of a scholar's or author's name, such as: C. T. Hsia or Eileen Chang. For more details, see CMS, chapters 8 and 10.

• Quotations. Short quotations should be worked into the body of the text; quotations of four lines or more may be set off as extracts. Please format extracts by indenting them one inch from the left and inserting a blank line both above and below the extract. Do not use MLA-style parenthetical page citations in running text; they may be used with extracts, however, or placed in an endnote if they accompany a substantive note. A moderate number of citations from Chinese (or other languages) may be used, particularly when the illustration involves a linguistic or stylistic point. For long and/or difficult passages in Chinese, however, please provide an English version only, either your own or a published one. When in doubt, follow the guidelines set forth in CMS, chapter 11.

• Notes and Bibliographies. Notes should be kept to a bare minimum, particularly avoiding long, digressive comments, the use of ibid., notes citing only a page number, etc. For an excellent discussion on shortening the length and number of citations, see CMS 16.36-46. Essential publishing data, for example, can sometimes be incorporated into the text parenthetically at a book’s first mention and omitted thereafter. Footnotes will be converted to endnotes in the published version of your article. Lists of works cited should follow the guidelines for the humanities (“notes and bibliography”) style set forth in CMS, chapters 16 and 17 (see 16.3 and 16.8–18 for an overview of the system, and 16.19–89 plus chapter 17 for more detailed instructions).

• Illustrations. We welcome suggestions for possible illustrations (artwork, photography, or graphics) to accompany your text. Illustrations may be submitted in the following formats: 4x6 color prints or 300dpi digital files (tiff or jpeg preferred, grayscale for b/w). A separate list of captions and credit lines should accompany the illustrations, clearly keyed by number, as well as releases granting CLT permission to reproduce any copyrightable text or illustrations (please specify nonexclusive world English rights for all editions).
Guidelines on fair use and copyright can be found in CMS, chapter 4.

• Change of address. Please keep in touch even when traveling, and let us know of all changes of address of one month or longer.

Thank you for your help and collaboration.


Book Review Style Guide

• Inquiries. Please contact Book Review Editor Alexander Huang ( regarding any books you would like to review. Include the author, title, publisher, pub date, and ISBN.

• Submitting. Email your review to Alex Huang ( as an MS Word file.

Length. Reviews should be 350–400 words, with a 500-word maximum. Not all reviews received can be published, and overlong reviews will be returned for revision or edited for space.

Format. Headings must appear as shown below. All information is required.

Yan Lianke. Elegy and Academe. Fiction. Nanjing. Jiangsu People's Press. 2008. ix + 330 pages. 29 RMB. ISBN 978721405569

Foreign Literature. Echoes of a Century: Series Three. 10 volumes. Li Ziyun, Zhao Changtian, and Chen Sihe, eds. Nonfiction. Nanchang. Jiangxi Academic Publishing House. 2009. 290 RMB. ISBN 978781132574

1. Heading information required: Author. Title (in bold). Editor/translator/compiler/illustrator. Type (fiction or nonfiction). Place of publication (city and state if in the US, or city and country, as appropriate). Publisher (and distributor, as appropriate). Year. Number of pages. Price. ISBN. Use a period after each item except the ISBN.

2. Double-space the entire document.

3. Page numbers should refer only to the text; do not include advertisements by the publisher or author. Indicate if the book is illustrated, and note the plate count by the page count. The page count can be omitted entirely for a series comprised of multiple volumes.

4. Quotations may be used, but keep them brief and use no more than three.

Reviewer's name. Add at the end of the review along with university affiliation.

Translator's name. If there is one, add "Translated by" and list the name and university affiliation underneath the author's.

Style. CLT follows the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, 2010 (, and the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (

Titles and Names. Though CLT publishes reviews in English, these may be given in Chinese to avoid confusion. Always give the pinyin title first, then the title in Chinese characters, then a parenthetical English translation, such as: Tan xiang xing 檀香刑 (Sandalwood Death). Personal names should be presented in pinyin first, followed by the Chinese characters, such as: Mo Yan 莫言. Please use the most well known version of a scholar's or author's name, such as: C. T. Hsia or Eileen Chang.

Tearsheets. Upon publication of your review(s) in CLT, you will receive a clipping or tearsheet of the review several weeks following release of the issue. Unfortunately, we cannot send galley proofs of reviews or complimentary copies of complete issues to reviewers.

Change of address. Please keep in touch even when traveling, and let us know of all changes of address of one month or longer. Thank you for your help and collaboration.

Chinese Literature Today
108 Fourth Street
Bass Hall C33
Norman, OK 73019

Telephone: 405 325 2383
Fax: 405 325 0725

Updated December 2011