What is IDIOM all about?

IDIOM is the English Undergraduate Academic Journal of the University of Toronto, written, edited, and published entirely by UofT literature students. IDIOM polishes and showcases exemplary pieces of thoughtful literary criticism written by UofT undergraduate students for courses offered or recognized by the Department of English. The journal is published annually—typically in early April—and copies are free! As there is no cost for students and faculty to obtain the journal, editorial work is volunteer-based and publication fees are paid through Editorial Board fundraising efforts.

The 2019-2020 academic year will mark the publication of the fourteenth volume of IDIOM. Depending on the funds acquired, the Editorial Board has published between five (5) to nine (9) papers in previous years. This year, IDIOM is slated to publish at least seven (7) papers—potentially more if sufficient funding can be obtained.

Copies of the 2018-2019 journal, as well as journals from previous years, are available at the Department of English, located on the 6th floor of the Jackman Humanities Building, on the northwest corner of Bloor and St. George. Digital copies of past volumes may be accessed online in the “Volumes” section of our website, and archived print copies may be found via the University of Toronto Libraries catalogue. Please be advised that, due to limited print runs, we do not have extra hard copies of Volumes 7 or 9 available for distribution to the public, although you may of course view PDF versions of these volumes on this site.

How can I join the Editorial Board?

Applications for the 2019-2020 Editorial Board are now open! Visit the “Apply” subheading for more details.

How are responsibilities divided among the Editors?

All Editorial Board members are responsible for assisting with fundraising efforts to finance the journal’s publication and launch, as well as for promoting IDIOM’s Call for Papers through various avenues. Associate Editors utilize their attention to detail and firm grasp of the English language (and its mechanics!) in order to aid in the selection and editing of papers for publication. The Managing Editor monitors the Submissions email account and responds to student inquires, then conceals the identities of all submission authors before assigning papers to the rest of the Editorial Board for review. Please note that the Managing Editor does NOT participate in the selections process.

For more detailed descriptions of these roles and their respective responsibilities, please download the application package in the “Apply” section of the website.

How do I submit work to IDIOM?

The Call for Papers is now open. If you are currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, IDIOM encourages you to submit a piece of work from an English course for our consideration. For details on the submissions process, including the official 2019-2020 Submission Guidelines and Submission From, please consult the “Submit” page of our website.

Can graduate students or students from other universities apply for editorial positions or submit papers?

IDIOM is written, edited, and published entirely by University of Toronto undergraduate students. Thus, graduate students and students from other universities are ineligible to participate.

What does the decision-making process entail?

The exact process is determined annually by the Editorial Board; however, the identities of all essay authors remain anonymous throughout the selections process. Once the final papers for publication are decided upon, the names of those authors only are released to the Editorial Board. This means that the Editors reading the submissions during the selections process have no indication of who the author is, what year they are in, what class the paper was written for, what grade the paper received, etc. It is solely the quality of the submission that determines whether or not it is selected for publication.

What is the page limit for submissions?

This year, our page limit is fifteen (15) pages. Please be aware, however, that due to funding constraints, authors of longer papers—between ten (10) and fifteen (15) pages—will likely be asked to cut down their work during the editing process to meet publication requirements. It is strongly preferred that papers be shortened to ten (10) pages prior to submission.

Are first-year papers considered separately?

No, they are not. In fact, the year of study of the paper author is not released to the Editorial Board during the selections process. IDIOM seeks exemplary literary criticism—unique ideas, well-crafted arguments, and nuanced textual evidence. UofT students at all levels of study are capable of producing essays that possess some or all of these qualities. In previous years, first-year papers have consistently been chosen for publication, with the overall merit of the work as the sole criteria behind these selections.

As such, first-year students are strongly encouraged to submit to IDIOM; publication in an academic journal is a noteworthy, exciting experience that looks excellent on future graduate and vocational applications!

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