Submission Guidelines

Fall 2020 Call for Papers: Reshaping the Writing CenterModifying Practices for Today

Submission Deadline: November 1st

The evolving climate of the world acts as a mirror to writing center practice.

2020 is more than the start of a new decade; it is the start of an uprising. This unique year has brought about universal changes stemming from political and social revolutions to global health concerns. These changes have affected all of us on both a community level and individual scale. They have reshaped every aspect of our lives, including the ways in which we participate in the writing center. With many writing centers making the transition to virtual tutoring in light of the pandemic, many tutors have found themselves in the burgeoning climate of online tutoring; others have had to give up or modify the practice they knew and loved. Tutors have been challenged to rethink everything they’ve learned about their role as a writing tutor and the logistics of their working spaces. This contemporary environment for writing centers has allowed for risky innovation while simultaneously bringing to light previously hidden inequalities and outdated practices of the center.

Additionally, tutors are finding that their positions within the writing center are not stagnant. Tutoring, while encompassed by a general phrase, is an ever-changing process with a temporary relationship between each tutor and tutee. This relationship, virtual or in-person, will remain influenced by and dependent upon each individual’s identity, including the now ever-apparent elements of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and socio-economic status.

In this issue of The Dangling Modifier, we invite you to respond to one or more of the following questions:

  • Express how going “virtual” affects the way you communicate with those around you and those that are part of the writing center community.
  • If you tutor online, how has your tutoring practice changed? How has this changed your relationship with your tutees?
  • How do current world relations parallel those in the writing center? How has the shift in writing center practice to a largely virtual space made daily inequalities more visible? How can we address these disparities in the center? 
  • Express how your intersectional identity interacts with your role as a writing tutor and the ways this may have shifted in the current circumstances.
  • In what ways do we need to take risks in the writing center? How have current circumstances made risk and change inevitable? How can we balance tradition and innovation in the writing center environment?

The General Idea:

We generally prefer shorter submissions (500-1000 words), but we’re flexible. We also appreciate articles and stories that display the writer’s understanding of the writing center field and how their ideas connect with others (in short, try to cite some relevant literature).

We also invite submissions for our “Entertainment” section: send us your tutoring-related poems, art, comics, book reviews, videos, jokes, grammar games, and more. Our current theme — Keepers of Collaboration — invites your thoughts and creativity on any topic related to social justice, civil and civic discourse, the ways in which writing tutoring serves as a site of resistance, and more. This section is relatively new for us, so feel free to contact us with your ideas and questions.

Email submissions to danglingmodifier.psu.edu@gmail.com.

        First, you’ll need an idea…

What You’ll Need:

  • An idea!
  • To write about it!
  • A final draft of your essay or article, saved in Microsoft Word Document format
  • If you’re submitting a picture or artwork, please submit it as a JPEG
  • An author bio of about 50-100 words
  • An author photo

What Happens Next:

  • If your submission is selected for publication, you’ll be contacted by one of our peer tutor editors. The editor will collaborate with you to revise and strengthen your already-terrific work. The two of you will work closely as you prepare your writing for publication. Think of the editors as your Agent/Support System hybrid!
  • Submissions revised for publication will usually go live on the website within the first few weeks after the semester ends. So if you’re being published in a Fall Issue, expect to see your name in lights come January. If you’re being published in the Spring, think June.
Red Tree Portrait by Shaun Tan
We can’t wait to see what you create!

Questions?

Authors are not paid nor given copyright assignments so that all articles can be freely and fairly used for educational purposes. Authors may submit articles that have been published in other publications under the condition that the previous publication permits the author to do so.

Both the artworks on this page are created and copywritten by Shaun Tan.