Guide for Essayists

The following information is for contributors who are actively producing pieces for The Fight & The Fiddle. (If that’s not you, and you’d like it to be, please review our submission information.)

Celebrate. Educate. Preserve.

Thank you in advance for helping the Furious Flower Poetry Center to further our mission of ensuring the visibility, inclusion and critical consideration of Black poets in American letters, as well as in the whole range of educational curricula. Below are some helpful guidelines as you prepare your essay for publication in The Fight & The Fiddle.

Author’s photo. Be sure to email a high resolution photograph of yourself to be included with your essay to Lauren K. Alleyne.

Bio. Include a paragraph (no more than 100 words) at the end of your essay that describes your credentials.

Byline. Your byline will include your name and your academic degree acronym, e.g., by Your Name, PhD.

Due date. Our deadlines for The Fight & The Fiddle are based on reliable quarterly publication of this journal. Please honor the due date for your piece.

Requirements. Essays are typically 2,000–3,000 words in length and must be fully cited (see Editorial Style below). They are critical or craft-based in nature and focus on work by the specified poet.

Editorial style. Because we are a literary journal, our editorial style reflects the MLA guide, particularly for in-text citations and works cited so that other people can find and study the reference material. And because we publish online, we use some AP formatting for legibility:

  • Single space after a period.
  • Words as words are in quotation marks. For example: She made the word “hush” a caress.
  • Space on either side of em-dash (like — this).
  • Space on either side of ellipses (like … this). Note no space between the periods.
  • Space on either side of virgule to indicate a line break (like / this).

Prior to publishing, your essay will be edited to conform to our house style with regard to punctuation, capitalization, and preferred spelling. Following are some of our conventions.

Black. Capitalize when used as a racial designation.

Book titles. When including books (not as part of citations), include publisher and date on first reference; e.g., Gregory Pardlo’s Digest (Four Way Books, 2014).

Diaspora. Capitalize in reference to the African Diaspora.

Series/Oxford comma. Use it.