Submission Guide

EAL welcomes scholarship treating writings up to around 1830 that were composed in or treat the circumstances of life in North America.

  1. All submissions must be in English, though they may treat works written in Spanish, Dutch, German, French, or Native American languages.
  2. Documentation should be in MLA format.
  3. Authors must secure permissions for illustrations and quotations drawn from proprietary sources such as unpublished manuscripts or Native American heritage expressions. There is no set limit on the number of illustrations that may accompany an article. There are no set limits on images. If you wish to use images, these are the requirements from UNC Press:
    Please provide images that are at least 5” wide, with a minimum resolution of 300 pixels per inch (ppi). Tif/TIFF files are preferred, with jpg/JPEG acceptable if that is the only format available from an archive or library. Please secure written permissions and provide a copy of permissions.
  4. Manuscripts should not exceed 10,000 words in length with notes and citations. When preparing the manuscript, please omit your name and institutional affiliation from the body of your essay. Please check your essay to ensure that there are no identifying features in the document.
  5. Submissions are typically evaluated by one or more outside readers, a member of the editorial board, and the editor, and take approximately four months to process.

Submission Categories

Submissions to EAL may also fall under, but are not limited to, the guidelines of a category listed below:


An “Invention” features imaginative writing that can inform and become part of the trajectory of early American literature. Whether poetry, prose, personal narrative, creative nonfiction, drama, or any combination of the above, the journal invites submissions that reframe how readers apprehend early America broadly conceived. Ultimately, an “Invention” represents new ways of understanding past lives and literature.


A “Provocation” is a short, suggestive essay that reconsiders existing scholarly narratives and challenges common approaches to the study of early American literature. In 6,000 words or less, these peer-reviewed contributions should encourage thought-provoking discussions and counternarratives. A “Provocation” aims to create a flexible forum for hosting the potentially polemic and undoubtedly controversial.


“Archives” are peer-reviewed spaces reserved for highlighting developments in early American archival practice—whether relating to print culture, textual criticism, archive theory, or the presentation of historical and textual discoveries. These essays of under 6,000 words in length may take part in the unearthing of manuscripts, lost editions, critical discrepancies, literary connections, and more.

If you have questions about completing a submission for EAL, please contact EAL‘s Editorial Assistants Lauren Santoru and Maggie Warren at  or contact Submittable’s support team ( for help with technical challenges.