Home OFF THE PRESS Submission Guidelines

OFF THE PRESS Submission Guidelines

Off the Press accepts unsolicited book reviews in the following categories: Academic titles and monographs, trade publications, fiction, and poetry.

If you like, pitch us your title first before you sit down to read, it may be that we have already scheduled a review for that book.

Academic Titles & Monographs

A full book review may concern only one book or monograph or several works. Its length is about 750-1000 words. It should give readers an engaging, informative, and critical discussion of the work. The review should follow the Guidelines below.

The most important point in developing a book review is to address CubaCounterpoint’s readership: international and interdisciplinary. The review should consider:

The intended audience for the book and who would find it useful;
The background of the author;
The main ideas and major objectives of the book and how effectively these are accomplished;
The soundness of methods and information sources used;
The context or impetus for the book – – political controversy, review research or policy, etc.;
A comparison with other works on this subject is an added bonus;
Constructive comments about the strength and weaknesses of the book;

For edited books: dominant themes with reference to specific chapters as appropriate; and implications of the book for research, policy, practice, or theory.

The header of your review should include (This applies to all categories above).

Picture of the book cover
Author(s) or editor(s) first and last name(s) (please indicate if it is an edited book)
Title of book
Year of publication
Place of publication
Number of pages
Price (please indicate paperback or hard cover) if available

At the end of your review, please include:

Your first and last name
Institution affiliation
A brief biographical note along the line of:
Leslie López Larkin received her (degree) in (field) from….She is currently….Where she teaches/conducts research/practices in….
She has published…

Style Guidelines

All references should be made in-text, rather than as footnotes or endnotes. These references should take the following form: (Quiroga 1999). If it is necessary to cite a particular page number, the reference should be in the following form: (Quiroga 1999, 27).

All reviews should be submitted with American English spelling, rather than British English. (To change the language in an MS Word document, first “select all” (ctrl-a) of your text, then choose “Language” and “Set Language” from the Tools pull-down menu. Choose “English (U.S.)” from the available list.)

Any references should be included in a separate Endnotes. If you do not have access to this software, please format all references in MLA Style. (Please note capitalization and punctuation conventions.)

CubaCounterpoints is an interdisciplinary journal that aims to reach a readership of academics and non-academics alike.  Therefore, authors must communicate to a wide audience with many readers in fields other than their own. Language must be direct and void of unnecessary jargon and technical terms. Use the active voice as much as possible.

Trade Publications, Fiction, & Poetry

If you decide that you would like to submit a review of a recent trade publication, novel, or poetry, we encourage you to take a more personal approach to your selected topic. Some questions to ask yourself when reviewing a title in these categories are:
What is my reaction to this book and why? What is compelling about about the novel or the poetry collection? Why would our readers enjoy it? Where does it come up short?

Please note that a book review of a novel, for example, does not entail close reading; instead, highlight for our readers those 1-2 passages that you found particularly moving or compelling. If a short story or poetry collection, which stories/poems spoke to you the most and why?

Do give your readers a brief synopsis; do not, however, give away the plot!

I am particularly fond of fiction, trade books, and poetry reviews that not only tell the reader about the book, but also what kind of relationship the reviewer develops with book through the reading process.

Finally, revise carefully, avoid run-on sentences, use present tense, strive for clarity, vary the length of your sentences, avoid jargon like the plague and, last but not least, read your piece aloud before submitting it to us. This last one is important. While you may not be writing poetry, reading your piece aloud will improve your relationship with your new best friends, Rhythm and Flow!

Review away!

Your Off the Press Editor, Susannah Rodriguez Drissi: reviews@cubacounterpoint.com