Here at Unravel, we love starting conversations about anything that’s even remotely related to language, so if you would like to contribute an article or story, please write to us in advance and pitch your idea to us! Do remember, however, that Unravel is very serious about its commitment to accessible, jargon-free discussions of linguistic issues. The requirements for various types of articles are listed below, and general submission guidelines can be found farther down the page.
We welcome any article that is related to and celebrates the world of languages and linguistics. Since Unravel‘s inception in 2016, we’ve published quarterly, and then bi-annually. In 2019, we decided to shake things up and publish all year round, but in September 2020, a new Unravel team has taken over. We are aiming to return to a regular publishing schedule with special features several times a year, starting Issue 15: Language and Power, projected for publication in early 2021. [Click here for Issue 15’s Call for Submissions! Pitch deadline: 15 November 2020]
Please submit your articles or article pitches to [email protected] with the column title in the subject field of your email. The range of content related to languages and linguistics is explored in our columns outlined below.
Ausländer – Language acquisition column
The Ausländer column features articles relating to the teaching, learning, and acquisition of a second language. Articles in this section can be experiential, anecdotal, empirical or theoretical in nature. Topics include (but are by no means limited to) tips and tricks, plateau syndrome, the epiphany point, learning strategies, teaching methods, and pedagogical philosophies.
Gobbledygook – Etymology column
The Gobbledygook column features articles relating to the words, their histories and origins. Articles in this section can be descriptive, empirical or theoretical in nature, and are not limited to discussion of English words. Articles may discuss words related by field, origin, or meaning, as well as words that are represented in several languages.
Interrogatives – Interviews
The Interrogatives section features interviews with prominent people in the field of linguistics, or disciplines related to linguistics such as neurocognition and animal behavior and communication. Interviews are limited to not more than 15 questions, and should be submitted with a profile of the interviewee, and an accompanying landscape portrait (no less than 800 pixels in resolution).
The Language Profiles section describes a language or dialect of a language in detail. This includes, but is not limited to, the language’s history, place in a language family, historical or present-day variation and current issues, as well as how it differs from English and the Indo-European family of languages. We do not limit the choice of language, but we reserve the right to publish your article as and when we see fit. Submissions considering less salient languages or dialects of major languages are generally preferred.
We accept reviews of published material relating to linguistics—books, magazines, journal articles or web series—, although we prefer books. We also accept reviews of feature films that have linguistics or language as a central narrative element, although there are very few of these currently in existence.
General feature articles, Opinion pieces, and Commentaries
Any article that does not fall into the above sections will be considered general feature articles. Topics may include any concept that is related to linguistics and the study of language, including concepts from applied linguistics, biolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, coherence and cohesion, computational linguistics, corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, morphology, neurolinguistics, orthography, phonetics, phonology, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, semantics, spelling, spoken text analysis, sociolinguistics, syntax, typology and any other sub-discipline of linguistics not listed here. We also accept articles discussing concepts peripherally related to linguistics (such as animal communication and neurocognition), and pieces attempting to create interdisciplinary spheres to discuss linguistic implications in other fields. The tone of the article and the treatment of the subject matter will determine whether the article is categorised as a Feature, Opinion, or Commentary piece.
Dialogue: The Unravel blog
We accept shorter articles and opinion pieces for Dialogue, the Unravel blog. Articles for Dialogue are published as soon as they are accepted by the editorial team as ready for publication, and are not tied to the quarterly publication schedule for issues of the magazine.
Images, Illustration, and Creative Visualisation
We welcome quality visual content that is related to linguistics and language. Your work could be displayed in-text, as an article’s featured header image or as an issue’s featured cover image. We also accept creative visualisations such as photoessays, video essays, and video features. If you are interested in designing, illustrating or producing visual content for Unravel, please write to us and provide a sample of your work or a link to your landing page/portfolio.
- All submissions must be informed by the core, guiding principle of Unravel—to provide accessible, jargon-free and quality content to an audience unfamiliar with linguistics. Any submission that is excessively technical or academic is likely to be rejected, as is any submission found to be wanting in terms of quality of writing and expression.
- There is no word limit, although articles of a disproportionately short length (i.e. below 800 words) may be rejected.
- Your submission must adequately credit the source. In general, include proper citations and referencing to other works e.g. books, articles, websites, films, and other media sources where appropriate. This may take the form of in-text citations accompanied by a bibliography, or footnotes. Hyperlinks to online sources should be included whenever possible.
- Your submission must be in a common text editing format such as Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx), OpenOffice (.odt), Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Text (.txt).
- Your submission must include a biographical note. This may include educational and/or professional background and your hobbies, limited to 80 words. A sentence outlining your experience or exposure to the topic you are writing about is also recommended. If you have been published at Unravel before, you are free to reuse your original bio, making adjustments according to the aforementioned items where necessary.
- We strongly recommend that you include an Author’s Note with your submission. While not compulsory, the Author’s Note is an avenue to express your passion for the topic, and allow a strong personal voice to come through in a way that might not be practical in the body of your article. The Author’s Note could contain
• an outline of why you feel the topic might be of interest to readers,
• and/or how it initiates a unique conversation between different spheres of human knowledge, and/or what impact it might have on them.
- If your submission is in a language other than English, please refer to the section Submissions in languages other than English below.
- Email your submission(s) to [email protected]
- Members of our editorial team will be in touch and work with you, to work toward the issue’s final draft deadline and publication.
- Email your submission to [email protected]. Address your submission to the appropriate language editor for the language you are submitting to, and begin your email subject field with ATTN: <editor’s name>
• Español—ATTN: José Armando Fernández Guerrero
• Français—ATTN: José Armando Fernández Guerrero
• Português—ATTN: José Armando Fernández Guerrero
• 华文—ATTN: Gerald Choa
- If you are interested in working with us as an editorial assistant for any of these languages (or any others!), please visit the Support Us Page to learn more.
- We are interested in original work that has not been previously published anywhere in print or on the Web. Please do not submit content previously published in print, on personal blogs or websites, or any work which does not belong to you.
- By law, copyright will remain the property of the author. Upon receipt of your work, Unravel will have a licence to edit your work and to make reasonable copies for internal evaluation, editing and archival. Once accepted for publication, Unravel will hold exclusive [online and print] publishing rights to the piece from the date of acceptance and ending 90 days from the date of publication. After this period, our publishing rights will become non-exclusive, and you are free to republish the work elsewhere. We would appreciate if the standard acknowledgement could be made to notify the reader that the piece was originally published by Unravel.
- Simultaneous submissions are usually acceptable. If your piece has been accepted elsewhere, please notify the editor immediately at [email protected].
- By submitting the work you warrant and agree that:
(a) the work is original and has not been copied, adapted or translated in whole or in part from any third party’s work;
(b) you (and, where applicable, your named co-authors) are the sole creator(s) of the work;
(c) use and publication of the work by Unravel will not infringe the copyright, other intellectual property, confidentiality or personal data rights of any third party; and
(d) the work does not contain any obscene, offensive, seditious, unlawful or defamatory material and will not expose Unravel, its publishers, editors or volunteers to civil or criminal proceedings.
(e) you will indemnify Unravel, its publishers, editors, designers, and volunteers against all loss, damage, expenses, liabilities, and claims arising from any breach of any of the above warranties.
- All submissions are subject to review by Unravel, and we are under no obligation to publish your work.
- You agree to provide accurate, current, and complete information about yourself upon request by Unravel.
- No payment will be made for any work or for publication of any work. The magazine is run entirely by volunteers. Every position is currently unpaid, including that of the editors and designers. We are all running on unbridled passion and hope that that’s fine by you.