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Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica

Style Manual

This text describes the routine duties and procedures of the Assistant to the Editors of Letras Femeninas. Its purpose is to help each Assistant perform in an efficient and consistent manner. It is also instrumental for training new Assistants.

  • LF receives a regular flow of manuscripts submitted for publication in the regular December issue. They are sent to the editor, who forwards them to the Assistant. The Assistant must deal directly with the authors during the evaluation process.
  • When a new manuscript (ms) is received, find the author’s file in the general files. Mss should be submitted in duplicate, with an abstract describing the article and a sse for correspondence with the author. While authors are expected to provide a sse for the return of their manuscript (i.e. a large manila envelope), often times they only send a small envelope. This can be used to send the letter acknowledging the receipt of the ms.
  • If author does not have a file, open one and label it: LAST NAME, first name.
  • Create an electronic file for the new ms:
  • LAST NAME, first name (of author)
    “article title” – as it appears in the ms
    9/15 – ack. receipt sent to author
    9/16 – ms sent to [name of reviewer]
  • acknowledge receipt of ms to author with form letter (electronic file folder labeled “RETURN RECEIPT”).
  • keep one copy of the ms in the author’s file and make a xerox of the article (omitting name of author) so that you will have two copies (w/o author name) to send to readers
  • ask the Editor to suggest appropriate readers for the ms (reviewers names are kept in electronic format—divided into specializations, LA, Spain, and US chicana/latina) or to reject it if it seems inappropriate. Once a ms has been sent to a reviewer, make a note on the respective electronic file and write the date you sent the ms, so as to know how many ms each reviewer has seen and when the last time we used them was.
  • if ms is rejected by editor, return it to author with form letter (electronic file folder “REJECTIONS”) modified according to specific instructions; if the editor made notes on the ms, send that copy to author and keep a copy, and make a note of the rejection
  • 9/25 – rejected
    9/30 – author notified and ms returned
  • place the e-file in a “rejection” section
  • if Editor suggests outside readers, write a form letter to each reader (computer file folder “EVALUATIONS”) asking them to read the ms and send their evaluation in a month’s time. Along with the form letter, send them: 1. a copy of the manuscript (author’s name removed), 2. the evaluation guide, with the name of the ms written in on top and the date by which it should be returned (electronic file folder “EVALUATIONS”, file name “1EVAL GUIDE”)
  • Note: If the submission is a creative one, use the evaluation guide “1EVAL GUIDE—CREATIVE”
  • note this on the respective e-file
  • 9/15 – ms sent to [name of reviewer]
  • when the reviewer sends the evaluation, make a note on the e-file
  • 10/15 – [name of reviewer] recommends [rejection, revise and resubmit, accept for publication, accept w/revisions]
  • thank the reviewer via e-mail or form letter and note this on the e-file
  • 10/15 –[name of reviewer] recommends [rejection, revise and resubmit, accept for publication, accept w/revisions] – thx sent to reviewer via [e-mail, snail mail]
  • when both evaluations have arrived, take them to Editor for final decision
  • If ms is rejected, write form letter according to the specific instructions. Include a copy of the reader’s report (without the evaluator’s name and specific recommendation), or type excerpts from the report into the letter itself. Return ms to author with these comments, as well as a copy of the ms with markings (keep a copy of this marked ms in case author should have further questions)
  • If the decision is to revise and resubmit, send appropriate form letter (electronic file folder “REVISE AND RESUBMIT”), the ‘corrected’ ms and copies and/or excerpts from the reader reports (without the evaluator’s name and specific recommendation). Revise and resubmit letter should be either encouraging or neutral—there are examples of both in the computer file folder.
  • Note “revise and resubmit” on author’s e-file and place it under the heading R&R; as many authors take much time to revise or never resubmit their mss, many files under this heading must eventually be relocated to the inactive section. LF gives authors 6 mos. to complete the revisions.
  • 10/15 –R&R sent
  • When revisions are received, send the form letter to the author regarding these revisions (in electronic file folder “RECEIPT OF REVISIONS”). Show ms to Editor to make certain basic revisions were done. Ms should then be sent to the original reviewers and a note made on the e-file. Send the following to the original reviewers: 1. new ms 2. old ms 3. copy of their original report 4. new evaluation guide (“1EVAL GUIDE—R&R”).
  • 10/15 –R&R sent
    2/2 – revisions received – acknowledged
    2/15 – revisions sent to [reviewer one], [reviewer two]
  • Once the evaluations return for the revised ms, take them to the editor for a final decision and send the appropriate form letter to author and make a note on the e-file.
  • If ms is accepted with revisions, send appropriate form letter to author and make a note on the e-file. Return the ms with the letter as well as copies and/or excerpts from the reader reports (again without the evaluator’s name and specific recommendation).
  • 10/15 –accept with revisions sent
  • If ms is accepted for publication, note “accepted for publication” on e-file and when it was sent. Read through the ms and note omissions in citations, incomplete references, problems with note numbering, style problems, etc. In the acceptance letter, ask the author to take care of these problems and ask for a new, clean ms and a diskette version (saved as a Microsoft Word document). The acceptance letter includes a request for a professional sketch to be published with the ms.
  • Place author’s file in active files under “Current Issue”
  • Periodic checks of author files should be made, to see if a new ms evaluator needs to be appointed, to remind a reviewer via e-mail that her/his review is due, and to see if approved ms and are in fact ready for copy-editing.

Ia-Process of collecting manuscripts for the Summer Special Issue

  • Invited editors of the Special June issues send the manuscripts in a group to the Assistant, usually in January. These special issue manuscripts need to be prepared for Lay-Out (see section II). In your correspondence with the editor of the Special Issue, make certain you ask for the following when they send the articles: 1. Hard copy and disk copies of manuscript (MS Word) 2. mailing and e-mail addresses for the individual authors, as once the Lay-Out process begins, the Assistant must be able to stay in contact with each author, keeping the special issue editor and others informed as necessary.

Ib-Review section

  • Barbara Zecchi is in charge of the review section of each issue. She will send a document (saved in rtf format) via e-mail of the10 reviews in August for the Winter issue and January for the Summer issue. This will need to be proofread for errors and consistency among entries.

II-Process of Preparing Manuscripts for Lay-Out in PageMaker

  • Go through electronic versions of articles, stories, and reviews to make certain there is only one space after periods, colons, semi-colons and commas—this includes the bibliography as well
  • Make ellipses consistent, Option+; (…) and dashes (no spaces—on either side)
  • The footnote function in Microsoft Word DOES NOT WORK in Pagemaker. If authors have not done this already, make footnote numbers superscript text in both the body of the text and the footnotes themselves. Then eliminate the actual footnote references. For the endnotes, leave one space after footnote number before text begins, (e.g.: 1 The author…)
  • Make sure all quotations are ‘smart’ quotations—you can do an entire document ‘Replace’ for this.
  • If authors have not already done this, make titles italicized rather than underlined.

III- Lay-Out: must be done by Oct. 7 for Winter issue and March 20 for Summer issue

  • The Instruction Manual for Adobe PageMaker 6.5 Plus is invaluable for anyone learning this program. It is on the bookshelf with the back issues of LF. I have marked many of the important sections that should help any first timers learn how to manage. In addition, before leaving my position, I took an afternoon to train the next assistant in the basics of importing and formatting documents.
  • Prepare the critical articles, review section, creative section and table of contents
  • Place all Microsoft Word documents of articles, creative submissions and reviews in the PageMaker document. Format them according to their category (critical article, book review, creative writing story, poem, etc.). Change the table of contents and the Master Pages to reflect the latest issue.

PageMaker tricks:

  • To get rid of the Master Page items on the first page of an article, draw a box around it, then, under the Element menu, select “Fill” “page” to cover the page number and/or author name.
  • The number of pages in the journal is important. It must be a multiple of 8. A multiple of 32 is ideal to keep printing costs down, but if this is not possible, you still must find a way to manipulate the lay-out to make the total number of pages a multiple of 8.


  • We contract with Zucker Design (Nancy Zucker) to do the cover for LF. Contact her at the beginning of each semester. Her e-mail is (250-5015).

IV-Pre-Press Production: send proofs to authors and contact the printer at the same time

  • print out a hard copy of the entire document for proofing
  • while Assistant and Editor are doing final proofreading, send a copy of each article/creative submission to author for one final proofing. Send them the form letter (In “PROOFS” folder), a copy of the piece, and give them a maximum of 48 hrs to proof it and send it back. Proofs must be sent to authors by Oct. 15 for Winter issue and March 25 for Summer issue.
  • When these come back, make necessary changes and print out one final hard copy to check
  • All problems must be solved at this juncture—double check the table of contents, that the page numbers correspond to the articles, etc. spelling of proper names, the running headers have the correct volume number, date and names of authors, the removal of the header from the first page of articles, etc.
  • Call or e-mail Thomson-Shore to get printing estimate and start the job. Our main customer service representative is Diane Fadden ( (734) 426-6203. She works with Lee Broat ( (734) 426-6248 who can also help. The main number for Thomson Shore is (734) 426-3939. Once you receive the estimate you can send the PDF files (see below for creation of PDF files). Give T-S the address of the UW bulk mailing center for them to send the printed issues.
  • must know number of pages in document. For the Winter issue, the estimate should include an insert that will be shrinkwrapped with the entire issue reminding subscribers to pay their dues on time. You will need to print this out and make the insert card. You can print on the front and back of the card, but make certain it fits in the issue itself (dimensions less than 6×9)

V-Prepare the PDF files to send to the printer:

  • Go to the chooser and pick a postscript printer (even though this may not be the printer you use for printing letters)
  • In PageMaker, under the File menu, choose “Export” “Adobe PDF”
  • When the dialog box opens, choose “Distill now” printer style “Acrobat” page size “Same as current publication” and page range “All”. Then click “Export”. The dialog box that comes up should say “PressOptimized(TS)” and begin to distill into a PDF document. It will open automatically in the Adobe Acrobat reader and you can check it over to make certain everything looks OK. If you are worried you aren’t doing it correctly or just want to double check, send a 20 page test file to Jeff Rhoades at Thomson Shore ( He is the tech guru at Thomson Shore and can help you out tremendously. His phone number is (734) 426-1718.
  • Start printing process with Thomson-Shore by sending them the following: 1. Zip disk with PDF version of the issue. 2. lasers of the issue 3. Electronic Prepress Data Sheet for Text filled out to the specifications of the PageMaker document (see example in “Electronic Pre-Press T-Shore” file folder). Make certain you indicate how many issues you are ordering (refer to the quote number). Send everything at least by November 1 for Winter issue and April 1 for summer issue.

VI-Mailing of issues to subscribers

  • Get the current mailing list from the treasurer two weeks before you estimate the journals will arrive—get rid of excess information (e-mail, fax #, etc.) and divide it into foreign and domestic addresses. Calculate how many you have of each (you need these numbers to place the bulk mailing order). Make certain you select for the current year, as the full mailing list includes subscriptions going back to 1999.
  • once issues arrive and are mailed out, take the leftovers back to the office and find a place to store them

VII-Mailing off-prints to authors and publishers

  • Each author of an article receives 2 copies of the trim 4s sent by the printer. Separate them, staple them together and send them using the cover letter in the “TRIM 4s” electronic folder (under “AUTHORS”).
  • Each publisher of a book reviewed in LF receives 2 copies of the review. Again, using the trim 4s sent by the printer, separate the copies and send them to the publisher. You can get addresses in the reference section of a Library (Books in Print for the US publishers; the listing of foreign publishers is in the Publishers’ International ISBN Directory). If there are any publishers not listed in these reference books, simply look up the reviewed book itself to get the address. Send these along with the cover letter.

[1] Prepared by Nancy Gates Madsen, Fall 2001. Future Project Assistants should revise these guidelines as needed. In particular, they may want to develop a more precise method for keeping track of reviewers – (see Luso-Brazilian review guidelines for ideas). Modified by Paula Di Dio, Summer 2004.