Book Review Style Guide

Inquiries. Please inquire about books you would like to review, including as much information (author, title, publisher, publication date, price, and ISBN) as possible. However, do not order review copies directly from publishers in our name; we prefer to do that work and the necessary record-keeping.

Deadlines. The review deadline for any given issue of WLT is typically 60 days prior to the issue’s release date.

Books sent out for review.  If you are unable to meet the deadline please either (1) advise us that we should expect the review for a later deadline or (2) return the book to us, with a brief note of explanation, for reassignment. A book marked “U” (unsolicited) may or may not need to be reviewed. Please advise us as to your decision, even if you deem the book unsuitable for comment.

Length. Our preference is for reviews in the range of 350 words; the maximum length is 400 words unless approved by the editor prior to submission. Please observe the word limit. Not all reviews received can be published, and overlong reviews will be returned for revision or edited as needed to fit available space.

Submitting reviews. Please submit your review electronically, preferably in the form of a fully formatted e-mail attachment directed to the book review editor, Rob Vollmar (robvollmar@ou.edu). If possible, please use MS Word when typing your review.

Format. Below is an example of a WLT review heading:

Enrique Vila-Matas. Never Any End to Paris. Trans. Anne McLean. New York. New Directions. 2011. ISBN 9780811218139

1. Order of data: Author. Title (underline). Editor/translator/compiler/illustrator. Place of publication (both city and state or country, as appropriate). Publisher (and distributor, as appropriate). Year. ISBN (Do not use hyphens in ISBN; use a period after each item, except the last.

2. Double-space the heading and the entire text of the review. Please observe a single space after the period.

3. We encourage quotations, but keep them brief and to a minimum of two or three. Quotations from works in languages other than English should include a parenthetical English translation of the cited material.

4. Plot summary should be provided only to the extent that it supports salient observations about the author’s style, intent, thematic concerns etc. Explicitly spoiling major plot developments is discouraged and may be edited out at the editorial staff’s discretion.

Tearsheets. Upon publication of your review(s) in WLT, you will receive a PDF tearsheet of the review via e-mail attachment as well as a link to the review on our website.

Change of address. Please keep in touch even when traveling, and let us know of all changes of address of one month or longer. Thank you for your help and collaboration.

Review Editor
World Literature Today
630 Parrington Oval, Suite 110
Norman OK 73019-4037 

Main telephone number: 405-325-4531

Revised December 2016

World Literature Today
630 Parrington Oval, Suite 110
Norman, OK 73019-4037
405-325-4531


Updated by World Literature Today: jlrickard@ou.edu