Guidelines for contributors

WE CANNOT pay our reviewers, although we are committed to doing so if this ever becomes possible. However, in general, we retain copyright on reviews submitted to us if they are published on LatAmRoB. That is because it is a non-profit making website and in the rare event that any monies are earned through the syndication of work published on it, this is channelled back into our running costs. If another site asks for permission to reproduce an article, we will endeavour to check with the contributor first. In general, it is good both for the Latin American Review of Books and for the contributor for their work to be published as widely as possible, and we are reluctant to turn down the occasional requests that we receive to reproduce articles.

Although we cannot pay our contributors, we try to send them titles they are interested in; they can keep these once they have reviewed them; and from time to time we will send them books of interest that come in that they might like to have to thank them for their contribution and commitment. We also hope to give them as much scope as possible to develop their writing and to act on their passion for their subject.

All work submitted will be edited for readability, style and legal reasons without exception. We aim to be sensitive with a writer’s work, but must ensure that reviews are comprehensible and the English used is clear and crisp. Material invariably improves through editing – so please be prepared for this. Save for exceptional cases, we do not have the capacity to send contributors copies of submissions that we have edited for their prior approval, and the editor’s decision on all changes remains final.

Reviews are ideally 600-800 words long: but there is no minimum or maximum length. Give it what it is worth.

Nothing that will offend our readers will be published. It will either be cut out, or the reviewer will be asked to resubmit.

Reviews should have “attitude” – write from the heart and say what you think, but develop your own style and approach, and never be unfair. Writing is a hard business and we can’t all be Ernest Hemingway, so please consider the efforts made by an author to get into print if you are about to criticise his or her work.

LatAmRoB does not aim to be an academic site and seeks a broad, interested but informed readership. That means we require a fast turnover of submissions: we simply cannot wait months for a review and, in most cases, ask our contributors to submit their work within a month of receiving a title. This should be possible and achievable for an academic with an expert knowledge of a subject. However, we recognise that at this level most contributors also have day jobs and other commitments – and we try to be as flexible as possible on timeframes.

So far, we have adopted British English spelling and a style employed by most British newspapers, but do not concern yourself too much about these issues: it is for us as editors to put your work in style once we have received it, and some style choices are very individual. We recognise this and treat work with sensitivity. However, please make sure to spell out all currencies and units so that there is no question about an amount stated; and please check the spelling of the names and titles of individuals mentioned in your reviews before sending them.

Download LatAmRoB’s Writer Guidelines as a PDF