Theme: Expanding our Vision: Engaging Literacy Instruction for Every Learner
Reading in Virginia (RiV) is the peer-reviewed journal of the Virginia State Literacy Association. It publishes articles to support literacy instruction for and by researchers, specialists, and teachers. RiV offers a forum for the exchange of information on current theory, research, and classroom application, as well as to foster connections between literacy teachers, librarians, specialists, and researchers in Virginia and the United States as a whole. We broadly conceptualize literacy to include speaking, listening, reading, writing, and creating within and across grades and disciplines.
We seek original manuscripts that describe topics, issues, and events of interest to all levels of literacy educators. Possible examples include research reports, teacher action research, classroom applications of literacy research, teaching tips, digital literacy tool use and online engagement, parent involvement in literacy, school-based literacy leadership, as well as literature reviews. This journal is published in a digital format. Manuscripts of varying lengths are accepted. RiV is published annually.
Of particular interest in 2023-24 are two special departments: Teaching Texts and Coaching Connections. Templates to assist manuscript development are included at the end of this announcement. Given the recent shifts and additions to supporting students’ broad literacy development, we believe that many voices and many experiences are needed to fully discuss and share what is happening in the field of literacy, and how we can best grow together. Please consider sharing your classroom and research expertise with colleagues in Virginia and beyond!
The fall submission window is now OPEN and manuscripts will be accepted until December 31, 2023. Manuscripts will be peer reviewed in the winter in anticipation of spring publication.
Manuscripts will be evaluated for the following elements:
1. Relevance to the audience (literacy teachers, specialists, librarians, and researchers).
2. Significance and importance of the topic and treatment.
3. Sufficient grounding in literacy theory and research
Additionally, manuscripts will be evaluated for clarity and organization of writing, appropriate tone for the audience, and overall writing quality, including mechanics. Papers should adhere to American Psychological Association (APA) formatting according to the 7th edition.
All submissions must be electronic, and Word document format is highly preferred for text, tables, and figures (e.g., docx; .doc). Any submitted artwork may be saved in other appropriate formats (e.g., .pdf, .jpeg, .tiff). Please prepare a blinded manuscript using a 12-pt font (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri) and double-spaced text with one-inch margins. All elements should adhere to APA 7 format, and headings and subheadings are encouraged.
Submit your blinded manuscript to Dr. Joan Rhodes at email@example.com. In your email, please include your contact information, full names of all authors as they should appear in the journal, and affiliations. If you are a VSLA member, please indicate your local council as well. Note that membership is not a prerequisite for submission and will not affect the review process.
Q: What is a blinded manuscript?
A: A blinded manuscript does not contain any references to the author(s) or location in order to ensure anonymous review.
Q: What is the review process?
A: All manuscripts are first read by the editors for basic adherence to the submission guidelines and overall form and style. Manuscripts that meet the criteria are then sent to at least two members of the Editorial Board or to a guest reviewer for double-blind peer review. This means that reviewers have no knowledge of your identity, and you won’t know theirs either. This ensures a fair, unbiased review. Reviewers evaluate each manuscript on the elements described above and offer constructive comments to help improve the clarity and content. Reviewers usually ask for specific edits and revisions, and this is a normal part of the process. Then the editors review all comments, compile them for the authors, and return the manuscript for revision. Editors will also include a timeline for resubmission.
When you receive the comments, read them carefully and consider how to address each in your manuscript. Highlight or use tracked changes to make your revisions visible. Return your revised manuscript to the editors (again, .docx or .doc format). Sometimes revisions are sent for another round of peer review by the same reviewers, so don’t ‘unblind’ it yet. The editors will let you know the final decision to accept the manuscript or not. If accepted, you will be asked to unblind as appropriate, and then sit back and wait for publication.
Q: I recently presented my teaching idea at a VSLA conference or chapter conference. Can I still write about it?
A: YES! In fact, conference presentations often make excellent starting points for articles. Consider any reviewer feedback you received on the conference proposal. Also consider audience feedback and participation during your presentation. Did they have questions about a particular aspect of your content? Did they get really excited about a specific element? Those are places to develop your ideas more. You can use the proposal and any feedback as a starting point since both proposals and manuscripts follow similar outlines.
Q: Can I write an article with a colleague?
A: Sure! If your article topic is something you have developed with colleagues, it’s usually easiest to write together. Just be sure to blind your work so that your school location and any teacher/student names are kept anonymous.
Q: Can I use student work samples?
A: If you have student work samples that are vital for your manuscript, be sure to remove all names and identifying information. Pseudonyms are best for any school and classroom examples in order to protect the innocent. Obtaining written permission from the student (if of age) or the students’ family (minors) is important for all samples.