Shakespeare CFP: The Journal of the Wooden O

The Journal of the Wooden O is seeking submissions for the 2017 edition of their Shakespearean journal. The rolling deadline for scholarly articles is October 16, 2017. Submissions on all Shakespearean topics are accepted from undergraduate and graduate students, as well as post-graduates. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to be published in a peer-reviewed, cross-disciplinary, scholarly publication.

In the prologue of Shakespeare’s Henry V the chorus asks whether they can “cram / within this wooden O” the depth and breadth of the play intended for their audience (13-14). Coining this delightful metaphor, Shakespeare then invites his audience further into the play and their own imaginations:

Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i’ th’ receiving earth,
For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there, jumping o’er times,
Turning th’ accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass. (27-31)

For centuries, Shakespeare’s plays have worked this magic on audiences and stages the world over, turning decades into minutes and bedecking kings with crowns. Cedar City, UT, home to the Utah Shakespeare Festival, even replicated the Globe Theatre to simulate the wooden O playhouse in Shakespeare’s London. How has the Bard’s word-smithing inspired you? For the past seventeen years the Utah Shakespeare Festival has extended the metaphor of the wooden O to incorporate an annual symposium and publication in this imaginative space.

Journal of the Wooden O

“The Wooden O.” The Utah Shakespeare Festival Adams Theatre, aerial view. Provided by SUU Sherratt Library Special Collections


The Journal of the Wooden O
aims to publish peer-reviewed, academic, and cross-disciplinary articles on all things Shakespeare, as well as content inspired by his cultural context. In print since 2001, the publication seeks articles including historical, theoretical, cultural, and adaptation responses to the Bard. This Wooden O has the same potential as Shakespeare’s stage to bring your scholarly works to life.

Call for Submissions

In conjunction with the Utah Shakespeare Festival the Wooden O publishes undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate work on all things Shakespeare. Just as Ophelia says in Hamlet, “We know what we are, but know not / what we may be” (4.5.26-27).

The Journal of the Wooden O-Ophelia

“Ophelia.” Provided by the Utah Shakespeare Festival. 2006.

Because many of us (even at the undergraduate level) are required to take Shakespeare courses, why not revisit those final projects and check out the theme for this year’s Wooden O? Submitting your work for publication will bring it to life not only in print but in places like the MLA International Bibliography, Academic Search Premier, and the World Shakespeare Bibliography, turning your accomplishment of many pain-staking hours into a triumph!

But oh, what if you only got a B on that final project? I stand with Ophelia on this one and say that often we “know not what we may be!” A few extra hours could put you on the road toward your next (or first!) publication.

The Journal of the Wooden O accepts rolling submissions until October 16, 2017. Each year, scholarly articles—including one undergraduate work—are selected for publication. For more information about where and how to submit, visit the Wooden O website.

Not a Shakespeare Scholar? Fear Not!

Don’t hold yourself back from submitting because you don’t see yourself as a Shakespeare scholar. The Journal of the Wooden O is particularly interested in receiving submissions that blur the lines between disciplines, so follow your love of acting (or just Kenneth Branagh), your film studies minor and obsession with BBC’s The Hollow Crown, or your passion for creative writing and a critical look at the new Hogarth Shakespeare series to the page, and submit your unique approach to Shakespeare’s oeuvre.

“It is not in the stars [to hold our destiny] but in ourselves” (Julius Caesar, 1.2.141-42). If your academic ambition is not early modern literature, don’t limit yourself. The Wooden O wants to see how your academic passion sheds light on the Bard.

Need a Professional Boost? Come Hither!

The Journal of the Wooden O-Cordelia

“Cordelia.” Provided by the Utah Shakespeare Festival. 2007.

The world of publishing is central to English studies and may very well boost your professional career trajectory. Whether it be for graduate school applications or for tenure, most of us are familiar with the gaping holes on our personal curricula vitae.

Stop staring at it or putting it off and do something about it! As Cordelia reminds us in King Lear: “Nothing can come of nothing” (1.1.92). Like it or not, publishing is an important and impressive feature of any academic career. The Journal of the Wooden O can provide this opportunity for many of the life-long members of the Sigma Tau Delta community.

Submission Deadline: October 16, 2017

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late”
The Merry Wives of Windsor 2.2.312-13

Don’t put off preparing a submission for the Wooden O.  “Our doubts are traitors / and make us lose the good we oft might win / by fearing to attempt” (Measure for Measure, 1.4.77-79)—and I might also add that procrastination is traitorous too. Mark October 16 on your calendar and set yourself a goal.

By the time the semester begins, those precious few hours that might mean you can publish a paper you have already written will be swept away by the tide of to-dos that comes with each new school year. Take advantage of this incredible publication opportunity and bring honor to Sigma Tau Delta and your university.


Rebekah ToblerRebekah Tobler
Alpha Eta Nu Chapter, President
Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT


Leave a Reply