“It’s free to submit; I have no reason not to.” I mumbled to myself with a half-hearted rallying cry. I wanted to be an author and wanted to be published, but after finding a few “scammy” online writing contests, my hope to publish seemed out of reach. About the same time, my Sigma Tau Delta Advisor reminded the members of our chapter that the deadline for submitting to the Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle and Sigma Tau Delta Review was approaching. Because submission required no fee and I had a piece I was ready to submit, I had no excuse to not try.
After a few minutes of reformatting and document converting, I submitted my work. Convinced that nothing would happen, I exited out of the red-bannered website and returned to my schoolwork. I wish I could say that I would not have cared if my work was not accepted. I would have been fine (and free from paying an entrance fee or downloading a Trojan horse virus). But I secretly held out hope that my piece would be picked and that I could finally say, “I’m published!”
Time passed and I admitted defeat, instead trying to focus on new works and keeping my GPA up. Right before I entered my summer semester workshop, I received a “Congratulations” email. I danced into class, showing all my peers how proud I was to be accepted. That elusive shout of “I’m published” was finally mine!
I went into my submission with little knowledge of the process, so when I got paired with someone to edit my piece, I was shocked. My tendency to get defensive rattled in my ribcage. I did not want anyone touching my baby! Quickly, my fears were demolished when I realized the care it took to handle all the suggested edits. With each new draft, I found my work becoming better than I ever expected. Most importantly, through the editing process, I appreciated that not once was my truth disparaged.
Publication in the Rectangle came with a major perk—I was invited to read at the Sigma Tau Delta 2023 Convention in Denver, CO. My fingers fluttered over my phone screen before I could stop myself, and I called my mother. Crying, I shouted, “I was invited to a INTERNATIONAL conference!” She celebrated with me but could not resist an “I told you so” moment. She motivated me to seek publication in the first place. Had I known the process would have been seamless and empowering, I would have submitted more than one piece. Our phone call ended with one more “congratulations” and a subtle mother-knows-best.
Once in Denver for the convention, I ran straight for the sign-in table. More loudly than I probably needed to, I announced that I was there as one of the readers. The people behind the table smiled, genuinely sharing in a moment of pride. I reached out for my name badge and noticed it came with a little maroon ribbon. On it read the word I only called myself in secret: Author.
Author of “No Name,” published in the 2023 Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle
Alpha Nu Pi Chapter
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
The Sigma Tau Delta journals publish annually the best writing and criticism of undergraduate and graduate active chapter members of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society.
All undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled through the end of the spring 2023 semester and are members of active Sigma Tau Delta chapters are invited to submit their work to the Sigma Tau Delta Review and the Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle. Chapter Advisors, faculty members, alumni, and honorary members are not eligible to submit.
Submissions for the 2024 journals will be accepted April 26 – May 15, 2023, 11:59 p.m. CDT. Acceptances and announcements will be posted by August 31, 2023.
Sigma Tau Delta Review is our annual journal of critical writing, publishing critical essays on literature, essays on rhetoric and composition, and essays devoted to pedagogical matters.
Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle is our annual journal of creative writing, poetry, prose, fiction, and creative nonfiction.
Claim your copy of the 2023 Sigma Tau Delta Journals to read samples of the quality of work habitually accepted for publication, including Kostandi Stephenson’s “No Name.”
Journal Submissions Q&A
Join us for an online Q&A session with Carie King, the Managing Editor of Society Publications, to ask any questions you have. The meeting link will be open on Tuesday, May 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. CDT.
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