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Southern Cultures is an award-winning, peer-reviewed quarterly of the history, arts, and cultures of the US South, published by UNC Press for the Center for the Study of the American South, where it is housed. Interdisciplinary and art-forward, it is unusual among scholarly journals for also reaching a popular audience. The plural “cultures” in our name recognizes a region of many peoples, histories, memories, and interpretations.

Contributors include Bancroft, National Book Award, Pulitzer, Peabody, PEN America, James Beard, and Best American Comics winners, as well as leading artists, photographers, and political figures. Southern Cultures has readers around the world in more than 80 countries (and counting).

We welcome thoughtful submissions from writers and artists inside and outside the academy in the forms that we publish—essays, articles, memoir, photo essays, features, and interviews & oral histories—for the following special issues:

Winter 2022: Moral Economies

Because we have both a scholarly and informed general readership, we are especially interested in reader-friendly essays and articles that engage southern topics in a broad and accessible manner while retaining scholarly rigor. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you read Southern Cultures for tone and style before submitting your work. Please keep technical or discipline-specific jargon to a minimum and check Submittable for our up-to-date production schedule and deadlines.

Our full-length essays and articles generally run 15–20 double-spaced manuscript pages (3,750–5,000 words). Under this format, introductions should offer our non-specialist, non-scholarly readers a context for topics but should not survey the relevant historiography in detail.

Our shorter features, which typically run 8–14 pages (2,000–3,500 words), include: Upbeat Down South (music), Not Forgotten (personal reminiscences), Beyond Grits and Gravy (food), and Southern Voices (interviews). We do not accept unsolicited poetry submissions.

Photo or art essay submissions should include 10–25 high-resolution TIFFs, along with a short introduction of 200–300 words and captions/identifying information for the images submitted.


Please submit your work via Submittable, paying special attention to the appropriate category or special theme.

We do not accept simultaneous submissions and ask that you do not submit your work elsewhere while it is under consideration at Southern Cultures.

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In preparing your manuscript, please double space and use 12-point Times New Roman font and 1.25-inch margins (left/right). For questions of style, consult the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., and follow the CMoS Quick Guide for guidance on formatting endnotes. For spelling and hyphenation, please consult Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed.

All submissions are subject to review by the editors and by external referees and, if accepted, will be copyedited for style, clarity, and soundness of argument. This can take the form of light copyediting or more involved content and organizational editing. We see the copyediting process as dynamic and collaborative, and authors will have an opportunity to respond to the reviewers and to subsequent copyedits. Authors transfer copyright of accepted work to Southern Cultures, although we are pleased to grant authors permission to reprint their essays with acknowledgement upon request. We do our best to respond to submissions within 8 weeks.

Contact us at hello@southerncultures.org if you have questions about a specific topic or submission.

Illustration by Natalie K. Nelson.
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