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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.


Feature Articles are research-based essays that engage in theoretical, practical, pedagogical, and/or historical analysis of the visual narrative in film or related digital media. As mise-en-scène analysis is a foundational component of a feature article, all submissions in this category are expected to integrate a series of images from the film(s) in question – in the range of 8-10 stills that are numbered, captioned, timestamped, and attributed. Film studies theory and scholarly sources will be central to any submission in this category. Citations must be in MLA format (8th edition).

Mise-en-scène Featurettes

Mise-en-scène Featurettes are critical essays that deconstruct a chosen scene from a film by undertaking a mise-en-scène analysis of a series of its frames. This concentrated discussion could evaluate camera angles, proxemics, set or costume design, lighting or any other combination of elements that help to tell the story. Featurettes follow MLA format, 8th edition, and should include a limited range of critical theory and and sources to support their arguments.


Interviews with filmmakers, directors, showrunners, actors, authors/screenwriters, and film studies academics can be submitted to MSJ. A selection of images can be integrated into the interview, which should feature a full introduction.


Book Reviews are essays that provide a scholarly critique of the latest texts in the field. Text may range from the theoretical and the practical to the pedagogical and the historical. Unless otherwise specified, an MSJ book review focuses on a new release, or one published within an 6-month window around the CFP deadline.

DVD and Blu-ray Reviews are essays that provide a critical evaluation of a DVD or Blu-ray release to pontential viewers. Unless otherwise specified, this review category covers new releases, or those issued within an 6-month window around the CFP deadline.

Film Festival Reviews are critical essays that provide an insider's look at regional, national or international film festivals and their proceedings. More than just a summary, the festival review assesses the event's selection of films, organization, theme, and contribution to the field of film and media studies. Unless otherwise specified, an MSJ film festival review concerns an event that takes place within an 6-month window around the CFP deadline.

Note that all three types of reviews are expected to follow MLA format (8th edition).

Conference Reports

Conference reports are critical essays that evaluate a film or media studies conference, symposium or workshop that the author has attended, usually within an 6-month window around the CFP deadline. The treatment usually includes an assessment of the conference's speakers, organization, theme, and contribution to the field. Conference reports follow  MLA format (8th edition).

Video Essays

Video Essays are op-ed pieces that provide voice-over analysis and commentary of a film studies topic. Videos should be in the 8-10 minute range; preferred formats include MP4, AVI, FLV, and MOV.

Those who submit a successful video essay will be invited to author a corresponding 2-page visual essay spread for the print edition of MSJ. This feature will include one image that is closely discussed in a 400 word overlay.

Undergraduate Scholarship

Periodically, MSJ will publish works by undergraduate researchers. Manuscripts are expected to apply critical theory in their arguments, which should include support from scholarly, film studies sources. MLA format (8th edition) is the documentation style for all submissions to this category.

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