Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for Mythlore: A Journal of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature

All submissions for publication should conform to the MLA Handbook 8th ed. (New York: Modern Language Association, 2016), include a list of works cited, and normally should be 5000-10,000 words. Reviews of books should be 1000-5000 words. Please inquire with the editor before submitting book reviews or shorter "notes." Letters are also welcome. Submissions should be formatted as Microsoft Word or as plain ASCII text files and submitted electronically through this web page only.

This document provides details on typesetting and layout requirements pertaining to final manuscript submission to Mythlore: A Journal of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature.

Formatting Requirements

  • Do not include a title page. (Begin the document with the introduction; a title page will be added to your paper by the editors.)
  • Do not include your name on the document or as a page header. It will appear on the title page automatically but will not be visible to referees.
  • Do not include page numbers, headers, or footers. These will be added by the editors.
  • Write your article in English.
  • Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file.
  • Page size should be set to 8.5 x 11-inches.
  • All margins (left, right, top and bottom) should be 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), including your tables and figures.
  • Double space your text.
  • Use a single column layout with both left and right margins justified.
  • Font:
    1. Main Body—12 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
    2. Footnotes—10 pt. Times or the closest comparable font available
  • If figures are included, use high-resolution .jpg figures.
  • Copyedit your manuscript carefully.

Additional Recommendations

Indenting, Line Spacing, and Justification

Indent all paragraphs except those following a section heading. An indent should be at 5 spaces.

Do not insert extra space between paragraphs of text with the exception of long quotations. These should be set off from the surrounding text by additional space above and below and the entire paragraph should be indented 5 spaces.

Don't "widow" or "orphan" text (i.e., end a page with the first line of a paragraph or begin a page with the last line of a paragraph).

All text should be left-justified (i.e., flush with the left margin—except where indented).

Language & Grammar

All submissions must be in English. Except for common foreign words and phrases, the use of foreign words and phrases should be avoided, or a translation should be included.

Please ensure that there are no colored mark-ups or comments in the final version. (You may need to "accept all changes" in track changes or set your document to "normal" in final markup.)

Emphasized text

Whenever possible use italics to indicate text you wish to emphasize rather than underlining it.

Font faces

Except where special symbols are needed, use Palatino Linotype (preferred), Times, or the closest comparable font available. Use Junicode if Palatino or Times does not include characters needed for Old English. If you need to include text in an invented language, such as one of Tolkien's Elvish scripts, insertion as a .jpg is preferred, but can be discussed with the editor.

Foreign terms

Whenever possible, foreign terms should be set in italics rather than underlined.


Headings (e.g., start of sections) should be distinguished from the main body text by using small caps. There should be an extra space above headings.


Titles of books, movies, etc., should be set in italics rather than underlined.


Footnotes should appear at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced rather than at the end of the paper. Footnotes should be in 10 pt. Times or closest comparable font available, they should be single spaced, and there should be a footnote separator rule (line). Footnote numbers or symbols in the text must follow, rather than precede, punctuation. Excessively long footnotes are probably better handled in an appendix. All footnotes should be left-justified.

Tables and Figures

To the extent possible, tables and figures should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Large tables or figures should be put on pages by themselves. Avoid the use of overly small type in tables. In no case should tables or figures be in a separate document or file. All tables and figures must fit within 1.5" margins on all sides (top, bottom, left and right) in both portrait and landscape view.

References and Citations

All in-text citations and your works cited list should conform to MLA style. See the current MLA Handbook 8th ed. (2016) for complete details.

Use parenthetical in-text citations rather than footnote or endnote citations:

  • “It needs but one foe to breed a war,” said Éowyn (Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings VI.5.937). (Note the punctuation after the citation, and the preferred style for citing LotR by volume, book, and page.)
  • For block quotes (quotations that take up over three lines and are indented from the rest of the text), the punctuation goes at the end of the quote, before the parenthetical citation.
  • Abbreviations or short titles are acceptable in in-text citations but should be spelled out the first time used:
  • (Lewis, The Horse and His Boy [HB] 32); subsequently, (HB 45).

    (Tolkien, “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics” [“Monsters”] 10); subsequently, (“Monsters” 15).

  • See the MLA Handbook for further guidance on shortening subsequent in-text citations and standardized abbreviations for Shakespeare and the bible.
  • In MLA style, short citations in the text refer the reader to a bibliography at the end of the work.

    Any full citations in your text should be replaced with abbreviated citations and moved to your bibliography. Use MLA format (with year at the end rather than after the author) for works cited list. MLA 8th no longer requires the place of publication for most publishers, and has changed the abbreviations used in citing periodical articles.

    References should appear right after the end of the document, beginning on the last page if possible. References should have margins that are left-justified. Use a hanging indent of 3 spaces for your reference list.

    1. Book: Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings. 50th Anniversary ed., Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
    2. Journal article: Gaarden, Bonnie. “‘The Golden Key’: A Double Reading.” Mythlore vol. 24, no. 3/4 (#93/94), 2006, pp. 35-52.
    3. Also please note that articles from Mythlore should be cited following this pattern, with both volume/issue number and whole issue number.

    4. Book section: Lewis, C.S. “De Descriptione Temporum.” Selected Literary Essays, edited by Walter Hooper, Cambridge UP, 1969, pp. 1-14.
    5. Web site: Pratchett, Terry. “Words from the Master.” The L-Space Web, 2002, http://www.co.uk.lspace.org/books/apf/words-from-the-master.html.
    6. Additional Mythlore style points

      1. Commas and periods generally go inside quotes; colons and semicolons outside. All go after parentheses in most cases. Use “curly” quotes, not "straight" quotes.
      2. “Up Eorlingas! Fear no darkness,” he shouted (RotK 126). This was Théoden’s ‘battle-cry’; it struck fear into the Southrons.

      3. Parentheses nested inside parentheses should be replaced with brackets.
      4. Tolkien enjoyed Haggard (and Lewis is known to have liked him too [“Haggard” 97]).

      5. When you leave words out of a quotation, replace them with ellipses enclosed in brackets. Ellipses in the original should be spaced out.
      6. “Why, it’s like a young cathedral. […] How big is your parish, then?” (Sayers, Nine Tailors 7).

        “[D]ear me! have you any luggage? . . . Ah! down at Frog’s Bridge?” (Sayers 6).

      7. Use the serial or Oxford comma after the next-to-last item in a series:
      8. Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams; Dickens, Austen, or Twain

      9. For the possessive of a name ending in s, add ’s:
      10. Lewis’s, Williams’s, James’s

      11. Mythlore does not use spaces between the initials of an author’s name:
      12. J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, but H. Rider Haggard

      13. Use the em-dash with no spaces to indicate a dash between words:
      14. Chesterton—who enjoyed his pint—wouldn’t begrudge a drink . . .

      15. Also use the em-dash to indicate additional works by the same author in the works cited:
      16. Tolkien, J.R.R. Farmer Giles of Ham.

        —. Leaf by Niggle.

      17. Citing websites: use black text and remove underlining.
      18. http://www.mythsoc.org.

        Preferred editions:

        The 50th Anniversary one-volume edition of The Lord of the Rings (2004 and later printings) is our preferred edition. Cite your quotations including the book and chapter number so we can easily change them to this edition if you use a different one. For example, LotR VI.5.937 refers to Book 6, Chapter 5 “The Steward and The King,” page 937 in the edition cited.

        We do not have a preferred edition of The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, or The Space Trilogy. For these and similar titles, which have appeared in multiple editions with different paginations, include the chapter number when possible. For example, Hobbit XIII.150, Voyage of the "Dawn Treader" 5.55.