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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 text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • All figures are indicated in the article body with a figure number and caption. All multimedia is attached in the submission named with the author's last name and figure number, ex: Name_Fig1.jpg

Author Guidelines

Journal Formatting and Style Guidelines (Download a copy of the B&L Style Guide Here)
Borrowers and Lenders follows the most recent Chicago Manual of Style / CMOS Online and
adheres to the regular updates to the online manual. In addition to the Chicago Manual of Style,
we ask authors to consult this style sheet for specific guidelines to help prepare your piece for
online publication.

Play Editions: References to the works of Shakespeare should generally come from
Shakespeare’s Plays, Sonnets and Poems, from The Folger Shakespeare, ed. Barbara Mowat,
Paul Werstine, Michael Poston, and Rebecca Niles (Washington, DC: Folger Shakespeare
Library), except where authors are discussing complex textual issues or disagree with a particular
reading and need to refer to standard scholarly editions such as Arden Bloomsbury, Oxford, or
Cambridge. Plays should be referenced as 1.3 rather than “act 1, scene 3.”

Heading: Center the title of your article and include your name and affiliation.

Spacing: Double-space all parts of your submission (including any notes).

Author-Date-Page Method: Borrowers and Lenders uses the Chicago author-date-page method
for in-text citation. If an author is named within the same sentence in the text, simply give the
page number in parentheses “at the end of the quotation” (27). If the author is not named, give
the last name, date of publication, and page number with a comma between year and page—
(Desmet 2016, 267). If the author has multiple works in the Works Cited, please clarify using the
year, and when an author has published multiple items in a single year, move to a, b, etc.,
organized in the Works Cited list in alpha order by short title (Baldwin 1985b, 22).

Spelling: Use standard U.S. spelling throughout, except in quoted material or as required in
proper names (e.g. “color” rather than “colour”). Words beginning with “multi” and “post”
should not be hyphenated (e.g., multicultural, postmodern). We use “theater” except when
“theatre” is part of a name (e.g., The National Theatre in the UK).

Capitalization: Capitalize “Black” when used in a racial context. It is up to the author if they
wish to capitalize “White” or “white.”

Ellipses: Use three spaced periods . . . this is different from MS Word’s autoformat ellipses... so
please convert accordingly. If you are eliding quoted text, please add square brackets around the
ellipses [. . .].

Three Em-Dashes: For multiple entries under one name in References sections, simply repeat
the author’s name at the head of each entry (that is, do not use multiple em-dashes).

Dramatic Dialogue: For long quotations from plays, place speech prefixes in caps with a period
immediately after, and then one space before the dialogue.

            CHIRON. I care not, I, knew she and all the world. (1.1.570)

Endnotes: Please minimize discursive endnotes (a maximum of three) by incorporating them
into the running text whenever possible. Place endnote numbers at the end of sentences or, where clarity demands, at the end of a clause (e.g., after a semicolon).

Font: Use 12 pt. Times New Roman for all submitted materials.

Numbers: Spell out numbers when they can be written in one or two words (eighteen, two
hundred, six million). From CMOS: “in nontechnical contexts, Chicago advises spelling out
whole numbers from zero through one hundred and certain round multiples of those numbers.”

Here are some CMOS examples:

            Thirty-two children from eleven families were packed into eight vintage Beetles.
            Many people think that seventy is too young to retire.
            The property is held on a ninety-nine-year lease.
            According to a recent appraisal, my house is 103 years old.

When discussing plays, use “act one” rather than “Act 1.”

Possessives: Use ’s for plurals ending in s (Starks’s instead of Starks’).

Punctuation: Punctuation follows U.S. conventions for periods and commas, with closing
punctuation falling “inside the quotation.” Use only a single space after full stops.

Quotation: Use your judgment, but generally, short quotations should be part of the body of
paragraphs. Use double quotation marks for quotations.

Single quotation marks should only be used for quotations within quotations.

Long quotations (four or more lines) should be set as block quotes with a half-inch paragraph
indent and should not have quotation marks, like so:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Helping readers navigate your prose: B&L uses United States Edited Standard Written
English (ESWE), the lingua franca or common tongue of most of our academic readers
worldwide. Please translate any non-English words or phrases and ensure that any colloquial,
idiomatic, nonstandard, or slang terms you may use are intelligible to an international audience
of Shakespeareans. We consider cases where authors might need to use non-ESWE English for
their argument’s sake on a case-by-case basis.

Note: UK vocabulary is permitted as long as the meaning is clear and the word is in OED (even
if not in Merriam-Webster), e.g., “parodically.”

Break up your paper with subheadings that anticipate the direction of the next part of your
argument. Set these subheadings to the left margin and put them in bold, in the same size type.
Within ESWE, certain style conventions are easier for readers to understand: using active voice,
avoiding strings of nominalizations, using lists and complex sentences sparingly, keeping verbs
and subjects together, and so on. Our style “bible” for sentence-level editing is Richard
Lanham’s classic Revising Prose, and we also use Joseph Williams’ Style: Lessons in Clarity
and Grace.

For both onscreen reading and for pdfs, please make sure that readers are not greeted by an
unbroken page or screen of text. Make sure that each page has either a paragraph break—
consider the old-fashioned rule-of-thumb that a paragraph should be 5-7 sentences long—or an
embedded image, or a block quotation. Your readers need some empty space in order to navigate
and retain content more effectively.

Similarly, please refrain from the “monster sentence”: if your sentence extends beyond a
maximum of five lines, please consider breaking it into two or even three sentences.

Do not begin a new paragraph immediately after a block quotation. Quotations—whether
“block” or in-line—should be integrated within the body of the paragraph where they appear and
take the form of the “quotation sandwich”: introduction and credentials first, then the quotation,
then the explanation or analysis.

We permit authors to begin sentences with the conjunctions “But” or “And,” as long as they do
so sparingly (no more than three instances). We prefer, however, that authors do NOT begin
sentences with the words “However,” “Because,” “Therefore,” or “Thus”: please embed these

Use in quoted material is always permitted.

Creative coinages where the meaning is clear, such as “taxidermied” are permitted. Again, use

Exceptions: The word “however” may be used in the phrase “however much/little.”

“Thus” may begin a sentence only when the object/person causing the action appears
immediately. Thus “thus” functions almost like a demonstrative pronoun; the reader can thus see
its referent (the causative agent) right away.

Use “due to” to modify nouns:

Due to the camera position, the rocking swing containing Dolly's body repeatedly erases Omkara's body, calling attention to the lovers' separateness and allowing the innocent Desdemona character, at least momentarily, to dominate the frame.
—Greg Colon Semenza. 2015. “The Don, the Moor, and the Betrayer: The ‘Kiss of Death’ in Several Films of Othello.” Borrowers and Lenders 9.2

Use “because of” to modify verbs:

These neighboring tales are distinct not merely because of a generational gap, but more importantly because of the mirrored gender roles.
—Taarini Mookherjee. 2019. “Theorizing the Neighbor: Arshinagar and Romeo and Juliet.” Borrowers and Lenders 12.2

Media Format Requirements

● If possible, provide images in TIFF format at 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution. If not,
provide the highest quality JPEG you can. Images will be resized and optimized for
publication, and the higher the initial quality, the better the result.
● Provide a caption for each image.
● Provide alternate text for each image (for accessibility).
● Provide photo credits if appropriate.
● Provide permissions where necessary for all images.

● Provide videos in WAV or MP4 format. Videos will be embedded in essays and streamed
from a remote media storage server.
● Provide an ekphrastic narrative in text or an audio description for each video. Our
production platform does not currently display captions for videos, but narrative or audio
descriptions are retained for accessibility and may be used as publication platforms allow.
● Provide permissions where necessary for all videos.

● Provide audio in MP3 format. Audio will be embedded in essays and streamed from a
media storage server.
● Provide a caption, ekphrastic narrative, or other description for each clip.
● Provide permissions where necessary for all audio.


5000-6000 words (including notes)

Double-anonymous peer-reviewed articles that analyze appropriation as a process of collaboration with Shakespeare, and to that end seek work that either demonstrates something new both about Shakespeare and about the field of appropriation or that works with Shakespeare to extend theories of adaptation and appropriation. 

Editors will send submissions to reviewers with expertise in both fields of inquiry, for example, to a Shakespearean and a Film Studies scholar; to a Shakespearean and to an Architectural Historian; to a Shakespearean and a Early Americanist; as appropriate.

Appropriations in Performance Reviews

1500-2000 words (including notes)

Thesis-driven essays on a specific performed Shakespeare appropriation. Appropriations may include live theater, dance, or musical performances. Articles in this section are reviewed by the section editor and an outside reviewer when appropriate.

Digital Appropriations Reviews

1500-2000 words (including notes)

Thesis-driven essays on a digital Shakespeare appropriation. Appropriations may include websites, video games, or social media accounts. Articles in this section are reviewed by the section editor and an outside reviewer when appropriate.

Book Reviews

700-1000 words (including notes)

Book reviews are reviewed by the section editor.


1500-2000 words (including notes)

Short, thesis-driven essays interested in Shakespeare ephemera, the everyday, lost or forgotten Shakespeare appropriations. Notes are reviewed by the section editor or an outside reviewer when appropriate. 

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