Forum Essay Guidelines

Individual works that emerge from the workshops will be submitted to a/b: Auto/Biography Studies to review for potential publication as a special issue of the journal. Our design for the special issue is four forums, corresponding with the four workshops – situating each contribution as an integral component of the conversation it was developed in.

Following the workshops, the organizers invite participants to use the conversations, questions, and reflections which you developed during the conference and the workshop to draft your Forum contribution. As such, individual papers should be written in a forum style — namely, conversational, reflective, and 2000-2200 words in length. Drafts should be submitted to the organizers by/on July 1st, 2021. Essays should follow American spelling style, and references should comply with the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) endnotes and bibliography.

The tone of forum essays is less formal, and can certainly tend to the conversational, however, we’d encourage you to develop your forum essays while balancing self-reflection and critical engagement with existing research/creative/intellectual conversations. You may also want to keep in mind that the project as a whole, and the special issue in particular, focus on pedagogical issues in the field of life writing, while addressing theory, method, and practice. Accordingly, we’d encourage you to engage with the following components in your forum essay (in any sequence you’d like): 

  1. identify and address a specific question/ provocation/ concern/ keyword;  
  2. demonstrate or discuss its applications/ challenges/ limitations/ potentialities in learning activities/ classroom management/ course design;
  3. explore/ unpack your ideas using a specific case study/ site of engagement/ object of study. 

Your contributors are not limited to the group’s assigned prompt, but can definitely keep it in mind. Further, contributors are welcome to build on their conference presentation, one-page brief, as well as any notes from the conference/workshop (including the shared mind-map). You are also welcome to consult previous forums in a/b: Auto/Biography Studies to review the diverse models of forum-essay styles and approaches. Three productive issues for review are:

  • Refugee Lives (Issue 3, Vol. 32, you can find the forum at near the end of the issue)

If you are a workshop participant but your institution does not provide you with access to a/b, just reach out and we will be happy to send you the sample materials.
For formatting, these links may be useful: Taylor and Francis style quick-guide and reference guide, a/b instructions for authors