Notes on Preparing a Volume for the Juvenilia Press

What are Juvenilia? We deal in early writings by professional writers, and occasionally by those who did not become adult writers but whose youthful writing is significant in some way (e.g. Daisy Ashford's The Young Visiters or Iris Vaughan's Diary). We have decided on a cut-off age of twenty: that is, for our purposes, authors are over the hill at 21 but this remains a moot point and we are willing to extend the age limit in certain cases (e.g. Branwell Brontë's writings). Most of our volumes have been prose fiction, but we are keen to consider drama, poetry, and prose, by authors of either sex and any period, provided the authors are young enough.

Student involvement is a sine qua non of our project, but we don’t dictate what or how much the student/students must do. Usually they work under the direction of an experienced scholar. They may assist in writing the introduction, edit the text and prepare the textual notes, research and write the annotations/explanatory notes, be responsible for the illustrations or the design, or any or all of the above (singly or as a team, in collaboration with and under the guidance of the 'mentor' editor). Hands-on experience in the scholarly process is what we’re all about. Usually our student editors are Post-graduate, Honours or Masters students. Occasionally a staff member and post-doc fellow have produced a volume with one of the two acting as mentor editor. Very occasionally editions are produced with input from undergraduate students or talented and gifted senior school students.

Proposal to the JP: If you are an academic or teacher interested in editing a volume for publication with the Juvenilia Press, please send a brief proposal (1-2 pages). The proposal should include the reason why you think the juvenilia chosen should be published, and should address many of the issues below, including your editorial policy. There is no need to send the proposal until after you have discussed the situation with the General Editor, who will offer advice on the teaching method and editorial policy if necessary.

Each volume will include:

  • Standard short note at the beginning about the Juvenilia Press (supplied by General Editor).
  • Title page.
  • Copyright page.
  • Contents page.
  • Illustrations list (optional)
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction.
  • Note on the Text.
  • Text.
  • Explanatory Notes/ annotations.
  • Appendix (optional), e.g. Textual Notes, Illustrator's Note, Historical material, etc.
  • Works Cited and Consulted.
  • Catalogue at the back listing JP volumes.
  • Illustrations, supplied either by the editor and students, or by General Editor.

Permission to publish is the responsibility of the editor of each volume and should be sought from the manuscript holders and copyright holders (not always the same people or organization) early in the process. Be sure you have this if required. If you are not sure whether your text is in the public domain or not, please make sure. The General Editor can help with this process.

The Introduction to each volume is the main critical exercise. Different scholars and students have done different things with the introductions; but expected elements would be some biographical information on the author at the time of writing, some suggestion of the relation of this work to the author's mature and presumably better-known writing, and some critical elucidation of the text. We address an educated readership, often a readership already well read in this particular author.
See further advice Criteria for a Scholarly Introduction on the website.

Formulating an Editorial Policy

This will depend largely on the nature of your particular copy-text (the source text you will use for your edition) and your particular audience. In the case of juvenilia it is best to use an original manuscript (or facsimile) as your copy-text, but where this is not possible you may choose to use a first or later edition. If the latter is the case, you may want to collate with other editions in the author’s lifetime, and provide notes on interesting variations.

Your textual decisions should be explained in the Note on the Text, and your policy should be applied consistently in your handling of the text. We suggest you look at past editions as a model for the “Note on the Text” and for different examples of editing policy.

While it is important to maintain a consistent format for the Juvenilia Press volumes, each volume will have unique problems and its own editorial policy for the particular author’s text. No two manuscripts are the same and each edition (even of the same manuscript) will be different, unless the same policy is deliberately used. Discussion and consultation is part of the pedagogic aim of our editions. This is often the most lively part of the editing process when a number of students are involved, all with different ideas. Please feel free to consult with the General Editor at any stage of the process.

All editorial policies must be approved by the General Editor. Editors should consult with the General Editor at an early stage in the process and the policy should be included in the Proposal.

Explanatory Notes/ Annotations

There is no fixed policy on this: again, it will depend on your juvenilia text; but because this is a scholarly exercise, our volumes tend to provide rather full annotation. Your audience is important here. A rule of thumb is that you annotate words, phrases, concepts not familiar to the educated reader. A student or team of students can learn a great deal from this process.

Words and phrases that might be annotated include: foreign words, archaisms, obscure words, historical events, historical figures (include dates of birth and death please), geographical sites, characters, literary quotation or allusion, items of significance to your particular author or the author's later works. Remember that you will also be writing an introduction to the edition and may wish to include information about the main characters, etc. there.

For format, we generally provide a note number, the word or phrase being annotated (verbatim please), followed by a colon, all in bold; then the explanation, which may sometimes include a reference to the source of the information. If your explanation is a whole sentence, start with a capital; if it is only a phrase, start with lower case.

For all referencing see Juvenilia Press Style Sheet (on Website) for our policy on bibliographical citation, which includes details and sample notes.

For some editions footnotes may be more appropriate than endnotes, but we prefer explanatory notes to be endnotes (please use WORD OSX or later software program if possible).

Works Cited and Consulted

  • These should appear in a list, according to the Juvenilia Press Style Sheet (on Website).
    Include all sources referred to in the Introduction and Annotations.


All our volumes to date have been illustrated. The illustration needs to be appropriate to the tone of the text. Sometimes the original MS or early publication to be edited already has accompanying illustrations, but usually our volumes include new illustrations. We try to attain a high standard.

You may already have an artistically talented student on your team or you may want to invite a student in Art and Design to join your team. You may prefer us to find an illustrator; please let us know early about this, as we have some qualified people. More recent volumes have included plates from other publications or art works: photos of the young author and family setting, paintings or engravings relevant to the text, etc. Illustrations are usually in black and white, although colour can work well on the cover design and elsewhere.

Illustrations should be designed for our page size and proportions: original artwork should be done on at least an A4 size page (8.25” x 11.75” or 21cm x 29.5cm); and then scanned at 600dpi resolution for the designer. Illustrations should be identified by captions from the text so that the designer can insert them accordingly. If you would like photos and other printed illustrations please make sure they are scanned at (at least) 300dpi resolution at an image size of around 4” x 6”, or 1200 x 1800 pixels or better.

Submission of the Manuscript

Your manuscript should be single-spaced throughout. You should provide an electronic version in a standard format (Word for Mac OSX is preferred or rtf). We usually do layout and design, unless there is a particularly reason why you prefer to do this (e.g. you may include online design as part of your teaching process). The Press reserves the right to reject or require revision if we deem necessary.


The Juvenilia Press is a non-profit research and teaching project. We work on an informal agreement between General Editor and the mentor editor of each volume. Royalties are not paid, however contributors are given a number of free copies (depending on the number of contributors per volume). Hitherto we have announced the copyright of our edition in the name of the General Editor, as some kind of protection and so that the copyright stays with the Juvenilia Press. But if you have reason to do things differently, we are open to requests. Our volumes have an ISBN and manuscripts are refereed.

Production Costs

We aim simply to cover our costs and provide for the next volume to be published. Most of our editions are supported with a grant towards production costs from the relevant university department or school involved in the volume. We ask the academic editor to liaise with their Dean or Head of School for a subvention towards publishing costs: acquisition of manuscript copy from library, permission costs, illustrations, design costs, printing costs, and the like. No suggested volume is declined, however, because of lack of funds: we are keen to provide new editions of juvenilia to showcase this exciting new genre.


This is an area where we appreciate the editors’ help. Our volumes tend to have markets specialised to the author (the Jane Austen volumes for the Jane Austen societies, etc.); but we are keen to get standing orders from libraries, and would like editors’ help with this. We encourage our contributors to buy copies at a 40% discount to give to their friends and relations. We’re grateful if you can design and place advertisements, arrange for reviews, put volumes on sale at your university and local bookstores (20% discount to retailers), direct people to our website for the order form for your edition, “like” our Facebook page and so on. Our international profile is gradually increasing through such initiatives.

Reviews and Other Publicity

Because we work with young authors and student editors, our project and its individual volumes have news appeal; and we have had some appreciative media coverage in newspapers, magazines, and academic journals, as well as university publications. Thanks to the help of editors we have been successful in getting reviews in good places: Eighteenth-Century Fiction ran a long, attentive and laudatory article (8:1, October 1995, pp. 81-8); and the Times Literary Supplement (Feb 2006) positively acknowledged “the quiet work of the Juvenilia Press” in one of their front-page reviews. Other reviews have appeared in Children’s Literature, Victorian Review, Nineteenth-Century Literature, JEGP, Australian Victorian Studies Journal, Transitional Literature, The Years Work in English Studies,and English Studies in Canada.

All assistance in this line gratefully appreciated!

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