• Testimonials

    The WLA has provided an invaluable intellectual home for me as I have worked to forge a professional identity over the course of my time in graduate school.
    Alex Young, 2018
    Taylor Award recipient 2010 and EC Member 2018–2021

Book Review Information for Western American Literature

Book Review Editor: Kyle Bladow. You can reach him at waljournal@gmail.com.


How to Become a Reviewer for Western American Literature
Would you like to review?

If you have a general interest to review for Western American Literature, we encourage you to join the Western Literature Association so that your name and scholarly interests will be on file when we search our database for possible reviewers. If you are already a member and would like to review in a specific area, you can contact the journal and we will see if we have any works in your area in our current collection of active books.

Do you know of a book you’d like to review?

The field of western American literature has become so rich and wide-spread that it is impossible for us to keep up with everything that is happening, and so, in part, we do depend on members and scholars in the field letting us know when interesting, new works are published (we only consider books published within the last year or so). If you know of a new book that might be of interest to our readers and you would like to review it, please do not send completed reviews. Instead, please query us <waljournal@gmail.com> with the name of the book, a brief description suggesting why it would interest our readers, press information (if possible), and a brief sense of your writing credentials (if you are not an active member of the Western Literature Association). We will contact you soon with a “go ahead” and information for writing the review, if the book meets our needs and isn’t already being reviewed by someone else. Reviewers get a free review copy of the book and a PDF of their published review.

Short Review Guidelines

Our hope is that, in addition to giving a summary of thesis or plot, your review will demonstrate how the work(s) under review reflect(s) themes or issues important in the study of western American literature. Book review length is typically 500–700 words per assigned book, though we sometimes publish multiple reviews, which run longer. Please do not exceed the suggested length by more than a small amount as doing so requires us to heavily edit your review. We have fairly strict space limitations for each issue of the journal.


Due dates are typically two months from the time the book is sent to you. We will send a reminder shortly after the deadline. We can be flexible on due dates, especially if we know beforehand that there may be a scheduling conflict. However, we are trying to reduce the amount of time that elapses between when we receive a book and when the review appears; your adherence to deadlines will facilitate this effort. Also, unless other arrangements have been made, if a review is more than six months overdue we will presume it is not being done and will cancel it.


Please begin your review with a heading, in bold, that includes the following bibliographical information in this format:

Kim R. Stafford, Lochsa Road: A Pilgrim in the West. Lewiston, ID: Confluence Press, 1991. 84 pp. Hardcover, $40; paper, $8.95.

Ralph Salisbury, So Far So Good. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2013. 274 pp. Paper $19.95; e-book, $10.

Please list all formats in which the book is available—hardcover, paper, e-book—and relevant prices, as shown. You may need to consult the publisher’s website for this information.

At the end of the review, put your name (normal font) and affiliation (in italics) flush right like this:

Jane Doe
Podunk State College

We prefer reviews to be as copy-ready as possible. We can convert variations on these formats, but it takes additional time. Based on the University of Nebraska Press’s guidelines, this means:

  • Italics (not underlining) for book titles
  • 1-inch margins
  • 2.0 spacing throughout
  • Left justification
  • Prose quotations (four lines or longer) and quotations from poetry (two lines or longer) are indented as block quotes.

If you wish to quote from the book, please use MLA style as follows: “a quote from the book” (172). When quoting from poetry, give the line number(s), not the page number.

Please send your review as an e-mail attachment in Microsoft Word format to waljournal@gmail.com. Signal “book review” in the subject line.

Authors and Publishers

If you have a book you believe is an important contribution to the field of western American literature, and you would like us to consider reviewing it, send a copy to

Western American Literature
Attn.: Book Reviews
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave
Marquette MI 49855

We cannot, of course, guarantee that it will be reviewed; but we will certainly give it due consideration.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Bladow at waljournal@gmail.com.



  • Western Literature Association (WLA)

    Founded in 1965, the Western Literature Association (WLA) is a non-profit, scholarly association that promotes the study of the diverse literature and cultures of the North American West, past and present.

  • Western American Literature (WAL)

    (The Journal)

    Published by the Western Literature Association, Western American Literature is the leading journal in western American literary studies.

  • Black Lives Matter

    The Western Literature Association (WLA) is in solidarity with Black communities, after the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and the ongoing pattern of systemic racism and injustice that targets black and brown bodies. ...http://www.westernlit.org/black-lives-matter/