So. I received an email regarding my book proposal last night at midnight. When I realized what the email was about, I debated whether or not to open it, as I was getting ready to go to bed after a long (productive) day of discussing writing centers with folks from institutions across Oklahoma. I decided to open it, as I knew I’d toss and turn all night otherwise. The email was from the editor of the books series to which I submitted my proposal (Studies in Writing & Rhetoric–SWR), and the editor is a well-known, hugely respected scholar in my field. And he wants to see the full manuscript of my work….!!!!!
I should say, of course, that both the editor and the two reviewers who commented on my proposal (2 more well-known scholars, one of whom I quote extensively throughout my dissertation) emphasized the need for revision on my part, with particular emphasis on including more recent scholarship throughout my discussion. I anticipated this: I started working on the dissertation in 2007(ish) and defended it in 2010; since then, there have been several articles, chapters, and books published that I could easily incorporate into my work. The editor also said I could take my time with revisions, as the series can only publish 4 monographs a year and he didn’t want to give me an externally imposed deadline, which I appreciate. While I realize that the sooner I can publish a book the better, my institution does not demand a book publication for tenure, and as long as I can show progress toward publication as I near the tenure deadline, I think I’ll be okay (I do plan on sending out multiple articles for consideration in other venues, too, of course).
I’m going to end with a quote from the email, which summarizes the entire tone of the message (along with the reviewers’ comments): “In other words, we all like the concept. It’s clear that you can write. But we call for decidedly greater engagement with current discussions.”
Progress. It’s happening. I think.