The Ohioana Quarterly is published four times a year by the Ohioana Library Association, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and promote works by and about Ohioans and about Ohio. The library works upon the principle of donation: books are donated by publishers and individuals, and in turn, reviewers for the quarterly donate their time to write reviews of books (however, if the library receives two copies of the book, the reviewer keeps the review copy).
Length of Review If you are interested in reviewing for the quarterly, you will be writing either a full book review (500-800 words) or a “book look” (200-500 words). Most of the time, you as the reviewer will decide what length is appropriate for the book; however, the editor will sometimes specify.
Audience Considerations Our readers include mainly writers, librarians, educators, artists, and publishers. Therefore, our reviews are geared toward a well educated – but general – audience. Reviewers should be knowledgeable about the book’s author and subject, but reviews should be written to appeal to a broad readership, not just to the specialist or the academic.
Reviewer’s Opinions Since we believe our readers rely on our publication to objectively assess books, we welcome reviews that state the reviewer’s honest opinion – positive or negative. However, negative reviews must show a well-thought-out rationale for the negative opinions expressed. Diatribes or unsubstantiated negative opinions are not appropriate. If the book is uncomfortably bad, the reviewer may select another book to review instead.
The Ohioana Quarterly follows the style established in the 15th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. The most common rules you will follow:
Commas in a Series Use the terminal comma in a series of three or more. Example: Frank, Henry, and Ellice went to the matinee showing of Lord of the Rings.
Numbers In text, spell out all numbers below 100 and use numerals for 100 and above.
Example: There were thirty-six nominations for the Ohioana Book Award.
Example: The library received 157 pieces of sheet music last year.
Titles Titles of books, films, plays, magazines, newspapers, long musical compositions, long poems, paintings, drawings, and other works of art should be italicized. Titles of articles in magazines or newspapers, short musical compositions, short poems, and television and radio programs should be in roman type and enclosed in quotations.
Please Note: The editor reserves the right to edit reviews for clarity, grammatical correctness, stylistic consistency, and space considerations.
Since the book review text is formatted at the layout stage, it is not necessary for you to try to replicate the reviews as they appear in the quarterly. So you can use any type font, any font size, and any margins you choose – though the editor prefers the old traditional double-spacing and one-inch margins all around on an 8 1/2 x 11 format. The following are things you don’t need to do:
Capitalization. Please don’t put the book title and pertinent information in all caps. Do, however, italicize or underline appropriate titles.
Space after Periods Most of us were taught to put two spaces after a period when we type. This is no longer necessary with the advent of computers. One space after a period is all we require.
Please attach your review file (as a Microsoft Word document) to an e-mail and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You also may include your review in the body of the e-mail text if attachments don’t work for you.
If your book has no blue bookplate on the inside cover, you are welcome to keep the copy in exchange for reviewing the book. However, if there is a bookplate, please return the book in the envelope provided, using the stamps enclosed.
Reviews are normally due about four weeks from the time you receive the book(s).