Information for Authors


    JOYS accepts submissions within the three following categories:
  • Research: Original individual or collaborative research in any field is accepted. Authors may submit work using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods. Ongoing or in-progress work is encouraged.
  • Memoirs: Any autobiography or account of personal experience is accepted. Memoirs must be non-fiction and must be the actual lived experience of the author. Any fictional work or account of another person’s experience may be submitted under the creative writing genre.
  • Creative writing: We accept poetry, fiction, essays, song lyrics, and other works of written creativity. All work must be original and any inclusion of other work must be properly cited.
  • Manuscript Formatting:
  • Each manuscript should be no more than 10 pages (about 2,500 words)
  • All writing should be double spaced in 12 point Times New Roman font.
  • For cited work, authors may follow any formatting style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) as long as formatting is consistent throughout the manuscript.
  • Please submit all work, including figures and tables in a Word document
  • Manuscript review is double-blind, meaning both authors and peer reviewers are kept anonymous. Please submit your manuscripts without your or others’ names. For example, if your work includes names of your friends, please replace their names with “Friend 1”, etc. and replace your name with “Author”. Once your work is accepted, names will be included in your final work).
  • Publishing Policies:
  • All work submitted must be authored by youth. Adult-authored works will not be accepted. We encourage co-authored submissions.
  • We encourage authors to seek feedback before submitting work from classmates, friends, and teachers. There will be an acknowledgments section for your final paper where you may acknowledge anyone from whom you received support in your work.
  • Authors may submit up to two manuscripts simultaneously. If both manuscripts are accepted they will be published in separate issues.
  • GUIDELINES- Guidelines for Authors

    We value your authentic voice. The reviews from your peers are meant to be supportive and encouraging, as well as helping you improve your work. If you have any questions about the reviews you receive please do not hesitate to contact the editors.

    All work submitted must be your own original work; plagiarism will not be tolerated on any terms. Anyone who is found to have submitted a plagiarized piece will be immediately rejected for publication and will no longer be invited to submit work in the future. Please refer to sections I and II of the Clark University Academic Integrity page to see a clarification of plagiary. The link is listed below.

  • http://www2.clarku.edu/offices/aac/integrity.cfm
  • To avoid plagiarism please refer to the tips on proper citations listed below:
  • https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/09/
  • http://www.ipl.org/div/aplus/linkciting.htm

Information for Peer Reviews


If you sign up to be a peer reviewer, please commit to reviewing at least one article in a year.

  • Each reviewer will be given a peer review evaluation form to complete on the piece assigned to them. Each form must be signed and given a reviewer decision by the deadline.
  • If you are selected as a reviewer for a particular piece, you will be contacted and asked to accept, or decline, a review. If you accept, please keep in mind that you must complete your review within two weeks. If you do not feel you can meet this deadline, please do not accept the review. If you cannot meet the deadline due to extenuating circumstances, please contact the Peer Review Coordinator and other arrangements will be made.
  • As a thank-you for the time and effort you put into reviewing the work of your peers, each peer reviewer will receive your choice of an Amazon or Dunkin Donuts gift card upon timely completion of the review.
  • GUIDELINES- Guidelines for Peer reviewers

    These peer review guidelines are intended to help you through the process of reviewing your assigned piece of writing. All writing submitted to JOYS goes through a double-blind peer review process. This means that both authors and peer reviewers remain anonymous throughout the process. Going through a peer review process means that authors will have a chance to improve their work before it is published. We believe this process is valuable both for authors, who receive constructive feedback on their work and for reviewers, who have the chance to read and contribute to the publication of youth work. The following guidelines are designed to help you make the most of your review:

  • Before you even make your first comment, read the document all the way through to get general impressions of the work.
  • If anything is unclear on the peer review form, please contact the Peer Review Coordinator with any questions.
  • Point out the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the document. Offer suggestions, not commands.
  • Editorial comments should be appropriate and constructive. Be respectful and considerate of the writer's feelings while suggesting ways for them to improve their writing.
  • Be sure that your comments are clear and text-specific so that the author will know what you are referring to (for example, terms such as "unclear" or "vague" are too general to be helpful).
  • As a reader, raise questions that cross your mind, points that may not have occurred to your author.
  • Try not to overwhelm your author with too much commentary. Follow the feedback form and the issues you are supposed to address.
  • Be careful not to let your own opinions bias your review (for example, don't suggest that your author completely rewrite the paper just because you don't agree with his/her point of view). Reread your comments before submitting. Make sure all your comments make sense and are easy to follow.