Manuscript Guidelines

The Submission Process

  • Anyone (both members and non-members) may submit manuscripts for consideration for presentation at the annual seminar and publication in Uncoverings. If the author is not a member and her/his paper is selected s/he will need to join the American Quilt Study Group. Note that submissions from paid employees of member institutions will also be accepted and do not require an individual membership. Paper Presenters usually receive grants to offset registration, hotel, and travel costs for attending seminar.
  • Submissions must be received no later than June 1 for papers to be presented in October of the following calendar year, fifteen months later.
  • Papers must be submitted digitally. Potential authors should reach out to AQSG ( to ask them to set up a Dropbox where s/he can upload the paper, illustration files, and digital photos. Authors should email from the email address associated with her/his Dropbox account. It is free to sign up for a basic Dropbox account here: AQSG will send the author a link to a Dropbox that only s/he and the AQSG office can access. The AQSG office will take care of sending the digital papers to the paper selection chair.
  • Submissions by fax or hard copies via the mail are not accepted.
  • Submissions for Uncoveringsmust be in the form of complete papers. Proposals, abstracts, or other incomplete submissions will not be considered.
  • Manuscript topics should relate to quilts, quiltmaking, quiltmakers, the textiles and materials of quilts, or a closely related subject.
  • Before submitting manuscripts, prospective authors should examine recent volumes of Uncoverings to determine if their articles are appropriate for the scope of this research journal.
  • The submitted manuscript must be based on the author's own original research and analysis.
  • Papers selected for publication in Uncoverings must not have been previously published elsewhere. To determine if earlier versions of a paper constitute prior publication, please contact the Uncoverings editor or the paper selection chair.
  • Submitted manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with AQSG’s guidelines for style and format. While manuscripts will not be rejected outright for disregarding guidelines, readers will make note of deviations that hinder the evaluation process.
  • Authors whose papers are accepted must be able to attend the entire Seminar and present their papers. They must also be available to work with the editor during the publication year to revise and proof their papers as needed. (See The Editing Process, below.)
  • AQSG holds the copyright for each volume of Uncoverings and any reproduction (print or online) of the volume as a whole. Individual authors retain copyright of their own articles in any other form. Authors of accepted papers will be required to sign a publication agreement to this affect.
  • Authors do not receive payment for their articles, but each author receives three copies of the volume containing her/his article and a discount of 40% for purchasing additional copies as long as inventory is available. Please note that inventory is limited. If you want to purchase a large number of copies please let us know before the issue goes to the printer.


Items to Submit for Consideration

Prospective Authors must submit the following three items:

1. A cover sheet as a separate digital file with the paper title, the author’s name, mailing/email addresses, and phone/fax numbers. This is the only place the author’s name appears in the entire submission.

2. Digital copy of the completed paper as a word document or PDF document, beginning with a 200-word abstract and ending with collected notes. The paper should be organized as follows:

  • Before the text of the paper include a summarizing Abstract of no more than 200 words which includes the following elements:
    • A brief summary of the research content or subject
    • A description of the research methods and/or principal sources
    • A statement of the research purpose or question
    • A statement of the main conclusions or findings of the research project that answers the research question.
    • Remember that the abstract is a summary of the argument and not the introduction to the paper. This is usually written last after a paper is complete.
  • The Text of the paper follows the abstract.
    • Submitted manuscripts should be 6,000 to 9,000 words in length, including notes and appendix materials.
    • Use standard letter-sized (8.5 x 11 inches with 1-inch margins) for digital manuscripts, illustrations lists, and any appendix material.
    • Double-space the entire text, including abstract, quotations, and endnotes.
    • Use 12-point Times New Roman (or an equivalent font) for all text.
    • Do not justify right margins.
    • Indent the first line of each paragraph.
    • Number the pages consecutively for text and notes.
    • Any Appendices should appear after the end of the paper and before the Notes and References section.
  • The Notes and References should all appear at the end of the paper and should be inserted using Microsoft Word’s “Insert References” Feature. Endnotes should follow the Chicago Manual of Style and the Uncoverings Style Sheet.

3. List of Captions and Illustrations as a Word Document or PDF.

  • The List of Captions should include captions written in the order in which images will appear in the paper. The captions should include a label indicating the figure number (i.e. Figure 1.) followed by a description of the image and the source information (credit line) for the image.
  • Digital copies of potential Illustrations should follow the list of captions. The images should be inserted in a Word Document or PDF. Each illustration should appear on a separate page.


The Review Process

  • The AQSG office receives the submitted manuscripts, checks them for completeness, and then sends them digitally to the paper selection chair.
  • Each year, after all submitted papers are received, the editor of Uncoverings and the paper selection chair work together to select two qualified readers for each paper. These reviewers will be selected from a board of reviewers who have volunteered to perform this function and from qualified scholars and researchers who have expertise in the topic of the paper.
  • Each paper will have different readers who are experts on the topic being presented in the paper.
  • In the event that a paper is a resubmission of a paper not previously accepted, efforts will be made to send the paper back to the original reviewers to ensure consistency of feedback.
  • The review process is double blind. This means that readers evaluate the manuscripts without knowing the identities of the authors and authors will not know the identities of the readers.
  • Readers rank each paper using a ten-point scale to address the following criteria:
    • Significance. Does the paper make a contribution to the field? Does it present new or little-known material based upon original research, or does it treat familiar material in an innovative, new, or stimulating manner? Will the paper have productive and lasting impact? Has the paper, or anything very similar, been published recently? (1-10 points)
    • Quality of Research. Is the scholarship sound and thorough? Is the author’s thesis valid, convincing, and supported by evidence? Are the author’s citations appropriate, accurate, and complete? Is the author in command of both primary sources and standard secondary literature appropriate to the topic? Should the author have cited additional sources? (1-10 points)
    • Is the paper well organized, clearly presented, and written in an interesting manner? Is the length within the specified range? Did the author follow the AQSG manuscript guidelines? Are the citations in the correct form? Is the paper written primarily in active rather than passive voice? Would the manuscript benefit from substantive rewriting or reorganization? (1-10 points)
    • Publication Readiness. (10) Publishable with minor editing. (9-7) Publishable with editing and further work by author. (6-4) Publishable with major editing and significant further work by author. (3-1) Not publishable.
  • The readers report their rankings to the paper selection chair, who compiles the scores and reports the results to the AQSG executive director, the board of directors, and the editor of Uncoverings.
  • A total of 4-6 papers will be accepted for publication and presentation at seminar each year.
  • The paper selection process typically takes four months. Authors will be notified via email, by October 1 at the latest, whether their manuscripts were selected.
  • Each author receives a copy of the reader comments from the two readers as well as comments from the editor of Uncoverings. Comments from the editor will provide guidance for revision of both accepted and not accepted papers. Authors whose papers are not accepted will be encouraged to revise and resubmit the next year when such encouragement is warranted.
  • The names of authors whose manuscripts are not accepted are not revealed to the readers.
  • Authors whose papers are not accepted (and those submitting manuscripts for the first time) are encouraged to enlist the advice of a mentor. For assistance, contact the chair of the AQSG Mentoring Committee. (Contact information is available in Blanket Statements or from the AQSG office.) Alternatively, authors may identify and contact potential mentors themselves. Generally, an author should contact a mentor a minimum of two months before the June 1 submission deadline. You can learn more about the mentorship program here.
  • A well-written, well-organized paper based on thorough, original research on a quilt-related topic, and citing appropriate resources has an excellent chance of being accepted.
  • Please contact the AQSG office with any questions regarding these guidelines.


The Editing Process

  • If a paper is selected, the author be expected to work with the editor to prepare it for publication. The editor and authors will correspond primarily by email.
  • The author will send her/his paper to the editor as an email attachment in MS Word. The author may need to convert her/his files to a compatible format if s/he uses a different word-processing program, a different version of Word, or a different operating system.
  • The author will also send all potential illustrations and photos as individual files along with her/his paper so that the editor can begin evaluating the quality of the illustrations (see Submitting Illustrations for an Accepted Paper, below).
  • The editor will use the Track Changes function in MS Word to edit accepted papers.
  • The editing process roughly follows this schedule:
    • October 1: Authors are notified of accepted or non-accepted status and editor follows up to begin the editing process. Authors are required to send to the editor their manuscript as a Word file and all supplemental materials (appendices, illustrations, etc.) at this time. Authors should also include a short biographical note with their papers at this time.
    • October 1 – December 31: Authors work with the editor to make necessary substantive, organizational, and content edits as well as address any issues in illustration quality.
    • January 1: Deadline for authors to complete major revisions.
    • January 1 – February 28: Authors work on any final minor edits as requested by editor.
    • March 1: Authors submit final manuscript and essays which will be sent to a copy editor for a final typo check at this time. No further substantive revisions can be made after this point.
    • April 15: Editor sends copy edits back to authors.
    • May 1: Revisions from copy edits due back to editor.
    • May 1 – July 31: Page proofs created and shared with authors. No substantive edits can be made at the page proof stage. Authors provide list of index terms for their papers.
    • The published volume of Uncoverings will be available at the AQSG seminar concurrent with the oral presentation of the papers.


Submitting Illustrations for an Accepted Paper

  • If a paper is accepted, the author will be asked to supply high-quality images for publication.
  • Authors whose papers are selected will be required to obtain written permission to use images owned by others and to pay any costs related to the use or duplication of these images. (See Permissions, below.) Some institutions will provide reproduction-quality images at reduced cost for scholarly, un-reimbursed articles, so be sure to ask.
  • The editor and the designer will determine which/how many illustrations will be published. The number of published illustrations varies as needed with a maximum of 15 illustrations per paper.
  • Each illustration should be submitted as a separate digital file.
  • Name each illustration with a short form of the paper name and the figure number. For example: “Inscribed Quilts Fig01”
  • All illustrations are published in full color in Uncoverings so there is no need to separate illustrations into figures and color plates.
  • Each illustration must be called out in the text of the article. This callout must appear at the end of a sentence before the period and takes the form of “(fig. 1).” The designer will make every effort to place the image of each figure as close as possible to its text reference while working within the parameters the of the layout.
  • Illustrations may include photographs, graphic illustrations, drawings, graphs, charts, tables, or maps that visually enhance the content and illustrate the concepts or points of a paper.
  • Uncoverings accepts digital files and original artwork such as sketches, maps, and diagrams.
  • Digital illustrations:
    • Name each illustration with a short form of the paper name and the figure number. For example: “Inscribed Quilts Fig01”
    • Send digital files as individual files in their original format extension. .tif is preferred but .jpeg is also acceptable. Please do not convert the image files and do not embed the images in the manuscript (the Word document) as this compromises the image quality.
    • The minimum size requirement for digital files is for images that are 6 inches in width or 9 inches in height at 300 pixels per inch (ppi).
    • Digital maps, graphs, and charts should be created in a vector producing program such as Photoshop, Word, or Excel. Vector images do not have a pixel resolution but instead remain clear and legible at all sizes. To make sure an image is vector zoom in to 400% to make sure nothing becomes pixelated or blurry.
    • All digital files must be sent to the editor either via Dropbox (which can be set up for the author upon request) or on a CD. Digital files sent as email attachments are not acceptable. Label each CD with the authors name and the shortened title of the paper.
    • Please work with the editor of Uncoverings to submit original photographs, archival materials, or slides that need to be scanned and turned into digital files.
  • Original artwork:
    • If submitting original artwork such as a diagram, map, or sketch, the author should retained a copy of the artwork. Artwork submitted must be the original version, prepared on a white background. Artwork sent should be scan-ready and suitable for publication.
    • Label each page of artwork with the author’s last name and the figure number, written in the margin or on a post-it note.
  • The maximum finished size for illustrations in Uncoverings is 4.25 x 7 inches. The type for any text in any illustration needs to be legible at this scale.
  • The editor will share with the author suggestions from the designer for improving the quality of illustrations judged to be insufficient. However, if it is not possible to improve the quality of problematic illustrations for publication they may be rejected.
  • The designer will contact the author suggesting options for photo-editing. Authors are responsible for any costs involved in photo-editing.
  • The editor and designer select a professional-quality image for the cover photograph of each volume of Uncoverings. Authors are welcome to suggest appropriate illustrations for the cover.



  • An author may cite any published work without special permission.
  • For materials requiring permission for publication, authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from the owner of the copyright and paying any fees associated with those permissions.
  • Authors are responsible for obtaining and retaining these permission documents, and a copy of these must be submitted to the editor of Uncoverings.
  • A substantial quotation (usually defined as more than a couple of continuous paragraphs) from a book, periodical, pamphlet, or any work published and copyrighted after 1928, requires written permission of the copyright owner. Please consult with the Uncoverings editor as to when additional permission is required.
  • Photographs, graphic material, or other illustrations from an unpublished source require permission from the owner of the work. This may be the library or historical society where the work is housed, an individual, or an heir of the originator.
  • The living author of any letter owns the reproduction rights. For such letters in a public collection, ask if these rights have been transferred.
  • The subject of a recorded interview owns the reproduction rights. When recording an interview, it is customary to request the subject to sign a release form, giving permission for the interviewer to use the recorded information for specified purposes.
  • When quoting material from an oral interview (not recorded), an unpublished lecture, or a conversation, it is customary to give the subject an opportunity to check the quoted material for accuracy. Authors need to show them only the pages in which their quotations appear. They do not need to approve the paper or the author’s conclusions; they need only check that their words and thoughts are represented accurately. It is, however, common courtesy to allow the person to suggest changes in grammar, syntax, or word choice in informal quotations. Authors should also consider making revisions if an interviewee has strong objections to the way they are presented.
  • The owner of reproduction rights, whether an institution or an individual, may specify the form of acknowledgment that should appear in an endnote or caption. It is the author’s responsibility to ask how this acknowledgment should be worded and to ensure that this information is accurately cited in the publication.