JOIE of Writing

The Journal of Opinions, Ideas & Essays (JOIE), has seen a recent influx of new articles on a wide variety of topics.  With the addition of six articles, the number of papers downloaded for reading during the first seven months of 2021 was nearly 20% higher than during the same period one year previously.  But we need to sustain this momentum.  A constant flow of new papers is needed to continue attracting readers – and everyone associated with the University of Minnesota, both active and retired, qualifies as an author.  We are happy to publish articles written by faculty, P & A employees, civil service/bargaining unit staff, and alumni.

JOIE is an excellent venue in which to showcase works on topics both inside and outside academia.  One example is an article in your area of expertise that does not fit the criteria for a professional journal.  Possible bases for this type of article include a favorite lecture, a presentation made to the community, or portion of a thesis that would be of general interest.  The history of your department or an interesting program developed by the department could be delineated in a paper.  An exploration of a topic outside your professional field might also be submitted – a JOIE article on the discovery of America was written by an environmentalist.  Diaries and letters on significant events may be converted into a composite article – one contribution on a family’s experiences during the Holocaust, currently in JOIE, is frequently downloaded.  For folks who don’t write articles routinely, a book critique might be a way to initiate the process – the most popular article currently on JOIE is an analysis of Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; it includes a fresh view of Jim as an enterprising black man determined to escape captivity.  Perhaps you have a short story (or two) knocking around in your head, just itching to be put down on paper.  A hobby might be inspiration for an article – a master gardener is currently working on a paper about that program.  Another fun, short read in JOIE describes an “out-of-control” collection of turtle-related items; perhaps you, too, have a unique collection to share.  In addition to informational articles, JOIE would also welcome a well-crafted opinion piece on current events, academic matters or popular culture – for example, why are podcasts all the rage nowadays?

These are just a few suggestions and ideas for an article in JOIE – the possibilities are endless.  If you have a novel idea for a paper of general interest, by all means, please feel free to submit a draft to JOIE!  The editorial committee reviews all submissions promptly and returns any suggested changes to the author within a few weeks.  Your article could be e-published within a month.

Please contact the editor-in-chief, Kris Bettin ([email protected]), with your submission or any questions you may have about the process.  And be sure to visit the JOIE website to read selections from the collection.

—Kristine Bettin, UMRA member and JOIE editor-in-chief