Book Submissions

Living Justice Press (LJP) publishes books about social justice and community healing. We focus specifically on restorative justice and peacemaking, and within this field, we concentrate our work in three areas.

First, we publish books that deepen the understanding and use of peacemaking Circles. Circles help people deal with conflicts and harms in ways that promote justice and “being in a good way” as a way of life.

Second, because restorative justice draws directly from Indigenous philosophies and practices, we publish on Indigenous ways of understanding and practicing justice.

Third, we publish the voices of those “in struggle” for justice. Our books seek to apply what we have learned about healing harms between people to the larger and more systemic challenges of addressing harms between peoples.Besides being nonprofit, LJP is all-volunteer. We have no salaried staff or employees. Believing in the value of the work of authors and the restorative justice work keeps us going.

To have your work considered, email [email protected] or call 651-695-1008.

LJP publishes manuscripts that contribute to the existing literature in these three areas of restorative justice work.

We seek in a manuscript:

  • A restorative justice lens;
  • An anti-racist and decolonizing lens;
  • A strong intellectual and philosophical framework that promotes critical thinking;
  • Strong, clear logic in the development of the subject;
  • Direct, dynamic, nonacademic language that engages general readers;
  • Solid and adequately documented research, i.e. a basic level of scholarship that includes citations (endnotes) and a bibliography.

If the manuscript concerns Native Peoples,

  • The acquisition, editing, and production are under the control of LJP’s Senior Editor for Native publishing;
  • LJP privileges Native authors, preferably from the community involved;
  • Critical, decolonizing, and restorative justice perspectives are essential;
  • Terminology should, except for quotes, titles, or names, align with LJP standards, e.g., “Native” instead of “Indian” or “Native American,” and the people’s own name for themselves as a people; racist vernacular, however normalized, is unacceptable;
  • The nationality or ethnicity of people named in the book should be stated to overcome the presumption of white people as the unspoken, de facto norm;
  • White authorship on Native subjects is particularly problematic, so Native input, perspectives, and, most importantly, control of the project must be clear.

When a manuscript is submitted, LJP’s editors will assess whether the manuscript will most likely require:

  • Minor editing and modification;
  • Significant editing and modification;
  • Major and substantial editing and modification.

If the manuscript requires more than minor editing, some memorandum of understanding will help to secure the time investment on both sides. LJP specializes in helping first-time, nonacademic authors develop their work on critically important subjects. However, developing a book to its potential can be very challenging and time intensive for both the author(s) and the publisher. LJP is committed to retaining the author’s voice, and the edits that LJP proposes are always suggestions, therefore negotiable.

However, sometimes a project must be abandoned. This decision should be mutual and by consensus, so that important work is not abandoned due to misunderstandings. If both author and publisher agree to abandon a project, any changes become the intellectual property of either the author or the publisher, depending on who made them.

LJP does not publish

  • Personal stories that lack an intellectual framework that contributes to the understanding of the field or issue at stake;
  • Fiction;
  • General restorative justice literature (e.g., victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, re-entry) unless other factors, such as addressing harms between peoples, override;
  • White authors on subjects that substantively involve peoples of color without rigorous attention to issues of racism—i.e., its history, its institutional dynamics, and how they impact the people and peoples in the book.

LJP seeks to publish

  • Authors of color writing in the restorative justice areas of LJP’s publishing;
  • Works on decolonization and repairing harms between peoples;
  • New uses of the Circle process and the challenges involved, especially with respect to systems (schools, courts, etc.).

LJP expects an author

  • To research the field to discover books that already exist of a similar nature and to make sure the manuscript adds distinctive value to the field;
  • To suggest people who may be willing to review the manuscript objectively and assist in its development with positive suggestions;
  • To collaborate professionally in the editing process to push a manuscript to its full LJP potential;
  • To provide visuals—photos, maps, and diagrams—whenever possible;
  • To make all changes before the typesetting stage, after which no changes will be made unless they are egregious mistakes or typos;
  • To suggest potential commenters;
  • To participate in developing an index;
  • To provide suggestions for marketing, including sources for review, conferences, associations, newsletters, etc.
  • To promote the book in whatever ways she or he can.

As for manuscript preparation and submission, LJP:

  • follows the Chicago Manual of Style;
  • prefers electronic to hard-copy submissions.

A formal proposal is often not necessary, however the exercise of developing a proposal can be useful for both the author and LJP. A proposal should include:

Overview / summary of the project: What is the work about? Briefly summarize the content, focus, organization, and significance of the work. Why are you writing the book? What are the book’s main selling points? How does your book contribute to readers of the field?

Audience and Market: Who is the primary audience for the book? What are the comparable or competing books in the field? What sets your book apart from those other titles? How do you plan to promote your book, and what do you expect from your publisher in promoting your book?

Bio: Who are you? What is your background and education? What training or experiences have you had to write on this subject?

Production Details: Describe the projected length of the work (use the “Word Count” tool or estimate in pages, 12 pt. Times New Roman doublespaced) and the number and type of illustrations, photos, maps, or tables. What is the timetable for the project? If the work has not yet been written, when will the manuscript be completed? If the writing is finished, how soon could the manuscript be sent to LJP for review?

Funding: Are you aware of possible funding sources to support publication? Do you know organizations that might purchase large quantities in advance?

Table of Contents: Summarize each chapter in some detail, giving at least a paragraph for each chapter. Explain the scope and depth of the material; describe what will be covered and how it will be handled. The table of contents should provide a clear view of how the book will unfold from start to finish.

Sample Chapters: Provide sample chapters (1 or 2 chapters) that are representative of the work as a whole, if such are available. Please note that sample chapters do not have to be chapters that appear in sequence in the final book. Rather, they should be the best chapter(s) to represent the work and show your writing abilities. Note: A sample chapter is greatly preferred, but if none are available, the project overview and descriptive table of contents must provide a broader (and longer) overview of the proposed project.

Sample bibliography: Provide a sample of the bibliography that lists complete references for all works cited in your proposal. A preliminary bibliography for the larger work can be very useful.

Some helpful literature on writing:

Lanham, Richard A. Revising Prose, Fifth Edition. New York: Longman, 2006.

Zinsser, William. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, 25th Anniversary edition. New York: Quill/HarperCollins, 2001.

Thank you!

…for considering Living Justice Press. A journey down the publishing road leads to years of collaborative work.

Dr. Edward C. Valandra, Senior Editor for Native Studies

Today’s style conventions and usages regarding Native subjects reflect Native Peoples’ marginalization in mainstream society, including the publication industry. This style sheet represents a break from this marginalization and a step toward Native Peoples’ decolonization. The style convention recognizes Native Peoples as having nationhood, nationality, territory, language, and many other characteristics that define humanity. Carrying these recognitions into our writing style reinforces the decolonizing content of our words.

Use Nation and Nationality, not Race

1.   When referring to a Native People, whenever possible, use the self-identifying name of a specific Native nation or group, rather than generic racial labels, such as “Indian(s),” “Aboriginal(s),” “American Indian(s),” Native American(s),” “Canadian Indian(s),” Mexican Indian(s),” etc. That is, use “Anishinabe” not “Indian,” “Dine” not “Native American,” etc.

2.   When describing an Indigenous person, use their respective nationality—the self-identifying name of her or his specific nation, rather than the racially generic term “Indian.” For example, use “Dakota woman,” “Ho-Chunk man,” “Shawnee girl or boy,” “Tolowa baby,” etc. rather than the racially generic “Indian woman,” “Indian man,” “Indian girl or boy,” “Indian baby,” etc.

3.   Use the same form for Native nation names in both the singular and the plural. That is, use Hopi not Hopis; Ho Chunk not Ho Chunks; and so forth.

Use Nation and Nationality not Tribe or Tribal

4.   Whenever possible, use the self-identifying Native nation or group names over non-Native historic tribal names. That is, use Oceti Sakowin Oyate, not Sioux or Sioux Tribe, Haudenosaunee, not Iroquois or Iroquois Tribes, Anishinabe, not Chippewa or Chippewa Tribe, Diné, not Navajo Tribe, Ho-Chunk, not Winnebago Tribe, etc.

Nationality is not a Career Choice

5.   When describing what an Indigenous person does for a living, avoid fusing their nationality or “race” with career. Nationality connotes a person belonging to a particular nation or people. Thus, nationality is a political status associated with culture (nation-state), whereas a career describes what one does irrespective of one’s nationality or cultural background.

Examples of fusing nationality or race with career: Indian writer or Lakota writer Vine Deloria Jr.; Indian professor or Seneca Professor John Mohawk; Indian doctor or Dakota doctor Charles Eastman; Indian activist or Anishinabe activist Winona LaDuke; Indian lawyer or Potawatomie lawyer Tim Coulter; etc.

Examples of separating nationality or race from career: writer Vine Deloria, Jr., (Lakota); Professor John Mohawk (Seneca); Doctor Charles Eastman (Dakota); Activist Winona LaDuke (Anishinabe); Attorney Tim Coulter (Potawatomie); etc. Keep in mind there are variations as well:  Winona LaDuke, an Anishinabe and an activist; etc. 

Use Native Place Names and Spaces

6.   Whenever possible, identify places by their names in Native languages, instead of non-Native historic place names. That is, the Oceti Sakowin Oyate use Mato Tipila, not Devil’s Tower; He Sapa, not Black Hills. Remember that Native Peoples have different names for the same geography.

7.   Whenever possible use the self-identifying names in Native languages over their English translations or equivalents. That is, Sinte Gleska, not Spotted Tail; Bugonaghezhisk, not Hole In The Day; etc.

8.   When using terms from a Native language, do not italicize them.

9.  Capitalization is always tricky. This style sheet models our preferences, but we are flexible.

Use First-Person Plural Pronouns

10.  Whenever appropriate for an Indigenous person, refer to Indigenous Peoples in the first person plural (we/our), rather than the third person plural (they/their). For example, “Indigenous Peoples have struggled for our treaties and rights to be respected,” rather than “their treaties and rights …” The first person usage is, to our mind, less academic and detached and more personal and engaging.

Use of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

11.  “Indigenous” or “Indigenous Peoples,” “Native(s)” or “Native Peoples” are acceptable, but “Native Peoples” or “Natives” are preferred in US and Canada.

12.  Use Native Country instead of Indian Country.

13. Use homeland(s) instead of Indian reservation(s) or reservation(s). For example, use Dine homeland rather than Navajo or Dine Reservation; Omaha homeland rather than Omaha Indian reservation; etc.

Use of Racial Terminology

14.  Do not use terms or phrases considered derogatory, including sports or other mascots that objectify Native Peoples.

Exceptions to Convention Style

15.  The exceptions to the style convention are direct quotes from primary sources or documents.

For questions or comments, you may contact Dr. Valandra directly at: [email protected]