Abstract - From Aspiring Author to Published Scholar - Professional Roles and Publishable Writing

Writing for Publication: Transitions and Tools that Support Scholars’ Success - Mary Renck Jalongo, Olivia N. Saracho 2016

From Aspiring Author to Published Scholar
Professional Roles and Publishable Writing

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Mary Renck Jalongo and Olivia N. Saracho

Writing for Publication

Springer Texts in Education


1. From Aspiring Author to Published Scholar

Mary Renck Jalongo1 and Olivia N. Saracho2

(1) Journal and Book Series Editor Springer, Indiana, PA, USA

(2) Teaching & Learning, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA


This chapter orients readers to the rewards of writing and publishing, both extrinsic and intrinsic. The metaphors that prolific authors use to capture the essence of the writing task, as well as novice authors’ personal metaphors for writing are examined. Readers will progress through a number of different exercises designed to address obstacles to effective writing, such as lack of confidence, concerns about writing skills, procrastination/avoidance of writing, time constraints, counterproductive habits, and challenges faced by academic authors writing in English as a second language.

Each year, a leading professional organization sends out a letter to authors who have contributed a book to their association publications. Tucked inside the envelope is a blue ribbon with the words “book author” stamped in gold capital letters; the top edge of the ribbon has an adhesive strip, suitable for affixing it to the conference name badge. At the annual conference, these ribbons frequently are flanked by others that read “presenter” or “board member” and they are just as eye-catching among academics as medals and ribbons are among military personnel. Yet even for these recognized and accomplished scholars, becoming a published author was once a faint, distant possibility. At one time, they were intimidated by the process, assumed that publishing was for reserved for intellectual giants of the discipline, and felt that they had little to offer by comparison. This chapter is all about more positive, productive ways of grappling with such misgivings by addressing the angst, risks, and rewards of scholarly writing. It begins by exploring understandings of what it means to be an academic author—defining the role and examining metaphors that capture the essence of the experience. It then turns to the rewards and challenges of writing for publication and the writing habits that support authors in overcoming obstacles. The chapter concludes with advice on working with a writing mentor and the types of reasoning that are necessary to advance thinking in a field.