The goal for writer's submitting to Play Unbound is to have their readers take something valuable out of their papers. Valuable, in this case, is not contingent upon fixed academic standards. Value is both contextually, culturally, and audience dependent.
Context: A lot of folk struggle with the fact that they can only explain certain things in a particular way in academic spaces to be taken seriously. For example, oftentimes academic spaces don't allow for people to be emotional. In this way, the way that information is disseminated is limited. Another example of this is that academics are forced into boxes in the sense that they can only cover particular topics. This ensures that that the phenomena academics try to explain is only partially understood. When you leave out vital information, like how feelings frame the discussion at hand, you miss out on the opportunity to fully understand what is going on and you stagnate academic progress. Play Unbound is a space in which people can come together and play with ideas and play with the way that information is packaged. You get to decide what writing norms you want to keep, and what writing norms you want to change when you write for Play Unbound.
Culturally-Dependent: We will look kindly upon manuscripts that write to specific audiences.
Audience Dependent: For many academics, the goal is to be as clear and concise as possible. While we obviously hope your work is easy to understand, our goal is for you to be as persuasive, entertaining, and helpful as possible. Your ability to do this is dependent upon what ideas our common wealth needs to understand, and it is dependent upon what others believe to be persuasive, entertaining, and helpful. You can do this in a variety of ways. For example, you may write to every day people, write to specific minority groups or write to your younger self.
Just make sure that when you take these academic liberties, you explain what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how you are meeting your goal.
If you've read up until this point, then you should see that this journal is about taking artistic liberties in academic writing. So when it comes to format, the only rules that we have is:
1. CITE: Citations are a feminist practice:)
Give credit to where credit is due. There have been too many minorities who have been erased in academia. We are not continuing this practice in our journal. There are also too many "unconventional" ideas and writers that don't get any play. Shine light on them by citing them in your article that you submit.
2. Get funky with page layout, font, size, space, etc if possible.
The layout, font, etc can be used as a tool to better convey challenging ideas. For example, one might communicate a particular mood with a certain font. (If people with learning disabilities find it hard to read they can take advantage of versions of the text in dyslexia font.)
3. Manuscripts can be as short as you want. However, it cannot be longer than 2,500 words.
One of the goals of this journal is to influence intellectual culture to distinguish between “childlike” and “childish” and allow the former into our spaces. One way that we are robbed of being childish is that we are coerced into acting as robots in that many feel that they have to force themselves into teeny tiny to fit into academic spaces. This means using particular jargon. This means writing to a audience that is "culturally neutral" (whatever that means). Writers submitting pieces into our journal should take artistic liberties with language. We want you to play with metaphors, hyperbole, and other figures of speech with your writing. If you want to write in Chicano or other urban dialects, you can:) If you want to use memes and emoji's, you can:) If you want to write to specific audiences- go for it! o play with words and have fun while still being taken seriously.
Things to remember
Because the Journal's readership consists of members in both public and private practice, with diverse backgrounds and specialties, manuscripts should not presume a certain background or mindset.
The Journal editors manage the review process and make the final decision regarding acceptance, rejection, or revision based on independent, blind reviews by members of Play Unbound Journal's editorial board. The manuscript is evaluated on the basis of its relevance, timeliness. The important thing to remember is that we are looking important work that people need to hear about. (FYI: We do not (and we encourage you to deter from) elitist conceptions of what regular every day people need or want to hear about.)