What Writers Say About the Review Process

Because the review process common to academic journal publication is unfamiliar to most undergraduate writers, we’ve begun compiling comments from those who have gone through the process with our fabulous QCW reviewers. It’s exciting to see the substantive revision that our contributors go through behind the scenes, so we’re happy to share what they say about that process when invited to do so.

“The peer-review process was new for me, as this was my first experience of being published. Queen City Writers offered support and encouragement navigating this exciting process. The editor and the reviewers provided constructive feedback that engaged deeply with my work and allowed me the chance to improve upon not only this piece, but on my approach to revision to apply to my future writing as well.” — Sarah Katherine Wagoner, Fall 2021

“The reviewers were thoughtful and were truly engaged in my work, as shown by their deep analysis. The reviewers encouraged me to be concise and clear, which can be difficult when talking about such a layered topic, but it helped me refine my argument and present it in a way that is accessible to many. I enjoyed revising my work because I knew my work was being valued!”  –Alexandria Chidera Onuoha, Spring 2021

“Going through the peer-review process was a first for me, but it was an amazing, memorable step in my scholarly development. The editors’ feedback was outstanding; their thoughtful, constructive comments helped me develop my ideas and created opportunities for further research and reflection, both of which have and will continue to help me become a more critical thinker and writer.” –Sophie Morgan, Spring 2021

“Working towards the publication of my article, ”#Manifestation on TikTok: How Gen Z is Cultivating a Utopian Future Under the Guise of Frivolity,” for Queen City Writers has been an enlightening process. Diving into a space of searching for the good within the toxic sphere of online culture is daunting, so gaining guidance and feedback from the reviewers was particularly appreciated and furthered my intended goal of the piece. Overall, working towards publication was a very informative process, and I am so grateful to Queen City Writers for the opportunity to be featured!” –Megan Robertson, Spring 2021

“QCW was an exceptional opportunity to present my work and gain experience with professional feedback. They were extremely flexible with deadlines and allowed a great amount of autonomy with my piece. This experience has inspired me to continue writing!” –Erica Babb, Spring 2021

“The reviews that I got were incredibly thoughtful and detailed, and not only helped guide my research in this topic, but influenced how I will conduct research in the future. I am so glad my first publishing opportunity was with QCW – Gabby Paisner, Fall 2020

“Working with the Queen City Writers has been extremely helpful and instructive. This is my first time getting published, and given the national and global events during which I wrote this piece, this opportunity has been especially meaningful for me. Throughout the writing and editing process, communication has been smooth, timely, collegial, and thought provoking. Overall, this chance to get my work out into the world has inspired me to further my own literary and academic pursuits.”  – Ethan Liu, Fall 2020

“My experience working with Queen City Writers was great. Communication was accessible and prompt, edits were thorough, and ample time was given after review to complete revisions. I could not have asked for a better experience than Queen City Writers for my publishing debut!” – Ria Parikh, Fall 2020

“Writing for QCW was a great opportunity to further refine a piece of writing I had created for class and of which I was proud. Receiving feedback from the reviewers showed me aspects of my writing style that could be improved in order to make the piece stronger. The feedback also allowed me to see the value in my perspective and expand upon the parts of my writing that worked. Additionally, reading the other insightful student pieces from previous editions helped me develop a better academic style when analyzing media.” – Tana-Isabela Anulacion, Fall 2020

“The feedback I received was very constructive, especially with regards to choosing more credible sources. I was also glad my piece could still be published in Storming the Gate (since it was written last year while I was still a freshman).” – Alex Parker, Fall 2020

“The editors at Queen City Writers are professional, encouraging, and understanding throughout the publication process. Their reviewers are wonderful individuals that give you honest suggestions of how to edit your work, making your writing stand out in its own way. I have learned so much about my own writing style and flow from the Queen City Writers publication process, and I am proud to say that my first published work is with them.” – Trinity Langbein, Spring 2020

“My experience with QCW was really positive! I appreciated that the reviewers gave both broad and specific ideas for edits, and it helped when they complimented the parts of the piece they liked. I don’t consider myself an academic writer, and I feel the constructive criticism made me feel like one and will aid how I think about editing my writing in the future.”  – Leena Kardacz, Spring 2020

“Working with QCW was a good experience. The editing process was really smooth, and I felt like the reviews helped me strengthen my argument and make it easier to follow. Everyone I worked with made the publication process a lot less scary than I figured it’d be, so overall I’d say it was a really great experience.”  – Esteban Restrepo, Spring 2020

“One of the things that really stuck out to me was how much time and effort the reviewers had put into my paper. It truly shows how much they care about the students’ writing. Everyone I interacted with from QCW was extremely helpful and considerate. Thank you so much for such a great experience!
— Jorge Vinales, Fall 2019

“I really liked how there were 2 reviewers who gave long critiques and lots of feedback. Their insight and questions allowed me to view my paper from other perspectives and see what was missing in my own research. Although I had to do lots of editing prior to submitting, having to do more was helpful because I was getting feedback from two new people who weren’t part of my writing process and viewed my paper differently.” –Rebecca Jaffe, Spring 2019

“My experience with the reviewing process was fantastic! All responses were timely and the feedback was very helpful, specific, and encouraging! The staff was professional and answered all my questions. Overall, I loved my experience with QCW! Thank you again!!” –Jamie Rester, Spring 2019

“Working with Queen City Writers was an amazing experience on many different levels. The entire process was one of encouragement and learning. The review process, in particular, has taught me what to expect for other publications and writing my thesis. I will never forget this experience and I am every thankful that Queen City Writers was there for me as an undergraduate student who was fumbling through her first publication. Thank you, Queen City Writers!” –Holly McElrea, Fall 2014 and Spring 2014

“The QCW reviewers respectfully critiqued my work and so helped me improve my essay’s quality exponentially. No matter your amount of publishing experience, Queen City Writers meets you where you are, offering a friendly but professional gateway into the publishing world.” –Cheyenne Franklin, Fall 2015

“The review process is strong because it is two-fold – one read through to suggest higher-order changes, and another to address lower-order concerns. The first round of reviews I received were very thorough and offered me helpful suggestions about structure and content throughout the original paper. The second focused more on style in order to make the work more accessible. Throughout, reviewers were considerate and timely.”  –Maria Alberto, Fall 2014

“It was great to get experience in a professional publishing process through working with Queen City Writers. This helped me learn about what academic editors look for in a piece of writing and has better prepared me for future publication experiences.” –Laura Bet, Fall 2014

 “In an era of economized curricula, where student work is processed rather than critiqued, Queen City Writers provided me with a rare opportunity to glimpse the review and publishing process. Both supportive and professional, the staff worked alongside me to refine my writing and clarify my thinking. Beyond a mere query-to-press conveyor, this journal aims to bolster students’ pre-professional experiences, preparing them for a future in academia.” –John Smilges, Fall 2014

 “The reviewers for Queen City Writers are phenomenal. Their comments revealed aspects of my paper previously invisible to me, in a tone both friendly and professional. I was able to develop a whole new angle on my argument because of their advice.” –Kelsey Nakaishi, Fall 2012