Please excuse any duplication. A PDF copy of the instructions below is available upon request.




Dorothy Ogdon




2017 MLA Books Panel Best Book Proposal Contest

(Contest Sponsored by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers)


Please provide detailed answers to the following prompts, along with the documents from the MLA Books Panel Best Proposal Contest Materials Checklist, for a chance to win $250.00 from Rowman & Littlefield and the opportunity to pursue a book contract. To be eligible, proposals must be submitted electronically to Martha Lara ([log in to unmask]), MLA’s Director of Marketing & Communications by 11:59pm on November 15th, 2017. Submissions will be evaluated by the MLA books panel and the contest winner will be contacted in December 2017.


Book Proposal Outline


  1. Why is this book needed? Who will want to read it or use it and why? How is it different from other books on the same topic (what’s unique about your idea)?
  2. Imagine that your book will appear in the next Rowman & Littlefield catalog. Begin with a title that captures the tone and spirit of your book. What would the ideal description of your book for our catalog be? Emphasize special features or sections using bullets where appropriate.
  3. Identify titles on the same topic published in the last 5-7 years. These will be your book’s competition. Can you give us a sentence or two that would make us want to publish your book even though those are out there?
  4. Include a tentative table of contents that includes page number estimates for each chapter. Please also include for each chapter an estimated number of photographs, figures, tables, or other graphic elements you think you would want to include in the chapter.
  5. What is your target date for completing the manuscript?
  6. Include a 1-3 paragraph biographical statement about you as well as a copy of your curriculum vitae or resume that includes information on your previous experience presenting, writing, teaching, conducting research, or other professional activities relevant to the proposed book. In the biographical statement, emphasize your education and experience relevant to the book topic. Please include bibliographic information about other articles or books you’ve published related to this topic. The point here is to position you as an expert in this area.
  7. 7. Include at least one example of your published professional writing. This can be a journal article, a book chapter, or another sample publication.


2017 MLA Books Panel Best Proposal Contest Materials Checklist

  1. A document with detailed answers to all prompts in the Book Proposal outline.
  2. A tentative table of contents.
  3. A current resume or curriculum vitae with your preferred contact information, including an email address and phone number
  4. A sample of your published professional writing



Dorothy Ogdon, MSIS, AHIP | Assistant Professor

Reference Librarian & Liaison to the School of Dentistry

UAB Libraries | Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

205.934.2231 | [log in to unmask]