Call for journal submissions: American Golden Age Mystery & Detective Fiction

deadline for submissions: 
July 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Mean Streets: A Journal of American Crime and Detective Fiction
contact email: 

Call for Submissions

Third issue of Mean Streets: A Journal of American Crime and Detective Fiction



Proposals: July 15, 2021

Final essays: December 1, 2021


The “Golden Age” of mystery and detective fiction is generally agreed upon as bounded by World War I and World War II. While the designation is widely applied to both British and American fiction of the period, it has most closely adhered to British fiction, perhaps because American crime writing in the period was sharply bifurcated between Classical and Hard-boiled writing. Indeed, Stephen Wright claims that “It was in Britain that the clue-puzzle had its richest development” and also traces the important revision of narrative structure that became known as the “inverted” story to an English writer. So, in what lay the contribution of American writers? Are there unique features in their offerings to the Classical detective narrative? Is there any cross-fertilization (or creative friction) between Classical and Hard-boiled practices? Do the circumstances of American life and culture of the period produce qualities notably different from British narratives?

Some possible approaches:

  • Interrogate the question:  Is there an American Golden Age?
  • Thematic explorations
  • Contemporary resurgence of Golden Age interest/popularity
  • Contributions of particular American publishers to Golden Age popularity and/or rediscovery (e.g., Rue Morgue Press, Library of Congress Crime Classics)
  • Juxtaposition of Classic and Hard-boiled fiction in the period
  • Analysis of the critical receptions of American writers by British critics
  • Selected authors associated with the period

Anthony Abbot

Stuart Palmer

Anne Austin

Zelda Popkin

Hugh Austin

Ellery Queen

Earl Derr Biggers

Patrick Quentin

Anthony Boucher

Virginia Rath

John Dickson Carr

Clayton Rawson

Clyde B. Clason

Mary Roberts Rinehart

Dorothy Cameron Disney

Mabel Seeley

Todd Downing

Rex Stout

Mignon Eberhart

Kay Cleaver Strahan

Erle Stanley Gardner

John Stephen Strange

Frances Noyes Hart

Phoebe Atwood Taylor

C. Daly King

Darwin Teilhet

Rufus King

S.S. Van Dine

Helen McCloy

Carolyn Wells



Abstracts of 250 words with proposed title should be directed no later than July 15, 2021, to the editors: Rebecca Martin ( and Walter Raubicheck (

Final papers of 7000-8000 words will be due by December 1, 2021, with publication anticipated in spring 2022. Feel free to send questions to both editors.


About Mean Streets

This journal is published by the Pace University Press (New York City), which has been sponsoring scholarly journals since the 1980s.

Mean Streets is a refereed journal edited by two scholars in literature and film and guided by an Editorial Board comprised of distinguished scholars from several disciplines. Submissions will be reviewed by the editors and selected Board members.

The journal’s first issue appeared in spring 2020, with the second issue anticipated in June 2021. Copies may be ordered at