Manuscript Submission Guidelines – Classics of Indian Buddhism

The Classics of Indian Buddhism series aims to publish accessible translations of important texts from the Buddhist traditions of South Asia. Part of the goal of the series is to present texts that were influential within classical India rather than those that are simply cited widely today. Any significant work from the premodern Indian tradition is suitable for consideration in the series, including philosophical treatises, avadānas, sūtras, narratives, poetry, and tantras. Translations will derive primarily from Sanskrit or Pali texts when those are extant. The series generally avoids republishing old translations or retranslating texts from European languages, but such works can be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Volumes in the series may range dramatically in size. Volumes will be published in paperback at affordable prices to make them suitable for course adoption and for retail sales in bookstores. Each volume will include a glossary, a bibliography, an index, and an introductory essay that is comparable in length to a journal article.

While accuracy is vital, translations should be prepared with an ear to readability. What is needed is a happy medium—a middle way that takes into account all of the words of the original text but is free of archaisms and neologisms. The result should be an English text that reads smoothly and also provides the reader with a feel for the original. In order to keep the appeal broad, translations should eschew brackets except as a last resort, translate the majority of technical terms, and avoid notes that are excessively long or tangential. Translators are nevertheless expected to use diacritics and to translate verse in such a way that is distinct from prose.

You need not wait until you have a final submission before contacting the series editors. Even if you have only an idea for a translation you'd like to pursue or have only partially completed a translation, we would be glad to discuss it with you and consider how your work could be developed to best fit within the series. Please contact us at CIB [at] wisdompubs [dot] org if you have further questions.

Submissions should contain the following:

  • A description of the project (500 to 2000 words). Explain the importance of the text you are translating (i.e., why it should be termed a “classic” of Indian Buddhism) as well as the history of your work on the text (when, where, why, and with whom it began and progressed).
  • A curriculum vitae or a narrative author biography, highlighting any relevant qualifications.
  • A provisional table of contents.
  • At least one sample chapter, in finished form. Submitting more than one chapter or a complete translation is also acceptable.
  • A brief bibliography, to include all editions consulted in the preparation of the translation, as well as all significant previous translations and major projects that focus on the work.

All materials should be submitted by email as attachments. You may submit either word-processing documents in a unicode font or PDFs. Your work will not be distributed except for the purpose of evaluation for the series.

Prospective translators do not need to implement the series style before submitting a manuscript; adoption of the series style will be necessary only when a translation has been accepted for publication. Those who are curious, however, are welcome to download Wisdom’s style guide for works on Indian and Tibetan Buddhism.

Please email your submissions to CIB [at] wisdompubs [dot] org.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines




Banner image: © John Berthold