Society for Novel Studies Constitution


The name of the association is the Society for Novel Studies.


The Society for Novel Studies (SNS) promotes discussion and research on all questions concerning the novel, primarily through meetings and publications.  SNS is a nonprofit organization.


Membership is open to all, on application and payment of dues. Dues are established by the Executive Board and cover two calendar years. 


The Society holds a bi-annual Business Meeting at the bi-annual conference. Those members present at the Business Meeting constitute a quorum.  The conduct of the Business Meeting is determined by the Society bylaws. 


The officers of the Society are a Vice President, a President, and the immediate Past President. Each holds office for two years, beginning at the conclusion of the Business Meeting at which the Vice President is elected.

The Vice President serves as conference officer for the bi-annual conference, performs the functions of the President during the latter's absence or inability to serve, and succeeds to the Presidency.

The President presides at the annual meeting of the Executive Board. The President, or an appointed delegate, represents the Society in appropriate official functions, and takes primary responsibility for supervising the Society’s communications strategies. The President works with the Secretary-Treasurer to promote the interests of the Society, and succeeds to the Past Presidency.  The President convenes and presides over an annual meeting of the Executive Board.

The Past President acts as a primary consultant to (and full voting member of) the Executive Board.


The Executive Board is composed of the three officers, the Editor of Novel: A Forum on Fiction (serving in an ex-officio capacity), and six members-at-large, each elected by the members of the Society for a term of four years, three posts to be filled at each bi-annual meeting of the Society.

The Executive Board appoints the following positions from among its six elected members:

1)    Secretary-Treasurer. The Secretary-Treasurer serves as secretary of the annual meeting and of the meetings of the Executive Board. The Secretary-Treasurer holds office for two years and may be reappointed. An audit of the Society’s financial records shall be made annually by an auditor appointed by the President, and the results reported at the annual meeting. At the annual meeting the Secretary-Treasurer proposes to the Executive Board a budget for the succeeding year, which the Board may approve with such modifications as it deems appropriate.

2)    A delegate to the ACLS.

The Executive Board convenes annually and at such other times as may be desirable and convenient. No member of the Executive Board may be represented by a proxy. Six members constitute a quorum.

When necessary, vote upon an immediate matter may be taken by means of a mail or electronic ballot to be distributed by the Secretary-Treasurer. For a mail or electronic vote six affirmatives are required for passage.

The Executive Board shall direct the activities of the Society within the general policies determined by the membership.

The Executive Board fills by appointment any vacancies among the six at-large Board members occurring between business sessions. 

The Executive Board appoints any committees or sub-committees of the Society as it deems appropriate.


The Nominating Committee consists of the President, the immediate Past President, and two members elected for two-year terms by the Society at its bi-annual Business Meeting. The Past President chairs the Nominating Committee.

The Nominating Committee proposes from among the Society’s membership a slate of candidates consisting of two nominees for each of the following roles:

Vice President

Three incoming at-large members of the Executive Board

Two incoming members of the Nominating Committee

In proposing its slate of nominees the Nominating Committee shall seek a broad representation of the membership and scholarly interests of the Society.

Not less than 90 days before the bi-annual meeting of the Society the Nominating Committee reports to the Executive Secretary its nominees. Within 30 days of receiving this report the Secretary-Treasurer forwards the slate of nominees to the Society membership via electronic communication with a specified date (of no more than 30 days) for the conclusion of the voting process.


The Society will maintain a website and list-serve for the purpose of providing membership and governance information; to publicize plans and projects appropriate to the Society and its mission; to facilitate the election of officers; to provide a link to the bi-annual conference site; to provide a link to the journal Novel: A Forum on Fiction.

To supplement the Society website, the host institution for each bi-annual conference shall maintain a website particular to that meeting, which will serve as the principal vehicle for the promotion of the conference.


i. Bi-annual conference

The Society sponsors a conference every two years.

The Executive Board solicits preliminary proposals/statements of interests from potential organizers, to be followed by complete proposals.  The Executive Board works with local organizers to develop the proposal, and the Executive Board makes the final selection from among proposals.

The preliminary proposal should offer a brief account of the proposed site; information on the available transportation to the location; potential sources of funding and the level of local interest; it should also name potential plenary speakers and an organizing idea.

The Vice President as conference officer serves as liaison with local organizers. 

ii. Sessions and panels at conferences and events:

As approved by the Executive Board, the Society sponsors panels and sessions at the conventions of learned societies with which it is affiliated.


Novel: A Forum on Fiction is the official publication of the Society, and each member receives a two-year subscription to Novel upon payment of membership dues.  Duke University Press collects these dues and is responsible for sending out three issues per year to each member.  Novel is an independent corporation and owns the copyright on all materials it publishes as well as editorial control over the contents of the journal, the special issues it commissions, and advertising.

With the exception of the Editor of Novel, the members of the editorial board of Novel may not sit on the Executive Board.  The Editor of Novel sits ex officio on the Executive Committee of the Society and conveys all suggestions and requests for publication to the Editorial Board of Novel for deliberation.

If the Editor cannot attend a meeting or conference organized by the Society, the Editorial Board will appoint a substitute from among their members.

The Executive Board may pursue any publication strategies that advance its mission.


Proposed amendments to this constitution must be approved by six members of the Executive Board or submitted in a petition to the Secretary-Treasurer 60 days prior to the bi-annual business meeting. The petition must be signed by at least ten members. The amendment shall be discussed and may be amended at the annual meeting and then submitted to a referendum by the members. A majority of those voting shall prevail.