Thank you for your interest in submitting an article to An Unexpected Journal.  We accept essays, fiction, and poetry, please read more about us or browse through past issues for an idea of what we accept.  For more questions, please contact us.

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Style Guide

2021 Issues and Submission Deadlines

Fall 2021: The Ancients  Publication Date: September 8, 2021  Submission Deadline: July 15, 2021

To understand where we are, we have to understand where we have been. In order for cultural apologists to look at our world and try to make sense of it, it would behoove us to understand our foundations. We hope to demonstrate through this issue that old does not mean obsolete and that ancient culture can still speak to us today.

Winter 2021: Imaginative Harvest: The Work of Dr. Holly Ordway  Publication Date: December 8, 2021  Submission Deadline: September 5, 2021

Noted Tolkien scholar and apologist Holly Ordway has played a substantial role in shaping the ever-growing discipline of cultural apologetics. Her influence has shaped the imaginations of many who work at An Unexpected Journal as well. This issue will celebrate not only her influence on us but also on the scholarly community at large.

2021 Issues and Submission Deadlines

Spring 2022: Saints and Sanctuaries  Publication Date:   March 9, 2022.  Submission Deadline: January 5, 2022.

Summer 2022: Dragons  Publication Date:  June 8, 2022.  Submission Deadline:  April 5, 2022.

Fall 2022: Joy  Publication Date:  September 7, 2022.  Submission Deadline: July 5, 2022

Winter 2022: Shakespeare  Publication Date:  December 7, 2022  Submission Deadline: September 5, 2022.

Writers’ Guidelines

An Unexpected Journal publishes the following types of original content:

  • Longform Essays – 3,000-5,000 words
  • Shortform Essays – 1,000-2,500 words
  • Short Stories – 1,000-2,500 words
  • Poetry
  • Devotional Reflections – 800-1,200 words
  • Book or film reviews – 800-2,000 words
  • Art or Photography – 300 pixels per inch

Please include the following elements in your submission:

  • The first page should contain your name and contact information (postal and email addresses and phone number).
  • A brief statement of which upcoming issue you are submitting to and why you believe your piece fits that issue’s theme.
  • All citations in footnotes formatted in Turabian style. Please include a bibliography of all works cited at the end of your piece.
  • Please include a brief biographical note of 40 to 50 words that could be published with your article, specifying your vocation or occupation, examples of significant work, your latest book or other identifying mark (office in a national organization, for example), your family (if desired), and your church affiliation (if desired). See the journal for examples.

Submissions should be made through this Google form in which you can attach your article as well as sign our writer agreement which is required prior to publication. Your information will remain private. Your contact information will only be used for the purposes of An Unexpected Journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party. If you do not have a Google account of some sort and cannot access Google forms, please email us for alternative arrangements.

You may send a query to the editor ( regarding an article if you are not sure if it would be a fit for An Unexpected Journal. A positive response from the editor does not necessarily guarantee an article will be published. Articles will be reviewed on their own merit upon submission.

At this point, we are unable to provide any financial compensation for contributions to An Unexpected Journal. Please know that your contribution is nevertheless highly valuable and serves to stimulate discussion of literary and imaginative apologetics.

Images to accompany each article will be chosen by our team. In the event that you would like to include an image authored by someone other than yourself, we ask that you either secure permission from the author to use the image or justify the fair use of the image. The fair use of an image can be justified if the image is in the public domain, is commented upon directly (such as a book cover or a movie poster) or if the image is under a Creative Commons License. If the image is merely illustrative for your post, this is not sufficient to justify ‘fair use’ of the image. It is your responsibility to accurately attribute copyrighted material to its author or source.

Upon submission, the author understands and agrees that he or she will be expected to work with a team of editors to polish and prepare the article for publication.