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

2022 Issues and Submission Deadlines

Spring 2022: Saints and Sanctuaries  Publication Date:   March 9, 2022.  Submission Deadline: January 20, 2022.

The Christian life is often described as a journey. In our ventures, we have opportunities to learn from faithful witnesses in our lives, in the past, or even in fiction. Oftentimes, this learning occurs in a place of rest, some haven
where we recover and prepare to venture on. This issue will look at both the saints and the sanctuaries which have strengthened believers for the road ahead.


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

Greedy, wicked, vengeful, powerful. Dragons occupy a powerful position in the contemporary imagination. This issue is a consideration of literary dragons and other monsters that fulfill the dragon trope. Because this image seems to emerge in a variety of cultures and contexts, it provides fertile ground for cultural apologists to engage with this fantastic beast.


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

Togetherness in both working and feasting is a source of great joy. In this issue, we examine celebrations of a common goal achieved, as well as the provision joy makes for difficult times to come. Like a harvest, ingatherings of joy help sustain us in the face of hardship. In all cases -working, feasting, and sustenance – joy serves as a powerful apologetic, encompassing such values as goodness, presence, togetherness, attentiveness, gratitude, humility, and community.


Winter 2022: Shakespeare  Publication Date:  December 7, 2022  Submission Deadline: July 20, 2022.

William Shakespeare is not generally thought of as an apologist, but his imaginative engagement with the human condition provides ample opportunities for cultural apologists to explore his work. As Hamlet says, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”


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.