Thank you for your interest in submitting to AUJ. We publish quarterly on a set topic for each issue. The topic itself is usually somewhat broad, the key criteria for each piece is that it is written from a Christian perspective. The question for acceptance is, “does this piece in some way help reveal or illuminate a small part of God’s truth?

If you have a question about a topic or whether or not a piece would be suitable, please send an email to our managing editor at anunexpectedjournal@gmail.com.

Where We Publish

The journal is published on AUJ’s website as well as in digital and print editions on Amazon and other book online marketplaces.

How to Submit

The first step in publishing with AUJ is to submit through our online submission form.

  • Your completed essay, short story, or poem.
  • A short abstract.
  • A short contributor bio
  • A headshot.

If you have already submitted your bio and headshot and don’t need to make any changes, just put “on file” in those fields.

This is a submission form as well as a writer’s agreement. When you submit, you are affirming that you are the author of the work and hold the copyright to the piece, and that it has not been previously published. You are granting AUJ exclusive worldwide rights for 90 days after the publication date and nonexclusive rights afterwards.

To put it simply, you agree not to publish the submitted piece elsewhere for 90 days. After that, you may publish your piece where you like. When publishing in other locations, please note that the piece first appeared in AUJ with a link to the piece on the site. We include a citation reference for each published piece at the bottom of each article page on AUJ’s site. If your submission has been published elsewhere, please contact the managing editor at anunexpectedjournal@gmail.com prior to submitting.

Please note we must have a completed contributor agreement on file in order to publish your work.

Once we have your submission, two content editors will be assigned to work with you on your piece. After the piece passes through content editing, a copy editor will be assigned to go through a final review.

If something comes up and you cannot respond to the editors’ suggestions and comments promptly, please let the managing editor know. Everyone working on the journal is a volunteer and we try to move through the editing and production process as efficiently as possible

About Our Readers

We have a wide range of readers from seminary students, college professors, teachers, as well as popular level readers who are interested in expanding their understanding of the Christian worldview. Please do not assume someone has specialized knowledge on a topic, go ahead and explain the concept. 

If you have been following AUJ, you may notice that certain themes recur in essays. You may think that because someone has explained it before that it isn’t necessary to explain it in your essay. Go ahead and explain it again. While we have a core following, the vast majority of our website views are people coming across the site and reading a handful of the essays at most. If your piece is the only essay read by someone who is new to the topic, make sure that you explain the concepts well enough that they understand it.

Also, considering our varied readership, if your goal is to give David Bentley Hart a run for his money as the writer who uses the most obscure words in a single essay . . . this might not be the best publication in which to achieve that goal. Transpositions might be a better fit.

A good rule of thumb is the more difficult the concept is you are tackling, the simpler the words should be used in order to explain it.

If there is a word that only a linguist would know that you simply must use, go ahead . . . but try to keep the rest of the language accessible.

Download the style guide as a pdf.

Writing Tips and Style Guide

Much of this will be old hat to most of you, but please review it as a pre-publishing checklist. 

AUJ follows the Turabian format. The Manual for Writers is a handy resource for writers to have on hand. If you have a question about citation format, please refer to the manual over an article online. Some online citation guides we have found are not correct.

These are a few guidelines to keep in mind and a few highlighted issues to watch for, these are the most common issues that come up when we proof.

Checklist Before Submitting

  • Run spell-check
  • Check the essay with Grammarly (Grammarly suggestions aren’t always good, but it can highlight problem areas.)
  • Read through your piece out loud. Check for awkward phrasing and homonyms.
  • Check your in-text citations. The first reference to a source should be the full name (C.S. Lewis). Following references should be the last name only (Lewis). The same is true for abbreviating a phrase or title. The first reference should be spelled out such as, That Hideous Strength (THS). All future references should be the abbreviation only (THS).
  • Double check your footnotes. Is all the information included and are they formatted correctly? Incorrectly formatted and incomplete footnotes are the most time consuming issues that we run into when we are going through a final proof prior to publishing.
    • The first citation of a source should be the full citation: C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength, Reprint edition (New York: Scribner, 2003) 119.
    • When quoting the exact same previous source: Ibid.
    • Quoting the previous source but with a different page number: Ibid., 83.
    • The first reference on a new page to a previously cited source: Lewis, That Hideous Strength, 119.
  • Please turn off content control in Word before submitting your essay. Content control on a Word document causes formatting problems when importing the essays into and exporting from Google Docs for editing. Select all, right click, then selection “Remove content control.”

During the Editing Process

Comments and editing are done in Google Docs. At times people have found it more convenient to move their essay off of Google Docs to revise after the editors’ comments. If you decide to revise in Word or another program, do not copy and paste from Docs into Word. This will break the connection between the in-text citations and your footnotes.

Instead, with the Google Doc of your essay open, go to File -> Download As -> and select .docx as the file type. This will give you a Word document with your footnotes and citations still intact. Your revised file can then be uploaded to the editing folder when your revisions are complete.

Once you have finished your revisions, please go back through the pre-publish checklist again. 

Make sure your first references are all still your first reference. 

Are all of the full footnotes for your first citations still there? It is very common for an essay to be edited and the order of the citations changed.

Helpful Tip: Have a list of all your sources and check them off as you come across the full footnote.

Things to watch for:

  • American NOT British Spelling (Sorry Dr. Ward.)
  • C.S. Lewis NOT C. S. Lewis
  • Lewis’s NOT Lewis’
  • Dashes like — this NOT like—this
  • Ellipses like . . . This NOT like … this (Turabian not AP style)
  • A word set off in single quotes such as a ‘defined concept’, punctuation is outside of the single quote.
  • A “quotation,” punctuation is inside the double quotes.
  • Multiple citations within a single sentence should all be at the end of the sentence. 
  • Please use “digital edition” rather than “Kindle” or “Nook” in citations. Many online marketplaces, such as Apple, will reject digital editions that include brand names of competitors.

Examples of Footnotes

Quoting a book:

C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength, Reprint edition (New York: Scribner, 2003) 119.

 

Quoting an Online Article:

Richard Brody, “Review: The Authoritarian Populism of ‘Incredibles 2,’” The New Yorker, last modified June 19, 2018, accessed August 30, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/review-the-authoritarian-populism-of-incredibles-2.

 

Quoting a Section of a Book:

C.S. Lewis, “Ajax and Others: John Jones, On Aristotle and Other Greek Tragedy,” in Image and Imagination (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 191.

 

Please provide a bibliography at the end of your essay.