As a journal of mysteries and marginalized voices, we’re looking for quality writing that is thought-provoking and literary. We are especially interested in work that explores the identities and experiences of those listed below:

  • People and writers of color, including but not limited to African Americans, Asian Americans, Indian Americans, Latinx and Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Middle Easterners, and Pacific Islanders.
  • Immigrants.
  • Translated work and work by writers who do not live in the United States.
  • LGBTQ+.
  • Neurodivergent writers.
  • Women and women writers.
  • Inhabitants of and writers from the Delta.
  • Work about disability or by disabled writers.
  • Work by writers fifty years old or older.
  • The resource poor, whether urban or rural.
  • Those who have experienced or been impacted by incarceration.
  • Work about the nonhuman, or work that challenges anthropocentrism.
  • Work in genres not often featured in literary journals, such as hybrid pieces, illustrated narratives, and short scripts (10 to 20 pages) for the stage or screen.

The Particulars

Submit poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, scripts for the stage or screen, translation, artwork, or illustrated narratives through Submittable. Single submissions can include up to three poems or 4,000 words of prose. Include a brief biographical statement in the submission form and feel free to discuss how our mission statement does or does not resonate with you as an artist.

Simultaneous submissions are completely acceptable–just withdraw your submission should you find an opportunity elsewhere.

We welcome submissions by established and emerging artists unaffiliated with the University of Central Arkansas. We nominate our writers’ work for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net every year. We also promote our writers’ work by posting regularly on social media and featuring audio of the pieces published in each issue. All our writers’ work will be considered for $50 Editors’ Choice Awards in each genre.

Please submit work not previously published online or in print.

Genre-Specific Guidelines

Fiction: We’re looking for polished fiction of any form. Speak in voices no one has heard. Give us lies so well told they turn into truth. Submit as many stories as you like, but please keep your total word count 4,000 words or fewer.

Poetry: The poetry staff for Arkana encourages you to submit up to three poems in a single document, with no additional information. In Submittable, please include a brief biographical statement or other information you feel provides a necessary context to your work. To get a sense of what we’re looking for, we suggest you take a look at our mission statement. We are moved more by an aesthetic than by any particular trend or fashion in the world of contemporary poetry. As our mission statement indicates, we like art by outsiders. We like art about outsiders. We like beauty and music. We dislike art in which nothing is at stake—great art is inherently unsafe. Come live dangerously with us!

Creative Nonfiction: Send us your essays, your memoirs, your investigations. Give us your perspectives, your questions, your answers (tentative or firm). Let us hear your voice as you tell your reality as you know it. We accept all musings of 4,000 words or less, double spaced, no fancy fonts. Just plain truth.

Art: Submit up to 5 photographs or images to be published alongside literary work. Photographs and images should speak to Arkana’s mission and aesthetic.

Translation: We are most interested in authors who have not previously appeared in translation, new approaches to translation, and languages that are currently underrepresented. We accept all forms of work in translation, although we prefer poetry. Submissions should be 3 pages of poetry and 4,000 words of prose. Your submission should be in a DOC, DOCX, or PDF file format and your name and a short bio (300 words or less) should be included in the cover letter. Please also include the information of the original publisher and attach information showing that publication rights are available. If yours is a piece in the public domain, please note that.

Scriptwriting: We’re looking for polished scripts that illuminate truths and push boundaries. We accept ten-minute plays and scripts that are 20-pages or under. Plays should be formatted in Traditional Play Format, Dramatists Guild Modern Play Format, or a format that makes sense for your script.

Illustrated Narrative: We consider anything that combines words with visuals in a way that pushes the boundaries of form and storytelling. We accept works of fiction, nonfiction, comic strips or otherwise, as long as it fits our aesthetic and our mission. Work that is part of a larger novel or collection is allowed, as long as it has not been published anywhere else and the narrative works as a standalone piece. We are looking for short works no more than 5 pages in length. You can send multiple works at a time, but we ask that you do not exceed 20 pages per submission. 

Additional Thoughts

The Arkana staff is not a sectarian body. We do not discard submissions, unread, based on a set of unwritten rules regarding ampersands, punctuation, or any one of the innumerable, trivial matters that do, at times, inflame the passions of our craft. We also recognize that genre distinctions sometimes defy easy categorization, and hope that you will join us in embracing the ambiguity! If in doubt about categories, just take your best guess. We simply wish to be moved by great art, and we hope to pass that experience on to our readers.

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