How to Submit

We publish work by established and emerging writers unaffiliated with the University of Central Arkansas. We accept previously unpublished fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, scripts for the stage or screen, translation, artwork, and illustrated narrative through our Submittable submission manager.

Simultaneous submissions are always welcome. We only ask that you withdraw your piece as soon as you accept another opportunity.

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 writers from the Delta region, BIPOC, immigrant, LGBTQ+, women, disabled, and neurodivergent writers, the resource-poor, writers over 50, those who have experienced or been impacted by incarceration, or anyone whose voices have traditionally been silenced.

Regular Submission Guidelines 

  • Up to 4,000 words of prose (fiction or nonfiction), double-spaced
  • No more than 20 pages per submission
  • Limit 1 submission per genre until you’ve received a response 
  • Up to three poems per submission
  • Up to 5 photographs or pieces of art
  • Cover letter with a brief biographical statement 
  • For translated work only: 
    • Original publication information 
    • Confirm publication rights are available
    • If the piece is in the public domain, please let us know

It is always free to submit. While we accept submissions year-round, please note that our graduate students read during the school year, so you will experience longer response times over the summer.

How we advocate for our Authors

We nominate our writers’ work for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net every year and promote them regularly on social media. Our issues feature audio recordings of the pieces we publish. All our writers’ work is considered for $50 Editors’ Choice Awards in each genre.

What our genre editors would like to see

Fiction: We love stories that share a new perspective, keep us awake at night, or otherwise pluck at our heartstrings. Send us a story that only you can tell, writing that evokes visceral reactions and, perhaps most of all, seeks a deeper emotional truth.

Poetry: We are moved more by an aesthetic than by any particular trend or fashion in the world of contemporary poetry. We like beauty, music, and a personal interpretation of poetic forms. Your poetry submission should tell us an emotional story with something at stake. Great art is inherently unsafe.

Creative Nonfiction: Submit your personal essays, investigations, and counternarratives. We want to hear a strong voice full of local color. Ultimately, we want nonfiction that moves from an individual’s unique experience to greater universal resonance.

Scripts: We’re committed to publishing genres not often featured in literary journals. Whether it’s a 10-minute play or a scene from a screenplay, we’re looking for polished scripts with compelling character motivation and innovative use of dialogue.

Illustrated Narrative: We consider anything that combines words with visuals in a way that pushes the boundaries of form and storytelling. This includes works of fiction, nonfiction, comic strips, poetry comics, or otherwise. We like pieces that give us a new way to think about the relationship between words and images.

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.

Artwork: Our art is published alongside literary work, and as such, we want images that speak to Arkana’s mission and aesthetic. Painting, sculpture, photography, needlepoint, or any type of visual art is welcome.

For more on what our Arkana editors are looking for and reading, check out our interview with Selfish Poet’s Trish Hopkinson

Submit To Arkana