Cantos Submission Guidelines

A Literary and Arts Journal

Submission Guidelines

(Revised on September 8, 2021)

Cantos, a journal published annually by Missouri Baptist University, welcomes submissions by poets, writers, and visual artists. Send previously unpublished poems, short fiction, excerpts from a novel in progress, plays, and nonfiction as e-mail attachments (Microsoft Word format) to the editor, John J. Han, at john.han@mobap.edu. Send previously unpublished artwork, including haiga (illustrated haiku), as an e-mail attachment to the editor. Write “Cantos [year]: your name” in the subject line (example: Cantos 2022: Ben Smith). We do not accept Google Drive files and do not accept hard-copy materials of any kind; upon arrival, hard copies will be recycled. Along with your work, we need a 100-word author bio written in third person and in complete sentences. Below are the reading period and target publication date:

Reading PeriodPublication Date
January 1-February 15March 15

Our review time is approximately two weeks; earlier submissions receive priority consideration. There is no monetary compensation for contributors. Those who reside in the continental United States receive one complimentary copy of the issue in which their work appears.  The editorial team evaluates all submissions for suitability, content, organization, structure, clarity, style, mechanics, and grammar. We do not consider submissions that include profanity or foul language.

We welcome poems that pay attention to both form and content, that can appeal to a broad range of educated readers, and that are neither inexplicable nor simplistic. Poems should consist of 40 or fewer lines; limit up to seven poems per submission. Indicate the form used in the poem parenthetically after the title.

We value submissions written in lucid, precise, and concise style. Prose works that contain a number of grammatical and mechanical mistakes will not be considered. Place serial commas to separate all items in a list (as in “poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction”). Use curved quotes (curly quotes) for quotation marks and apostrophes: Opening quotation marks should look like 66, closing quotation marks should look like 99, opening apostrophes should look like 9, and apostrophes indicating the possessive case should look like 9. Periods and commas are placed inside quotation marks (“It is very simple,” the goblin replied. “I can easily shrink my body and get inside the jar.”). Press the tab key once for the first line of a new paragraph, and leave two (not one, not three) spaces between sentences. We prefer MLA (Modern Language Association) style for citation.

Fiction and nonfiction should be fewer than 2,000 words each. We consider up to three works from each author.

Essays for the section “On Writing Creatively” (2,500-5,000 words each) are normally written by invitation. However, established writers and poets who wish to provide our readers with creative writing tips are welcome to contact the editor before submission.

Visual Art:
We consider single images, picture essays, and haiga. Single images should be titled, and images used in picture essays must be explained within the narrative. We prefer docx for drawings and jpeg for photos. Currently, we are not seeking cover images.