Creative Writing Contests & Journal Submissions (CURRENTLY OPEN)

Deadline January 23, 2023

Cash Prizes + Publication

Submit your poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction to The Dazed Starling for possible publication in the Spring 2023 Issue!
Current CBU undergraduate and graduate students, including December 2022 graduates, may submit multiple pieces in multiple categories, but please observe the overall limits below:
FICTION (Including Flash Fiction): 20 double-spaced pages max (5,000 words max)
POETRY: 5 pieces
CREATIVE NONFICTION: 20 double-spaced pages max (5,000 words max)
Submissions should be grouped by category, but please submit each entry as an individual file.

  • For example, if you would like to submit 5 poems and 2 short stories:
  1. Save each work as it's own Word/Rtf File with no personal information in the file.
  2. Submit the 5 poetry files all at once.
  3. Then submit the 2 short stories together.

Each student can submit to each of the categories once, so prep all of your files before submitting.
N0 personally identifying information should be on the submission file--only the title and the work itself should be included in the file (Word/rtf).

**If you're not a current student, considering submitting The Dazed Starling: Unbound, which publishes works from current students, alumni, faculty, and friends of the university (including visual art).


The Dazed Starling Cover Art Submissions (Currently Open)

Deadline February 1, 2023

We're looking for cover art!

Current CBU undergraduate and graduate students, including December 2021 graduates, are invited to submit art to The Dazed Starling. One piece will be selected to be featured as the cover of The Dazed Starling 2023 journal. Additional pieces may be considered for The Dazed Starling website.

If an art submission is chosen, it will be edited to format the cover. If a cover design is chosen, it should include the journal title, "Spring 2023" and "Issue 10." Full front and back design will be approximately 8 1/2 x 11 (landscape) with a spine inserted. To view previous selections, email Dr. Travis ( Students should only submit original images or those to which they maintain rights.

File should be submitted as JPG.

Full Wrap Specifications (Including Spine):

  • Width: 12.5582" (3767 px)
  • Height: 9.250" (2775 px)

Front Only:

  • Width: 6" (1800 px)
  • Height: 9" (2700 px)


The Dazed Starling: Unbound (Writing & Art from Students, Alumni, and Faculty)

Deadline January 31, 2023


The Dazed Starling: Unbound is an online publication of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at California Baptist University. Its goal is to extend CBU’s Dazed Starling student literary journal’s mission by offering an additional publication opportunity open not only to current CBU students but also to faculty, alumni, and friends of the university. Each edition is thematic, but the editorial staff is open to an expansive interpretation of that theme. The editors will consider submissions in a wide variety of genres—poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, of course, but other writing (creative, critical, devotional, etc.) that might go beyond those categories. You can view last year's edition here:

The theme for this edition of The Dazed Starling: Unbound is “Reborn.” 

The Dazed Starling: Unbound also seeks to extend the creative voice of The Dazed Starling student literary journal with additional emphasis on visual arts. Artistic pieces should be submitted as JPEG or PNG image files. We are particularly looking for works embracing our theme. Still, we are open to various forms—photography, computer-generated images, paintings, drawings, line art, black & white, monotone, full color, everything! (We’ll be honest—we are hoping to see a bird-themed piece or two—but not only that.)

Whether written or visual, all submissions must be previously unpublished with all rights held by the submitter. All submissions should consider the mission and spirit of the university.

Multiple pieces may be submitted in one submission. Authors may submit up to 3 poems and up to 2,500 words of prose (fiction or nonfiction). We welcome flash fiction, non-fiction, etc. Artists may submit up to 5 pieces of visual art.



The Dazed Starling is published once a year in the spring.

No! We accept work from any current California Baptist University student (including December graduates in the following spring). If you have a passion for writing, please feel free to submit.

Fiction and creative nonfiction pieces should be no more than 20 double-spaced pages. However, we prefer that short stories be kept around the 10 page mark to allow more space for other authors. Poetry does not have a page limit, however, most poems are between one and two pages long.

The Dazed Starling does not shy from real-world issues such as violence, addiction, mental-health issues, or abuse. However, we are also thoughtful of our audience, and works with explicit content, foul language or that glorify activities not in keeping with the nature of our journal are unlikely to be published. However, we would remind authors that rejection from this journal does not mean your writing is bad; it just may not be a good fit for The Dazed Starling.   Additionally, The Dazed Starling does not accept academic work such as research or scholarly papers, and typically does not accept biographies or interviews. Memoirs or testimonials that embrace a creative nonfiction style are more likely to be accepted.

We accept original, previously unpublished work. Work previously submitted for a class is fine. Work published on a private social media site may be fine. Work published on a public blog or shared with the general public will be rejected.

The Dazed Starling is a student-edited literary journal. Students collaboratively review the pieces through a blind review process (that is, we don’t see names attached to the submissions) for initial acceptance and rejections, then complete mild edits prior to publication. Our goal is to make your writing print ready, and to not interfere with the style of the artist.

If the submission period is still open, you may withdraw and resubmit your piece. Once we have begun the editing process, we will make our decisions based on the piece in front of us. We therefore ask that your submissions be as camera-ready as possible. Submissions that require extensive editing or significant revisions will likely be rejected. Very rarely, a piece will blow us away, and we will reach out to that author and ask if they are willing to make some revisions.

You will receive a letter of acceptance or rejection. Some letters of acceptance may be conditional, as the reviewers may want the author to revise and edit the piece. You will likely not receive personalized comments due to the time constraints of the editing team.

Of course! Please remember to review, revise, and edit your piece before submitting again. We wish all of our Dazed Starlings the best of luck in their writing adventures.

Contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literature

Chair: Dr. Erika Travis
Administrative Secretary: Sean Langevin
Phone: (951) 343-4590

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504