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.

The theme for this winter edition of The Dazed Starling: Unbound is “Advent.” We welcome various interpretations of this theme that focus around faith, hope, peace, and joy. They need not be Christmas stories.


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! (Pieces connected to the Advent theme are especially encouraged.)
Whether written or visual, all submissions must be previously unpublished with all rights held by the submitter.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 500 words of prose (fiction or nonfiction--we're looking for short pieces up to 250 words each). Artists may submit up to 5 pieces of visual art.

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: https://issuu.com/dazedstarling/docs/dazed_starling_unbound_vol._1

The theme for this edition of The Dazed Starling: Unbound is “reborn.” We welcome various interpretations of this theme, including, but not limited to, the exploration of the following: 

  • Rebirth
  • Phoenix imagery
  • Renewal of the soul, identity, or roots
  • Faith journeys
  • Overcoming obstacles in life
  • Transformation
  • Another life
  • Second chances
  • Maturity (stages of life)
  • Walking dead
  • Name changing
  • Rising from the ashes
  • Revival
  • Renewal
  • New beginnings/beginnings in general
  • Growth
  • Building family of one’s own. 



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.

Submit your poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction to The Dazed Starling for possible publication in the Spring 2022 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, consider submitting The Dazed Starling: Unbound, which publishes works from current students, alumni, faculty, and friends of the university (including visual art).

California Baptist University