Kosmos Call for Essays and Other Works | Deadline, Nov 15, 2021
“Are You Sure?” | The Cultivation of Belief

We all cling to the truthfulness of our most firmly-held beliefs. Yet, we know that belief alone does not make something true. Nor is consensus reality – the truth of the majority – by any means infallible. So where does truth reside? We might say there exists an independent reality ‘out there’ and that truth has its own authority, but is the human mind a reliable filter?

Lies and ‘fake news’ are nothing new. The search for truth is equally timeless. How do we cultivate our beliefs? What is the relationship between openness and truth? Can we have justice or freedom without truth?  And how can we tell when our beliefs might be wrong? Can we ask ourselves, “Are you sure?” Psychiatrist and philosopher Neel Burton, says this:

“The truth of something lies at the end of our inquiry into that thing. But as our inquiry can have no end, the truth of something can never be more than our best opinion of that thing.”

How does a strong belief make you feel inside – angry and defensive, or calm and open? Have you ever altered a strong belief you held about something? These are some of the questions we seek to explore in the Winter edition of Kosmos Quarterly. We welcome your essays up to 1200 words, poems, art and other works. Please review our submission guidelines carefully.

For all essays, please use the submission form, below. NOTE: It is only possible to upload one document per submission.

For poetry, see the specific guidelines below.

For all other media and artist inquiries, contact info@kosmosjournal.org directly, with the subject line: ‘Submission Inquiry’.

General Guidelines for all Works

We strongly advise you to become acquainted with Kosmos Quarterly before you submit something. Editorial preference is given to present or past Members. Memberships are available starting at $0.

Please submit all works as Word documents with a file name “Full Name_Title,” and include your email address in the header of the document.

Do not send us your first draft. As Robert Graves contends, “There is no such thing as good writing. Only good rewriting.” Always send your best version.

Be sure to proof your work before you hit “Send.” Punctuation, spelling, and grammar are all important elements of a written work.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but please inform us if your work is accepted elsewhere. We will be happy for your success.

If your work is accepted by Kosmos, you agree to grant us the right to publish in the Quarterly and its derivative works, as well as Electronic Archival Rights. At publication, all rights revert back to you. If your work subsequently appears in print or online, you agree to give credit to Kosmos Quarterly. We agree to contact you for permission to reprint your work.

Upon acceptance, we’ll ask you for a brief bio (50 -100 words) and a JPEG photo to accompany your work.

Check our website and newsletter for updated themes and deadlines. We will make every effort to respond within one month after a deadline. If you haven’t heard from us by then, feel free to contact us.

We are not a paying publication at this time, but we are pleased to welcome you to the Kosmos family, with the guarantee your work will be read and appreciated by an international audience.

Poetry Submission Guidelines 

Kosmos Quarterly is looking for thoughtful, well-crafted poems that will inspire and delight our readership. We tend not to accept inspirational verse or rhyming poetry unless the latter is done artistically (See Frost’s “After Apple-Picking” for what we mean by “artistic.”)

On occasion, we solicit poems we love, but all unsolicited pieces must be previously unpublished. By “unpublished” we mean either in print or online formats, not including your personal website or blog.

We are now publishing poetry not only in our quarterly journal, but in the newsletters between each issue. Take a look at our seasonal Gallery of Poets and our Featured Poet in past newsletters to see the types of poetry we prefer.

Please send 1-3 single-spaced poems per issue in a single Word document (doc or docx). Please use Times Roman, 12-pt. and left justify poems with a one-inch margin. Format the file name as “Your Full Name and Title” of the first poem. Include your email address in the header of the document. Limit each poem to a maximum of 50 lines. Start each poem on a new page.

Kosmos Quarterly acquires first North American serial, electronic, and archival rights. All rights then revert to the author after publication. Please acknowledge Kosmos in any subsequent printing of your work.


Do not send us a biography until we request one upon acceptance. We want to read your submission based on its own merits, not past accomplishments. However, in your email please tell us in a sentence or two how your piece(s) supports our current theme. When we make decisions, we consider the best and most creative approaches to that theme.

Once your poetry appears in Kosmos Quarterly, please skip at least one issue before submitting again.

Thank you for entrusting your work to us. We will read it with gratitude and respect.

Greetings from Carolyn Martin, Poetry Editor

Before you submit to Kosmos Quarterly – or to any journal – here is some writerly advice gathered from decades of experience:

Ask accomplished poets who are conversant with the art and craft of poetry to critique your poems. Friends may be complimentary, but they may not understand what makes a good poem. Kosmos receives many lovely poems that are deeply heartfelt, but are filled with abstractions and generalities that don’t work in poetry. Poetry uses compelling, compact language filled with images, rhythms, and sounds that surprise the reader by showing rather than explaining. Surprise me with work that is fresh and well-crafted.

Read, read, read accessible contemporary poets like Billy Collins, Ellen Bass, and Mary Oliver. Read them not only for enjoyment, but for insights into how they craft their poems. Ask yourself, “How does this poet get from a poem’s beginning to its end? How do they use images to express emotion? How to they shape their poems on the page? How effective are the rhythms and sounds of each line and stanza? As the renown dancer Martha Graham reminds us, “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us get to work.” Good poets get inspired and then they get to work on crafting their poems.

Pay attention to our guidelines and follow them carefully. It does not make a good first impression when guidelines are overlooked. 

Every publication and poetry editor has an aesthetic bias whether they admit it or not. So please don’t be offended if Kosmos says it is not the right home for your work. I’ve been submitting poetry for years and have learned that what doesn’t fit one publication is perfect for another. It’s all about making sure you are sending your best work and finding a home that will embrace it.

If you’re not collecting rejections, you’re not doing the work of a poet: sending your work out into the world. I’ve challenged myself to “earn” 100 rejections every year. I made it to 87 last year!

Happy submitting – and we are honored that you entrust your work to the Kosmos Quarterly.


For all essays, please use the submission form, below. NOTE: It is only possible to upload one document per submission.

For all other media and artist inquiries, contact info@kosmosjournal.org directly, with the subject line: Submission Inquiry.

Submit A Work