The Stylus, published since 1950, is an annual compendium of literary and visual art works by students. The mission of the Stylus is to capture the creative imagination and passion of our Millsaps community. In 2012, we celebrated 62 years of Millsaps students’ literary and artistic imagination. See more about the Stylus.

Submission Guidelines

Genres Accepted

Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction*, one-act plays, photography, and visual artwork.

*Examples of creative nonfiction may include, but are not limited to, the following: personal essays, memoirs, travel writing, food writing, biography, and literary journalism.

General Information

  • Works previously or simultaneously published in other publications should not be submitted.
  • Please do not submit works that have been co-produced.
  • All entries must be submitted by email as an attachment in MS Word (.docx are acceptable) or JPEG format (.jpg) to stylus@millsaps.edu. Please do not send us your original work or include contact information within the submissions themselves. Such information should be provided on the cover sheet.
  • All submissions must be accompanied by a completed cover sheet (PDF). Submissions lacking a cover sheet will not be considered for publication. The cover sheet should be returned with the electronic submission as a separate attachment. Download a copy of the cover sheet (PDF).
  • You may enter as many categories as you wish. For multiple submissions in multiple categories, please separate each piece into its own, appropriately titled document or JPEG file that corresponds with the information provided on the cover sheet. Note that contributors will be limited to a maximum of four works published per category (photography, visual art, prose, and poetry). Only one submission will be chosen for the cover art.

Genre Submission Guidelines

  • Poetry: Please submit poems of 100 lines or less. You may submit as many poems as you like.
  • Fiction (short story): 4,500-word limit. You may submit as many stories as you like.
  • Creative nonfiction: (Not to be confused with academic writing) 4,500 word limit. You may submit as many essays as you like.
  • One-act play: 4,500-word limit. You may submit as many plays as you like.
  • Photography: Digital photographs may be in color or black and white. Please send photo files 3–10 MB in size  to ensure high resolution. All photographs of visual art must be submitted as JPEG (.jpg) format. You may submit as many photos as you like. *
  • Visual art: Digital photographs of paintings, ink drawings, charcoal drawings, colored pencil drawings, sculptures, etc. are accepted. Photographs may be in color or black and white. Please send photo files 3–10 MB in size  to ensure high resolution. All photographs of visual artwork must be submitted as JPEG (.jpg) format. You may submit as many photos of visual artwork as you like.*
  • Cover art: One submission will be chosen for the cover of the Stylus. Cover art should be submitted in the form of an image (.jpg). We request that the design be in the spirit of Stylus, that is, with a focus on the creative minds of the Millsaps student body. Submissions should include reference to any of the following: writing, studio art, photography, theater, music, dance, Millsaps, or creativity in general. Consider how it would wrap the book cover. Also consider using the title of the book, Stylus, in the image.

*Be aware that, due to restrictions on the number of color pages in the book, some color photographs/visual artworks may need to be converted to black and white for publication. This will not be done without the artist’s permission.

If you have ANY questions, concerns, or conflicts with the submission guidelines, please do not hesitate to contact us at stylus@millsaps.edu. These guidelines exist not to curtail your artistic license, but to facilitate the publication process for the Stylus staff.


What exactly is the Stylus?

The Stylus is the creative literary and fine art magazine of Millsaps College. For many years, it was published as a small semi-annual booklet of poetry and artwork. In 2002, the Stylus became an annual publication and has grown to contain poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, one-act plays, photography, and visual artwork. The Stylus solely contains student works and is compiled by students.

When is the Stylus published? How can I get a copy?

The Stylus is published every spring, towards the last week of classes. Copies are free to the campus community and will be available around campus – check the Leggett Center and English House.

What prizes are awarded?

The Stylus has seven awards associated with it. The four Editor’s Choice Awards in Poetry, Prose, Photography, and Visual Art are based on the submission process and the editor’s discretion. The Stylus also gives the MCA Diversity Group Prize, the Faith & Work Initiative Award, and the Millsaps Department of Theatre Award for Playwriting, generously sponsored by the MCA Diversity Group, the Faith & Work Initiative, and the Theatre Department respectively. The MCA Diversity Group rewards a literary or artistic work expressing human diversity and our universal connections. The Faith & Work Initiative rewards the literary or artistic work that explores one or more of the following themes: the discovery or pursuit of a calling in life, work as self-expression, work and the common good, work and faith/spirituality, and the meaning of work. The Department of Theatre rewards a dramatic work of academic excellence that demonstrates social consciousness. The pieces awarded the MCA Diversity Group Prize, the Faith & Work Initiative Award, and the Millsaps Department of Theatre Award for Playwriting are selected by the heads of these respective organizations.

Is the Stylus ever entered in any competitions?

Yes, indeed! The Stylus competes every year for the Literary Magazine Award given by the Southern Literary Festival in the spring. The Stylus 2008 placed second at the Southern Literary Festival held at Millsaps.

Who can submit to the Stylus?

Anyone! So, tell your friends! This is not a publication exclusive to English and art majors.Every Millsaps student (both graduate and undergraduate) is highly encouraged to submit his or her work.

Is there a limit on how many pieces I can submit? (See Submission Guidelines for details.)

How can I get involved beyond submitting my work?

In the fall, the Stylus staff assists with advertising and spreading awareness about the Stylus. The staff focuses on selecting the works to publish early in the spring semester. This requires reading/viewing of the submitted material and proofreading for error.

If I submit my work, can I still be on the Stylus staff?

Of course! We encourage you to do both.

What are the positions within the Stylus staff?

The Stylus staff varies year-to-year in organization and number. Regardless of the nominal infrastructure of the staff, everyone’s input is desired and respected. Because the Stylus is compiled in such a short amount of time, the staff tends to work more as a cohesive team than within hierarchical divisions.

What are the requirements for being on the Stylus staff?

Be passionate about literature and art, and show up for the meetings (to the best of your ability)! Remember, if you feel more comfortable selecting works of only one genre, you are allowed to do so. However, we will have meetings focusing on selection guidelines for all the genres, so that you may read/view all of the material with a knowledgeable eye if you wish.

How are the selections chosen for publication?

Our ultimate goal is to capture the creative imagination and passion of our Millsaps community. Once the call for submissions has passed, the material will be anonymously reviewed by the Stylus staff. Although the staff is composed of exceptionally well-read and capable people, we are not issuing a “Best Of” or “Most Innovative” project; all selections are, inevitably, a matter of disputable taste. Consequentially, we may unwittingly pass over very accomplished pieces. Please note that staff members read submitted works in conjunction with other academic assignments, and that there is a limited amount of space in each issue. Furthermore, the selection process fluctuates each year, contingent upon the submissions received and the size of the staff.

If I am interested in design/layout, will I be able to design pages for the Stylus?

Unlike a yearbook or newspaper, the Stylus is not designed based on templates or preconceived themes. Due to the curtailed publication schedule, staff members are not able to participate in the initial designing of the Stylus. However, the staff is highly involved in the proofing process, during which their revisions are vital to making the Stylus better than ever.

How can I become the editor of the Stylus?

The Publications Board holds interviews for the editors of the Stylus late in April. Watch for emails containing more information about the interview process during that time.

Who should I contact if I have further questions?

Never hesitate to email us at stylus@millsaps.edu.

Contact Us

Millsaps is invested in the whole student, including your physical health. The Millsaps community has access to the Maurice H. Hall Activities Center to lift weights, take a workout class or do some cardio. Our campus is near the new Museum Trail for your outdoor walking and cycling needs, too. Not feeling well? We have a clinic on campus to help get you back to class and your life.

Student Support

For more information about the Stylus or feedback, contact us at stylus@millsaps.edu.