top of page

About Us

The Chautauqua philosophy has always been, since the Institution’s founding in 1874, that everyday life should integrate leisure, education, fine arts, and spirituality. Educational pursuit and artistic enrichment should not be confined to separate spaces or designated hours. Spirituality is not defined and shared only within sacred walls or books of prayer. The Chautauqua way of life encompasses all of the ways we enrich our lives: learning on vacation, leisure in work, and passion for art and life in all activities. In the pages of Chautauqua, readers will find a season between covers.


In keeping with the values of Chautauqua, each issue has four sections: Life of the Spirit, Life in Art, Life Lessons, and Life at Play. To recognize the younger members of our community, we also publish the work of writers aged 12 to 18. These are identified as Young Voices in the journal. 

Production is a joint effort. In 2007, the Writers’ Center and Department of Education at Chautauqua Institution partnered with the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Each year a group of graduate and undergraduate students work as members of the editorial team. They read and discuss submissions, fact check and edit, search for art, and participate in the artistic process of building a book. 

For readers who are interested in knowing more about the Writers’ Center, please visit the website: If you would like to support the Writers’ Center or the journal, consider joining the Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends.

The Chautauqua vision provides meaningful literature for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Please join us by purchasing a back issue or reading our online issues today.

Submission Guidelines

Our theme for 2022/2023 is “Chance Encounters.” Our Winter issue will release in December and Summer issue in late May/early June. The move online has allowed for some new opportunities.

During this moment of challenge and change, we have had to suspend payment to writers.

Chautauqua welcomes unsolicited submissions of poetry, flash, fiction, and creative nonfiction from February 15 to March 30 and from September 1 to September 30. 

Chance Encounters

We move through our lives trying to control our destinies, to fulfill our ambitions and pursue our dreams. Yet often an unexpected meeting, a trivial accident, a coincidence of events or timing brings unplanned opportunity, unprepared-for challenges, desperate struggles, unanticipated rewards, flashes of joy or self-discovery.

These chance encounters can change our lives profoundly, alter the course of our future. Call these encounters fate, luck, serendipity, or divine intervention—they upend our carefully laid plans, set us on a new and different path, leave us with lasting consequences and knowledge we never sought but—for better or worse—can never unlearn.

bottom of page