The Showbear Family Circus

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

The Showbear Family Circus

is a big tent

An academic journal, a literary journal, a digital library of art that sometimes streams film and music, and — once in a blue moon — a newspaper.

Two values govern our selections: publishing liberal arts focused on moral law and virtue ethics.

1. The liberal arts govern what we like to publish. We want pieces grounded in logic, grammar, and rhetoric per se — that is we want pieces that are well-reasoned (the creator is thinking clearly and coherently), well-articulated (the creator is helping us to think precisely what she thinks), and beautiful (the creator is composing so as to make us feel what she feels and persuade us that her view is correct, good, and gorgeous). We seldom cave to academese, monotonous purple prose in the absence of moving narrative, art that adds to the noise and nihilism of our present state, or reporting that simply tears down all the contributions its subjects have made to thought and public service. If you do not understand the classical definition of the liberal arts and think we mean merely painting and fiction, we encourage you to read Dr. Cirilla’s Liberal Arts Definition.

Short of that, we assume the highest end of art and science moves towards meta-thought about ultimate reality, The Good, The True, The Beautiful. Metaphysical assumptions undergird every other art and science. Creative writing (fiction, poetry, essay) forms the crossroads of the arts and sciences, for in them logic, grammar, and rhetoric form a sort of parallel world wherein we play with the real hypotheses behind every other art and science. From there we publish fine art that makes us think and feel (visual, music, film, etc.), academic pieces on the arts of application (medicine, law, sciences, etc.), and reporting or practical ideas and innovative designs in the arts of production (farming, 3D printing, book binding, etc.).

We do this because we hope to reorder common ways magazines and readers think about news, scientific research, creative writing, and art reviews. We want all of the work shared at the Showbear Circus to focus not on money, power, lauds, or pleasure but on whether the thing made, the thought reasoned, and the feeling felt are good and beautiful and true.

Therefore we accept very broadly in terms of genres, but we have two long term goals: why we publish and how we publish.

2. Moral law and virtue ethics govern our ends: why we publish. We assume all cultures adhere to moral — that is natural — law (some proof here) and we seek pieces that build up civil society towards that end, rather than tear her down. We want virtue and moral law back in our disciplines and sectors of society. You might pull from Plato's civic virtue or the moral law of the Tao or Tanakh or Jesus or Boethius or Cicero, doesn't really matter to us because the virtues and morals work in parallel and comment on one another. What matters is that you're orienting your discipline and sector of society around virtue and morality. As for virtue ethics, we simply mean that the habits of what is good and sincere quest for wisdom matters more to us than mere hypotheticals and sophistry: the most brilliant ethicist in the world can be a scoundrel if he’s out of practice, the most brilliant scientist in the world can become a tyrant if in his quest to triumph over nature he merely triumphs over his fellow man with nature as the instrument. We want to make it easier to be good and to better ourselves in the process.

That in mind, all submissions must adhere to a PG-14 rating for the sake of the breadth of our audience. Hard F, C, B words, sexually explicit imagery, grotesque violence that does not clearly critique violence per se, etc. — these and related submissions will be automatically rejected if the cover letter does not give clear logical cause for the inclusion of such content because it will harm our search engine rating. Save us both time and money by keeping our audience in mind.

That’s the circus. We don’t take ourselves seriously, as the big tent metaphor implies, but we’re dead serious about our goals for the sake of the artists and thinkers in our lives.

Keep reading, making, submitting, and subscribing.

But most of all, keep juggling fire.


DO NOT make multiple submissions: send us one thing at a time unless you’re submitting to a regular column. 

IF you’re submitting music, film, art, a stage play or other similar works, please realize that we are only featuring work already completed. We’re taking on zero new projects through this portal when it comes to production, directing, collaborating, or agenting. If one of us is looking for any of that, our personal websites (excepting Lancelot Schaubert’s, of course) will say so and our submission guidelines for production, collaboration, and agenting will remain separate from this portal.


Otherwise, carry on...

The Showbear Family Circus