Cached in the Hills: Critical Essays on Ozarks Literature (new deadline: 10/15/22)

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
John J. Han / Missouri Baptist University Phillip Howerton / Missouri State University-West Plains
contact email: 

New deadline for proposal submissions: October 15, 2022

New deadline for completed essays: April 15, 2023

The editors seek previously unpublished critical essays for a new volume tentatively entitled Cached in the Hills: Critical Essays on Ozarks Literature.  The Ozarks—located in southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, and small parts of Oklahoma and Kansas—boasts a rich history of creative writing.  Native American oral literature has existed since ancient times, but English-language Ozarks writing arose in the early 1800s.  As a European-American explorer, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft published Journal of a Tour into the Interior of Missouri and Arkansaw,the first book-length chronicle of the Ozarks, in 1821.  Since then, numerous texts set in the Ozarks have appeared.  Some are written by Ozarkers, but others by “outlanders” or “flatlanders” who are interested in and curious about the region.  All literary types are represented in Ozarks literature: folklore, fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction.  

Since the mid-twentieth century, several collections of Ozarks writing have been published.  They include Florence Woodlock McCullough’s Living Authors of the Ozarks and Their Literature (1940, 1945), Miller Williams’s Ozark, Ozark: A Hillside Reader (1981), Anthony Priest’s Yonder Mountain: An Ozarks Anthology (2013), and Phillip Douglas Howerton’s Literature of the Ozarks: An Anthology (2019).  Despite the production of these anthologies, no book-length critical study of Ozarks literature exists.  Cached in the Hills: Critical Essays on Ozarks Literature aims to fill a much-needed gap by gathering essays written from various critical perspectives.  Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • The idea of the Ozarks vs. the reality of the Ozarks
  • A sense of place in Ozarks literature
  • The Ozarks as a perceived frontier
  • Constancy and change in Ozarks literature
  • Ecology in Ozarks literature
  • Otherization in Ozarks literature
  • The lure of the region in Ozarks literature
  • The uniqueness of Ozarks literature
  • The universality of Ozarks literature
  • Writings by the Country Life and Arcadian in-migrants in the early 20th century  
  • Writings by the “back-to-the landers” in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Multicultural literature of the Ozarks
  • The Ozarks and race
  • The changing roles of women in Ozarks literature
  • A study of an Ozarks author who is nationally recognized or regionally established

To express interest and request more detailed information, please e-mail John J. Han at  Abstracts of proposed essays (500 words) and a brief professional vita should be submitted as Word attachments by October 15, 2022.  Deadline for completed essays of 15-20 pages is April 15, 2023.  We plan to finish editing accepted chapters by July 15, 2023.


John J. Han, Ph.D.

Professor of English and Creative Writing

Missouri Baptist University

St. Louis, MO 63141


Phillip Howerton, Ph.D.

Professor of English

Missouri State University-West Plains

West Plains, MO 65775