Mapping Me: A Landscape of Women’s Stories is an anthology of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, photography and artwork. Its objective is to explore the connections – the invisible threads – that exist between women across the globe. Our starting point is to place the most basic question of identity, “Who am I?” within the complexities of culture and ethnicity. How do women respond to motherhood, rage, loss, relationships and loneliness across cultures? Do we share the same concept of grief and sadness, joy and love? We ask the writers and artists to tell stories, which negotiate the demands placed upon everyday women by society. The goal of this project is the sharing of such stories that allow the readers to draw their own conclusions whether or not culture is a divisive state between women.
Some Questions To Think About
So what does this mean for you? Well really, it is up to you. Some questions we have we been asking artists and writers to think about are:
1. Who are you? Are you a ‘Culture’ first or a ‘Woman’ first? What is your voice?
2. How do you negotiate the cultural and/or societal authorities that tell you to be thin, pretty, get married, have children, worship, obey/disobey, have a career, stay at home etc.
3. Do you have a burning story about an event, a lost love, heartbreak, arranged marriages, unarranged marriages, infertility, fertility, or even a bathroom cluttered with make up.
4. Do you want to express conflict? Family dynamics? Frustrations over rivalries, children, demands of home and work, silences, arguments, tension with extended
families. Do you have a story of revenge? Manipulation? Women are complex creatures and we are capable of great loving as well as great evil too. We are, of course, human.
5. Who do you see in the mirror each morning? How does your culture affect your body image? Does it? Do you fight against it? Do you buy into any stereotypes? Do you have a funny story to share. We are looking for humour too. This is not a grim book.
Please select a category and create a story, poem, creative non-fiction or artwork.
· Category 1. Stories of movement and motivation, restriction and escape.
· Category 2. Stories about food and nurturing.
· Category 3. Stories about, touch, love, sexuality or virginity.
· Category 4. Stories about self-image, judgments, perceptions and observation.
· Category 5. Stories about motherhood, family, marriage, fertility, birth.
· Category 6. Stories of laughter, fun, malice, viciousness.
Please make sure your work conforms to the following guidelines:
· For round two, contributors’ literary works must be original and unpublished.
· You may submit as many works as you wish.
· Writer’s Word Count Guidelines
1. Short stories: no more than 1000 words
2. Creative non-fiction: no more than 1000 words
3. Poetry: 4 to 6 pieces.
4. Flash fiction – anything less than 500 words.
· Your work must be submitted as either an attachment in a rich text format (RTF) or a word document (doc). No PDF files or docx files, please! We simply cannot work with these file formats. Alternatively, you may paste your work in the body of the email. If your writing has a specific format, attach it as a file to the email.
Works can be submitted in your mother tongue. Please provide an English translation with your submission.
Please do not send us web links of your writing or artwork. We will not see them.
· Artwork Guidelines
· You may submit as many paintings, photographs or a mix of art and prose as possible. We accept JPG files (no JPF).
· Submit your work to the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org
· Please provide a cover letter and include a short biography (no more than 50 words).
· Let us know under what categories you are submitting your works.
· Deadline is the 1st of September 2010.
· Our reading period is 1 to 3 months.
We regret that we are unable to provide payment to contributors. Our goal is to provide a copy of the book to contributors but this is subject to the publisher’s approval.