Monday, September 27, 2010

Nonfiction pieces wanted for anthologies about animals and about India

Seeking submissions for a non-fiction anthology about animals: having a significant relationship or encounter with an animal (domestic or wild). Length: 4 – 14 pages, standard manuscript format. Selected texts will receive an honorarium. Mail your work to: Pam Chamberlain
Box 27026
2050 – 11300 Tuscany Blvd.
Calgary, AB  T3L 2V0
Or email:
Deadline: October 31, 2010.

Dear fellow writers,
I'm seeking contributions from women to a travel anthology of creative non-fiction, “Emails From India: Women Write Home.”

I'm interested in pieces in the form of letters or emails to friends (personal, authentic voices without the emoticons), with a kind of essay/story/creative non-fiction feel. However, if you’d prefer to write in a more conventional form, I’d be interested in seeing that as well.

I imagine a great variety of pieces: some short vignettes (around 500 words), some long (around 3,500 words); maybe even two or three short ones by the same writer; some that focus on only one place, issue, event, image, or cultural practice or relationship; others that describe several, more lightly. All pieces, though, would keep the female foreigner experience in India somewhat salient.

This would be a book that I would have liked to have read before I traveled in India, and I’m eager to read now that I’ve been there. It’s not meant to be another travel guide; however, but be "literary," a good read, and interesting to anyone who's ever been interested in India in any way. More like very good travel writing, without the where-to-stay and how-to-get there info. (That’s what the internet is for!)

I’m looking for a strong sense of immediacy: Imagine that you’re in India and writing to your extensive email list. The audience is somewhat general and varied (your best friend, your distant relative, that guy you met before you left who’s thinking of going to India someday). There’s no need to describe who you are; they already know.

I imagine being able to leaf through the book, reading this and that, and not feeling bogged down by chapters or linear progression. This is part of the reason I want to keep the sense of "email” – something that one has an easy and in-the-moment relationship with. However, unlike real emails, the quality of the writing is paramount. Also, I'm thinking of juxtaposing these pieces with historical letters written by British women during the time of the British Raj.

Aside from publishing journalism, academic articles (I teach College English), and poetry and prose in journals and anthologies, I’ve edited and published a successful anthology of creative non-fiction with Anvil Press (2007), Body Breakdowns: Tales of Illness and Recovery. It's received a lot of very good press and still garners glowing reviews.

It’s the Editor’s Choice in the current issue of Reader’s Digest magazine (September), and there’s a 26-page spread of excerpts from it. If you want an idea of the kind of writing I'm looking for, this anthology will give you that, though without the email slant.

I haven't secured a publisher yet, but am currently in process of seeing who's interested. I don't have too many doubts that a publisher will want to take this on. However, I likely won’t secure one until I’ve been through the selection process and have a manuscript. This means that the publication of the anthology is not guaranteed. Payment will probably be minimal: for example, my Body Breakdowns contributors – many of them successfully established Canadian writers – received $50 and two free copies of the book.

Please submit your work as an email attachment to by November 1. Include your name and email address on the submission, and your name in the attachment title. I'll be in touch about the status of your piece early in 2011.

I look forward to reading your work. Thanks for your interest.

Janis Harper

For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

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