A Call for Submissions: SoulStories

Soul Stories

“I do not imagine myself”. 

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I read this small sentence on a stumbled-upon feminist queer blog in the late Nineties while coming to terms with my own identity.  Nearly twenty years later, I still remember it as if it had been tattooed on my heart.  In one instant, the barriers on what I could be and could not be were dissipated like mist on a sunny day. All paths were possible.

Nadyalec, the guest producer of Bintel Nas, in recalling her own reaction to these few words, wrote about the great need to document our own histories for others who come after us, so that they will know they’re not alone. I hungered for these stories; I thirsted for others who told the stories of how we – and the identity we had collectively chosen – had taken shape.

Coming to terms with parts of yourself that you are unsure of is a challenge, and even more so, when you’ve never heard of others that are like you.

Maya for Women would like to hear about your life, your battles, your triumphs and even your failures. We want to hear the stories of your soul – stories that center around who we are collectively and as individuals. We want the narratives that show your humanity,  that illustrate your own expansion, and have laid you bare. We want the stories that have shaped your soul.

We are launching a new section called “Soul Stories” and we need your stories, art, and media!  If it can go on a website, we’re interested!

Please share our call for Soul Stories wherever you wish – we are looking for as much diversity from our authors in terms of experience and perspective as is possible!  We especially (but not exclusively) want to share the work of women of color (WOC), women who are a part of the Global South diaspora ancestrally or locationally, LBTQ women, and Trans-masculine Queers, among others. Other writers who choose themes around these topics (a POC writing about his mother, for example) are also welcome to submit their work. Selections will be edited and posted on M4W either with your name or anonymously, as you prefer.  Some topics we are looking for:

  • LBTQ Coming out stories (as you personally experienced)
  • Experiences in adopting and/or having children
  • Stories of motherhood/daughter-hood
  • Personal experiences of discrimination (gender, sexual orientation)
  • Personal narratives around Queerness
  • Issues that you’d like to change in society
  • Work related stories (being female, or closeted or open at work)
  • Any personal narratives around the theme of feminism
  • Children, parents, friends/families of LGBT people
  • Personal Narratives of Womanhood (however you experience it)
  • Trans-masculinity (and other experiences of Trans* culture and identity)
  • Narratives around meaning of the concepts of masculinity/femininity as you relate to them (or don’t)
  •  Anything else that you’d like to pitch to us (with the exception of erotica or any form of pornographic content)

Send your essays, pitches, artwork and graphics to soulstories@maya4women.org. Submission deadline is 5 pm 6 June, 2016 IST. For written pieces, please limit your submissions to 1,500 words. For pitches, please limit your summary to 200 words or less. We regret that we will only be able to accept a maximum of 5 graphic submissions from the same author.

Should we decide to publish your piece, we will notify you no later than 15 June, 2016.

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