Call for Pitches: Geez 48, Fear

Who’s there? Credit: M. Elrick

Deadline for pitches: August 21, 2017

In the next issue of Geez magazine we’ll explore the topic of fear — how it divides us, how it changes our perceptions of each other, how it physically alters bodies, how it can be weaponized, normalized, and used to create new status quos. Some ideas spur your thoughts:

Fear of the Other

You could read Donald Trump’s entire presidential candidacy and current regime as being founded on stirring up fear of (non-white, non-Christian, non-capitalist, etc.) others and presenting a bold unsavoury plan to “solve” the problem. Why else are immigrants, Muslims, and POC being further demonized and marginalized? They represent difference from the white “All American” ideal. Why else are trans women being regularly murdered? Their presence requires the consideration that bodies and gender are not fixed, nor easily paired. “Alternative facts” and “fake news” create their own brand of fear: what should we believe and from whom? Closer to home, why has there been such a backlash against the government settling with Omar Khadr? Why is it more comforting to call someone a terrorist than a brother?

Cathartic stories

Perhaps surrendering to fear is creating the mess around us, and a persistent interrogation of fear is necessary to bring us out of it. What are the benefits of writing and talking about the things you fear most? What examples have you seen or experienced?

Features on fear

What is a good example of courage in the face of fear? Propose a feature interview or extended essay on a person or idea on how fear can be overcome. A quick reminder: Geez magazine is not simply a self-help, self-improvement journal. We are seeking social change and stronger communities, and we’re exploring how spiritual resources can aid in this endeavour. So as you plan your feature, please consider both personal and social dimensions.

Soft power?

In her book, The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön recalled an early childhood lesson: “We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have this choice.” When we hear a call for decisive action and bold solidarity, what is the role of softness? Why bother with kindness when harsh action is called for? What attitude can sustain those who stand up to or dethrone the recalcitrant patriarch, for example?

With this next issue, let’s give Geez readers some stories with helpful guidance, sober warnings, and tales of caution and delight.

Can you write something on this topic? Send us your pitch.

Notes about submissions
We want long-form journalism, personal stories of transformation, short bursts of feelings, nuggets of insight, and inspiration. Pick your aspect of the topic and expand with personal experience, researched wisdom, or spiritual insight.

In a great pitch, you describe the story, explain how it’s a perfect fit for Geez, list the sources you’ll consult, and state why you’re the best person to write it (see contact info and deadline below).

1. Longer non-fiction pieces, length: 650 or 1300 words:
We’re looking for creative non-fiction essays, investigative articles or research-based pieces on the topic above. While a reference to your personal experience is welcome, readers need wisdom from other sources as well (interviews, books, articles, theologians, social-justice activists, academics, and moms and dads). Pitches should be one page, touch on the wider context of your topic and name at least one other source you will be consulting. Here’s a request: Please think of yourself as a Geez contributing editor. Ask yourself, What would readers who are social-justice oriented and at the fringes of faith want to read on this topic? If your pitch is accepted you’ll usually have three to four weeks to complete the piece.

2. Flash non-fiction, length: 50-350 words:
These are short, personal experiences or insights. Your piece should capture a moment that illuminates a larger issue or convey a feeling familiar to us all. This is a chance to bring hope, insight, emotion, and connection to readers. Think of it as a snapshot with words.

3. Photos/illustrations:
Consider the topic above and send original photographs (i.e. you took the photo) or illustrations that provoke or pacify, animate or incite. Or, if you know of a photographer or illustrator who can deliver an awesome photo essay or series of drawings and is willing to get big play in a premium little magazine for a modest honorarium, please pass this pitch along.

Tips for pitches:
The Geez project is a discussion among people of faith seeking social justice. Our readers and writers express this through art, activism (a creative critique of those in power and the structures that keep them there, the promotion of alternative practices that subvert such powers), contemplation and a “more-grounded, interconnected” approach to living.

Additional info


Before pitching, please read our guidelines for writers. 
Ideally we would like to respond personally to every piece of correspondence we receive. But given the number of submissions we receive – and having tried to respond to all – we realize it is just not possible. If you do not hear back from us within six weeks assume that we were unable to use your submission.

Deadline for pitches: August 21, 2017

We look forward to seeing what you send!

Sincerely,

Aiden Enns, Editor; Rachel Barber, Assistant Editor; Mylène Gamache, Assistant Editor

Send pitches, manuscripts and images to


Geez Editors,
email: stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org

mail: 
Geez magazine, 
400 Edmonton Street
, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2M2
 Canada

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