Call for Pitches: Geez 70 Ancestors and Ancestral Work

“Where is the light?” Theo Crazzolara CC, October 2017

Deadline for pitches: May 10, 2023

Listen more often to things than to being
‘Tis the ancestor’s breath when the fire’s voice is heard
‘Tis the ancestor’s breath in the voice of the water.

Those who have died have never, never left
The dead are not under the earth
They are in the rustling trees
They are in the groaning woods
They are in the crying grass,
They are in the moaning rocks
The dead are not under the earth.

– “Breaths,” Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock

Ancestors and Ancestral Work

This issue will land in hands in that sacred time at the end of Autumn when, according to many traditions, the veil between the living and the dead is thin. Help us welcome in the ancestors with all their wisdom, complexities, and blessings.

“The dead are not under the earth.” Where do you find your ancestors? How do relationships with generations back continue to nurture your life? What traditions do you hold around your ancestors? What embodied, spiritual, and/or cultural practices are part of your life?

For white folks, we understand that a commitment to racial justice must include learning our history and wrestling with our ancestral legacy. What history have you uncovered? How do you navigate the violent realities? How has it transformed you?

And in what ways could we welcome this work into larger systems change? How could/can it impact movement work? What examples can we share of communities or countries taking on the work of uncovering the history that has been disappeared by colonialism and violence?

Notes about Submissions

We’re looking for long-form journalism, personal stories of transformation, short bursts of feelings, and nuggets of inspiration. Choose an aspect of the topic and expand with personal experience, researched wisdom, or spiritual insight.

A great pitch will describe the piece, explain why it’s a perfect fit for Geez, list the sources you’ll consult, and state why you’re the best person to write it. Please include a brief bio and where you live.

Ideally, pitches are a page or less. Note: if you send us 20 pages, we likely will not be able to read it. If you already have a completed manuscript, poem, photo, or design, feel free to submit it as well.

1. Long-form nonfiction (600, 1200, or 1800 words)
We’re looking for creative nonfiction essays, investigative articles or research-based pieces on the topic above. Wisdom from other sources is welcome, but not required if you are bringing your own embodied experience.

2. Flash nonfiction (50-300 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.

3. Photos/Illustrations
Consider the topic above and send original photographs or illustrations that provoke or pacify, animate or incite. Note: artwork pitches and submissions will receive responses after written pitches. It could be 2 months before you hear back.

4. Poems
In each issue we aim to publish 2 or more poems, often with one poem per page. Please submit up to three previously unpublished poems (three pages total) as an attachment, in a Word or PDF document. If you do not hear back from us within eight weeks of the deadline, then assume that we were unable to use your submission.

Additional Info

Our readership is split between Canada and the US with some wider international readership as well. Please consider this in how you approach your topic.

Ideally, we will respond personally to every piece of correspondence we receive. But given the number of submissions we receive, it is not always possible. If you do not hear back from us within four weeks of the deadline assume that we were unable to use your submission.

Contributor Honorariums

We are a small nonprofit that currently offers very modest honorariums. Depending on the length, we usually offer between $50 and $100.

Deadline for pitches: May 10, 2023

We look forward to seeing your submissions!

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, editor
Lucia Wylie-Eggert, art director

Send pitches, manuscripts, and images to: 
Geez Editors
Email: stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org
Mail: Geez magazine, 1950 Trumbull, Detroit, MI 48216 USA

To join our Writers List, click HERE.

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