Call for pitches for Geez 21: Why So Insecure?

Feeling a little vulnerable? Is your enemy looming, but unknown? Not just strangers, even our own neighbours are beginning to scare us.

Insecurity is in us and around us. It threatens our autonomy and it’s a source of much strife and conflict. We cope in different ways: overcompensation, racist scapegoating, fortification, therapy, self-confidence.

In the next issue of Geez, we’ll question our security measures. How do we defend ourselves and our states from threats, however real or perceived? When do welcoming sanctuaries become excluding fortresses or segregating prisons? Who is safe and who is at risk?

Please send pitches for longer features or shorter flash non-fiction (see deadlines below).

More ideas to help prime the pump:

Cops and robbers
Do police protect everyone equally? Have they ever let you down? How might we account for police brutality, racial profiling, and impunity as we claim to uphold or defend the rule of law? Can we reconcile the community with the police?

What role does the figure of the criminal serve in society? When did you last try your hand at petty thievery or graffiti? Who’s afraid of getting caught?

Punishment and restoration
Overcrowded and expanding, prisons are put forward as the answer to most social ills. Who ends up on the inside, and who doesn’t? Does restorative justice offer something else? Have you been held accountable for a wrong?

Minutemen and militaries
Who is free to pass, to tour, to remain, and who is abject, undesirable, useless? Should anyone be illegal? Who is a security threat in the homeland or abroad? What border-crossing tales can you tell?

The ego
Perhaps we’re all simply nostalgic for the womb, that oceanic space where we once floated full of food, unconscious of borders. Since then, how have you gained your own sense of security in the world? Have soothers, blankets, mobile phones, egos, and alarm systems been enough? Where has your insecure self found a footing? What resources enable you to stare violence in the face and not seek harm?

Submissions
1. Longer non-fiction pieces, length: 750 or 1500 words
Deadline for pitches: November 22, 1010
We’re looking for creative nonfiction 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 2 or 3 weeks to complete the piece.

2. Flash nonfiction, length: 50-350 words
Deadline for completed pieces: November 29, 2010
These are short, personal experiences or insights. Your piece could 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
Consider the topic above and send original photographs (i.e. you took the photo) that provoke or pacify, animate or incite. Deadline: November 29, 2010

Send pitches, flash nonfiction and images to
Geez 21 Editor, Aiden Enns
email: stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org
mail: see the address below

Other departments

We welcome pitches for one of our other departments as well. This is good way to start writing for Geez magazine. Send original stories (50-500 words) or ideas for any of these:

Culturosities
This is a soft news, arts-and-culture section, with agenda similar to what’s described above under News. Here we highlight fun, disturbing, creative, inspiring things that would not otherwise fit as news. It does not have to relate to the theme of the issue, but it would be good if one or two elements did. An emphasis on public art and creative activism is prime. When making decisions, we refer to phrases such as “holy mischief in an age of fast faith,” and “for people on the fringes of faith.” Length: 50-500 words

Experiments
In this section we throw the spotlight on the actors and activists in the Geez community of readers. Look for personal stories of people putting words into action. Grand experiments are welcome (I bought nothing for a year), but a well-told, mini-experiment is welcome as well (I stopped to help a homeless woman crush her pop tins). There does not have to be an overt reference to faith, although that is welcome. Length: 50-500 words

Reviews
In this section we highlight movies, books, websites, magazines, zines or other cultural products that connect somehow to the “Geez agenda” (see topics mentioned under News below). Explain what cultural event or product makes you gag, wince, rejoice or exclaim. Length: 50-500 words

Civil disobedience
People are standing up for their belief in love, justice, truth, mercy, compassion and fairness. When those in power take advantage of others, and when conventional avenues for change have been attempted or exhausted, it is appropriate to engage in civil disobedience, for the sake of liberation for all. Send a report of your action or others you’ve learned about. Length: 50-500 words

News
Geez looks for under-reported stories on topics such as workers’ rights, nature, Aboriginal affairs, social services, education, health care, foreign policy, militarism and peacemaking, race/racism, youth, media, science, queer issues, feminism. In most cases, but not all, there will be a connection — direct or implied — to a gospel of social justice. This could include the justice/environmental/political work of any religious group. Or the story could point to neglect or misconduct done by churches and others.

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 (that is, an creative critique of those in power and the structures that keep them there, or the promotion of alternative practices that subvert them), contemplation and a “more-grounded, inter-connected” approach to living.

Keep pitches brief, write the way you speak, tell us why your idea or story is important, indicate sources you plan to use, and say something about why you are qualified to write this piece. If you already have a completed manuscript, poem, photo or design, feel free to submit it as well. For more, see the previews of past issues on our website as well as the guidelines for writers .

Unfortunately we are not able to respond to every pitch. If you do not hear from us within six weeks of the deadline, assume we were not able to use your idea or article.

Send emails to stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org

Looking ahead

We welcome pitches, especially ambitious/whacky/quirky ones for upcoming issues.

Geez 21: Cops and robbers (security, non-violence)

Geez 22: Sit for a minute (contemplation, inner work & outer change)

Geez 23: Design for sacred space (psychogeography of capitalist space)

Geez 24: Problems with privilege (tentative topic)

Geez 25: Suggestions welcome

Send emails to: stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org

We look forward to hearing from you,

Aiden Enns, Geez 21 Editor
Geez magazine
400 Edmonton St
Winnipeg MB R3B 2M2
Canada
p. 204 772-9610
w. http://www.geezmagazine.org

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