Call for Pitches: G69 The Kid Issue

Credit: Michelle Both

Call for Pitches: Geez 69 The Kid Issue
Deadline for pitches extended: February 15, 2023

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
– Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

At this moment on the clock of the world, when the future feels uncertain in nearly every direction, it is time to turn our attention to those “whose souls dwell in the house of tomorrow.” As we all face questions around rising climate crises, mass violence, and pervasive technology, children bear much of the weight of these crises on their shoulders. And yet they also carry the possibilities, beauty, and imagination that we need to move forward. How can they be our teachers in these times? What do kids need from grown-ups in order to prepare them for tomorrow?

We hope this issue holds the tension of both the seriousness and the joy in the possibilities that younger generations have always gifted the world. Let this issue make you weep and call you to rise dancing!

We have a lot of ideas for this issue. So, there are lots of options for how you can participate:
1. Pitch a story. Respond to our call for pitches – send us ideas of pieces you want to write or art you want to create.
2. Write a prayer. Send a completed prayer written to, for, and with kids for moments of crisis and uncertainty.
3. Propose a workshop. Pitch a workshop for the in-person retreat connected with this issue taking place June 2023.
4. Share the secondary school essay contest. We want this issue filled with youth voices. Share our secondary school essay contest with the youth in your life (open to grades 9-12).

Details on all of these areas below.

1. Pitch

For Kids: We hope a lot of this issue is written by kids (ages 0-18). We welcome your voices and are so grateful you would share them with Geez. What are you thinking about these days? What do you think adults need to hear? What do you wish you were learning about? How can grown-ups be better? What makes you angry? What makes you excited or hopeful?

For Adults: We strongly encourage pieces to be co-written between the generations. We also encourage adults to have their pieces peer reviewed by folks under 18. If you use stories or quotes from children, please do your best to request permission.

We also hope this issue is just plain fun for children of all ages. So, here are some questions and ideas to get your juices flowing.

Climate Crisis
How do we parent when futures are so uncertain? How does your family connect to and learn from the natural world together? Adults, what do you want your children to learn about connections with the land and its creatures? What have your kids taught you? Teachers and students, how do you navigate conversations around the climate in your classrooms?

At four years old, kids are doing lockdown drills. What is the reality that kids are facing around gun violence these days? How do we collectively address this trauma? What do we all have to learn from student activist movements around gun violence? How is gun violence tied to other forms of violence that youth are witnessing or experiencing?

For all of us, but especially kids, community and learning has become mediated through screens. What is the cost? What are alternatives? How do we resist? Have you found healthy ways to engage with technology in your home? Kids, what do you wish your parents knew about your use of technology? Parents, what do you wish your kids knew?

May the work always be fun! Here are some prompts for general silliness:
Write a mad libs
Create a board game for the pages
Write stories with pictures
Send us jokes. Farts are never off limits!
Create Origami instructions to turn Geez pages into works of art
Craft a short story
Write a book review of the worst children’s book you’ve ever read
Tell us about your bad-ass social justice curriculum
How far can you help us stretch the bounds of print media til it feels like a living, breathing being in your hands?

2. Prayers

Along with this issue, we are planning to publish mini-books full of prayers written for children of all ages. Each book will have a theme: climate change, violence, and technology.

Please send us completed prayers on either climate change or violence. We ask that they be around 100 words or less. We define prayer as BROADLY as you can imagine.

3. Retreat proposals

The release of this issue will coincide with Pitch the Circus Tent: A Geez Family Festival at Kirkridge Retreat Center from June 23-25, 2023. This will be an intergenerational gathering focused on wisdom, creativity, and play through the eyes of children. We are now accepting workshop proposals! To submit a proposal, fill out the google form here by February 12, 2023.

Note: If you are also submitting a pitch for the print issue, please follow the regular submission guidelines for your written piece. But feel free to propose a workshop even if you aren’t submitting a pitch!

4. Secondary School Essay Contest

Geez is hosting an essay contest for students in grades 9-12. Students select to focus on one of three topics: climate crisis, gun violence, or technology. One winner will be selected for each of the three focus topics. There is no fee to enter. Learn more about the essay contest here.

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 two months before you hear back.

4. Poems:

In each issue we aim to publish two 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 U.S. 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: February 12, 2023

We look forward to seeing your submissions!

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, co-editor
Kateri Boucher, co-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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