Call for pitches: Geez 36, Apocalypse

Tailings pond, Fort McMurray, Alberta Credit: James Wilt

Deadline for pitches: August 4, 2014

The end is nigh.

At least that’s been the refrain of Christians and their forebears (fanatical and faithful alike) since their story began. As long as communities have gathered, there have been those on the edges proclaiming the impending demise of the heathens, humanity, or the planet itself.

Some folks await the glorious return of Christ (think Left Behind or apocalyptic literature) while others take a hard look at our current ecocidal milieu; we live on a planet burdened by hyper-consumption and resource extraction, yet many Christians get distracted by the assurance of spiritual salvation. Is it time to abandon ship in hopes of heavenly glory? Or should we buckle down and reconnect to the only home we’ve got?

Geez 36 is the Apocalypse issue.

We’ll explore the ways in which our stories of the final days impact the way we live in today’s collapsing world. This isn’t about fear mongering; It’s about positioning the Christian story of resurrection and retribution in the context of our current malaise. Warning: there are some difficult conversations ahead.

Ideas to get you thinking about your pitch:

1. Can Christianity survive the apocalypse? How will ongoing ecological collapse impact the stories we tell about humans and religion? Is it possible to remove humans from the centre of the narrative?

2. Tell us your story of getting Rapture-ready in youth group; or, recount the tale of when you thought you got left behind. How does Christian culture (fail to) respond to a destructive way of life?

3. This certainly isn’t the first collapse the world has seen. How can past and ongoing apocalypses – think big, like histories of colonialism or slavery – recontextualize the current trauma we’re inflicting on the earth and its economically poor inhabitants?

4. How do apocalyptic books or films inform our understandings of the coming years? Can Dawn of the Dead or Left Behind help guide our steps, or do they lead us astray?

5. What is the role of art on a decaying planet? Do actions need to be “effective” to be worthwhile?

6. Is it ok to have children in these times? If you already have kids, what do you tell them about their future?

7. What role does technology play in all this? Is Twitter bringing us a greater awareness of the decaying state of our ecosystems? Are electric cars going to slow down the destruction?

8. For centuries, exploited peoples have been paying the cost for our resource-addicted lifestyles. Is campaigning against global warming really about saving humanity, or just saving our consumer-oriented way of life?

9. How does the story of the Second Coming of Christ impact the activist impulse to care for the earth and our neighbours? Can the apocalyptic language of the Bible offer us any instruction for today?

Note: 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.

1. Longer non-fiction pieces, length: 750 or 1500 words
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 3 to 4 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. And, 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 here.

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 4, 2014

Approximate deadline for articles (if assigned): September 5, 2014

Send pitches, manuscripts and images to 
Geez guest editors, Tim Runtz and James Wilt

email: stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org

mail: Geez Magazine
400 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg MB R3B 2M2

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