Call for pitches: Geez 41, Watershed Discipleship
Sears catalogue, 1970s.
Deadline for pitches: November 8, 2015
The next issue of Geez will be on the topic of connecting with our watersheds. And we mean that literally, like the actual plot of land catching the rain that ends up in the nearest rivers.
If you have been following the work of activist theologian Ched Myers and restorative solidarity worker Elaine Enns [not related to Geez editor] from Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries in California, you will have heard the term “watershed discipleship.”
This is following Jesus as if our salvation depended upon ending human domination over the land and waters and working toward right relations with Indigenous peoples. There’s more to it than that, hence we’re devoting an issue of Geez on the topic.
Call for pitches
We welcome pitches for articles on the topic of watersheds and watershed discipleship. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
Theology. If you are theologically sharp and can communicate to regular brains, please explain in a fresh way (feminist, decolonial, practical) how, for example, “eschatology” or “docetism” might enable fossil-fuel polluters. Some claim the spirit world trumps the physical world, that far-off heaven is more real than actual earth. Really? Is that in the Bible? What would Gandhi say? Vandana Shiva? Bill McKibben? Annie Dillard? Pope Francis?
Hyper-mobility. Our culture rewards mobility: move for a job, move for school, heck, just move ‘cause it’s cool, or you got bored. This un-anchors us physically; we care more about luggage than drainage. Does this make sense? What is placeless-ness and how do we counteract it?
Practicality. Okay, you’re eager to re-connect with your immediate land base… what’s next? Pick up litter? Clean debris from the nearby stream? What groups, clubs, churches, Indigenous teach-ins are out there? And what if you live in an apartment or hi-rise? How do you love the cement of an urban jungle?
Commodification. Water is, well, the source of life. A soon-to-be fought-over commodity, if not already. What can… No, strike that. What MUST we do to honour and protect water and its access? And what about mundane decisions? Is bottled water bad? Should I shower every day? What are alternatives to clean-water flush toilets?
Activism. What about pressuring governments to enshrine water protection? What direct action or creative intervention have you done? What can we learn from the struggle in Detroit, where citizens are deep in debt for unfair water bills?
Resistance. Consider the size of corporations and the freedoms they enjoy with permissive trade deals. How does this affect local dwellers and biodiversity? What are problems here in North America? And what damage are our people doing abroad? What are victories or strategies of resistance?
Profundity. Can you write anything profound about land-relations in literature, in the Hebrew or Christian scriptures or elsewhere? By “profound” we mean wisdom applied to contemporary struggles.
Include complicity. Remember our audience when you are writing your pitches: I’d wager to say that most of us are locked into eco-intense lifestyles and know we should be doing more to connect with our watersheds, but feel it’s too daunting.
Write to where we are. We could be university graduates working for a not-for-profit, living near downtown and commuting by bike or bus. We could be nurses or teachers engaged in our congregation’s outreach to the impoverished in the inner-city. But we may still be car-centred, iPhone users who brag about our espresso machines or what exotic fruits we found at the Whole Foods market.
Motivate. How can we move from “average do-gooder North Americans” to a collection of forward-living radicals in tune with the rhythm of the earth and reconciling with those we’ve exploited or turned away (for example the colonized and displaced Indigenous peoples)?
Please send us your pitches for this next issue of Geez (see contact info and deadline below).
Deadline for pitches: November 8, 2015
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: 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.
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.
Before pitching it will help to review 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 pitchesNovember 8, 2015
Approximate deadline for articles (if assigned): December 11, 2015
Send pitches, manuscripts and images to
Aiden Enns and Kyla Neufeld
stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org
400 Edmonton Street
R3B 2M2 Canada