Call for pitches: Geez 43: Collectivity, Geez 44: Prisons

Critical Mass, Vancouver, 2007 Credit:

Deadline for pitches: May 8, 2016

This is a call for pitches for the next issue of Geez on the topic of collectivity and organizing for positive social change.

Is it a sign of weakness to gather with like-minded people for a common cause? We don’t think so. We think it’s normal to need each other for support. To learn together, share in the struggle, celebrate any victory whatsoever.

In the face of society-wide problems (increasing oil extraction, police brutality, precarious labour, violence against women, racial profiling, dehumanizing technophilia) it feels both natural and necessary to rely on friends, neighbours and citizens for change.

But that’s not the norm.

Hollywood loves the hero, especially Mister Self-Reliant, Super-Handsome Macho Hero. Or the Rise-From-The-Ranks-Triumphant-Underdog Hero.

Right now our market economy is built upon consumer self-interest. But it can shift in a sharing direction, like cooperatives, for example.

Please send related ideas that would be a good fit for Geez readers (see tips for pitches below).

More ideas

- When have you felt alive working alongside others?

- Have you left one (oppressive) group and joined another (life-giving) group? Tell us about the trials and rewards.

- What strategies of organizing have worked for your group? Describe your challenge, report on your efforts.

- What is your theology around community? What mysterious things happen in a Taize service?

- How could gathering as a body of church goers actually pose a threat to the state? Did that only happen in the 16th century. Well, how about Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street – people of faith were there in numbers. What about now?

- Think philosophically around the notion of collectivity – the social construction of reality is huge; how does that play out practically, in your life, in your struggle for change?

- Did you join a peace march, Idle No More, or pipeline protest and make new friends, come alive?

- What stories from history, theatre, film, novels epitomize your hopes for communal identity?

- Are you a union person, why or why not? Is organized labour our only hope against the corporate overlords?

- When did you defy corporate authority and solicit worker solidarity? Did it fail? What did you learn?

- What authors have lifted you out of navel gazing and brought you closer to others?

- Online communities are a lifeline for many: paint us a picture of this reality for you.

- See the submission guidelines below.

Early call for pitches for issue 43: The Prison Issue

We’re working ahead on an issue on prisons and how the prison culture has permeated through our society. Two guest editors, Miriam Meinders and John K. Samson, have joined us for this issue. Send us any ideas you might have for this special issue.

What does it do to a person when you lock them up in a room all by themselves (solitary confinement) for days, weeks, months or years? Is this state-sanctioned torture? Our society condones caging more and more people; how can a civil society respond in humane ways to increasing rates of incarceration?

What does a decolonial and anti-racist perspective of prisons and restorative justice look like? Let’s hear experiences from the perspective of inmates, guards, and victims of crime. Is this system working for any of them? What would make it better, more just? How has surveillance culture (e.g. Bentham and Foucault’s notion of the panopticon) rippled out to the wider society? Are snitch lines helpful, or do they fuel distrust? Does this weaken or strengthen the democratic fabric? Is there a prison culture outside of prison?

Send your pitches for Geez 43 issue on prisons early to give you extra time to write.

Notes about submissions
We want long-form journalism, personal stories of transformation, short bursts of feelings, nuggets of insight, and inspiration. Pick your aspect of the topic and expand with personal experience, researched wisdom, or spiritual insight.

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 (see contact info and deadline below).

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.

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. 
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: May 8, 2016

Send pitches, manuscripts and images to 

Geez editor, Aiden Enns

email: stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org

Geez magazine 
400 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2M2

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