Call for Pitches: Geez 61 Food Justice

“Manna Garden” Credit: Geez staff

Deadline for Pitches: February 15, 2021

“Cease to eat anything defiled by violence; make your table the high altar of your daily religion; serve nothing that is produced by harming the land and its life or by any kind of cruelty; then the rest follows.”
- Jim Corbett (Sanctuary for All Life)

“Stewarding our own land, growing our own food, educating our own youth, participating in our own healthcare and justice systems – this is the source of real power and dignity.”
- Leah Penniman (Farming While Black)

Growing food is political – with deep implications on our ability to survive (and thrive) outside of the extractive systems hidden behind the fluorescent grocery store aisles. And growing food is deeply personal too – literally getting under our fingernails, into our mouths, and connecting our hearts with the small patches of earth around us. We recognize the violent and ongoing history of folks being forced to work the land, as well as the resistance movements that have grown out of reclaiming land and labour. Digging deep into the dirt, we lift up the beauty, spirit, and power that is inherent in growing food. We hope to talk compost and canning, seed saving and survival, and dependence on community rather than corporations.

Questions to Explore:

- How did our current food systems grow with and through white supremacy, colonization, and capitalism? How can we use food to resist these violent systems?

- What does food justice mean to you? How has the movement impacted your life or your community?

- Where does food justice (or injustice) show up in the biblical tradition?

- How does our spirituality shift when we put our hands in the dirt and start growing our own food?

- Where does your food come from? Talk us through a weekly grocery shop or garden harvest. What do you know about whose hands prepared it, or the land it was grown on?

- The United States Department of Agriculture uses the term “food desert” for communities where people have limited access or no access to grocery stores or affordable food providers, or have a lack of transportation to reach fresh food providers. What/who does this term leave out? What abundance have you found growing in these so-called “deserts”?

- Soup kitchens have long been a practice of “feeding the hungry,” especially through the Catholic Worker movement. How does (or doesn’t) this practice relate to food justice? What do we have to learn from big pots of soup and shared community tables?

- Both U.S. and Canadian farms rely heavily on migrant farm workers. How have farm workers organized to protect their rights, both historically and today? What are the connections between food justice and immigration justice?

- How do (or can) urban farmers relate to rural farmers?

- For non-Indigenous folks, what does it mean to grow food on land that we are not Indigenous to? What do we need to consider spiritually, politically, economically, and ecologically?

- Like manna, the food from our gardens will rot if not eaten or given away. How do gardens teach us about abundance and inspire gift economies?

Send us:
Lists of your favourite seed catalogues, seasonal cookbooks, and gardening tips.
Lessons from revolutionary food movements from around the world.
Design plans for building a compost bin.
Recipes for dishes that connect you to your ancestors.
Dispatches from urban farmers, farm workers, and food justice leaders.
Tutorials for canning.
Photographs of your garden through the seasons.
Calls for Land Back and radical land reform.
Stories and wisdom you’ve found deep under the tomato vines or harvesting potatoes.
Plans to take down Monsanto (or another large agrochemical corporation of your choice :).
Bible studies on manna, grape vines, and mustard seeds.
Prayers for and from our gardens.
Drawings of the tools you use to harvest.
Meditation on what it’s like to grow and feed someone from your body.
Songs about bacteria and fermentation.

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. 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). 

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. 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. Note: artwork pitches and submissions will be given more time, due June 15. 

4. Poems:

In each issue we aim to publish 2 or more poems, often with one poem per page. Poems may relate closely to the theme, or not. We’ll look at them all.

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 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 $30 and 100. Our goal for our 2022 budget is to increase these numbers.

Deadline for pitches: February 15, 2021

We look forward to seeing your submissions!

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, managing editor
Kateri Boucher, associate 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.

Image credit: “Manna Garden,” Geez staff.

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