Call for Pitches: Geez 73 Fire

The image is released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.

Deadline for Pitches: March 15, 2024

“In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix first must burn.”
Octavia Butler

What is the appropriate way to close this iteration of Geez Magazine? How do we honor the Spirit of Geez with full Geez-iness without being cheesy? Do we return to the past to honor what we’ve done? Do we burn it all to the ground? Or… do we do both and await resurrection hope among the ashes?

We wanted to focus on the power of fire for the closing issue. It was the theme gifted to us by outgoing editor Lydia Wylie-Kellermann, so it feels fitting to move forward into the flames. We want this closing issue and the Geez legacy to be something to kindle the spark in the hearts of the beloved Geez community. We want that spark to ignite the flame of the continuing work of contemplative cultural resistance. We want that fire to burn on and illuminate the way for generations to come. Some of the first stories told by people were of fire. We want to be grounded in sacred storytelling. Storytelling from ancient times to present day is often around fires: to see one another’s faces, to keep warm, to make communal meals, and maybe to light a Molotov cocktail or two.

Fire encompasses so much of life, death, and everything that is found in between. A spark can ignite a physical fire; it can also ignite the fire of our passion for justice in the world. Fire can burn away impurities; it was used in stories to not only release impurities, but to eradicate false idols. Indigenous people have such an understanding of earth and flame that they set fires to replenish the land. Ashes from fires are used to create cleansing soaps. Fires can cook and preserve food, boil liquids for belly-warming beverages, and provide life-giving warmth.

Fire can also be outright terrifying, especially when left unchecked. Fire reveals to us the calamitous state of the earth’s climate and the horrific inequalities of who receives assistance… and whose communities are purposely targeted with fire and left to burn. Forest fires rage year after year, becoming so bad that folks so far away must shelter indoors due to a hazardous air quality index. The trauma of surviving a fire can manifest physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Bombs fall from the sky creating unholy fires, consuming victims without regard.

Questions to help you imagine:

  • Where have you experienced Pentecost?
  • What have you had to “set fire to” and what did you witness come from it?
  • What have you lost to fire? What have you gained?
  • How can one discern between a refiner’s fire and an out of control burn/ arson?
  • What would it be to physically and spiritually burn down systems of oppression?

Ideas for Pitches:

  • Write a liturgy for sheltering indoors during wildfire season and unsafe AQI.
  • Create a collage of the burning phoenix using past issues of Geez.
  • Send us recipes (edible or crafts) that are cooked over an outdoor fire or use ashes as an ingredient.
  • Put together a playlist of your favorite “burn it down” political fire songs.
  • What is your phoenix story of rising? (We’re especially looking for trans joy stories)
  • Create a choreographed dance imitating fire.

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. 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 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 2 months before you hear back.

4. Poems
In each issue we aim to publish 2 or more poems. Please submit up to three previously unpublished poems (three pages total) as an attachment, in a Word or PDF document. For this issue, poems partially written by AI are welcome, assuming the goal is to explore the use of AI itself in writing (and specifically poetry). Please make clear in your cover letter and/or poem itself what portion, if any, of your poem(s) were written by AI. 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 US 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, responding 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: March 15, 2024

We look forward to seeing your submissions!

Tuhina Verma Rasche, editor
Lucia Wylie-Eggert, art director
Em Jacoby, publisher
Drew Stever, media & marketing coordinator
Claire Peace, circulation wizard
Madeline Bohl, circulation wizard

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.

View comments, or leave one yourself

Hide comments

(No one has dared comment yet.)

Start the Discussion

Please use Textile formatting. e.g. _geez_ → geez, *magazine* → magazine.
URLs will be linked automatically.

Get Our Newsletter

(Tasteful and spam-free, guaranteed.)

All content is © 2005–2024 Geez Magazine and its respective authors.   (Ascend)

Geez Magazine | 1950 Trumbull Ave. | Detroit, MI, USA | 48216 | ‪(585) 310-2317