Calling for pitches: Geez 26 The Politics of Leisure

Credit: F. Kovalchek

Call for pitches: Geez 26 on the Politics of Leisure

(deadline February 13, 2012)

Everyone needs a break sometimes, but even leisure is political.

Are eco-tourism, tourist missionaries and stay-cations important innovations or just frugal fallout from the latest financial crisis? What’s your idea of post-capitalist fun?

We welcome your ideas for our summer issue on the politics of leisure.

Cultural Politics
Does “down time” (family time, TV watching, exercise, the entertainment industry, weekends at the cottage, shopping, vacations, going to the spa) give workers a break from the stresses and injustices of work just to keep them happy enough to stay on the job? Do we know how to relax without consuming and negatively impacting the environment? Is capitalist leisure individual luxury? With all our time-saving gadgets and systems do we really have more time to relax? How do gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, ability, and faith relate to leisure?

If you’re into Christian theology, how about a pitch on Jesus and leisure? He promises rest for the soul and living water to drink, he reclines to dine with his friends and he turns water to wine at a wedding. But he also resists the trappings of royalty and rebukes the disciples asleep in the garden. Do good Christians deserve to have an easy life? Is leisure a reward or a temptation? Does God want you to be happy? And in case you want to pitch on the merits of the Sabbath, what about Jesus?; he worked on the Sabbath. Go figure.

In 300 words or less, give us a graphic, gripping or gutsy account of your vacation: did something go terribly wrong or surprisingly right? Did the poverty outside your resort ruin your getaway? Did you meet God at Disneyland? Did your 100-mile vacation blow your mind?

Innovate, push the limits
Feel free to pitch on any aspect of leisure – maybe new trends in our understanding of kids and play. Or, who gets to play these days? What are the local or global impacts when we suspend our morals because we deserve a break? Do you fantasize about taking a break from radical Christian community? How do the downwardly mobile take a holiday? How does your reduced work week or your choice to be a volunteer or a stay-at-home caregiver affect your understanding of rest?

We think of our readers, contributors and supporters as a community; your pitches help us put together an issue that speaks to that community. We look forward to reading them.

Deadline for pitches: Feburary 13, 2012
Deadline for articles (if assigned): March 16, 2012

Send pitches, manuscripts and images to
Geez Editor, Melanie Dennis Unrau
email: stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org
mail: Geez Magazine
400 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg MB R3B 2M2

Photos welcome
Consider the topic above and send original photographs (i.e. you took the photo) that provoke or pacify, animate or incite.
Deadline: same as above

Department Pitches

A good way to start writing for Geez magazine is with a piece in one of our five departments. Send original stories (50-500 words) or ideas for any of these:

In this section we throw the spotlight on the actors and activists in the Geez community of readers. Look for personal stories of people putting words into action. Grand experiments are welcome (I bought nothing for a year), but a well-told, mini-experiment is welcome as well (I stopped to help a homeless woman crush her pop tins). There does not have to be an overt reference to faith, although that is welcome.
Length: 50-500 words

This is a soft news, arts-and-culture section, with agenda similar to what’s described under News below. Here we highlight fun, disturbing, creative, inspiring things that would not otherwise fit as news. It does not have to relate to the theme of the issue, but it would be good if one or two elements did. An emphasis on public art and creative activism is prime. When making decisions, we refer to phrases such as “holy mischief in an age of fast faith,” and “for people on the fringes of faith.”
Length: 50-500 words

In this section we highlight movies, books, websites, magazines, zines or other cultural products that connect somehow to the “Geez agenda” (see topics mentioned under News below). Explain what cultural event or product makes you gag, wince, rejoice or exclaim.
Length: 50-500 words

Civil disobedience
People are standing up for their belief in love, justice, truth, mercy, compassion and fairness. When those in power take advantage of others, and when conventional avenues for change have been attempted or exhausted, it is appropriate to engage in civil disobedience, for the sake of liberation for all. Send a report of your action or others you’ve learned about.
Length: 50-500 words

Geez looks for under-reported stories on topics such as workers’ rights, nature, Aboriginal affairs, social services, education, health care, foreign policy, militarism and peacemaking, race/racism, youth, media, science, queer issues, feminism. In most cases, but not all, there will be a connection — direct or implied — to a gospel of social justice. This could include the justice/environmental/political work of any religious group. Or the story could point to neglect or misconduct done by churches and others.

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 (that is, a creative critique of those in power and the structures that keep them there; it could also be a promotion of alternative practices that subvert them), contemplation and a “more-grounded, inter-connected” approach to living.

Keep pitches brief, write the way you speak, tell us why your idea or story is important, indicate sources you plan to use, and say something about why you are qualified to write this piece. If you already have a completed manuscript, poem, photo or design, feel free to submit it as well. For more, see the previews of past issues on our website as well as the guidelines for writers .

Unfortunately we are not able to respond to every pitch. If you do not hear from us within six weeks of the deadline, assume we were not able to use your idea or article.

Send emails to: stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org
mail: Geez Magazine
400 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg MB R3B 2M2

Looking ahead

We welcome pitches, especially ambitious/whacky/quirky ones for upcoming issues.

Geez 27 – stereotypes: they actually build community, or do they? Unfortunately, these negative social structures operate among us by default. What are they, what do we do about them? Ever been the victim of a stereotype? Tell us about it.

Geez 28 – worship and anarchy: how can we give ourselves over to something greater without sacrificing our autonomy? What’s most helpful for a community of resistance? Can we, should we, worship a heavenly king when the metaphor stinks of feudalism and tyranny? But grassroots alternatives are flat, uninspiring, no?

(Note, topics may change.)

Send emails to: stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org

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

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