We are currently open for submissions for our contest issue until November 10, 2020. For information on what our judges are looking for, please look at the corresponding genre. Please note that current students of our judges, as well as current students/affiliates of George Mason University's MFA program, and graduates who are within 5 years of graduating, aren't permitted to apply.

Please note we only accept previously unpublished work for all categories.

Blog submissions are open year-round. Please submit book reviews, essays, event reporting, etc. See our website for additional submission information. It's always a good idea to read a few of our blog posts (outside of a limited series) for a sense of what we're looking for. 

For more information, please visit http://www.sotospeakjournal.org. 

Our Spring 2020 Issue of So to Speak is available for purchase as a digital PDF for $3.00! The work in this issue was selected by judges Anita Felicelli (Fiction), Angela Pelster (Nonfiction), t'ai freedom ford (Poetry), and Sarah Irvin (Art).   From the issue's Letter from the Editor, written by Editor-in-Chief Kristen Greiner: The works within these pages turn preconceived notions on their heads. They push back against prejudice, dismantle oppressive power structures, and strive to create agency in situations where it often isn’t found. From familial bonds to significant others, relationship dynamics are challenged and explored in new and exciting ways. The implications of violence, the traumas it creates, and its impacts on society permeate the pieces in this issue. They can be hard to read and hear, but do not look away; it is important to shine a light on these matters. I am thankful that our contributors examine them in such thoughtful and compelling ways.


So to Speak cover preview 


You can also purchase a print version of the issue for an extra $7! 


We are offering limited edition Digital PDF copies of our 2019 contest issue to celebrate Daniel Garcia's "Endlessly" being named a Notable in the Best American Essays 2020! You can purchase one for $3!

The issue includes fiction by LAUREL MIRAM and JERILYNN AQUINO;

Nonfiction by STEPHANIE DICKINSON with LUCY WEEMS and DANIEL GARCIA;

Visual Art by ANA JOVANOVSKA, KATHY BRUCE, and LINDA WIMBERLY;

and poetry by DAISY BASSEN, CYNTHIA X. HUA, and SAM LEON.

Order your copy today!
 

2019 issue 



Because our University's offices are restricted due to COVID19, shipping may be slightly delayed; our team is still filling orders periodically! 

Our Spring 2020 Issue of So to Speak is available for purchase! The work in this issue was selected by judges Anita Felicelli (Fiction), Angela Pelster (Nonfiction), t'ai freedom ford (Poetry), and Sarah Irvin (Art).

From the issue's Letter from the Editor, written by Editor-in-Chief Kristen Greiner: The works within these pages turn preconceived notions on their heads. They push back against prejudice, dismantle oppressive power structures, and strive to create agency in situations where it often isn’t found. From familial bonds to significant others, relationship dynamics are challenged and explored in new and exciting ways. The implications of violence, the traumas it creates, and its impacts on society permeate the pieces in this issue. They can be hard to read and hear, but do not look away; it is important to shine a light on these matters. I am thankful that our contributors examine them in such thoughtful and compelling ways.

With your purchase, you will receive two back issues of So to Speak! We can't wait for you to enjoy.


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

The So to Speak Blog team has been inspired by such artists as Cheryl Strayed and Ryan Van Meter. Cheryl Strayed’s vulnerable, but incredibly distinct voice sustains you as you read about her struggle with drug abuse and the loss of a parent. Ryan Van Meter’s narrative storytelling and his sentence-level craft carry us through his work as he explores his identity as a gay man. We love work that explores the complexities of experiences and identities, work that lends itself to a larger meaning in every aspect.

The So to Speak Blog is unique in that it opens itself up to multiple forms of storytelling. We love the poetry, essays, and short stories we receive and we encourage artists to continue to submit pieces that fall into those genres. However, we want to see more work that bends form and genre, work that extends outside of the personal essay or the traditional poem, and work that is visually stimulating. Hybrid works, reviews, interviews, and visual art are welcomed submissions. We also would love to see more multimedia, like videos and podcasts, on the So to Speak Blog. In summary, we want to see art that tells a story in an exciting way and gives us a new perspective.

While we enjoy reading all of the pieces we receive and sincerely thank everyone who shares their work, a lot of submissions explore similar topics and issues through a similar lens. These topics include: motherhood, womanhood, sexual assault/rape, and misogyny. While these are all important to bring into conversation and can definitely be discussed in submissions, So to Speak’s mission is to explore the intersections of feminism, identity, and culture. We wish to see pieces that go deeper, offer new perspectives, and flip what has been considered the “literary canon” on its head.

Some topics we would love to see more of include: positive perspectives on gender, especially from transgender and non-binary artists, toxic masculinity, mental health, disability/ableism, and sexuality. And to go along with our mission, we love submissions that explore different intersections, like race and motherhood, economic status and healthcare, gender and immigration, and more.

If you are submitting Visual Art: (1) All submissions must be in .jpg, .tif, or .png formats at 300 dpi; (2) Please label each file as LastName_Title; (3) You may submit up to 5 pieces of artwork in a single entry; (4) Please include the dimensions (if applicable), the medium (if applicable), and an artist statement with a brief description of the submission.

Nonfiction and Fiction pieces should not exceed 1,200 words. Please submit one document (doc., docx., or pdf. files) with a single prose piece. All prose submissions should be double-spaced with numbered pages. Poetry submissions should not exceed 8 pages. Please submit one document (doc., docx., or pdf. files) with up to 3 poems. Hybrid work should not exceed 10 pages. Please submit one document (doc., docx., or pdf. files) with a single hybrid piece. Reviews and Interviews should not exceed 1,500 words. Please submit one document (doc., docx., or pdf. files) with a single review or interview. 

Videos and Podcasts can be variable in length, but should not exceed 20 minutes. Please include a brief summary/artist statement, to be published alongside your video or podcast should we accept your submission. Closed captions are required for videos, and typed transcripts are required for podcasts. Please be sure you have permission to use whatever media (sound, music, visuals, etc.) you incorporate into your video or podcast submission. Video submission will be uploaded in our YouTube account should we accept your submission for publication. Per their guidelines, “YouTube does not set a minimum resolution but recommends a resolution of at least 1280x720 for video that has a 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of at least 640x480 for video that has a 4:3 aspect ratio.” We accept .mp3 and .wav file types for audio submissions and .mp4, .mov, and .mpg file types for video submissions. Please submit high-quality video and audio for consideration -- submissions with excessive background noise, issues with lighting or resolution, poor sound quality, etc. will not be selected for publication. If you have questions about your video or audio submission, please send us an email titled “Blog - Video/Audio Submission Question” prior to submitting. 

In addition to your submission, we’ll ask you to submit:

  • A Cover Letter that includes your name, address, phone number, email address, how you heard about So to Speak, and brief bio describing your background as a writer or artist and any applicable awards or publications.
  • A brief description of how you see your piece(s) (implicitly or explicitly) fitting into our intersectional feminist mission.

Natalie Lima will be the judge for So to Speak's 2020 Fiction Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies.
About Natalie: Natalie Lima is a Cuban-Puerto Rican writer and a graduate of the MFA program in creative nonfiction at the University of Arizona. Her essays and fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Longreads, Guernica, Brevity, The Offing, Catapult and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from PEN America Emerging Voices, the Tin House Workshops, the VONA/Voices Workshop, the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, and a residency from Hedgebrook in 2020. You can find Natalie on IG and Twitter @natalielima09.
What Natalie is Looking For: I'm drawn to stories that speak to emotional truths, from realism to fabulism. For me, this most often happens through strong characterization. I love to be taken on a journey, especially unconventional ones, about people who make mistakes or do "bad" things. A strong voice is my favorite.
______________________________________
In your submission, please upload and enter the following information:
 

  • A single doc., docx., or pdf. file with a single prose fiction piece. Your submission should not exceed 4,000 words. All fiction submissions should be double-spaced with numbered pages.
  • A Cover Letter that includes your name, address, phone number, email address, how you heard about So to Speak, and brief bio describing your background as a writer or artist and any applicable awards or publications. 
  • A brief statement about intersectional feminism. 

 You may enter multiple submissions (ex: 2 submission packets each with a single fiction piece), so long as you pay the submission fee each time.

Find more information on our Contest here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/contests/.
Find more information on our Submission Guidelines here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/guidelines/.
Find more information on our Mission Statement here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/about-so-to-speak/

Natalie Lima will be the judge for So to Speak's 2020 Fiction Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies.
About Natalie: Natalie Lima is a Cuban-Puerto Rican writer and a graduate of the MFA program in creative nonfiction at the University of Arizona. Her essays and fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Longreads, Guernica, Brevity, The Offing, Catapult and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from PEN America Emerging Voices, the Tin House Workshops, the VONA/Voices Workshop, the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, and a residency from Hedgebrook in 2020. You can find Natalie on IG and Twitter @natalielima09.
What Natalie is Looking For: I'm drawn to stories that speak to emotional truths, from realism to fabulism. For me, this most often happens through strong characterization. I love to be taken on a journey, especially unconventional ones, about people who make mistakes or do "bad" things. A strong voice is my favorite.
 ______________________________________
 In your submission, please upload and enter the following information:

 

  • A single doc., docx., or pdf. file with a single prose fiction piece. Your submission should not exceed 4,000 words. All fiction submissions should be double-spaced with numbered pages.
  • A Cover Letter that includes your name, address, phone number, email address, how you heard about So to Speak, and brief bio describing your background as a writer or artist and any applicable awards or publications. 
  • A brief statement about intersectional feminism. 

  You may enter multiple submissions (ex: 2 submission packets each with a single fiction piece), so long as you pay the submission fee each time.

Find more information on our Contest here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/contests/.
Find more information on our Submission Guidelines here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/guidelines/.
Find more information on our Mission Statement here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/about-so-to-speak/

Sophia Shalmiyev will be the judge for So to Speak's 2021 Nonfiction Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2021 print issue, and two contributor copies.   

About Sophia: Sophia Shalmiyev emigrated from Leningrad to America in 1990. She is a feminist writer and painter living in Portland with her two children. Shalmiyev’s work has appeared in Literary Hub, Guernica, Electric Lit, LARB, The Rumpus, Vela, BOMB, Entropy, Portland Review and other publications. She teaches creative writing at PNCA and PSU. Her first book, Mother Winter, is now out in paperback.  

Questions Sophia is Considering about Nonfiction: 

SOME WRITING INQUIRIES FOR OUR ENDLESS DAYS 

• How can we embody an evolving intersectional feminist practice and weave in our lost/forgotten art lineage and literary inheritance?

• Can polyvocality, collectivism, intertextuality and an anti-capitalist stance help us get out of the “genius” trap of the kill-or-be-killed mentality?

• What borders exists between creative nonfiction and poetry, fiction, criticism and other literary forms? How & why might we transgress or even tear down those borders?

• Must writers maintain complete fidelity to the objective "truth" in literary nonfiction? What possibilities exist for speculative imagination in nonfiction? Is it ok for memoirists to fabricate events/memories? What constitutes outright lying in creative nonfiction?

In your submission, please upload and enter the following information:   

  • A single doc., docx., or pdf. file with up one nonfiction piece. Your submission should not exceed 4,000 words. All submission should be double-spaced with numbered pages.  
  • A Cover Letter that includes your name, address, phone number, email address, how you heard about So to Speak, and brief bio describing your background as a writer or artist and any applicable awards or publications. 
  • A brief statement about intersectional feminism. 

 You may enter multiple submissions (ex: 2 submission packets, each with one nonfiction piece), so long as you pay the submission fee each time.   

Find more information on our Contest here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/contests/.                                 Find more information on our Submission Guidelines here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/guidelines/.   Find more information on our Mission Statement here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/about-so-to-speak/

Sophia Shalmiyev will be the judge for So to Speak's 2021 Nonfiction Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2021 print issue, and two contributor copies.
About Sophia: Sophia Shalmiyev emigrated from Leningrad to America in 1990. She is a feminist writer and painter living in Portland with her two children. Shalmiyev’s work has appeared in Literary Hub, Guernica, Electric Lit, LARB, The Rumpus, Vela, BOMB, Entropy, Portland Review and other publications. She teaches creative writing at PNCA and PSU. Her first book, Mother Winter, is now out in paperback.
Questions Sophia is Considering About Nonfiction: 

SOME WRITING INQUIRIES FOR OUR ENDLESS DAYS 

• How can we embody an evolving intersectional feminist practice and weave in our lost/forgotten art lineage and literary inheritance?

• Can polyvocality, collectivism, intertextuality and an anti-capitalist stance help us get out of the “genius” trap of the kill-or-be-killed mentality?

• What borders exists between creative nonfiction and poetry, fiction, criticism and other literary forms? How & why might we transgress or even tear down those borders?

• Must writers maintain complete fidelity to the objective "truth" in literary nonfiction? What possibilities exist for speculative imagination in nonfiction? Is it ok for memoirists to fabricate events/memories? What constitutes outright lying in creative nonfiction?


 In your submission, please upload and enter the following information:
 

  • A single doc., docx., or pdf. file with up one nonfiction piece. Your submission should not exceed 4,000 words. All submission should be double-spaced with numbered pages.  
  • A Cover Letter that includes your name, address, phone number, email address, how you heard about So to Speak, and brief bio describing your background as a writer or artist and any applicable awards or publications. 
  • A brief statement about intersectional feminism. 

  You may enter multiple submissions (ex: 2 submission packets, each with one nonfiction piece), so long as you pay the submission fee each time.

Find more information on our Contest here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/contests/.
Find more information on our Submission Guidelines here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/guidelines/.
Find more information on our Mission Statement here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/about-so-to-speak/

Roya Marsh will be the judge for So to Speak's 2021 Poetry Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2021 print issue, and two contributor copies.
About Roya: A Bronx, New York native, Roya is a nationally ranked poet/performer/educator/activist. She is the Poet in Residence at Urban Word NYC and works feverishly toward LGBTQIA justice and dismantling white supremacy. Roya’s work has been featured in Poetry MagazineFlypaper MagazineFrontier Poetry, the Village VoiceNylon MagazineHuffington PostButton Poetry, Def Jam’s All Def DigitalLexus Verses and Flow, NBC, BET and The BreakBeat Poets Vol 2: Black Girl Magic(Haymarket 2018).

In Spring 2020, MCD × FSG Originals published Roya Marsh’s dayliGht, a debut collection of experimental poetry exploring themes of sexuality, Blackness, and the prematurity of Black femme death—all through an intersectional feminist lens with a focus on the resilience of the Black woman.  
What Roya is Looking For: i’m always hoping that a poem will devastate and/or dazzle me with inventive imagery, meticulous diction, subversive language, and machete-sharp content that ain’t afraid to cut to the white meat.
______________________________________
In your submission, please upload and enter the following information:
 

  • A single doc., docx., or pdf. file with up to 5 poems. Your submission should not exceed 10 pages. 
  • A Cover Letter that includes your name, address, phone number, email address, how you heard about So to Speak, and brief bio describing your background as a writer or artist and any applicable awards or publications. 
  • A brief statement about intersectional feminism. 

 You may enter multiple submissions (ex: 2 submission packets of 10 poems), so long as you pay the submission fee each time.

Find more information on our Contest here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/contests/.
Find more information on our Submission Guidelines here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/guidelines/.
Find more information on our Mission Statement here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/about-so-to-speak/

Roya Marsh will be the judge for So to Speak's 2021 Poetry Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2021 print issue, and two contributor copies.
About Roya: A Bronx, New York native, Roya is a nationally ranked poet/performer/educator/activist. She is the Poet in Residence at Urban Word NYC and works feverishly toward LGBTQIA justice and dismantling white supremacy. Roya’s work has been featured in Poetry MagazineFlypaper MagazineFrontier Poetry, the Village VoiceNylon MagazineHuffington PostButton Poetry, Def Jam’s All Def DigitalLexus Verses and Flow, NBC, BET and The BreakBeat Poets Vol 2: Black Girl Magic(Haymarket 2018).

In Spring 2020, MCD × FSG Originals published Roya Marsh’s dayliGht, a debut collection of experimental poetry exploring themes of sexuality, Blackness, and the prematurity of Black femme death—all through an intersectional feminist lens with a focus on the resilience of the Black woman.  
What Roya is Looking For: i’m always hoping that a poem will devastate and/or dazzle me with inventive imagery, meticulous diction, subversive language, and machete-sharp content that ain’t afraid to cut to the white meat.
 ______________________________________
 In your submission, please upload and enter the following information:

 

  • A single doc., docx., or pdf. file with up to 5 poems. Your submission should not exceed 10 pages. 
  • A Cover Letter that includes your name, address, phone number, email address, how you heard about So to Speak, and brief bio describing your background as a writer or artist and any applicable awards or publications. 
  • A brief statement about intersectional feminism. 

  You may enter multiple submissions (ex: 2 submission packets of 10 poems), so long as you pay the submission fee each time.

Find more information on our Contest here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/contests/.
Find more information on our Submission Guidelines here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/guidelines/.
Find more information on our Mission Statement here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/about-so-to-speak/

Dani and Sheilah ReStack will be the judge for So to Speak's 2021 Visual Art Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2021 print issue, and two contributor copies.
About Dani and Sheilah:
Dani and Sheilah ReStack have embarked on an artistic relationship that is formally and emotionally adjacent to their domestic lives, a quotidian zone they share with their young daughter Rose. Both artists have established careers on their own. Neither Dani’ video work or Sheilah’s multimedia performance and installation work could exactly prepare us for the force of the women’s collaborative efforts. – Michael Sicinski, Cinema Scope, 2017.

ReStack collaborations have shown at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Iceberg Projects Chicago, Toronto International Film Festival, Images Toronto, Lyric Theater, Carrizozo, NM, Leslie Lohman Project Space, Gaa Wellfleet and The Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio. They have received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Hanley Award. They have been residents at The Headlands in Marin County and their newest video Go Ask Joan was made at the MacDowell Colony.
What the judges are Looking For: In our collaborative work we have spoken of our curiosity for a feral domestic. We like feral domestic because there is an implication of living within the structure, while something wild happens within the same structure. There is an idea of a doubled inhabitation, within the word feral, that acknowledges the recognizable and the unrecognizable as co-existing.  We are curious how fantasy and re-imaginings inside the domestic space can lead to rupture from dominant paradigms and offer new proposals.  Our question for you is how to characterize the private space in a way that acknowledges its generative potential.

What happens if the home is a space for alternative inhabitation, intentional eschewing of dominant structures, and creation of self-generated worlds? We are thinking here of the home as a place to experiment—briefly hidden from the very boundaries and rules that we are asked to oblige to outside the home. 

For this rendition of So to Speak we are looking for artworks that imagine radical inhabitations, using domestic or private life as a method of rupture and  re-imagining.

Relevant artistic practices involved in producing these works could include sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, social practice, process-based practices, or installation, but must be able to be adequately visually represented in print for the So to Speak publication.
______________________________________
We are open to any form of artwork. Past issues have included photography, sketches, paintings, digital media, visual poetry, and images of various installations and sculpture. In your submission, please upload and enter the following information:   
 

  • All submissions must be in jpg or tiff formats at 300 dpi. Please label each file as LastName_Title. 
  • You may submit up to 5 pieces of artwork in a single entry. You may enter multiple submissions (ex: 2 submission packets of 5 art pieces), so long as you pay the submission fee each time. 
  • Dimensions if applicable, the materials used as applicable, a brief description of the submission.
  • A Cover Letter that includes your name, address, phone number, email address, how you heard about So to Speak, and brief bio describing your background as a writer or artist and any applicable awards or publications. 
  • A brief discussion of how you see your piece fitting into our intersectional feminist mission. 

 One thing that all submissions must have is quality photos or renderings of the work. It is absolutely essential that the resolution, lighting, and framing of the piece is ready to print or publish online. It pains us to have to turn down what looks like incredible art due to image quality issues. If you need help photographing your art, here is a helpful article titled “How To Take Great Photos Of Your Artwork.”


Find more information on our Contest here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/contests/.
Find more information on our Submission Guidelines here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/guidelines/.
Find more information on our Mission Statement here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/about-so-to-speak/

Dani and Sheilah ReStack will be the judge for So to Speak's 2021 Visual Art Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2021 print issue, and two contributor copies.
About Dani and Sheilah:
Dani and Sheilah ReStack have embarked on an artistic relationship that is formally and emotionally adjacent to their domestic lives, a quotidian zone they share with their young daughter Rose. Both artists have established careers on their own. Neither Dani’ video work or Sheilah’s multimedia performance and installation work could exactly prepare us for the force of the women’s collaborative efforts. – Michael Sicinski, Cinema Scope, 2017.

ReStack collaborations have shown at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Iceberg Projects Chicago, Toronto International Film Festival, Images Toronto, Lyric Theater, Carrizozo, NM, Leslie Lohman Project Space, Gaa Wellfleet and The Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio. They have received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Hanley Award. They have been residents at The Headlands in Marin County and their newest video Go Ask Joan was made at the MacDowell Colony.
What the judges are Looking For: In our collaborative work we have spoken of our curiosity for a feral domestic. We like feral domestic because there is an implication of living within the structure, while something wild happens within the same structure. There is an idea of a doubled inhabitation, within the word feral, that acknowledges the recognizable and the unrecognizable as co-existing.  We are curious how fantasy and re-imaginings inside the domestic space can lead to rupture from dominant paradigms and offer new proposals.  Our question for you is how to characterize the private space in a way that acknowledges its generative potential.
What happens if the home is a space for alternative inhabitation, intentional eschewing of dominant structures, and creation of self-generated worlds? We are thinking here of the home as a place to experiment—briefly hidden from the very boundaries and rules that we are asked to oblige to outside the home.
For this rendition of So to Speak we are looking for artworks that imagine radical inhabitations, using domestic or private life as a method of rupture and  re-imagining.
Relevant artistic practices involved in producing these works could include sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, social practice, process-based practices, or installation, but must be able to be adequately visually represented in print for the So to Speak publication.
 ______________________________________
 We are open to any form of artwork. Past issues have included photography, sketches, paintings, digital media, visual poetry, and images of various installations and sculpture. In your submission, please upload and enter the following information:   

 

  • All submissions must be in jpg or tiff formats at 300 dpi. Please label each file as LastName_Title. 
  • You may submit up to 5 pieces of artwork in a single entry. You may enter multiple submissions (ex: 2 submission packets of 5 art pieces), so long as you pay the submission fee each time. 
  • Dimensions if applicable, the materials used as applicable, a brief description of the submission.
  • A Cover Letter that includes your name, address, phone number, email address, how you heard about So to Speak, and brief bio describing your background as a writer or artist and any applicable awards or publications. 
  • A brief statement about intersectional feminism. 

  One thing that all submissions must have is quality photos or renderings of the work. It is absolutely essential that the resolution, lighting, and framing of the piece is ready to print or publish online. It pains us to have to turn down what looks like incredible art due to image quality issues. If you need help photographing your art, here is a helpful article titled “How To Take Great Photos Of Your Artwork.”


Find more information on our Contest here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/contests/.
Find more information on our Submission Guidelines here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/guidelines/.
Find more information on our Mission Statement here: http://sotospeakjournal.org/about-so-to-speak/

So to Speak: feminist journal of language and art