We are currently open for submissions for our contest issue until November 15, 2019. For information on what our judges are looking for, please look at the corresponding genre. 

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 2019 Issue of So to Speak is available for purchase! The work in this issue was selected by judges Pam Houston (Fiction), Sandy Allen (Nonfiction), Victoria Chang (Poetry), and Erin Silver (Art). 

From the issue's Letter from the Editor, written by Editor-in-Chief Alexandria Petrassi: 

At every turn, the pieces in this issue strike at the systems that seek to oppress them with such a force that only art can conjure. Their tool of choice? Interrogation. They interrogate everything from the traditional family structure, to racial discrimination and tokenizing, to physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, to a cruel and corrupt prison system, to harmful conceptions of gender, and more. In the wake of the interrogation comes revelation. And in the wake of revelation comes the rough edges of a vision — one in which the world is reformed, we recognize our bodies’ resemblance and connection to the natural world, in which people live and love however they see fit, and all people can feel equally safe, supported, and financially stable. 

The cover features multi-colored intersecting angles on the cover. (Look below for a sneak peek.) The cost is $12. You will also receive two complimentary back issues and a limited-edition broadside, while supplies last. Please fill in the shipping information on the following pages to complete your order. Thank you for supporting So to Speak

So to Speak's 2019 Spring Issue Cover: Multi-colored intersecting lines.  



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.

Anita Felicelli 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 Anita: Anita Felicelli is the author of the short story collection, Love Songs for a Lost Continent,  and the novel, Chimerica. Her criticism and essays have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Review of Books, Slate, Salon, the New York Times (Modern Love) and elsewhere.

What Anita is Looking For: I'm drawn to short stories that take risks—I'm open to formal risks, but I'm most excited by urgency or emotional risk. What haven't we seen before? I love to be surprised, the sensation of being cracked open at the end of a short story. Control matters tremendously. So do beautiful and striking sentences.

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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 discussion of how you see your piece fitting into our intersectional feminist mission. 

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/

Angela Pelster will be the judge for So to Speak's 2019 Nonfiction Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2019 print issue, and two contributor copies. 

About Angela: Angela Pelster won the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writer Award in Nonfiction for her essay collection, Limber, and was a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, LitHub, Granta, The Kenyon Review, River Teeth, and The Gettysburg Review among others. She’s been a Bread Loaf fellow, a Minnesota State Arts Board grantee, and is the founder and director of the screening series Writers Go to the Movies. She teaches at Hamline University.

What Angela is Looking For: Stylistically, I'm interested in writers who push at the boundaries of form and genre expectations. I'm also interested in writing that's in conversation with the past, that uses the personal to speak to our wider political, social and environmental world, and in writing that places me soundly inside the specificity, location and emotional context of the moment I'm reading about.
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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 discussion of how you see your piece fitting into our intersectional feminist mission. 

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/

t'ai freedom ford will be the judge for So to Speak's 2020 Poetry Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies. 

About t'ai: t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher and Cave Canem Fellow. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in The African American Review, Apogee, Bomb Magazine, Calyx, Drunken Boat,Electric Literature, Gulf Coast, Kweli, Tin House, Obsidian, Poetry and others. Most recently she has won awards from the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) and is a 2019 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship inaugural fellow. Winner of the 2015 To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize, her first poetry collection, how to get over, is available from Red Hen Press.  Her second poetry collection, & more black, is with Augury Books. t’ai lives and loves in Brooklyn where she is an editor at No, Dear Magazine.

What t'ai 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. 

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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 discussion of how you see your piece fitting into our intersectional feminist mission. 

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/

Sarah Irvin will be the judge for So to Speak's 2020 Visual Art Contest. Winners will be awarded an honorarium, publication in our 2020 print issue, and two contributor copies. 

About Sarah: Sarah Irvin is a visual artist living and working in Richmond, Virginia. She received a BFA from the University of Georgia (2008) and an MFA from George Mason University (2016). Her work has been featured in international exhibits and conferences on feminist theory and practice and in numerous solo exhibitions. She is included in the collections of the Try-Me Urban Restoration Project, Capital One, and the Federal Reserve Bank. Irvin is represented by Kathryn Markel Fine Arts (New York, NY), Massey Klein Gallery (New York, NY), and Page Bond Gallery (Richmond, VA). In 2016, she founded the Artist Parent Index, a searchable database of artists making work about their experiences with reproduction.

Instagram: @sarahirvinart & @artistparentindex

Website: sarahirvinart.com & artistparentindex.com

What Sarah is Looking For: In the conclusion of Simone de Beauvoir’s 1949 text, The Second Sex, she stated, “new carnal and affective relations of which we cannot conceive will be born between the sexes: friendships, rivalries, complicities, chaste or sexual companionships that past centuries would not have dreamed of are already appearing.”

Feminisms have not only challenged how we relate to one another but have also proposed and implemented new connections ecologically, economically, pedagogically, physically, and virtually. For the So to Speak Art Prize, I am looking for artwork that provides visual understandings of new forms of relations or posits possible worlds in which we interact more equitably regardless of gender or sexuality. Topics could include alternate methods for structuring intersubjective experiences: in the Anthropocene; through economic, reproductive, or other social systems; through methods for making and keeping kin; through developing new pedagogical paradigms; and with or against technology. 

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.

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We are open to any form of artwork. Past issues have included photography, sketches, paintings, digital media, 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/

So to Speak: feminist journal of language and art