Curated by Juliette Sebock, André Lepine, & Lynne Schmidt
Publication Date: 14 July 2020
Genre: Poetry, Prose, Visual Art
In the current political climate, many find themselves voiceless. With Roe v. Wade under attack and abortion bans squaring off against reproductive rights, those with agendas use case studies and extrapolated scenarios to speak for entire groups. Yet such generalities almost certainly miss details and nuances important to the larger debate.
Birthing parents, in particular, often have less political power than birth partners or even fetuses. Cis women, disabled people, and trans people all become talking points and cardboard hypotheticals, their realities forgotten. Even as their bodies become a battleground, birthing parents find their voices and experiences with pregnancy ignored.
With this anthology, we want to bring the voices and experiences of birthing parents back to the forefront. Every pregnancy has the potential to transform bodies and lives, and all pregnancies carry risks of long-term health issues or even death. Each person’s body belongs to them alone. So does each person’s voice. Let us hear you and feel your life. Your experience with pregnancy is unique, including how it began, how it ended, and whether it happened the way you wanted. All are welcome to submit.
Submissions will be open from 1 February through 30 April, using Eastern times. Any pieces sent outside of these dates will not be considered. If a substantial amount of pieces are received prior to this date, submissions may be closed earlier—should that be the case, prompt advance notice will be given.
Submissions will be seen by our editorial team and will be held in the strictest confidence. Anonymous/pseudonymous submissions are welcome, though we do require an email address for communication.
While there is no payment for inclusion in this anthology, we will be submitting a portion of the profits from sales to Planned Parenthood, whose work—including those beyond abortion & contraception, such as LGBT+ services, patient education, STD tests, and cancer screenings—is so important and we look forward to playing a small part in helping those services continue to be offered.
What are we looking for in a submission?
Of course, we want to accept well-crafted work. But, beyond that, we want to create a safe space in which you may share your words and experiences without fear—of judgement, of retribution, of anything beyond expressing your emotions and experiences.
We will consider previously published work, though previously unpublished pieces will have a better chance of acceptance. If your piece has appeared elsewhere, please make a note in your cover letter.
Here are some examples of the kinds of stories and experiences we are interested in reading (not in any particular order and not exclusive):
- People who could not get pregnant without outside assistance
- Tough pregnancies that carried to term but involved trauma or post-partum issues
- Termination of pregnancy
- Stories of facing abortion restrictions or other barriers to accessing care
- Same-gender couples’ stories about pregnancy
- Late-term miscarriages or pregnancies with a late medical emergency
- Early pregnancy loss
- Transgender persons’ stories about pregnancy
- Stories where the non-child-bearing partner left, or stayed
- Unplanned or unexpected pregnancies and the resulting issues and choices
- Choices regarding contraception
- Stories about how pregnancy changed someone’s body
To submit work to this project, fill out this form. Please be sure to include all required items (marked by an asterisk). Please submit a separate form for separate pieces—we’re happy to consider poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or visual artwork.
*Note that our form sends an automated response confirming your submission. Please be sure to check junk/spam folders before inquiring whether your piece(s) has been received.
Response times will depend on how many submissions are received, but we aim to have decisions made within one month of the closing of submissions (in this case, 31 May). Should this change, we’ll update this page and our social media pages accordingly. And, whatever our response should be, we want to thank you for submitting—while we can’t accept every piece sent our way, we know how difficult this subject matter can be and the bravery it takes to submit. Thank you for trusting us with your work!