These are extraordinary times. On top of the ongoing global Coronavirus pandemic and all its attendant miseries, we are watching the unfolding escalation of police and state violence against Black people in the USA with both weary horror and ever-increasing fury at how Trump is responding, stoking the fires with violent and offensive rhetoric.
We’re used to our fury being impotent. There are so many things that seem to be beyond our power to change; hopelessness can become embedded. Our own voices are small. What can we do?
It was in such a moment of wondering that we realised that there is one area in which we can take meaningful action. We have a publishing house, however small and niche-dwelling it may be. The area of our interest - prose, poetry and artwork at some intersection of myth, story, magic and genuine connection with the natural and imaginal worlds - suffers from being dominated by white (predominantly male) voices. And so, we’re inviting submissions from BAME authors writing in that area (UK or non-UK), for a piece to be published as a chapbook by Hedgespoken Press later this year.
We don’t normally invite submissions. This is a rare and strange moment, though, and we hope that this small act from Hedgespoken Press serves some purpose of good in the midst of a constellation of horrors.
Submissions should be sent with a short bio to firstname.lastname@example.org - we’ll read them as soon as we can and respond quickly to confirm that we’ve received them, but we have two small children and a galloping, wild horse of a life-load to wrangle, so bear with us. This particular submissions window will be open for the next six weeks, closing at midnight on 14th July 2020.
We’re deliberately not giving a tight brief for the piece - but if it’s prose, it should be a short piece, between 3000 and 4500 words, fewer if there are illustrations or other artwork (which we’d be delighted to include!) Poetry is difficult to give a spec for, but hold in mind that Falconer’s Joy is roughly 21 lines per page and about 28 pages long. Our standard royalty deal of 25% of sales will apply, although (as is always the case) we are unable to offer an advance. Get in touch via email if you need any more details.
Please spread the word about this opportunity on social media (links at the bottom of this page) and we really look forward to seeing these unknown works and welcoming a new writer to our list.
We’re also here making a commitment to balance our author list by including more minority authors - we’ll tell you more about this soon, but it coincides with a new project from our storytelling arm, Hedgespoken travelling storytelling theatre. Sign up to the newsletter for Hedgespoken here to be kept abreast of developments there.
In solidarity with all protesters against injustice and with hopes for a better world to emerge in time,
Tom and Rima
The image in the header is adapted from a larger photo by Lorie Shaull, available here under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.