“It is impossible to capture a person in an obituary, and especially someone whose adult life was largely defined by drug addiction. To some, Maddie was just a junkie — when they saw her addiction, they stopped seeing her. And what a loss for them. Because Maddie was hilarious, and warm, and fearless, and resilient. She could and would talk to anyone, and when you were in her company you wanted to stay. In a system that seems to have hardened itself against addicts and is failing them every day, she befriended and delighted cops, social workers, public defenders and doctors, who advocated for and believed in her ’til the end. She was adored as a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend and mother, and being loved by Madelyn was a constantly astonishing gift.” —Excerpt from Madelyn Linsenmeir’s viral obituary
Every day, opioids kill more than 115 people in the United States alone. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis.
Research shows nearly half of Americans have a family member or close friend who’s been addicted to drugs. It’s a statistic that shows America’s drug addiction crisis is truly an epidemic.
This is what an epidemic looks like: So many people are exposed to drug addiction that nearly half of Americans have a personal experience to speak of. It cuts across sex, race, age, education levels, and partisan lines — no matter how you break it down, a bulk of US adults know someone who has been addicted to drugs or alcohol.
It’s not just opioids. According to a 2016 study from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 20.1 million Americans 12 or older had a substance use disorder. About 2.1 million had an opioid use disorder. More than 15 million reported an alcohol addiction. (A caveat: Since the survey is based on households’ self-reports, these are very likely underestimates.)
Blind Faith Books hopes to help end the stigma about addiction. We hope to change the focus to both decriminalize users and stress the importance of treatment by voicing the stories of addicts and their loved ones.
We are seeking personal essays and poetry for our new anthology–I Am More Than My Addiction–written by addicts and their loved ones that shine light on the struggles and celebrate the triumphs of living with this disease. We are looking for anything raw and real that will elicit an emotional reaction in our readers. The best pieces will help educate the general public about what it’s really like to cope with addiction or to be a loved one of an addict. We want to place focus on the lives–the human beings–behind the statistics, and to remind the ignorant that those “numbers” are our friends, brothers, sisters, parents, and children. Our teachers, doctors, politicians, firefighters, cooks, and servers. People with lives, relationships, memories, hopes, dreams, and goals. People who deserve our empathy and respect rather than our derision and mockery. People who are more than their addiction, who deserve treatment for their disease just like anyone else suffering from an illness, and who deserve to live.
We will also be donating 50% of proceeds from book sales of I Am More Than My Addiction to To Write Love on Her Arms. This organization who emphasizes hope and help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide, believes as we do that stories matter. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
“Anyone who has lived through it knows that caring about an addict is as complex and fraught and debilitating as addiction itself.” –David Sheff, bestselling author of Beautiful Boy and Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy
To submit, send an e-mail with “addiction” in the subject line to email@example.com. Save you work as a .doc or .docx and make sure your name, contact info, PayPal info (the e-mail address you use for your PayPal account is all we need) and the title of the piece appear on the document. In lieu of your PayPal information, you may instead indicate you wish to donate your piece to the anthology. Donated content allows us to stretch our budget and increase the overall number of accepted pieces so that as many voices as possible may be heard. *Offering to donate a story or poem does not guarantee inclusion in the anthology.
Please also include a brief contributor bio with your submission. (Don’t worry if you’ve never been published before. We don’t care!) If your piece is accepted, your bio will appear in the anthology. This is an opportunity to let readers know something about you and where they can find more of your work, so it might be a good time to mention your social media handles.
The deadline to submit is April 30th 2019 at 12:00am EST, and the anthology will be released in fall of 2019. At Blind Faith Books, we believe every artist should be paid for their work. We offer flat payments per poem or essay (not by word) and make those offers upon acceptance.
If you are unsure of something, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions before you submit. Good luck!
We are currently seeking creative nonfiction by strong women and about strong women for our anthology, I AM STRENGTH: True Stories of Everyday Superwomen. We want to know: What is it like to be a woman, every day, wherever you are, and what kind of strength does it require? Stories should elicit an emotional reaction in readers and leave them feeling strong and empowered themselves. Tell us a true story about a strong woman you know, or about yourself. You can send poems, essays, or artwork that depict the ways women exhibit physical, emotional, and mental strength on a daily basis.
From summoning the emotional strength to love your body and yourself exactly the way you are, to the physical strength of fighting off an attacker twice your size, to the mental strength in overcoming everyday adversity, women are strong by nature. We are born ready to endure pain. We fight harder than men for everything we have, we need to be twice as smart, and we need to deal with it all while our looks are constantly being scrutinized. Strength is built into every aspect of our lives. Women hold their families together during times of grief and tragedy. Women have endured beatings, rape, unwanted pregnancies, vitriol, abandonment, workplace harassment, revenge porn—the list of abuses goes on and on. Women don’t need abuse to forge us into strong superheroes. Women are already strong. But women who survive abuse are ABSOLUTE WARRIORS. And the fact that these scenarios are so familiar to so many women means we need to be talking about them, and people need to hear that they are not alone in what they’re going through.
We want to showcase stories from grandmothers who survived wars, mothers who battled breast cancer like champions, sisters who combated anorexia and depression, and women who were able to overcome any kind of physical, emotional, or mental adversary through strength. We want stories of regular, everyday women, kicking ass in a million different ways every single day. We want women and girls out there to understand you can be strong, make a difference, and be a role model just by sharing your own story of strength. You’ve learned hard lessons. You’ve gained a lot of wisdom. Someone else can learn from your experience.
There’s someone on the other side of the world who needs to hear your story to understand they’re not alone. That’s the magic of writing. You can read something from one hundred years ago and relate to it. You can write something today that someone will read one hundred years from now and connect with. One of the most significant problems we have trying to identify with other people’s plight, whether it’s refugees, immigrants, girls being prevented from getting an education, a woman dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, whatever—there’s no teacher like experience. And if we haven’t experienced these things ourselves, it can be difficult for us to understand. And if we don’t understand, we can’t help—we may not want to help or think it’s even necessary. Here’s the thing though: we can’t all magically wake up in a woman’s life and suddenly realize what she goes through. So what can we do? Read. Read her story to understand what she goes through—that’s how we learn to empathize with our fellow humans. That’s how we live lives and experience things we otherwise would never be able to. Tell stories and read stories. It’s that simple. You don’t need any money or fame to write. You just need something to write with and something to write on. You don’t need to be a powerful person to write, but writing can give you power. That’s what this book aims to do: give women a platform who might otherwise not have one, and make sure their stories reach a wide audience.
We are currently experiencing a significant global shift concerning feminist issues, with movements like #MeToo increasingly propelling women’s rights to the forefront of mainstream discourse. Every woman has a song of strength to sing, and I AM STRENGTH will help amplify it.
How to submit
To submit essays and poems, please save your work as a .doc or .docx file and e-mail it as an attachment to email@example.com with “I AM STRENGTH submission” in the subject line. We prefer Times New Roman 12-point font and one-inch margins, but we’re more concerned with story than formatting. Save your document as I AM STRENGTH underscore The Title of your Essay of Poem. Example: “I AM STRENGTH_YourTitle”
On the first page of the document, include your name, where you are from, your contact information, and PayPal info, or indicate you wish to donate your story or poem. *Offering to donate a story or poem does not guarantee inclusion in the anthology.
To submit artwork, please save your art as a .jpeg with the format I AM STRENGTH underscore The Title of your Art – example: “I AM STRENGTH_YourTitle” – and email it as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org with “I AM STRENGTH submission” in the subject line. Accepted artwork can appear in color in the electronic version of the book but will appear in black and white in the print edition. Artwork must be able to fit a 6×9-size book page.
In the body of your e-mail, please write a brief paragraph explaining your art, why you think it’s important, and why it should be included. Also include your name, where you are from, your contact info, and PayPal info, or indicate you wish to donate your art. *Offering to donate art does not guarantee inclusion in the anthology.
Everyone should include a brief contributor bio with your submission stating who you are, where you are from, what you do, and where your work has previously been published. (Don’t worry if you’ve never been published before. We don’t care!) You can also use this opportunity to let readers know about causes you are actively involved in or hope to support through your writing. For instance, if your piece is about missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) you might include a resource where readers can learn more about it and take action.
You should hear from us within a few weeks whether your work has been accepted or not. If you do not hear from us by July 1st, assume your work has not been accepted for this anthology.
Accepted stories will be published in the anthology in summer of 2018. Two thirds of the proceeds of books sold will benefit No Means No Worldwide, whose goal is to create a rape-free world, and Girls Inc., inspiring all girls to be smart, strong, and bold. Blind Faith Books will retain the remaining third of the proceeds to help fund our next endeavor.
We offer payment upon acceptance, but donated stories are also welcome. If you’d like to donate your submitted piece, please indicate so in the body of your e-mail, or on the document itself.
Deadline to submit is June 25, 2018 at midnight.
If you have any further questions, e-mail email@example.com with “question” in the subject line.