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.