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Exsolutas Press

 We are accepting submissions for Auntie-Dote: An Anthology

Auntie-Dote: An Anthology

In Aunting: Cultural Practices That Sustain Family and Community Life, researchers Laura L. Ellingson and Patricia J. Sotirin turn the noun "aunt" into a verb. To aunt, they posit, is a practice as much as a category of persons. Aunting is something people – usually, but not always, women – do by engaging as a non-parental adult to model for, nurture, guide, enrich and protect the lives of young people.

My nephews’ mother bought me Ellington’s and Sotirin’s scholarly book because I am a poet, a writer, and an auntie by practice, category and identity. She meant to encourage me to act on the fantasy I’ve had to publish a creative anthology about aunties. I am thrilled, at last, to put out this call for submissions for poetry, short memoir and other creative nonfiction to appear in the anthology, Auntie-Dote: An Anthology, named for the idea that aunting is a combination of doting, problem-solving and healing.

Have you been aunted by a relative, family friend, or other supportive, non-parental adult? Do you aunt others? Are you an aunt, an aunty, an auntie, an uncle who aunts, or an aunt-by-choice?

Maybe your aunting story was the icing on a cake of abundant nurturance, or maybe it was bound up with a tragic parenting tale. Was it a safe introduction to adult truths? A harsh mirror held aloft by loving hands? Did an aunt keep your family whole or bond a disparate group into a family? Maybe there was exhilarating fun with (or being) the cool aunt or finding (or being) the port in a terrifying storm.

Write a snapshot story or poem that reveals or reflects the bigger picture of your experience or relationship with, or as, an aunt/auntie/aunty.

Project Guidelines

Focus: “Aunting” is the focus, in all its glory and forms and perspectives. Your writing can be humorous, evocative, challenging, celebratory or otherwise: whatever is personal and true. Craft a compelling narrative or poem from your memories. Show the readers a picture; pull them into the moment.

The anthology will, hopefully, demonstrate that aunting can be practiced meaningfully by (and for) persons of any and every gender.

Readers: Aunts, uncles, adult nieces and nephews. Adults seeking hopeful inspiration and a window into their own families and families-by-choice.

Purpose: Pleasure reading, mostly of an uplifting nature. Readers should feel entertained, inspired and able to relate to universal truths revealed through the specific tales.

Not the Purpose: This book does not diminish the value of uncles in families. It does presume one family structure, one path, or one definition. It not proselytize, prescribe, proscribe, chastise.

Genres: Poetry and short creative non-fiction such as memoir and history. Black and white illustrations and photographs. (Honoraria of $10 per accepted work.) One full-color photograph or painting/illustration for use on the cover. Cover artist will receive an honorarium of $100 upon publication with a cover design incorporating their piece.

Project-Specific Submission Guidelines:

Visual Art (B & W for interior; color for cover): Submit up to five (5) black and white and/or color images, each uploaded as a separate jpeg file. Use the title of the work as the file name (ex: three_llamas.jpeg).

Poetry: Submit up to five (5) single-spaced poems in one .doc, .docx, or .rtf document. Begin each poem on a new page, number the pages, and use a clear serif font in size 12.

Creative Nonfiction: Submit up to five (5) nano-, micro- or flash-length pieces (up to 750 words) in one .doc, .docx, or .rtf document, single spaced, using a clear serif font in size 12. Begin each piece on a new page and number the pages. For historical writing, include adequate references. For memoir, your submission serves to attest that the writing reflects the truth as you know, remember and understand it, and that the events related in your piece happened to you -- it's your story to tell, not someone else's.

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