A Tiny Death: Stories of Transformation and Identity through Name Changes
Topic: Writers Kylee Cushman and Jaquelyn Rieke seek creative nonfiction essays and poems for A Tiny Death: Stories of Transformation and Identity through Name Changes, an anthology that will reflect upon the experience of changing one’s name (such as changing a last name to marry, changing one’s name to accommodate gender identity, changing a given name to better suit personality, as a rite of passage, or for spiritual purposes).
Overview: We’re looking for original nonfiction essays or poems about the reasons for and decision to change one’s first and/or last name, as well as the process of implementing the change. Changing one’s given name in Western culture is often viewed as unusual; thus, a choice to change a name is often met with resistance, disapproval, and even ridicule. At the same time, it is accepted practice for a woman who marries to change her last name to her husband’s surname, which can create a shift in her sense of identity. Sometimes those who marry invent a new married surname to circumvent the impact of this tradition, or the man might take the woman’s name, thus encountering his own identity issues within our patriarchal construct. In the LGBTQ community, name changes are increasingly common to fully inhabit one’s gender or sexual identity. And sometimes those who immigrate to the U.S. change their names to more easily assimilate. And what if one’s name has simply never fit? We are interested in sharing the stories of those who have pioneered a name change for themselves. We hope to open up dialogue about names and identity in America.
Originality & Copyright: Only original previously unpublished work will be accepted.
Deadline: Submissions received by January 15, 2016 will receive preferential review. Submissions after this deadline may be considered, depending upon how many submissions we receive by the deadline.
Submit your creative nonfiction story or poems via snail mail as per instructions below:
* Please use Cambria or Times New Roman 12-point font and one-inch margins.
* On the first page, please include a centered title at the top, and include your full name and email address also centered on the line just below the title.
* If submission is more than one page, please include page numbers on your document, with your name next to the page number in the header.
* Please limit poetry length to 6 single-spaced pages (and shorter is just fine!). A collection of a few poems totaling no more than 6 pages is acceptable as well.
* Please limit creative nonfiction story length to 16 double-spaced pages (and shorter is just fine!).
* Multiple submissions (for example, a story and a poem) are acceptable, within reason.
How to submit:
To simplify the process and spend less time hunched over a computer screen, we will collect initial submissions for reading and selection as hard copies via the old fashioned postal service. So please print out your submission and include it in an envelope with a check for the $20 submission fee. Please make checks out to Kyle Lee Cushman (My legal/former name--I have not yet legally changed it over to Kylee).
Mail submission to:
Attn: A Tiny Death
3869 Hollister Hill Road
Marshfield, VT 05658
If your piece is chosen, we will notify you by email no later than May 15, 2016. At this point we will request electronic submissions from all chosen contributors. Instructions will be relayed upon acceptance.
Contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the book when it is published. Authors may be invited to a celebratory reading (location and date TBA) following publication.
Questions? Email Kylee at:
word.artisan.vtATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )
or Jaquelyn at:
daughteroftheliberatorATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )
Kylee Cushman has an MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a long-time writer and educator. Jaquelyn Rieke is an entrepreneur, activist, and poet.