Call for submissions
We respectfully invite you to submit a piece of short fiction on a queer African theme for consideration for our anthology.
Let the African imagination take us beyond the limits of what facts can do.
The anthology’s host is Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA), the pioneering, highly regarded South African gay and lesbian archives, based at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. GALA’s primary work is to collect and present documentary evidence of the queer African experience. Accurate records play a crucial role in social justice for any marginalized group. But what about the role of the imagination?
Recent human rights violations against queer people in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda represent a failure of the imagination. The arts can provide an antidote or at least an alternative to violent and repressive responses to diversity. GALA intends the anthology to show that there are many ways of being African and to encourage queer artistic expression and appreciation. Queer arts have often been the vanguard of progressive and transgressive culture, opening up or protecting space for freedom of expression for everyone. GALA anticipates that the anthology will challenge and contribute to mainstream discourses on both African artistic production and African sexuality.
Literary merit and an insightful response to the complexities of African queerness will guide the selection. By publishing world class writers (new and established), the anthology will be pushing open the doors for queer writing and talent. Writers need not identify as queer, but they do need to identify as African. The stories will be selected and edited by Makhosazana Xaba and Karen Martin.
GALA has a fine publishing record. It has been producing well-received books since 2005, and its recent Black Bull, Ancestors and Me, was granted honour status by the 2010 Stonewall Book Awards. GALA has secured publishing interest in the anthology, which will be distributed across Africa and internationally.
We would be honoured to consider your unpublished short fiction of between 1,000 and 5,000 words.
Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 June 2010. Provide a covering page with the title of the story, your first name and surname, your email address and a contact telephone number, and a bio of not more than 100 words. All submissions will be acknowledged. The selection will be made by 30 September 2010 for publishing in June 2011. The anthology will be launched at the 2011 Cape Town Book Fair. With writers’ permissions, all submissions will be archived by GALA and will be accessible to the archives’ many local and international users.
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Makhosazana Xaba has published two books of poetry: these hands (Timbila, 2005) and Tongues of their Mothers (UKZN Press, 2008). Her short stories, essays and poetry have appeared in many anthologies. She regularly writes profiles of women artists, poets, playwrights, film makers and writers for the South African Labour Bulletin and is writing a biography of Noni Jabavu. Her four children’s books for the foundation and intermediate phases were published by Nutrend Publishers. In 2005 she won the Deon Hofmeyr Award for Creative Writing for her then unpublished short story, Running. She holds a Diploma in Journalism (with distinction) from the Werner Lamberz International Institute of Journalism and an MA in Writing (with distinction) from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Karen Martin is an emerging, recently published writer of short fiction. She is a professional editor and copy editor. She has initiated and developed several projects for Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action, including Balancing Act, a book and exhibition of South African LGBTI youth life stories, and Til the Time of Trial, a booklet featuring the prison letters of LGBTI and HIV/AIDS activist Simon Nkoli. She is the co-editor of Sex and Politics, a collection of essays, memoirs and archival documents about the South African LGBTI rights movement and the anti-apartheid struggle. She is a member of the GALA board of trustees.
From the Luba people of West Africa and elsewhere an ancient mnemonic technique builds a palace of memory - Lynne Kelly writing in *Aeon*: A *lukasa* memory board. *Courtesy Brooklyn Museum/Wikimedia*...the Luba people of West Africa use a well-documented memory...
23 hours ago