Call For Submissions: Trans*Scribe

We haven’t trotted out a theme issue in quite some time now, but times they are a-changing! A month ago, when Annika let us know that she’d be taking an indefinite internet vacation, we simultaneously thought compassionately, “that’s a good healthy thing to do, but we’ll miss her” and freaked out that we were losing our only regular trans* writer. These two situations — wanting to create a new theme issue and wanting to attract more trans* women writers to the site — combined to inspire us to open submissions for our next “theme issue,” trans*scribe. (Previous theme issues have included Art Attack, Here/Queer, The Way We Were/The Herstory Issue, On Camp and Schooled.) We hope this will help open up the site to a wider variety of stories on trans* issues and introduce us to new writers who could write for us regularly on a broader range of topics.

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graphic by rosa middleton

So here’s what we’re looking for: writing from queer-identified trans* women — personal essays, features, lists, interviews, advice, anything! The only condition in which we’ll accept work from a cis woman is if it’s an interview of a trans* woman or a collaborative piece in which trans* women’s voices are included. Now, here are examples of the kind of stuff we’re looking for!

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Examples from Autostraddle:

* Disowned: When Coming Out Doesn’t Go As Planned, by Annika (September 2012)

* Anna Anthropy: Queering Video Games One Pixel At A Time, by Whitney (August 2012)

Transgender Housing Network – The Autostraddle Interview, by Annika (June 2012)

* Sarah McBride: The Autostraddle Interview, by Carmen (May 2012)

19 Terribly Interesting Tips on Raising a Trans Kid (From a Trans Kid), by Morgan (April 2012)

On Display: Navigating the Male Gaze As A Lesbian Trans Woman, by Annika (September 2011)

Annika & Sebastian Answer Your Trans* Questions: Part One, by Annika & Sebastian (June 2011)

I’m Just Your Typical Urban Hipster Femme Twentysomething Trans Lesbian, by Annika (April 2011)

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Examples from other websites of the types of stories we’d like to read:

Sexual & Gender Diversity in Physics, by Savannah Garmon for Leftygirl (December 2012)

* Trans Feminism: There’s No Conundrum About It, by Julia Serano for Ms. (April 2012)

Trans* Women of Color and Remembering Your Dead, by Erica for inchoaterica (November 2012)

Just Another Woman at Michfest, by Alice Kalafarski for Pretty Queer (September 2011)

How The New York Times Dehumanizes Trans Women, by Janet Mock at Janetmock.com (July 2012)

* Dear Housemates Of Our Radical Progressive Queer Co-Op, by Amy Denata for AmyDenata.com (June 2012)

* The Radical History of Transgenderism, by Natalie Reed for Free Thought Blog (November 2012)

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To submit:

* E-mail your pitch or completed post, along with a letter of introduction, to laneia [at] autostraddle [dot] com (cc riese [at] autostraddle dot com) by March 1st.

* If you’re emailing a pitch (rather than a completed post) or if you’re also interested in becoming a regular writer for Autostraddle, then please also submit a resume and provide links to three samples of your writing online and/or or a link to your blog or tumblr. If your experience is in print, submit attachments. If you’re submitting a completed post, those things are appreciated but not required.

* Due to the volume of submissions we usually receive, you will only receive a response if we’re interested in publishing your piece or would like to see additional edits.

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Special note on money:

As you’re likely aware, we’re unable to pay our contributors and team members with anything besides love, but we also recognize that this inability often makes it difficult to acquire writing from many trans* women who cannot afford to write without compensation. For this reason we have re-allocated some money from our fundraiser for this project and are offering $50 per accepted post. We can negotiate higher payments for extensively-published established professional writers or for any articles by anybody which require extensive time or research.  As we do for all of our team members, we will reimburse any pre-approved incurred article-related expenses.

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Special note on the comments in this post:

Comments on this Call For Submissions post will be heavily moderated. (Unlike other websites, our moderation policy is extremely liberal and we rarely delete anything at all, ever.) Basically, we want to make this post as shareable as possible, and want the focus to remain on the call for submissions, not passive-aggressive attacks or conversations in the comments. Opening up the floodgates to haters and ensuing controversy over whether or not said person is actually a hater, another endless debate about what Autostraddle is or isn’t or a lively WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ? discussion will prevent other websites and blogs from feeling comfortable sharing this post and getting the word out. It will also impact our sanity and ability to do the important work of reading your submissions! Are we confident that this is the absolute best way to handle this? Nope. But we’ve never tried this before, so we’re trying it now, and we’ll see how it goes. Anything off-topic, derailing or combative will be deleted, and suggestions about how to run our website or accusations of bad faith can be directed to email.

Laneia (laneia [at] autostraddle dot com) and Riese (riese [at] autostraddle dot com) will be checking our email vigilantly all day and will respond immediately to any questions we get about this call for submissions. If you ask us something that we think the group could benefit from, we’ll add it to this post!

ETA: Our writers and contributing editors are also volunteers who work for free, so just to clarify — the $50/post is for this project only. If you wanna join the team after that and write regularly, that’s generally an unpaid situation, although we do offer some fantastic perks and try to throw money your way whenever we can. It’s hard out here for an independently-owned queer publication who finds pop-up ads inhumane, but as soon as our fortunes improve, so will the fortunes of the people who work here!

Profile photo of Riese

Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1747 articles for us.

42 Comments

    • Thumb up 17

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      I’m transfeminine, can I write an article explaining how responding to the call-out for trans* lady writers by asking if transmasculine folk can apply is really transmisogynistic and makes Lana Wachowski (patron saint of nerdy trans* women everywhere) cry big, salty, nerdy trans tears?

      • Thumb up 3

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        Apologies if I offended too. I should’ve clarified what I wanted to say which was: I’m excited about trans*scribe, I think this is an excellent idea, and was wondering if in the future, there might be a call for submissions for non-binary folk? However, I don’t want to derail the conversation or space away from the original call for submissions, so I’ll leave it there, apologise again, and say: I’m looking forward to reading the submissions from trans* women. Thank you Autostraddle for being awesome.

    • Thumb up 15

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      I think there is a false assumption being made here in your comment that “trans* ladies” = “will/have transitioned”. There’s plenty of trans* women who will not or cannot transition (however “transition” is being defined here, but I’m going with the common assumption of “physical/surgical/hormonal”) but that doesn’t make them any less of a trans* woman.

      • Thumb up 3

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        Hopefully I sent my request to the right person. My long history of knowing and planning my transition or my not hiding anymore as I like to think of it. I also had two Gay brothers and knew their pain and suffering through the years. Both are gone now. One of Aids and one from the onset of having HIV. There has been much pain and suffering but there has also been good times full of humor and laughter.

  1. Thumb up 9

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    Yay! I strongly recommend that all of my trans* sisters apply! Even if you don’t think that your story is all that interesting or that you don’t have much to say…every one of us is different and there’s no singular trans* experience- I want to read about yours! :)

  2. Thumb up 0

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    Many problems we face are not just Trans problems or issues. Our Country’s job market,the economy,those on welfare,social security,medicare/medicaid,medical insurance and true equal rights for many people are our problems and issues also. Ours are compounded with name changes,gender marker changed and surgery to many surgeries for some.I’ve been educating people about me for years and hoping it will snowball to others to make our lives a little better.

  3. Thumb up 0

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    My partner is what ze likes to call TransHighFemme, but does not necessarily identify as a woman, is this open to transfeminine people who are non-binary/genderqueer? There was a comment earlier about genderqueer inclusion, but I got the impression it was referring to DFAB people. I totally get if this is supposed to be an all trans*ladies thing, Just thought I’d ask cause maybe its just the fact that ze’s my partner and all, but I think zir writing sounds like butterflies and stuff, and this is a super cool feature.

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