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.
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!
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)
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)
* 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.
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.
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!