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Special Issue Call for Submissions

SomaFlights

Submissions open Aug. 15–Nov. 1. Guest edited by Vidhu Aggarwal and Petra Kuppers.

Dock with us to explore the tectonics of somatic imaginations. Fly with synesthetic energies, grounded in delicious sensory embodiment. Let the genres mix and flail in hyperdrive. Our travel themes twine around the cyber avatar, spaceship architectures, steampunk air messages from the futures. Bring us your smooth or rough, edgy, connected, recombinant or disjointed glimpses of different heterotopias: from Sun Ra’s funk to global futurisms, from crip fabulation to Afro-pessimism, from solarpunk to trans bots. We welcome collaborative as well as solo alchemies.

This issue will be published in April of 2023. Maximum length for articles, essays and works of fiction is 7,000 words. Poetry submissions must not exceed 10 pages (or comparable length for other genres). All work should be formatted such that it can be printed on 6” x 9” pages. Incorporation of graphics is permitted; however, we cannot guarantee that any work will be printed in color. All material submitted will be considered simultaneously for publication in MQR Online. If Submittable is not accessible to you, please email mqr@umich.edu with your concern.

Vidhu Aggarwal’s poetry and multimedia practices engage with world-building, video, and graphic media, drawing mythic schemas from popular culture, science, and ancient texts. Their poetry book, The Trouble with Humpadori (2016), imagines a cosmic mythological space for marginalized transnational subjects. Avatara, a chapbook from Portable @Yo-Yo Labs Press, is situated in a post-apocalyptic gaming world where AIs play at being gods. She has published in The Boston Review, Black Warrior Review, Aster(ix) Journal, Poemelon, Leonardo, among other journals. They are currently engaging in a “cloud poetics,” as a way of thinking about personal, collective, and digital archives as a collaborative process with comic artists, dancers, and video artists. Their second  poetry book, Daughter Isotope, appeared with the Operating System in 2021. A Djerassi resident and Kundiman fellow, she teaches at Rollins College. You can find them at https://daughterisotope.com/.

Petra Kuppers (she/her) is a disability culture activist, a writer, and a community performance artist. Petra grounds herself in disability culture methods, and uses ecosomatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. Her third poetry collection, Gut Botany, was named one of the top ten US poetry books of 2020 by the New York Public Library. Her latest book, Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters, appeared in 2022 with the University of Minnesota Press (open access). She recently organized a four-year series of arts-based research symposia on EcoSomatics, exploring pandemic art-forms. Petra is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, and co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio. She teaches at the University of Michigan. www.petrakuppers.com.


MQR Mixtape: Fandoms, Online Communities, and Identity on the Internet

Guest editor: Catherine Valdez. Submissions close April 15.

Fandom is a simple two-part equation, requiring an object of affection, and fans seeking proximity to said object. This proximity is expressed in consumerist and creative ways. With the internet, and the rise of both informal and formal virtual spaces, large and micro fandoms can swell rapidly, sometimes overnight. Seemingly, any event, person, object, phenomenon, or product can have a fandom. And although fandom has existed in local, intricately networked, and grass-roots forms for years, the internet has afforded fans with the gift of intimacy, immediacy, and most importantly, the visibility needed to grow a strong community and identity.

For this issue on “Fandoms, Online Communities, and Identity on the Internet,” I am interested in literary works, poems, fiction, essays, art, comics, short films, and multi-modal works that explore the intimacy of fandom experiences. For instance, I am interested in art that explores the psychology of obsessions, celebrity worship, the escapist potential of fanfiction and fanart, the moment of fandom discovery, the moment of fandom decline, parasocial relationships, material friendships made within online communities, toxic obsession, collections, loneliness, experiences in concerts and conventions, what goes down in very niche forums, fandom feuds, coming of age in fandom culture, etc.

In addition to meditative work, I am also interested in speculative work that explores fan mentalities in fun and unique ways, including stories focused on the strange, the unusual, and the uncanny. Send me your stories about: elusive fanfiction writers, Lovecraftian hobby shops, comic conventions set on Mars, a shipping war that leads to murder, a psychic link between a K-pop star and a disgruntled online troll, a vlogger with a strange cult following, etc. Anything is fair game as long as it features an earnest reflection on fandom.

What I’m not looking for: While I’m interested in works that explore fandom and fan production, I am unable to publish actual fanfiction or fanart featuring copyrighted intellectual property.

Abstract painting with different shapes in blue, pink, yellow, and white.

General Submissions for the Print Journal: Open Mar 1–Apr 1 and Aug 1–Nov 1

Submissions for the print journal will be accepted in 2022 from March 1 to April 1 and August 1 to November 1. Average turnaround time is six months, but we may take longer and ask that you do not query us until a year has passed.

  • Simultaneous submissions are permitted. Please notify us immediately via Submittable if work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Please do not submit previously published work, including work published on a personal website.
  • Writers are advised to inspect a back copy of the journal before submitting work.
  • Previous contributors: please wait one year after your work appears in the journal to submit to us again.
  • We ask that you do not contact us about revising your work once it has been submitted.
  • MQR is a paying market.

Genre Specifications

Prose submissions: Manuscripts should be double-spaced. 1,500-7,000 words. All stories accepted for publication will be passed on to a judge as finalists for the $2000 Lawrence Prize. There is no additional fee for the prize beyond submission. The Judge for the 2021 Lawrence prize is Julie Buntin.

Poetry submissions: Please submit in between 3-6 poems in one document, not to exceed a total of 12 pages. Poems published in MQR by early career writers (those who have not yet published a full-length collection) will be considered for the Page Davidson Clayton Prize

Translations: Please submit translations in the appropriate genre. Please include biographical information for both the author and translator.

MQR Online: Submit author interviews and book reviews. Submissions should not be longer than 3,000 words. Nonfiction submitted to the print publication may be considered for MQR Online.

MQR accepts mailed submissions from incarcerated individuals. Other submissions via mail, email, or fax cannot be accepted and will not be read.  If you are a writer for whom Submittable is not accessible please email us at mqr@umich.edu for information on how to submit. 


Goldstein Prize Open for Submissions: Nov 1–Dec 31 2022

The Goldstein Prize is awarded annually to a poem of exemplary quality submitted for consideration. One poem submitted for this prize will be awarded $1,000. All submissions will be considered for publication. The fee for submission is $20. This year’s judge is Ruth Behar.

Ruth Behar is the James W. Fernandez Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Born in Havana, Cuba, she has lived in Spain and Mexico and returns often to Cuba to build bridges around culture and art. She is a MacArthur Fellow, a Carnegie Corporation “Great Immigrant,” and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her acclaimed scholarly books include The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village, Translated Woman, The Vulnerable Observer, An Island Called Home, and Traveling Heavy. Other works include a bilingual book of poems, Everything I Kept/Todo lo que guardé; a documentary, Adio Kerida; the prize-winning young adult novels, Lucky Broken Girl and Letters from Cuba, and Tía Fortuna’s New Home, a children’s book on Sephardic Cuban heritage.

Jesmyn Ward Prize Open for Submissions: Nov 1–Dec 31 2022

The Michigan Quarterly Review has established this prize for fiction in honor of Helen Zell Writers’ Program alumna Jesmyn Ward and her significant contributions to the literary arts.  

One short story submitted for this prize will be awarded $2,000 and publication in MQR. All submissions for the prize will be considered for publication. The fee for submission is $25. This year’s judge is Desiree Cooper.

Desiree Cooper is a 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, former attorney, and Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist who writes extensively about racial and gender equality. Her debut collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, won numerous awards, including 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award. Cooper’s fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2018, CallalooMichigan Quarterly Review, The Rumpus, and River Teeth, among other publications. Her essay, “We Have Lost Too Many Wigs,” was listed as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2019. Her first children’s book, Nothing Special, is forthcoming from Wayne State University Press in 2022. After spending her 30-year career in Detroit, she now lives in the Virginia Beach area where she cares for her mother and three grandchildren. 


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