What we want:
-Broadly, we want poetry, flash fiction, and flash CNF inspired by one or more Bruce Springsteen songs.
-Specifically: We’d love fictional or poetic looks at the characters from various Springsteen songs—
Who is Bobby Jean? What is Mary thinking as she dances across the porch to a Roy Orbison song? Tell us about the girl twirling her baton who became an outlaw in “Nebraska,” about Terry hiding on the “Backstreets” that one soft, infested summer.
We’d also love poetry or prose (fiction or CNF) related to the following themes:
Hard times—loss/grief, unemployment, trauma, illness, a breakup, anything—if there was a Springsteen song that you (or a persona/character) connected with during a dark time in your/their life, tell us that story.
The American Dream as presented in Springsteen songs, particularly the ways in which it fails or has failed you/a character or persona.
Identity—did a Springsteen song (or songs) help you/a character or persona realize or connect with your gender identity, sexual orientation, cultural identity, or any other aspect of identity? Write about it!
-We are all for “weird” submissions. By that I mean—hybrid forms like prose poems and lyric essays? Send them in! Have a horror, sci-fi, magical realist, or spec-fic flash or poem inspired by a Boss tune? Heck yes, we wanna read it!
-We will give consideration to all submissions. However, we are especially interested in including work by/that centers the experiences of writers of color/BIPOC, writers who are immigrants to the U.S. or whose parents immigrated here before they were born*, Indigenous/Native American/First Nations writers, disabled writers, LGBTQ+ writers, and women.
*We are, of course, open to writers from/living in any country, not just the U.S/North America.
What we don’t want:
-Gratuitous violence, gore, or sex. We’re not interested in censorship, and if any of those things are integral to your piece, that’s fine! But if it reads like erotica, or splatterporn, we won’t publish it.
-Racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, or any other kind of bigotry. Again, we’re not interested in censorship—if you or your character experiences bigotry in the course of a piece, that’s much different than if your piece is bigoted.
-Reviews! This is a creative writing anthology inspired by Springsteen’s songs, not a collection of music criticism about Springsteen.
The nitty gritty:
-For poetry, send 1-3 poems. Poems can be any length, but we’re less likely to choose a poem longer than, say, five pages.
-For fiction or CNF, send 1-3 pieces. Maximum word count for prose is around 2000 words. If it’s slightly over, we’ll still consider it, just please don’t send us a 5000 word story or essay. We don’t have the space!
-Please, no directly quoted song lyrics, due to copyright laws. A few words pulled from a song here and there are fine, but use common sense. If you want to know more about Fair Use practices, this is a good place to start.
-Previously published pieces are fine, as long as you retain the copyright and/or have permission to reprint.
-Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
-You may submit to as many genres as you wish, but please send each submission in a separate email (i.e. one for poetry, one for fiction, one for CNF). If your work is a hybrid form, you may note that in your cover letter, but please choose the category it fits best in when composing your subject heading. Please, only one submission per category per author. (So, three submissions max per author, for a total of 3-9 pieces submitted.)
How to submit:
-Send 1-3 poems or prose pieces to [email protected]. Subject: Bruce Springsteen anthology_[Specify Poetry/Fiction/CNF]. Please attach the work as a .doc or .docx file, 12 point font (TNR or similar), single-spaced. In the body of the email, please include a short cover letter and a short third-person bio.
-We are also looking for cover art! If you’re a visual artist of any stripe who would be interested in working on this project, please send an email to [email protected]. Subject: Bruce Springsteen anthology_Cover Art query. Please include samples of your work, a short cover letter describing your interest in the project, and a short bio.
-The deadline for all submissions and cover art queries is June 30, 2019, at midnight PDT. Decisions will be made in July. The goal is to release the book on September 23, 2019 (The Boss’ 70th birthday!). If you have not received a response by August 1, feel free to query.
-Rights: For any written work (and cover art) that is ultimately chosen for the anthology, we ask for first printing rights, meaning that you won’t publish the work elsewhere until the anthology is released. (Obviously, if your piece has been previously published elsewhere, that point is moot.) After publication, the copyright will revert to you, and you will be able to publish it anywhere else you choose, though we ask that you acknowledge it previously appeared in this anthology. We also ask to retain the rights to publish or excerpt your work in promotional materials connected to the anthology and press, or in further print runs or digital editions of the anthology, in perpetuity.
-Compensation: each contributor will receive one contributor copy and an honorarium of $10, paid upon publication. Due to the nature of the press and budget, we can only offer payment once per contributor, even if said contributor has multiple pieces in the anthology. The cover artist will also receive one copy and $10.
-This book is being produced in association with Mythic Picnic. Follow Mythic Picnic on Twitter @MythicPicnic, and from April 7-14 enter V3 of the Mythic Picnic Tweet-Story Project.
“Open your ears and open your hearts. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and take yourself as seriously as death itself. Don’t worry. Worry your ass off. Have ironclad confidence, but doubt — it keeps you awake and alert. Believe you are the baddest ass in town, and, you suck!
It keeps you honest. It keeps you honest. Be able to keep two completely contradictory ideas alive and well inside of your heart and head at all times. If it doesn’t drive you crazy, it will make you strong.
Stay hard, stay hungry and stay alive.”
(& send us yr stuff!)