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Taking Submissions: Semi-Colonic Irrigation

April 30, 2016


Deadline: April 30th, 2016
Payment: 10 cents a word

Ever spotted a semi-colon tattoo? Nope? Well, if you ever do, just know that the individual has likely survived suicide – or is perhaps wearing a permanent tribute to a loved one.

They’re wearing a STORY. A story of survival, a symbolic punctuation of life. A portrait of struggle, a pause to think about mental illness. A life, not yet over, unready to be finished; a book, awaiting its next chapter.

I know how depression feels. I know how events can spiral out of control, with one piece of shitty news after another. I know how smallstuff rapidly becomes bigthings. And I know just how easily a camel’s back breaks.

This anthology, SEMI-COLONIC IRRIGATION, is in aid of as-yet-undetermined charities. We’re initially looking to raise funds for counselling services and those who offer support to survivors.

As it’s a charity anthology, we shouldn’t be paying our contributors, right? Wrong. This is where we get to mess with tradition. Now, I am not suggesting that publishers of ALL charity anthologies *should* pay their writers, it’s just something I’m personally choosing to do because I believe writers are worth it. So get over it.

The main charity aspect of this book, the donation we shall be making, is AWARENESS. We could help someone with this book. We could save a life – just the one. And that, my friends, is priceless. If we raise a tenner or even ten grand, that’s a bonus. We can’t give a greater gift than a part of ourselves.

We’ve already been inundated with fabulous pieces – some of which we’ve accepted. Some guys and gals have refused payment, or offered reprints for free. In one case, I’m doing a full edit on a novel in exchange for a story that I just had to have. So, as you can see, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to this ‘un – feel free to barter!

Shouldn’t I wait until all subs are received before making decisions? Nah -screw that. I’m WINGING this – I don’t do protocol, I don’t do rules. If you send me something I absolutely MUST HAVE, I shall impart my decision as soon as I’ve read the thing.

The same applies to rejections. If your piece doesn’t suit the anthology, I’ll say so…but I’ll say why. Please don’t expect NICE, though. That’s not to say I’m a horrorbag, but I’m just warning ya: I’M HONEST. No bushbeatin’ to be seen here. Themz the rules – if you wanna stay in the kitchen, you gotta handle the heat (or something like that).

The book shall be self-published. Get over that, too. Because, like charity anthologies, self-publishing is somewhat frowned upon. It’s the content – and the heart of the book -that matters to me.

I’m seeking a mixture of fiction and non-fiksh. And there shall be a brief introduction thus: SOME OF THESE STORIES ARE TRUE. Ambiguity is the order of the day – because we want the reader to THINK…to consider their own social footprint – is there anything they could do to help? Do they know the warning signs? What should they do? Is there anywhere THEY can go for advice?


I’ve never been arsed about book *sales, or motivated by awards. I’m serious about the art. To that end, I need wordstuff that LEAPS OUT AT ME. I want touching. I want raw. I want real, gritty, dirty, emotional, horrible, beautiful stuff.

*Sales would be nice, though, especially considering the charity aspect (100% of proceeds shall be donated straight to charity). BUT, I do expect my contributors to plug away and share the living shit out of the thing.

Give me poetry. Give me prose. Give me poetic prose or proseful poetry. Plays. Essays. Anything and all of it. I want you to think so far outside the box that you weren’t even in the forest where the trees were felled that made the cardboard.

The brief is this: your piece must be on the subject of depression, mental illness, and/or suicide (survival or otherwise). Don’t worry about your piece being depressing/dark as hell, we’re not looking to offer trite inspirational bollocks here. We’re quite simply looking for REAL. To help people living with mental illness know that they are not alone. To break down barriers and shake taboos off for good.

Give us FICTION, or NON. Give us autobiographical accounts, or anecdotal stuff you heard down the pub when you were a bit pissed. I don’t care, as long as your wordiness punches me in the heart. Do it via comedy, even. Irony/satire/out-and-out sarcasm are all welcome here.

And please – don’t tell me which category your submission falls into. I don’t wanna know if it’s a true story, I just want warm VOICES to which the reader will listen.

This ‘ere bookie pays 10 cents a word. If ya want payin’, please submit originals only, please – no spondoolies for reprints.

Send your subs in double-spaced loveliness, Arial or Times New Roman point 12 (well, anything apart from that hideous COMIC CRAP typeface will do). Don’t worry TOO much about formatting ’em – it’s the words wot count.

SPEAKING of words and counting, please limit your piece to 5k.

***Please give extra thought to your opening paragraph. If I’m not hooked, I probably won’t get past page one***


Once all subs are accepted, a Kickstarter campaign will be launched. That may seem like an arse-about-tit way of doing things – but make no mistake, this book will be published ANYWAY, even if I have to offer myself up for medical experiments to pay you guys (it’ll just take longer that way, that’s all).


Subs to be in by 30 April 2016, folks.
Outcomes by 31 May, or ad-hoc if sooner (see above).
Payment on completion of contracts – which will be out by 30 June (or sooner: if I’ve got it, you can have it).

^Dates ‘n’ shit are subject to change at Ms. Semi-Colonic’s discretion (i.e, if the medical experiment thing has to happen).


These are YOUR stories and as such, you own ’em and can do what you like with ’em. If you wanna republish, that’s fine – just at least have the courtesy to wait until this thing’s gone to press. Cheers.

Submit by email to: [email protected]

P.S: Swearing is definitely permitted. Just in case you were wondering.

Via: Liberate Tutemet.


April 30, 2016