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Common Lives/Lesbian Lives

Sinister Wisdom is calling for submissions for a special issue rooted in and inspired by the quarterly Common Lives/Lesbian Lives.

Published by lesbians in Iowa City, IA from 1980 to 1996, CL/LL was born in response to Sinister Wisdom’s call for more lesbian periodicals because of a lack of our own media. Its mission was to reflect the complexity and richness of the lives of ordinary lesbians--women who have always struggled to survive and create a culture for ourselves.
CL/LL was committed to reflecting lesbian diversity by soliciting and printing lesbian work expressing varieties of ethnicity, color, background, education, size, age, physical ability, class, and culture. We felt responsible to ensure access to women whose lives had traditionally been denied visibility and to encourage lesbians who had never before thought of publishing to do so.

Today, 26 years since the last issue of Common Lives/Lesbian Lives and 40 years since its first, Sinister Wisdom is planning a tribute issue to the magazine. While committed to publishing new work (deadline March 31 2022), the issue will also feature articles and visual art chosen from the historic CL/LL issues.

Call for Original Writing and Art:

The Common Lives/Lesbian Lives tribute issue will feature current, fresh and challenging work by writers and artists who respond to this call for fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art.
Check out our Common Lives / Lesbian Lives resources and Common Lives / Lesbian Lives’s archive for more information and inspiration.

Submit to Sinister Wisdom

Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2022
Any questions can be sent to

"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

“And the metaphorical lenses we choose are crucial, having the power to magnify, create better focus, and correct our vision.”
― Charlene Carruthers

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

“It’s revolutionary to connect with love”
— Tourmaline

"Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught."

― Leslie Feinberg

“The problem with the use of language of Revolution without praxis is that it promises to change everything while keeping everything the same. “
— Leila Raven