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Quills Edge Press calls for chapbooks from women aged 50+ for their 2015 competition!

Head to their website for more information and how to submit!

Theme: To Inhabit
Judge: Mary Ann McFadden
Dates: 11/01/2015 – 01/31/2016

Welcome to the QuillsEdge Press – Indispensable Poetry by Women Over 50. Our 2nd annual chapbook competition opens November 1st, 2105, judged by Mary Ann McFadden

Our 2015 theme is To Inhabit– a body, a landscape, an ecosystem, a dream, a time, a nightmare, a fantasy, a place, a past, a future. Write an embodied, em-placed life and bring us with you!

We are looking for poetic voices that challenge us, stun us, give us pause and palpitations. We are open to any style: lyrical, narrative, form, prose poem or experimental innovations and new mixes. We want to read, hear and be moved to wonder, laugh and cry as we discover your individual threshold. We applaud both the sensitive and the strident.

Submission Guidelines
Submissions open November 1st, 2015. This year we’re using Submittable. Our page goes live on November 1st.

You are eligible to enter if:
1. You are a woman (We respect gender self-definition. See our website for more information.)
2. You are, as of the entry date, aged 50 or older
3. You either may or may not have published any other book or chapbook – either is okay. We’ll get every manuscript a thorough reading, and we welcome writers who are, like both of us, late bloomers.

Manuscript Requirements
1. Your manuscript should not have been published previously. Individual poems may be previously published.
2. Your manuscript should be 16-30 pages.
3. Multiple submissions are accepted, with a separate reading fee.
4. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please let us know immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere. We really mean this – every manuscript will be read by at least two readers, all volunteers, who take every work seriously. If your manuscript is out of the running we need to know.

Contest Fees
1. The fee to enter the competition is $15.00
2. Because we actively support diversity in poetry and publishing, we are offering a contest fee of $5.00 for self-identified Women of Color, including Black, Latina, Asian/Pacific Rim, Indigenous women, and others.
3. For an extra $10 you can choose to receive either a winning chapbook from the 2015 contest OR one of the chapbooks we just published from our 2014 “On the Edge” contest
4. For an additional $25.00 you can receive a personal one page to two page review of your manuscript from one of our QuillsEdge staff, Board Members, or authors.

The winner will receive 10 copies of the chapbook free, and will be able to buy additional copies at a 50% discount. Books will be staple bound with full color covers, premium paper, and careful attention to detail.

Winners will become part of the QuillsEdge Press community, and will be asked to participate as a reader for future competitions and to contribute short chapbook reviews of other women poets to our website. Our goal is to build a community for women writers over 50.

If the winner is able to travel at her own expense to the East Coast, readings can be set up in either New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania. Finalists who can travel at their own expense to either of these locations may also be invited.

1st Round of Judging: Manuscripts with names attached will be read by QuillsEdge Press authors and Board members. 8-10 finalists will then be forwarded to the contest judge, Mary Ann McFadden, for final determination.

2nd Round of Judging: Anonymous read and final determination by the contest judge.

Conflicts of Interest: Current or former students, faculty, staff, or administrators affiliated with the Drew University MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation are ineligible. Close friends, relatives, students, and former students of any of the Judge and QuillsEdge Press staff and board members are ineligible. Initial readers for the contest will include QuillsEdge authors; readers will not be assigned work by any poet they know.

Formatting Guidelines

This year we will only be accepting online submissions.
1. Include two cover sheets, one with your name and contact information and one without.
2. The manuscript itself must NOT contain any identifying information.
3. Do NOT include acknowledgments.
4. Manuscripts must be paginated and have a table of contents.
5. Please include a short bio in the “cover letter” field.
6. If you encounter any problems, please email us at

Submit through the Submittable link on website.

Submit to Rain & Thunder!

Learn more about Rain & Thunder and support this sister publication!


Bone Shackles Press

Broken Shackles Press, a non-profit community publishing house for marginalized voices of liberation, is pleased to announce a call for submissions with a tentative deadline of Dec 31st, 2015 for its inaugural year of titles in 2017.

Please visit for detailed information about our philosophy, submissions process, community publishing model, and our founding members.

Email if you have any questions, want more information, or just want to make a friend.

We are a community publishing endeavor committed to bringing marginalized voices of liberation out into the world via the written word. We want to do this by working with and building a community of writers, readers, and organizers with lived experiences of oppression and struggles for social, political, economic, and environmental justice. We aim to publish and promote these books by working together, being invested in each other’s success as much as our own, and ultimately standing in solidarity with each other. Our aim is to bring out a number of such books annually in order to establish an ever-growing and evolving platform for marginalized voices of liberation who are ignored by mainstream publishing houses, large and small.

After a couple of trial runs with community publishing, negotiating multiple hurdles and humbling lessons along the way, we’re ready to open submissions for our inaugural set of titles planned for 2017. As already mentioned, the deadline for submissions is Dec 31st, 2015, and will be an annual, rolling deadline with Dec 31st of each year being the deadline for titles two years hence.

The number of titles depends on the number of submissions we get. We want to be flexible and open to different possibilities. We hope to have either quarterly or bi-monthly releases of titles depending on the number of submissions.

Please see the website for further details and forward this call for submissions far and wide.

Finally, as part of our launch and as a simple gesture of solidarity, we are pleased to say that a free e-book version (pdf/mobi/epub) of the debut novel written by one of our founding members will be made available to all who get in touch with us.

In the meantime, we wish you much peace, freedom, and happiness.

Broken Shackles Press

Oppression is defeated when marginalized voices of liberation are heard



Independent Best American Poetry Nominations

Sinister Wisdom is pleased to nominate three poems for the Independent Best American Poetry Award.
The three poems nominated are:
“Ese Pateria” Geny Cabral (from Sinister Wisdom 97)
“Juanita Does: One Night in Richmond” Cathy Arellano (from Sinister Wisdom 97)
“After Marriage” Tricia Asklar (from Sinister Wisdom 97)

Congratulations to Geny Cabral, Cathy Arellano and Tricia Asklar!

Thank you to Didi Menendez for initiating the project!

2015 Pushcart Prize Nominations from Sinister Wisdom

Sinister Wisdom is pleased to nominate six pieces from the four issues of Sinister Wisdom published prior to December 1, 2015 for the 2015 Pushcart Prize.

The six pieces are:

“Para la Kathy de Colusa” by Cherríe L. Moraga
“Sailing to Mytilene” by Diane Furtney
“My Mother’s Gifts” by Elana Dykewomon
“So That You Will Hear Me” by Bessy Reyna
“A Great Big Woman of Color Tent” by Merril Mushroom
“Metafiction” by Maureen Seaton

Congratulations to all of the writers! Fingers crossed that one or more will be selected for a Pushcart Prize this year!

PDFs of all of the nominations are here.

Rainbow Williams Reviews Sinister Wisdom 93!

We are so honored to share this review of SINISTER WISDOM Issue 93, Southern Lesbian Feminist Herstory, 1968-94 from Rainbow Williams, SW contributor and member of Old Lesbians Organizing for Change!


Excuse me while I puff a bit. SINISTER WISDOM magazine has published Southern Lesbian Feminist Herstory, 1968-94, edited by Rose Norman and Merrill Mushroom.
It’s thick and juicy, and I’m devouring it. Lots of FLORIDA, the birthplace GAINESVILLE, 1968, when Judith Brown (who I met once when she visited Nancy Breeze) and her partners, Kathie Sarachild and Carol Hanisch, who wrote the FORMULA of Consciousness Raising: sit in a Circle, go around one at a time, speak from your heart. The fully democratic method that led us into TRUTH in 1968.

I was about to “come out” 1969, in an Orlando suburb, where I would join NOW and find it too straight to suit my overnight LESBIAN sensation. It took 36 years for me to get there, but then I stuck. I loved to travel weekends to Gainesville, where they had a vibrant community that I could soak in. Many were also taking strength from the beach community, Pagoda, where 12 cottages by the sea inspired one of the first Lesbian Lands. The first was North Forty, twenty minutes outside Gvle, where in 1972 a few bought some pineywoods and began to build their own domes and trailers and such. Amazingly, there are still some of the orginals there. Corky, Dore, Pat, Rockstar, and others. THERE MUST BE SOMETHING IN THE WATER, thought Ponce De Leon all those years ago. And Lesbian Feminists are living proof. Fed by the University of Florida, who hired some great thinkers, mainly in the Child Psychology Dept, such as Bylly Avery, Margaret Parish, and Judith Brown, who created the Womens Health Center, and taught the Shans Hospital Doctors how to treat women. The BIRTH CENTER was where you could find the Heart of Dixie Dykes. I met many of them on the PEACEWALK of 1983-4, from Gainesville to KeyWest. A parade of scraggly dedicated protestors who had bonded in jail, six JANE DOES who refused to give their names and learned how to meditate together and plan further actions, LEAP 1 and 2, and on and on. Many went to WOMONWRITES every summer practice their skills. 1979 was the first. This is the birthplace of the idea of the Herstory, and SINISTER WISDOM magazine has agreed to publish number 93.
In these pages, I find old friends like Corky Circledance, a published poet, and PHD. So is Ronni Sanlo, PHD, and published and publisher. Attorney Garnett Harrison.
FIERY FEMINISTS from FLORIDA who fired the shot heard round our world.

HOW PROUD AM I? Bust a gut!

I hope you will read it too, sooner the better."

Find this powerful issue here: and keep sharing the love!

Voices de Queer Femmes--Call for Participants

Check out this unique opportunity for publication!

SEEKING SUBMISSIONS from Lesbian, Queer, and Trans Women of color who identify or present as FEMME!

BE LOUD AND PROUD Or quiet and demure but either way LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!!!!
You are invited to participate in an anthology of our voices, a space to express how you navigate life as a Lesbian, Trans or Queer Identified Femme!

This call for submissions will culminate in the printed publication of Voices de Queer Femmes.
We are open to *all types of submissions (including original visual art, poetry, song lyrics, and mixed media)*, but we're particularly interested in poetry, personal narratives/essays, creative non-fiction, and social commentary submissions. If you are submitting art work or photographs please ensure a high resolution scan, if you need assistance with scanning we can help you.

Please feel free to submit work that might need a little work. Experienced editors are available to work with you if you are committed to a piece but feel it is not quite ready for publication.

Deadline for Submissions is December 31st, 2015

Submission Guidelines:

Opinion pieces/social commentary: 500-700 words
Personal essays: 700-1400 words
Poetry: 3 poems or no more than 1000 words
Photography: At least 3 images emailed in high resolution jpeg, pdf, or png files
Submissions should be in Microsoft Word, one-inch margins

Send your submission to with the subject line as follows:
Voices de Queer Femmes submission - [First Initial]. [Last Name]


Sinister Wisdom Fall Events

This fall is chock full of events celebrating recent issues of Sinister Wisdom and featuring amazing lesbian writers, poets, artists and activists. Please join us for an event in your community and help spread the word!

Friday, 11 September 2015 at 7:30 p.m., Reading to Celebrate Sinister Wisdom 98: Southern Landykes at Charis Books and More in Atlanta, GA. More information--and RSVP--available here.

Friday, 11 September 2015 at 7:00 p.m., Reading to Celebrate Sinister Wisdom 98: Southern Landykes at The CMC, next to Wild Iris Books, at 22 SE 5th Ave., (352) 375-7477.
Saturday, 12 September 2015 at 6 p.m., Reading to Celebrate Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians at Laurel Book Store in Oakland, CA. More information--and RSVP--available here.

Sinister Wisdom editor and publisher Julie R. Enszer will read at the Hobart Women's Book Festival on Sunday, September 13th at 12 noon. If you are in or around Hobart, NY, please come by and say hi to Julie--and join the whole book festival which looks incredible.

Thursday, 8 October 2015 at  7 p.m., Reading to Celebrate Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians at Bluestockings in New York City. More information--and RSVP--available here.

Friday, 9 October 2015 at 7:30 p.m., Elana Dykewomon reading at The White Rose, 284 High Street, Holyoke, MA. Join Elana to hear poems from What Can I Ask: New and Collected Poems 1975-2014 (Sinister Wisdom 96). More information--and RSVP--available here.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015 at 8 p.m., Elana Dykewomon reading a Womencrafts in Provincetown, MA. Elana will read from What Can I Ask: New and Collected Poems 1975-2014 (Sinister Wisdom 96) during Provincetown Women's Week. Make your plans to be there today. More information--and RSVP--available here.

Want to hold an event in your community? Organize one! Sinister Wisdom editor and publisher Julie R. Enszer is happy to work with you!


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"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

"Live your lives, honorably and with dignity."

Andrea Dworkin