Reviewing the submissions we received in response to our new editorial team’s first call, “The Liminal,” a call intended to take what is often thought of as “marginal” and place it at the centre of our issue and our reading and editing practices, we noticed both what was there—significant interest in the call, stellar submissions, and innovative writing—and what was missing.
We know Indigenous writers around the world are creating powerful work, but we received very few submissions from self-identifying Indigenous writers. We noticed a similar trend in recent contest submissions. So we asked ourselves: Are we doing enough to demonstrate our interest in supporting Indigenous writers and publishing their work? Can we do more?
Of course we haven’t done enough, and of course we can do more. Our four-person team, which includes editors of mixed Cree ancestry, has various initiatives underway—collaborations with Indigenous writing groups, writing workshops at Indigenous community centres, interviews with Indigenous writers, a Wikipedia edit-a-thon—but here’s the one that we’re implementing now: free contest entries for all self-identifying Indigenous writers.
From the Appropriation Prize to Canada 150, there has been no shortage of embarrassment this year. We believe Indigenous voices need to be heard, and we wish to stand behind these voices. We hope you’ll support this initiative.
PRISM international is offering free entries for self-identifying Indigenous writers to our Non-fiction Contest, judged by Alicia Elliott, which closes July 31st. We will also offer free entry to Indigenous writers for our upcoming poetry and fiction contests. Indigenous writers are invited to submit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline.
We ask that writers include: the title of their piece, the email associated with their free Submittable account (if they have or are able to create one), and their mailing address in the body of their email, with their submission (formatted according to our submission guidelines) as an attachment.
We also have a number of free entries to offer to low-income writers, and we encourage writers for whom the contest entry fee is prohibitive to contact us at email@example.com to arrange contest entry. As always, we encourage submissions from writers of colour, writers with disabilities, LGBTQQIA writers, and writers from other intersectional and marginalized groups.