January 2020 issue: Roots
Opens for submissions 5/20/2019 and closes for submissions 8/20/2019.
Roots: /ru: ts/ origin: late Old English rōt, from Old Norse rót ; related to Latin radix, also to wort. Noun. 1. The part of a thing attaching it to a greater, or more fundamental whole; the end or base. 2. The origin of something; family, cultural, or ethnic origins; a scion or descendant.
‘Among the great struggles of man-good/evil, reason/unreason, etc.-there is also this mighty conflict between the fantasy of Home and the fantasy of Away, the dream of roots and the mirage of the journey.’
― Salman Rushdie‘He needed his roots. There is a place in the world where we are born, where we learn our mother tongue and discover how our ancestors overcame the problems they had to face.
He needed wings too. They reveal to us the endless horizons of the imagination, they carry us to our dreams and to distant places. It is our wings that allow us to know the roots of our fellow men and learn from them.’
― Paulo Coelho‘I’m not sure which matters more—where the seed comes from, or where it takes root and grows.’
― Zetta Elliott
For this issue–the first of our four quarterly collections in 2020– we have chosen the theme of ‘roots’ and are especially interested in travelogues that explore the concepts of rootedness and rootlessness, home and homelessness, the wanderer who moves from place to place with no end in sight and the traveler who seeks to find themselves or their histories on their journeys. Belonging. Immigration. Displacement. Familial ties broken or discovered. Connections to cities, landscapes, and peoples reaching back to one’s beginnings–or the solitary traveler who leaves that all behind. For this call we will not accept queries or pitches, only completed works previously unpublished, with the exception of photography essays or book excerpt selections. Please see our FAQ and Submissions page for more information, and for specific sections and submission length and information, read on below.
Sections open to the public for the Roots issue:
Note: we have chosen the American South as our featured location for the Roots issue. While we will publish a multitude of works from many places, we will also feature several works on this region. If your essay, imagery, or poem features the American South, please make a note of it in your email when you send in your work.
Travel memoir: we seek works of nonfiction travel memoir with a strong narrative arc, about traveling home or elsewhere.1500 to 6000 words. Please send completed works to Editor-in-Chief Amy Gigi Alexander. Include a short bio and introduction to your work in your email to email@example.com, and title email Roots/Travel Memoir.
Travel fiction: we seek works of fiction around the specific theme of ‘imaginary journeys/roots.’ Fictional works must include a journey to a place and hybrid works [a blending of fiction and nonfiction] will be considered as well as experimental works. We do not currently publish science fiction, but we are open to earth-land-sea -air fantastical journeys of any kind, as long as they are travelogue style and modeled on traditional journeys. 1500-3000 words. Please send completed works to Fiction Editor Vimi Bajaj. Include a short bio and introduction to your work in your email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and title email Roots/Travel Fiction.
Triptych: we seek three works on Miami, either by writers who live in Miami or who have traveled there. We are particularly interested in works by writers of color for this section, which features three perspectives by three different writers traveling a single place. 1500 words. You may email us if you have questions about this section or are an emerging writer of color who wishes to write a piece about Miami. Please send completed works or questions to Senior Editor Ernest White II. Include a short bio and introduction to your work in your email to email@example.com, and title email Roots/Triptych Miami.
Travel poetry: we seek poetry with a strong travel narrative. 1-2 pages. Please send completed works to Poetry Editor David Ishaya Osu. Include a short bio and introduction to your work in your email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and title email Roots/Poetry.
Book excerpt: we seek a book excerpt with a strong travelogue and roots theme, although it need not be a travel book. We will reprint one chapter of the text in the roots issue, and prefer an upcoming or recent book already published. You may email the Editor-in-Chief Amy Gigi Alexander about your book and its correlation to the theme before arranging the text to be sent, at email@example.com, and title email: Roots/Book Excerpt.
Psychogeography: we seek works of psychogeography that blend landscapism and sense of place or placelessness with traveling to either find one’s roots or lose them. Experimental works are especially welcome, traditional travelogue format is not essential. 1500-3000 words. Please send completed works to Editor-in-Chief Amy Gigi Alexander. Include a short bio and introduction to your work in your email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and title email Roots/Travel Psychogeography.