Friday, July 11, 2008

Submission Guidelines for Gonzo Parenting

General Requirements:

* Submissions should be 300-1200 words. Longer works will be considered, if exceptional, but are not preferred.

* A cover letter is required. Please include a short biography, including how many children you have, your interests and at least one fascinating fact about yourself. Publication credits are not required, but if you've had something published that you are particularly proud of, feel free to share it! Please note, however, that we do not use previous publication as an assessment of the writer's ability. Unpublished writers do some of the best writing out there. Submitted manuscripts must stand on their own literary feet.

* We are willing to consider previously published work. We, ourselves, are writers, and believe that writers should get as much mileage out of their written efforts as possible. However, please note when and where your piece was previously published in your cover letter, and assure us that you retain the rights to the work.

* We will accept simultaneous submissions, if noted in the cover letter. Please indicate where the piece has also been submitted and a confirmation that you will inform us immediately and withdraw your submission if it is accepted elsewhere in the event that the other publication obtains conflicting rights to the piece.

* Our preference is for electronic submissions, pasted into the body of an email to gonzoparentingzine (at) yahoo (dot) com. Writer's name, address, telephone number and email address must appear in the email, and a brief cover letter should precede the submission. Send postal submissions to: Gonzo Parenting, P.O. Box 214, Chelan, WA 98816 ATTN: Christina-Marie Wright, Editor

* If we are considering your piece, we may ask for it as a Word (or .txt) document by email. If the submitter does not have access to email, we ask that this information be imparted in the cover letter. In these cases, we are happy to type submissions up and send the writer a proof of the manuscript by snail mail before publication.

* In this age of computer viruses, we cannot accept email attachments, unless we ask you for them. Unsolicited attachments will be deleted with haste and without remorse.

* Again, when submitting by email, open your message with your cover letter and paste the manuscript into the body of the email message. We're sorry to repeat ourselves, but this is important.

What we are looking for:

* We seek first-person experiential writing and essays on all aspects of parenting, but prefer pieces that have an edge or a humorous tone.

* We like our pieces to be raw and stripped naked, but value good writing above all else. Please send your best work. Conventions count - a firm grasp of grammar, punctuation and spelling is required. We don't like to have to reject manuscripts that have good content but poor composition. That being said, if we find a piece that we like but feel needs work, we will happily make editorial suggestions and return the manuscript with encouragement to resubmit.

* All submissions should be subjective and convey an emotional connection to the subject matter. We need to be able to connect with the writing on both an intellectual and emotional level in order for it to grab us.

* In regard to contributors, we really enjoy reading work by writers who are parenting "in the trenches." We'd like to hear the viewpoints of single parents, parents in prison, same-sex parents, parents raising children with special needs, non-custodial parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, otherwise "traditional" parents that are dealing with a unique issue… in general, parents who have a story to tell that won't bore the pants off of us.

* As to subject matter, we don't have any clear-cut requirements for content. We like to receive political pieces, provided that they are non-partisan and focus on how a particular issue affects families. We enjoy a good rant, provided that it does not defame or attack a particular group of people (we're looking for personal rants, not global ones). We like to hear how parents have solved a difficult problem. We enjoy commiserating with parents who feel they come up short in some imagined measure of parental perfection.

* When in doubt, err on the side of submission. Better to try us out than to keep your genius a secret! We welcome queries from those who seriously believe it is better to ask for permission, rather than grace.

What we are NOT looking for:

* Bashing. Interpret this as broadly as you like. We do not seek anti-religious, anti-gay, anti-Republican/Democrat/Libertarian/Socialist/whatever, anti-men/women, anti-abortion, anti-pro-life… We're just not that angry.

* Your political platform. If proposed legislation in your state seeks to impose additional licensing fees for your large people-moving vehicle, we're interested in hearing how it will affect your family. However, we are not interested in hearing about your position on lethal injection unless it relates to your family.

* Articles better suited for a glossy parenting magazine. Please do not send us your piece on how to choose a pediatrician unless you infuse it with your personal experience or quirky humor. Don't send us overly-researched technical pieces - our focus is on real life, real experiences, and real parents.

Rights we acquire and payment:

We acquire one-time North American rights. We also request a future option for anthology rights and electronic rights, in the event that compilation or online projects come to fruition.

Payment for publication is two contributor's copies.

Response time:


We try to respond to submissions in one to six weeks. Since the publishers are real parents living in the real world, sometimes it may be longer, but we sincerely try. If you don't receive a response in six weeks, shoot us an email or postal inquiry as to the status of your submission. We won't take it personally.

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