Writers’ Guidelines

The Geez project is a discussion among people of faith seeking social justice. Our readers and writers express this through art, activism, contemplation and a “more-grounded, inter-connected” approach to living.

What is “activism” for us? It is a creative critique of those in power and the structures that keep them there. This includes the promotion and embodiment of alternative practices that subvert the structures of power. In case you’re wondering, these problematic structures include things like patriarchy, racism, wealth concentration, police brutality, education for corporate success and global disparity.

Call for pitches

Before each issue we post a call for pitches. To be included on our writer’s email list please send a short note to that effect to stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org.

For the most recent call, see Geez 38 call for pitches on the topic Animals here.

Deadline: January 6, 2015

Down the road

Geez 39: Decolonization
We of European heritage inhabit colonized territory. Though none of us were involved in the original decimation of North America’s first peoples, our lifestyles perpetuate a colonial mentality. Brutal oppression and displacement has left high rates of poverty, incarceration, and health issues among Indigenous peoples, while we the settlers grapple to get ahead. This issue of Geez asks: How can settlers de-colonize?

Geez 40 and beyond
We’ve covered a lot of ground in the last ten years, but there are always more questions to ponder and more assumptions to debunk. Let us know what you’d like to see Geez tackle next. Some potential topics to get you thinking:

What does Blasphemy mean in post-Christian context? Some folks worship in stadiums funded by Big Oil, but would never say “Oh my God.” How can we get our priorities straight? Christian Zionism is still alive and well. Maybe that state sponsored tour of the Holy Land isn’t such a good idea after all. Overpopulation: Whose responsibility is it to control our species’ rampant growth? And finally, can the less-than-rational world of Fiction nudge us out of complacency?

Advice

Geez has both theme-related material and several departments (see below). Keep pitches brief, write the way you speak, tell us why your idea or story is important, indicate sources you plan to use and say something about why you are qualified to write this piece. If you already have a completed manuscript, poem, photo or design, feel free to submit it as well.

Experience in biking in traffic, inner-city gardening, peacefully dodging bullets in war zones and repeated efforts at contemplation are more important than whether or not you have been published before.

Preference given to: solid writing, the unchurched or outchurched, disparity, people with dirt under their fingernails (literally), atheist grandmothers, small-town skateboarders, corporate defectors and feminist parents.

Audience

Write as though your audience will include:

  • disgruntled children of hook-line-sinker conservative Christians
  • spirited activists
  • over-churched souls (who still believe the world needs some soulful change)
  • people who haven’t darkened a church door in years but can’t help but get drawn into the discussion of faith
  • those who feel an irresistible urge to downshift their lives

Cautions

Geez does not assume a church insider audience. If you’re Christian, only send your piece if your sharpest non-churched friend likes it. If your point can only be made using overtly churchy language, try again or send your article elsewhere.

Geez is an affront to hip Christianity. We’re not about cooling down faith so it is palatable for consumers of pop-culture. Geez is a wristband-free (unless the campaign is problematized as well), WWJD-free zone. (If you don’t know what WWJD stands for, you pass. Proceed safely to the next point.)

Ranting is important, but we don’t want to get bogged down in bitterness. We want to move beyond the raw rant to the holy mischief, on-the-ground change and visions for the future.

Departments

A good way to start writing for Geez magazine is with a piece in one of our departments. Send original stories or ideas for any of these:

News

Geez looks for under-reported stories on topics such as workers’ struggles, poverty alleviation, affluence reduction, nature preservation, Aboriginal issues, peacemaking, race relations, media concentration or independence, science and techno absurdities, queer issues, feminism, boundary crossing and the spiritual in everything. In most cases, but not all, there will be a connection — direct or implied — to a gospel of social justice. This could include the work of a religious group. Or your story could point to the neglect or misconduct done by churches and others. Length: 50-500 words

Culturosities

This is a soft news, arts-and-culture section, with agenda similar to what’s described above under News. Here we highlight fun, disturbing, creative, inspiring culture news. It does not have to relate to the theme of the issue, but it would be good if one or two elements did. An emphasis on public art and creative activism is prime. When making decisions, we refer to phrases such as “holy mischief in an age of fast faith,” and “for people on the fringes of faith.” Length: 50-500 words

Experiments

In this section we throw the spotlight on the actors and activists in the Geez community of readers. Look for personal stories of people putting words into action. Grand experiments are welcome (I bought nothing for a year), but a well-told mini-experiment is welcome too (I stopped to help a homeless woman crush her pop tins). There does not have to be an overt reference to faith, although of course that is welcome. Length: 50-500 words

Civil Disobedience

In this section we highlight social justice activism, especially civil disobedience (activism that intentionally breaks the law). At best, we cover under-reported stories of interest to activist-inclined Christians. Length: 50-500 words

Reviews

In this section we highlight movies, books, websites, magazines, zines or other cultural products that connect somehow to the “Geez agenda” (see topics mentioned under News above). Explain what cultural event or product makes you gag, wince, rejoice or exclaim. Length: 50-500 words

Poetry

We generally do not print unsolicited poetry, but we will read and consider poems that come our way. Send no more than two samples please, to poetry [at] geezmagazine [dot] org.

Photos

Submissions are welcome. No large image files, please. Small, low res jpegs, or links to online galleries.

Pay

We’re non-profit but we do provide modest honorariums to contributors (especially those who depend on income from writing). We’re working toward paying contributors (and maybe even ourselves) reasonable rates once we’re more firmly established.

Logistics

Send manuscripts, queries, ideas to:

Editor, Geez Magazine
400 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3B 2M2,
Canada

or stories [at] geezmagazine [dot] org

Responses

Ideally we would like to respond personally to every piece of correspondence we receive. But given the number of submissions we receive — and having tried to respond to all — we realize it is just not possible. We will try to respond to as many as possible but if you do not hear back from us within six weeks assume that we were unable to use your submission.

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Geez Magazine | 400 Edmonton Street | Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | R3B 2M2 | (204) 942-1058