Photograph byJolka Igolka

A Landscape of Women's Stories

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Deadlines And Guidelines.

Just a reminder that our deadline is the 1st September. We are getting a few submissions which aren't following the guidelines so I'm re-posting them. PLEASE READ THEM. It's really problematic when we have to turn away writing because they don't conform to our word count requirements. Submission guidelines are a pain - I'm a writer and I know they can be tedious as ever to read but they serve an important function of maintaining even story lengths, pace and structure. They help us to help you.

Secondly, Tamara and I are based in New Zealand. Please don't just put in your country/state of origin as as DE or FL OR WA or SA. These mean nothing to us. If you are from the United States, tell us. If you are Scottish, living in Siberia - let us know. The reason is quite simple: we are hoping to obtain a broad demographic but in order to do so we need to know where you awesome writers are.


Mapping Me: A Landscape of Women’s Stories is an anthology of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, photography and artwork. Its objective is to explore the connections – the invisible threads – that exist between women across the globe. Our starting point is to place the most basic question of identity, “Who am I?” within the complexities of culture and ethnicity. How do women respond to motherhood, rage, loss, relationships and loneliness across cultures? Do we share the same concept of grief and sadness, joy and love? We ask the writers and artists to tell stories, which negotiate the demands placed upon everyday women by society. The goal of this project is the sharing of such stories that allow the readers to draw their own conclusions whether or not culture is a divisive state between women.


Mapping Me: A Landscape of Women’s Stories is about transcending the physical geography of our contributors as they map the internal landscapes of their lives. Our themes are those ‘points which connect us.’ While the female reality varies across countries, still we laugh and we cry. We may not personally understand the experience of arranged marriages, bound feet, or restrictions across checkpoints but we can understand a mother’s love, a daughter’s pain and a young girl’s giggle. Some of our themes explore the bonds between women, shifts in consciousness and experiences in extreme situations but all our stories are by women and their choices. Our objective is to breakdown the different stereotypes in an entertaining - and sometimes comical – way. This anthology gives voices a chance to be heard and the reader an opportunity to listen to positive female stories outside of tabloid global gossip.

Some Questions To Think About

So what does this mean for you? Well really, it is up to you. Some questions we have we been asking artists and writers to think about are:

1. Who are you? Are you a 'Culture' first or a 'Woman' first? What is your voice?

2. How do you negotiate the cultural and/or societal authorities that tell you to be thin, pretty, get married, have children, worship, obey/disobey, have a career, stay at home etc.

3. Do you have a burning story about an event, a lost love, heartbreak, arranged marriages, unarranged marriages, infertility, fertility, or even a bathroom cluttered with make up.

4. Do you want to express conflict? Family dynamics? Frustrations over rivalries, children, demands of home and work, silences, arguments, tension with extended

families. Do you have a story of revenge? Manipulation? Women are complex creatures and we are capable of great loving as well as great evil too. We are, of course, human.

5. Who do you see in the mirror each morning? How does your culture affect your body image? Does it? Do you fight against it? Do you buy into any stereotypes? Do you have a funny story to share. We are looking for humour too. This is not a grim book.


Please select a category and create a story, poem, creative non-fiction or artwork.

· Category 1. Stories of movement and motivation, restriction and escape.

· Category 2. Stories about food and nurturing.

· Category 3. Stories about, touch, love, sexuality or virginity.

· Category 4. Stories about self-image, judgments, perceptions and observation.

· Category 5. Stories about motherhood, family, marriage, fertility, birth.

· Category 6. Stories of laughter, fun, malice, viciousness.

Additional Guidelines

Please make sure your work conforms to the following guidelines:

· For round two, contributors’ literary works must be original and unpublished.

· You may submit as many works as you wish.

· Writer’s Word Count Guidelines

1. Short stories: no more than 1000 words
2. Creative non-fiction: no more than 1000 words
3. Poetry: 4 to 6 pieces.

4. Flash fiction - anything less than 500 words.

· Your work must be submitted as either an attachment in a rich text format (RTF) or a word document (doc). No PDF files or docx files, please! We simply cannot work with these file formats. Alternatively, you may paste your work in the body of the email. If your writing has a specific format, attach it as a file to the email.

Works can be submitted in your mother tongue. Please provide an English translation with your submission.

· Artwork Guidelines

· You may submit as many paintings, photographs or a mix of art and prose as possible. We accept JPG files (no JPF)

· Submit your work to Orchid Tierney and Tamara Azizian at

· Please provide a cover letter and include a short biography (no more than 50 words).

· Let us know under what categories you are submitting your works.

· Deadline is the 1st of September 2010

· Our reading period is 1 to 3 months

Please do not send links of your writing or artwork. We will not read them.


We regret that are unable to provide payment to contributors as this is a self-funded enterprise.

Any questions please contact us at

mappingme (at) gmail (dot) com or visit us at

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