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July 13, 2009

Call For Submissions!


Reading Period: July 15 - December 1, 2009

What do we want?
Send us your best work, of course. But send us your best work befitting the spirit of dislocate. Tear us out of our cushiony comfort zones. Ignore "no trespassing" signs; push the limits of form, genre, and subject matter. Dissolve extant boundaries and suggest new ones. Make us question our beliefs about what writing can and cannot do. Give us a little pain with our pleasure. Don't confuse us. Enthrall us, engage us, surprise us. Be innovative and experimental with your ideas, form, and process. In short, blow our minds.

Click here for full submission guidelines.

In addition to sending regular submissions (in poetry, prose, creative nonfiction, and our new "everything else" category), we hope you'll enter this year's contest, "The Contaminated Essay," 1st prize $400.


Your essay may be about contamination...
To render impure by contact or mixture; to corrupt, defile, pollute, sully, taint, infect.

Contamination may be on a dramatic, mortal scale: smallpox-infected blankets; a nuclear meltdown; an outbreak of hallucinogenic rye fungus. It may be dramatically personal: the way love or a bad relationship infects a person. It may be banal and devastating: the drip drip water torture of a life based on lies, the unwitting and deadly inhalation of asbestos over the course of years.

Contaminate's root is the Latin word tangere, "to touch," and contamination usually refers to "touch that makes bad." But there are ways that elements become stronger as a result of corruption: steel gets stronger when tempered in extreme heat, and chemotherapy purifies the body by nearly destroying it. In literature, stories are retold and recontextualized in an endless and productive series of contaminations. Perhaps, even, the limit toward which we speed is for every sphere of life to be contaminated by every other sphere. The question looms: How do people survive, and even thrive, within this contamination? You need not answer this question directly. But let the question contaminate your work.

Your essay may be contaminated in form...
What happens to the essay when we contaminate it with heterogeneous elements? You might add photographs or screenshots from a PowerPoint presentation. You might mix up formal conventions, and make the piece extremely short, or especially lyric. You might transcend generic boundaries and integrate elements of fiction or poetry.

You may contaminate your process...
Write under the influence of giardia, or in traffic jams, or in the presence of small, demanding children, and find ways to incorporate those impositions into your text.

Length: Up to 3,000 words; fewer is fine

Deadline: December 1, 2009

Contest Fee: $15 (includes at 1-year subscription to dislocate)

1st Prize: $400, publication in dislocate #6, and 4 contributor copies

All entries will be considered for publication in dislocate.

Click here for full submission guidelines.