Monday, April 12, 2010

Two Opportunities


SOFFA Anthology Call for Submissions

The editors of a new anthology call for submissions on the experiences of significant others, family members, friends and allies (SOFFAs) of transgender and/or gender variant individuals. The feelings, emotional processes and experiences of those in relationships with transgender and/or gender variant individuals are seldom acknowledged. That’s why this anthology is so important as a resource and an educational book. This particular call seeks quality “think-alouds” that are reflections on the experience of being in a relationship with a transgender and/or gender variant loved one.

Our vision for the anthology is not solely focused on partners, but the transitional experiences of those in relationships with transgender persons.

We are interested in personal narratives, stories and reflections from significant others, family members, friends, allies, co-workers, teachers, medical professionals and clergy who are in relationships with transgender and/or gender variant individuals. Give us your inner dialogues, theories, practices, joys, coming-out stories, challenging moments and transformative events. We are seeking a multiplicity of voices tackling the intersections of relationships and transgender and/or gender variant identities with sexuality, race, religion, spiritual affiliation, socio-economic status, ability, etc.

We are looking for thoughtful and authentic responses of 1,500-6,000 words. Only respectful submissions will be considered; however, we expect pieces to document a range of experiences and emotions including confusion, joy, frustration, pain, happiness, identity struggles, fear, anger, anxiety and love.

Submissions must be sent as Word files with text in 12 point Times New Roman font and should be previously unpublished, 1,500-6,000 words in length and typed double-spaced. You may submit multiple pieces. All submissions must include a 55-65 word biography to appear in the contributors’ notes section if your work is accepted. No previously published or simultaneously submitted material without prior approval.

Please send submissions to Include your name, pseudonym if you have one you wish to use, address, phone number, email and bio you would like to appear in the book if your selection is chosen for publication. Put your name and the title of the piece in the subject field of the email.

This anthology is slated to be published by Homofactus Press in 2012. Final contributors will receive a one-time $25.00 payment and one complimentary copy of the final publication. Final contributors may also purchase books at a 40% discount.

The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2010.

The editors and longtime friends, Cameron Thomas Whitley and Eleanor A. Hubbard, Ph.D. have extensive personal and professional experience with the transgender and/or gender variant community. Cameron, who transitioned during his undergraduate career, is currently seeking a graduate degree in sociology at Michigan State University. While working on his undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado, Cameron founded a student support/social group for transgender and gender non-conformers. He has served as a board member for several non-profit organizations advocating for transgender awareness and equality. Utilizing his passion for social awareness and trans issues, he has presented at several national conferences and been published in a collection of anthologies.

Eleanor A. Hubbard, a retired Senior Instructor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has taught about trans and gender variant issues for over 20 years. She was renowned for her courses relating to the intersections of sex, gender, sexuality, race and the media. She is also the Founder and CEO of DiversityWorks, providing training and consulting on diversity issues in the workplace. Eleanor and Cameron joined forces to create this resource as they both recognized a gap in the literature to help significant others, family members, friends and allies come to terms with the transition or gender non-conformity of a loved one.

Grant Opportunity

The Northampton Arts Council, Inc. is once again running a special, locally supported arts grant round. This spring the Arts Council will be awarding up to $20,000. This money was raised at last summer's Transperformance 19: LookStock and the recent Four Sundays in February '10 series. These grants are available to area writers, painters, photographers, sculptors, musicians, filmmakers, schools, and all other creatives and arts organizations for projects held in Northampton.

Guidelines and applications are available via our website: and can be downloaded as PDFs. Using the PDF application, one can complete it on a computer. (No more struggling to find a typewriter!) Hard copies of the guidelines and applications will be available in Northampton at the Forbes Library, Guild Art Supply, Northampton Center for the Arts, APE at Window, and the office of the Northampton Arts Council, Room 5, 240 Main Street.

The Northampton Arts Council will hold an informational meeting regarding the grant process at the Dynamite Space, Thornes Marketplace (basement level), Northampton on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 from 6pm-7:30pm.

Introduction: We're all in this Together

I never knew that a poetry website could make me so angry that I’d feel compelled to make a blog opposing it. But Planet Poet is just such a place I joined it about a week ago. Although they offer free membership, I was actually considering upgrading to a paying membership. It’s less than $100.00 for your entire life. Considering how much I like poetry, it seemed like a good deal.

The website is based on the premise that you earn points for entering contests, reading other people’s materials, maintaining a blog, and generally being a member of the writing community. You can spend points creating your own contests or having someone review your poetry. Again, especially for free this is not a bad deal.

The problem with the site that I begin to have is that I’ve found out that it’s not for the actual enjoyment and expansion of poetry as a pursuit or job. It’s all about making money for this one person. He doesn’t want you to post links to other poetry sites. In fact, you get in trouble if you do this. Therefore, I’ve decided not to become a paying member of his site. I assume it’s a him because his Internet name is PirateKing, but you can never tell about gender on the Internet.

At first, I thought I was only going to revoke my own membership and complain in my personal blog. But, as I learned at the Civil Liberties and Public Policy conference at Hampshire College this weekend, too often artists and progressives only rail about what’s wrong with the world. We never talk about what we would like to see instead.

So instead of complaining about this one person’s wrong headed artistic vision (in my opinion) I decided to start this blog creating the kind of poetry community I envisioned. That is one where you’re more than welcome to share any publication, website, grant, or other opportunity that you find out about. In this case, I truly believe a rising tide lifts all boats.

Sure, there may be a little more competition for a particular grant but if we all share resources we will all become better poets and better people. I don’t want to live in a world where I must guard my meager artistic opportunities from anyone else.

What we need is more arts funding and not fewer artists competing. If I win, I want to know I won because everyone had an opportunity to apply. That makes losing better too. At least I’ll know I lost to good people.

So I invite you and everyone you know to go on this sharing journey with me. If you hear about an opportunity, please post it in the comments. For my part, as moderator, I will try to review submitted opportunities in order to make sure my readers are not getting scammed. Of course, no guarantees. Buyer be ware. I hope that you will contribute to this site and tell your friends about it. Let’s work on making a world that’s less jealous and more open minded. We can do it if we all work together. An old organizer friend of mine used to say, “Let’s build a world we can all thrive in instead of a world only some of us can survive in.” I know poetry isn’t the biggest deal in the world with homelessness, student loans, and many other issues to deal with but it’s a place to start building the world we want.

Please post your own poems and opportunities here! Share and share alike.