Lucy Writers Presents Night / Shift
The child looks out towards a turquoise sky, towards a nocturnal haze as luminescent as the earthen tones within. Night hangs in the balance, taut as a hammock string, dark’s light pawing the room for answers. A female figure, alive and lithe like a candelabra, stands in the centre of the room. Her curves are more definitive than an hourglass; her tiny black feet equinoctially turned out. Another sits, translucent yet present; skin paler than moonlight, a small hand resting on a golden orb. Walls become windows become the hushed blue landscape. A wooden dresser rears up in feline alertness; a chair edges the scene. Mysterious and aglow, night nursery thrums with life.
In Night Nursery Everything (1947), artist Leonora Carrington reconceives night as a feminine – and feminist – time and space. Painted at the beginning of her exile in Mexico, Night Nursery Everything gestures to a confluence of lands, stages, roles and relationships, both in Carrington’s life and conceptually. Ingrained in its surface are figments of Carrington’s own childhood: hazy memories of her mother dressed for an evening soiree and bidding good night to the children; dim recollections of dark rooms belonging to the family home, Crookhey Hall, and its gothic environs. But Night Nursery also reimagines the early days of Carrington’s sojourn in Mexico; it recognises the artistic friendships – with the likes of Leonor Fini and Remedios Varo – that shaped her life; it celebrates, with careful circularity, the birth of her sons, her relationship to motherhood, and her reconfiguration of the domestic as a realm of creativity and painterly potential.
Most importantly, Night Nursery frames the indeterminacy of night. It captures night’s capacity to shift our sense of place, time and consciousness; to transgress boundaries and bodily limits, and upturn the rules, restrictions and regimes associated with day. With Night Nursery Carrington creates her own enchanting nocturne, one which situates womxn at its melodic core.
For Night / Shift, we at Lucy Writers want to close our eyes to the rituals of the day and open them wide to the possibilities, sites, moves, sounds and forms only visible by night. Using Carrington’s work as an entrance into this broad theme, we welcome writing – reviews, features, essays, creative non-fiction, (flash) fiction, poetry – and art work that explores night and its multiple shifts (liberating and otherwise) for womxn in particular. Is night, as Carrington suggests, a feminine and feminist zone in itself, one which subverts daily codifications and rethinks day’s conditions? Or is night – also known as Nyx in Greek mythology, the maternal goddess of death, darkness, strife and sleep – still a period of discord, a stretch of time that threatens as much as it frees?
Submissions are NOT limited to, but may fall under the following:
- Leonora Carrington’s contemporaries; Surrealist artists such as Dora Maar, Dorothea Tanning, Eileen Agar, Nusch Eduard, Frida Kahlo and others
- Mythological conceptions of night as represented in paintings, literature and performance across cultures and time
- Female types and tropes associated with the night (the witch, the werewolf, the succubus, the bleeding nun, La Llorona)
- Night “states” (dreams, insomnia, night horrors, hallucinations, lucid dreaming etc) and the psychoanalytical theories that relate to them
- Famous night sites and spots (night clubs, theatres etc.) such as Studio 54, CBGB through to The Roxy, Fabric & Heaven
- The politicisation of night through movements like ‘Reclaim the Night’
- The night in cinema (Film noire, horror, thrillers)
- Genres of music and the night: Metal, Jazz, Blues, Soul, House, Funk, Disco
- Work that historically involves womxn and often occurs during the night (nursing, midwifery, sex work, cleaning)
Send your ideas or submissions (complete with a 150-300 word bio and Jpeg image) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For all other inquiries write to: email@example.com
Lucy Writers Call for Poetry Submissions: The Flora and Fauna of Familiar and Foreign Places
Flora and fauna define our cultural sensibility; what trees and flowers we grew up with signifies ‘home.’ Transplant an individual to a foreign environment with strange trees and flowers, he or she is likely to feel ‘foreign’. Flowers are culturally specific in symbolism expressed in social events like weddings and funerals.
As a recent graduate of a Creative Writing MSt living in America, I’ve noticed that in addition to the gift of knowledge and friendships, my journeys to the UK have sparked an interest in flora. For the first time, I notice a passion to want to know the names of flowers and trees. Somewhere along the way between the limes of Trinity College and the walnut maple of Madingley Hall; between the splendid gardens of Rydal Mount and rolling vales of Cumbria, I’ve been infected with a green-eye. I walk in my Austin neighborhood now incited to know the names of the wildflowers and trees that I took for granted visually. And I notice, how this new world seeps into my writing gradually.
Right now, the bloom of summer is upon most countries. So, it seems perfect to celebrate flowers as a theme for the poetry issue. However as many countries transition into autumn, different colours, shades and sights of fauna are also visible. Send me your poetry exploring flowers, trees and Nature it all its dimensions. Lucy Writers’ editorial rules apply here:
We invite all submissions broadly around this theme, but we are also open to receiving pitches that counter or lie outside of it. However, Lucy Writers will always consider and very much welcomes work that is not directly related to our termly theme. Lucy Writers is an inclusive site for women and non-binary writers; we hope to be the place, room and home for your words, and welcome work by women and non-binary creatives of all backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities, irrespective of what stage you are at in your career.
Guidelines are simple:
Send 1-3 poems by 7th October, 2019 to: firstname.lastname@example.org. From short to long, but not epic-length. About 70 lines max. Query me if you have a brilliant poem that’s 71 lines and delivers to the theme. I am more than willing to read it.
If selected, I will ask for a bio, contact details and photo. Acceptance of submissions is at the discretion of the editors.
For all other enquiries contact: email@example.com
Usha Akella, Lucy Writers Poetry Editor
Lucy Writers Flash Fiction Competition in Collaboration with Retreat West & Byte The Book
Please note: the Lucy Writers Flash Fiction Competition is now closed for entries, but watch this space for future opportunities. Alternatively, we welcome creative writing submissions, pitches for articles and reviews throughout the year.
Send your creative writing submissions to our editor, Tilda Bowden, on the email address below. All other enquiries and ideas should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are looking for writers or aspiring writers* who would like to hone their flash fiction skills. This two-week online course offered by Retreat West (normally costs £125) and run by Retreat West founder, publisher and novelist, Amanda Saint, will help you create new work with daily writing and feedback sessions. The course runs from 3 – 16 June, and the deadline for entries is 24 May.
Send your 500-word flash fiction story on the theme of ‘Rebellion’ to our Creative Writing Editor, Tilda Bowden (email@example.com), or the LWP email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). The winner will be notified by 29 May.
The winner will have their submission published on the Lucy Writers site, in addition to a piece completed during the Fantastic Flashing course. The winner will also need to write a short article about their experience of the course. The winner will also have their flash fiction entry published in the Byte The Book Newsletter and will be given a Byte The Book membership (worth £120). The Byte The Book membership provides free tickets, priority bookings and reduced rates to Agent Table workshops, Book Fairs, Literary Salons and more (click the link for full details).
We look forward to receiving your entries. Happy flashing!
*Please note this competition is open to only women and non-binary writers. Lucy Writers wants to create opportunity for those who are underrepresented and our decision to keep this competition for selected groups and communities only represents this.
Lucy Writers would like to thank Amanda Saint, Justine Solomons, My Ly and Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone for their generosity and making this competition happen. We’d like to thank My Ly for her extreme generosity in sponsoring the winner’s place on the Retreat West online course.
About our Sponsor & Collaborator: Retreat West
Retreat West has been helping writers learn and get published since 2012. Tutored writing retreats, online courses and live workshops teach writers a whole range of novel and short fiction writing skills; while the competitions help writers to get their work noticed, get published and get feedback from industry experts. In 2017, Retreat West Books was founded to publish short story collections, novels and memoirs and it was shortlisted for Most Innovative Publisher in the 2019 Saboteur Awards.
About our Sponsor & Collaborator: Byte The Book
Byte The Book’s network helps our members make vital connections within the book industry and with other allied industries and enables them to become more literate in the business of books. Whether you are an author, agent, publisher or supplier to the industry, the community is focused on learning about the latest technical and commercial opportunities, and collaborating to maximum benefit.We curate regular networking events on topical subjects and run practical workshops on topics related to publishing today.
We also have a vibrant online community of over 450 members and 5000 subscribers, who support each other in their business endeavours.Individual membership is £120 a year or £36 a quarter and you can join us here.
Current Submissions Theme: ‘Kooky, Funky’, Radical Women
The true artist is every self-confident, healthy female, and in a female society the only Art, the only Culture, will be conceited, kooky, funky females grooving on each other and on everything else in the universe…Valeria Solanas, SCUM Manifesto, p.61
Writing in 1968, a year that saw revolution sweep across the globe, Valerie Solanas predicted a feminist revolt of her own. Cursing the gun-toting, war-mongering, capital-crazy antics of ‘Daddy’, as she termed patriarchy, Solanas radically envisioned a world where women hit back at the oppressive structures and systems of old. With her self-published SCUM Manifesto – a text every bit as cutting, virulent and obscene as its title suggests – Solanas offered no apologetic or reformist approach to rebellion. Instead she raved of ‘funky females’ who would overthrow the government, ‘eliminate’ capitalism and ‘destroy’ masculinist culture. Freedom, empowerment and greater representation would be realised with barricade-like activism, not flower-power pacifism; with verbal ammunition, not silent resistance. One particular commitment of this rad bad female-driven world, would be to women’s creativity. ‘Culture’ and the ‘Art’ belonging to it would no longer be guarded, produced and owned by the (mainly male) few. Culture – as a system of values, as a way of life, as collective creativeness, as a communal circle – was to be cultivated by ‘conceited, kooky, funky females’. No stranger to homelessness, loneliness, ill-health and social rejection, Solanas imagined all estranged and strange female artists uniting to find faith, home and purpose in each other; to ‘groove’ to their own tune – and perhaps for herself, to fend off solitariness, seeking solace and resolution in other women artists.
Doomed to fly solo, Solanas’ voice comes to us from the margins, from the pits of radical despair and ire, from the infamy of her past and from the angrily alive prose of her manifesto. In SCUM Manifesto words bark and sentences throw shade, as Solanas snarkily and satirically debunks long-held myths and prevailing prejudices about a woman’s worth in a man’s world. Shooting out metaphors and hurling slang-like phrases with caustic intent, Solanas performs the revolution for us. Whilst it’s doubtful she formed her counter-cultural community of ‘conceited, kooky’ female artists, as philosopher Avital Ronell observes, she now belongs to ‘the girl gang of Ovid’s Heroides…Medusa, Medea, Antigone, Lizzie Borden, Lorena Bobbit…’ and all the irreverent, radical women who pushed, often literally, for more.
It is these rebels, the #ImmodestWomen, Gorilla Girls, Soul Sisters and fictive fighters, even the controversial ones, that we want to consider in our latest digital issue for the Lucy Writers’ platform. We would like pitches or submissions on the female risk-takers, law-breakers, art-makers and world-shapers of the past and present. It’s the centenary of some women gaining the vote, the bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the fifty-year commemoration of Paris ’68; we feel, therefore, that ‘kooky, funky’, radical women is a fitting theme to explore. We invite reviews, features, creative writing (poetry, fiction, flash fiction, literary non-fiction, script extracts), photography and illustration on radical women who dangerously fought for change and creativity a la Solanas.*
*We invite all submissions broadly around this theme, but we are also open to receiving pitches that counter or lie outside of it. Each term we will put forward a chosen topic in the hope of offering parameters to those creatives who require direction. However, Lucy Writers will always consider and very much welcomes work that is not directly related to our termly theme. Lucy Writers is an inclusive site for women and non-binary writers; we hope to be the place, room and home for your words, and welcome work by women and non-binary creatives of all backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities, irrespective of what stage you are at in your career.
Unfortunately we are not able to pay for submissions, but we’re working hard to change this.
Acceptance of submissions is at the discretion of the editors. We adhere to the following editorial principles when considering features, opinion pieces and investigative reports: accuracy, fairness, balance, a full attribution to sources and a clear separation of reports from analysis and opinion.
Advice When Submitting Work:
Word count will vary depending on the type of submission, but for a review we ask roughly 400-1500 words; for a feature 1000-3000 words and for creative writing 400-3500 words.
When submitting your piece or making a pitch, please include the following:
- A short 150-250-word bio of yourself to be used as an online profile (optional, but encouraged for emerging writers. You may include contact details, website links and a twitter handle)
- A JPEG of yourself suitable for your profile
- A PDF & Word Doc of your piece (unless you are making a pitch)
- JPEGs of any relevant images
Please email submissions to: email@example.com
For all other enquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message & Tweet to us at: @LucyWriters