IN A FREE STATE is the theme of issue 4. By popular request the submission window has been extended until August 30, 2019. A number of people have asked about anonymity because of sensitivities surrounding LGBTQ matters; Contributors are welcome to use a pseudonym or pen name if the situation warrants it. See below for further details on the theme.
In this moment, Caribbean societies are grappling with what it means to be free of heteronormative traditions and face who we always have been: people of various genders and sexualities. What can freedom mean in this context, now and in the future?
This fourth issue of PREE is all about engaging the persistent and emerging social, cultural, and political landscapes of genders and sexualities in the Caribbean.
We specially invite people between ages 15 and 30 to submit writing but we welcome people of all groups. As always, PREE interprets ‘writing’ broadly to include creative non-fiction and fiction writers, poets, essayists, graphic novelists, scriptwriters, photographers, comic-strip creators, videographers, film-makers and digital and visual artists. Writers are also welcome to use a pseudonym or pen name.
Free to live. Free to yes. Free to no. Free to love. Free to bumboclaat be. Queer, un-queer, pansexual, transitioning, heteronormative, asexual. All of the above. It’s become a lot less “we’re queer and we’re here” and more that we’re really here, there and everywhere. We’ve dreamed of this day. We’ve yearned for it. Imagine then, what we might do when we have it? What will we DO in a free state?
In Issue 4 of PREE, we take VS Naipaul’s words and bend them to query gender roles and sexuality in the 21stcentury as we examine Caribbean realities and responses when faced with changing gender norms and expanding sexual identities. The idea of freedom is a beautiful thing, but does that only hold when it’s our own sense of self we’re thinking of? What about when you have to respect the freedom of others? That’s a lot harder, isn’t it? But that IS freedom – freedom comes with responsibility. And strange as it might seem, “responsibility” might be the most contentious word in this whole discussion.
For Issue 4 we are specially soliciting submissions from younger writers (ages 15 to 30) arriving at their own Caribbean identity intersections during this bold contemporary moment, where both politics and families are trying to untangle themselves from the limitations of hetero-normative traditions. Of course submissions by writers from other age groups are also welcome. As always, PREE interprets ‘writing’ broadly to include creative non-fiction and fiction writers, poets, essayists, graphic novelists, scriptwriters, photographers, comic-strip creators, videographers, film-makers and digital and visual artists.
Remember when Garvey spoke those words that Marley put to melody? “We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind.” Look from when Walter Rodney warned that oppression is at the center of statehood: “After all, if there is no class stratification in a society, it follows that there is no state, because the state arose as an instrument to be used by a particular class to control the rest of society in its own interests.” And in our deeds we try to dismiss VS Naipaul’s words, because we don’t want them to be true: “Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.”
We at PREE believe in balance for better, so a question of freedom in the 21st century has to unsettle traditions. Cue drums, strings, horns, and the voice of Calypso Rose: “Let go me hand/ lemme jump up in di band. / I don’t want nobody /to come and stop me./ Leave me let me free up,/ me-self let me jump up./ (leave me a-lone,/ leave me) / So leave me alone/ I ain’t goin home.” Jump up and sway into a free state with us. We’ve come too far to go home now.
PS: This issue and the next one are specially supported by the Prince Claus Fund (PCF). Five of the most promising young writers in Issues 4 and 5 will be selected to attend a writing workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, May 24-28, 2020 under the auspices of PCF. More details on this will follow in due course.
Anchor image: Laurent Bayly, Car-Hole-Rainbow, Saint Martin, April 2018. digital photograph.
Guidelines for general submission can be found below:
If you have any queries, comments or just want to get in touch, let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitting to Pree
Pree will only accept works during our Submission window, and this will be in response to a call for submissions. As a general guide, take a look at the following criteria and keep an eye out for the next Call For Submission.
If you are a publisher or agent who wants information about submitting writers you publish or represent please email email@example.com
Who Are You?
At PREE we want to showcase your writing and require original works (previously unpublished) for us to feature. The piece should not be under consideration elsewhere.
We’re looking for work by people who live in the Caribbean, are from the Caribbean, or are of Caribbean descent and live anywhere in the world. We will also consider publishing works on or about the Caribbean by non-Caribbean writers. If you are over the age of 18 and the Caribbean is part of your culture, heritage, interest, and passion, or right to abode, we’d love to hear from you.
By submitting your work, you acknowledge that, if accepted, your work will be subject to the terms and conditions contained in the Author’s Agreement, which may be found here:
What Are We Looking For?
Vivid pieces of finished work that fit our issue themes. This includes essays, articles, creative non-fiction, fiction, short stories, poetry, and photo essays.
We accept work written in Caribbean vernaculars, English, and representations of both. At this time we’re unable to accept submissions in other languages.
Length & practicalities
For prose (fiction and non-fiction) – anywhere from 1,500 words to 5,000 words.
For poems – 2-3 works.
We will only accept one submission per person and it’s important that this is the first place your piece has been published, both in print and digitally. You’ll retain the copyright on the work but we’ll be contracting for the right to publish that work for the first time.
Formats to submit to PREE
The Editors have different ways of reading
- Save the filename as TITLE OF PIECE (not as ‘essay’ or ‘short story’)
- Arial. 12 point. Double-spaced.
- Save either as a .doc, a .docx. We cannot accept any other format.
- We only accept submissions sent via email.
- Your name and the title of the piece should be on the front page. Please don’t embed your name on other pages.
- Finished work only, please. It can be within a minute of the last day but it needs to be finished.
Please check you’ve done all these things before submitting. We are unable to consider work that does not fall within these guidelines.
If you are sending POETRY, this is how we would like your poems to be submitted:
We will accept a minimum of two poems and a maximum of three poems. The poems can be any length. The poems must come in one single document. Each new poem must start on a brand new page in the document. It’s important you use Arial 12 point as the font and size. However, if you have specific formatting requirements for the poems, then they don’t need to be double-spaced. It’s important they be formatted as intended.
Please do follow these guidelines for successful submission.
What If I Don’t Get Selected For This Issue?
If you don’t get selected for the current issue, it just means we’ve collectively decided it didn’t fit this time. You can submit something for future issues on the forthcoming themes. You can only submit one piece once but please do keep submitting original work to us. We are sorry that due to time constraints we are unable to give individual feedback.
I’ve Been Selected, What Next?
Firstly you’ll get an email from us. We’ll then deliver notes on your piece and give you a deadline to get your polished work back to us. Following that, we’ll copyedit and send you the final version for approval before it goes live with the next issue.
We are currently unable to pay but hope this will change in the future. We are a fully volunteering body of editors who are passionate and committed about opening up the writing of the Caribbean to the world. Our role is to assist you in getting your work published and conveyed to a wider audience.
For new writers, we hope you’ll make your first publication with PREE and then we’ll aim to connect you with other journals and publishing houses where you can earn from your work.