Deadline: 20 July 2011
From May 20 until July 20, we will accept essays and other writings to include in For Colored Boys. We are looking for inspirational stories centered around any one of the following four major themes: faith, family, love and work. Submissions should be between 1000 and 5000 words. Some of the essays published in the finished book will be long and some will be short. Send your submission to email@example.com. Please include your name, email address, phone number, brief 1-paragraph bio and a jpeg photo with your submission.
Unlike traditional anthologies which tend to use established writers, we also want to tell the stories of real people (ordinary and extraordinary) who have dealt with, or are still dealing with, adversity in their lives. Of course we intend to include essays from gifted writers, published authors and well known public figures who have overcome obstacles. But we are also looking for college students, suicide survivors, and those who have faced bullying or harassment in their lives. It doesn’t matter if you call yourself “same-gender-loving,” “down low,” “gay,” “queer,” or none of the above. We’re not interested in labels. We are interested in well-told stories that will educate, entertain or inspire others.
Ideally, we would like to include the voices of Latinos, Asian-Americans and other people of color in this book. And we expect to include the voices of those who are straight, bisexual, transgender or questioning, so long as the stories are relevant to the purpose and the themes of the book.
Finally, we don’t expect every story to finish with a happy ending. That’s not the way life works. Nor do we expect every essay to deal with suicide, harassment or tragedy. We want this to be a balanced but inspirational book about real life. Your voice and your story are critical to make that happen.
The book will be published in March/April 2012.
Title: For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough (A collection of writings on living life, confronting obstacles and believing in yourself)
Editor: Keith Boykin
Publisher: Magnus Books
In 1974, playwright Ntozake Shange published a choreopoem called For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. The book/play/poetry would go on to inspire legions of women for decades and would later become the subject and title of a hugely popular movie in the fall of 2010. While the film was selling out movie theaters, young black gay men were literally committing suicide in the silence of their own communities. It was around that time when Keith Boykin, a New York Times bestselling author, and Magnus Books publisher Don Weise first discussed the possibility of working together on a book in response to the outbreak of suicides among young men of color.
In the same time period, a young Rutgers University student named Tyler Clementi took his own life after a roommate secretly videotaped him in an intimate setting with another young man. In response, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire young people facing harassment. Their message, It Gets Better, turned into a popular movement, inspiring thousands of user-created videos on the Internet. Savage’s project targeted people of all races, backgrounds and colors, but Boykin and Weise wanted to create something special “for colored boys.” When they decided to create a new book, the title was obvious: For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough. It was almost the same title author E. Lynn Harris had once considered for his memoir. The new book responds to the crisis of youth development and suicide in the black community, and more specifically among young gay men of color.
For inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
For submissions: email@example.com