Submit Your Story
What we want...
At Grief Rites we hold space for all stories of grief. Grief is something we feel at the loss of....anything. The death of someone we love (or don't love); the end of a relationship, end of a career, loss of home and self and dreams. We are looking for your real true stories of loss and grief. Told by you and for you. The stories that slay us. That lay us bare. The stories that are the hardest to tell. Grief is messy, angry, bitter, beautiful, heart-breaking, soul-cracking, empowering, funny, helpless, hopeless, hopeful. Write into the messy and the bitter and the beauty. Break our hearts and crack our souls. Make us laugh and cry until tears slide down our cheeks and fall onto our keyboard. Make us fall apart and put ourselves back together, different than we were before. Make us give up hope and then want to find it again. Or not. Because grief is tricky like that. Grief is uncensored, unrehearsed, unedited. It bleeds onto the page. Let your words flow from the hollows of your bones. Your writing should be a reflection of you and how your grief affects you, how you live with it, how it looks on you. Polished or raw, formatted or not. Don't spend a lot of energy on making it look pretty (we can help with that). Throw your energy into the heartwork it takes to write your story.
The details of it...
Your work should come from your personal experience with loss/grief, your personal stories. Submissions should be creative non-fiction (memoir/personal essay/prose/poetry). Fictional work will not be accepted for publication.
Word count: we want you to tell the story that needs to be told, without limiting you too much...a good range is 500(ish) word min to 1500(ish) word max, but don't hold us to those;
One essay per email submission;
Up to 5 poems (in one document) per email submission;
You should receive an auto-response email confirmation when we receive your submission;
We are hoping to keep a 4-8 week turnaround timeframe; If your piece is accepted for publication we will notify you via email with an estimated publication date; if you haven't heard anything from us after 6 weeks of submitting to us, you are welcome to email us for a status (please attach your original email to the follow-up email);
We may reach out to you with some possible content edits or suggestions to help you sink your words deeper into the story, it is your discretion if you accept them or not;
We reserve the right to make any formatting changes for readability and aesthetic, and we are not obligated to send you the formatting changes for approval prior to publication;
We are sorry to say that we're not able to compensate financially for published work at this time. Connecting with someone who nodded their head and said 'yes, me too' with tears in their eyes...that goes pretty far in the payment for being a human. That and bragging rights and an addition to your portfolio.
Currently, we are not accepting previously published work (personal blog is okay, please include a link)
If we publish your work and it is picked up and re-published elsewhere we appreciate being given credit for first publication rights ("originally published by Grief Rites Foundation, [date]").
Simultaneous submissions are okay, please notify us via email immediately if your submission has been accepted for publication elsewhere so that we may remove your piece from our queue
How we want it...
Subject: Story Submission
Body of email:
Give us a brief description of your relationship with grief
Include any social media handles you would like included if your piece is accepted and published (FB, Insta, Twitter, website/blog, other, etc)
Include (3) attachments (it's possible that your piece may not be considered if any of these attachments are missing):
Submission: .doc/.docx only (no pdf); file name: [FirstnameLastnameMM/DD/YYYY_titleofyourpiece]
Bio: 3rd person bio; 150 words max; .doc/.docx; file name: [FirstnameLastnameMM/DD/YYYY_bio]
Headshot: high-resolution; .jpg; file name: [FirstnameLastnameMM/DD/YYYY]
OPTIONAL: if you have a feature photo to go with your submission please include it for consideration, .jpg; high-resolution; credit appropriately; this doesn't guarantee that we'll use it;
Email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org