So, I’m the managing editor for this little creative nonfiction (CNF) lit mag called Under the Gum Tree. We’ve published hundreds of artists and writers, and I manage a small staff of readers and editors. Together, we read what is commonly known as “the slush pile,” a less-than-kind term for those unsolicited pieces of writing that brave people send to us in the hopes that their work can appear in our pages. It does pile up. But somehow, we’re always seeking more.
Right now, we have a contest going on. The theme: With(0ut) pretending. Here’s the 411:
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “pretend” as “to give a false appearance of being, possessing, or performing” and both “to make believe” and “to claim, represent, or assert falsely.” There’s a lot of pretending going on these days—and a lot people standing up without pretense, too. We want to see your best writing that converses with these ideas and more, as they manifest in current culture and/or in a moment in collective or personal history.
Tell us your true story of experiencing someone else’s pretending. Or take a hard look at how we sometimes treat others: Tell us your true story of pretending to be someone, or something, you were not or are not, an act you got away with (or didn’t) and which may have cost you (and/or cost someone else). Tell us your own story, and/or the true story of someone you know, and how that story has affected you. Under the Gum Tree wants your very best work, articulated in any form (straight-ahead narrative, lyric, modular, etc.), that invite us as readers and people into a space, experience, examination or contemplation that brings us closer to our raw, complex and varied humanity/ies and challenges us to deeper authenticity with ourselves and fuller empathy toward others.
Learn more about the contest here: https://www.underthegumtree.com/contest/