At the Brow, we’ve noticed that more and more people pitching and submitting work—especially those writing nonfiction—seem to feel that it’s okay to insert themselves into their writing, even when it could be considered irrelevant, or unethical, or lazy.
We’re also paying close attention to the larger publishing industry/world, with the seemingly constant rise of the memoir — not only does every celebrity or possible-celebrity feel the need to have at least one memoir published, but unknowns are more and more often trying to become knowns through the publishing of memoirs.
For these reasons, our third print issue of 2014 (out late June) will be themed ‘Ego’, and will be distinctive in several ways.
Firstly, there will be zero instances of first-person pronoun. We are banning all of our writers and artists from using the following words: I, me, my, mine, myself, we, us, our, ours, ourselves. Our essays, short stories, commentary, comics, criticism, poetry and everything will use language intelligently; no one will be allowed to fall back to the obviously subjective, to the insufficiently empirical, to the blindly personal. (And no, we would not love you to get around this by using ‘you’ or 'one’, or trying to be tricky in some way. Tricksters begone!)
Secondly, we are acutely interested in pitches and full pieces that are outward-looking, that seek to explain the wider world — not through any kind of narrow lens, but through reporting and research. We want to reward investigation; we want writers to try.
We’re looking most for work that focuses thematically on the term 'ego’ — writing that explores notions of identity, of the self, of arrogance. But think laterally, please!
This is not a case of us railing against any and all self-reflective/reflexive writing; we acknowledge that some stories can only be told from a personal stance. But not all stories. We are simply interested in what will happen when we throw out this challenge — we want to see who will embrace it, who will run away fast, and who will argue that we are fools. Ultimately we are keen to see writers interrogate their own perspectives as well as their processes, and we are keen to see how readers respond.
Pitches must be sent through by April 25th.
Full pieces due May 10th.
Please submit all pitches and pieces through our swish system.
As always, the best way to understand the kind of work we like to publish is to read an issue or two of the Brow. You can get them here and they are inexpensive.