Bringing Diaries and letters alive for present and future generations
Theme, Genres, and Lengths
This new anthology in print and ebook will focus on creative nonfiction, found poetry and other poetry, and essays inspired by diaries and letters, genealogical records, gravestones, and so on.
Our goal is to publish a volume that showcases the telling of historical family narratives for present and future generations, both for our own families and for other readers. We encourage submissions from all cultures and backgrounds. In general, we suggest that the family papers/records be at least 50 years old but will consider all submissions that convey historical, cultural, intergenerational, or other meaning.
We will consider short pieces of creative nonfiction from 500 to 4000 words, found poetry no longer than 200 lines each or 500 words for each prose poem (up to 5 poems), and essays of 1000 to 5000 words.
We are seeking new (not previously published) works, the only exception being works that have been published on authors’ personal blogs, in which case authors will agree to remove the works from their blogs upon acceptance.
Learn More about Creative Nonfiction and Found Poetry
- “What Is Creative Nonfiction?” by Lee Gutkind
- “Creative Nonfiction” from Wikipedia
- “Write Your Family History Using the Tools of Creative Nonfiction” from The Armchair Genealogist
- “Found Poetry” from Wikipedia
- “Writing the Past: Using Poetry to Explore Family History” from the Academy of American Poets
Submit works through Submittable only. Acceptable formats are .pdf, .txt, docx, and .doc, formatted with 1” margins, double-spaced, and 12 point font. Please include your name on the submission and a cover letter that clearly identifies the title of your piece, word count, the family papers you are using and how they are incorporated into your submission, whether the work is being submitted simultaneously elsewhere, and your contact information. Do not submit the family papers or records themselves—only your original works on which they are based. While simultaneous submissions are permitted, please notify us of acceptance elsewhere and withdraw your entry as soon as possible.
Reading Period and Notification of Acceptance
Deadline for submissions is
August 1, 2016 September 1, 2016. All submitters will be notified of the chosen works before September 15, 2016 October 15, 2016, at which point accepted authors will work with editors to make revisions for a planned publication date in late 2016 or early 2017. Editors reserve the right to decline all submissions should there not be enough acceptable material for a full-length anthology, in which case submitters will be notified as soon as possible.
Payment and Rights
Payment will be in contributors’ copies, and contributors will be able to purchase print copies of the anthology at a 40% discount. Author bios will be published in the anthology, and Hidden Timber Books will include the bios and social media links on its website.
Contracts will give Hidden Timber Books permission to publish in paperback and ebook, and translations of both formats and exclusive rights for the first six months after publication. Authors will retain all other rights and are free to re-publish their works six months after the publication date.
Note that copyright of diaries and letters is retained by the author of such papers and his or her heirs (or transferred from said owners), who may or may not be the person in possession of the papers. For this reason, please quote only from primary sources for which you have the copyright (or can obtain the copyright) and/or transform the original work using creative nonfiction or poetry or other literary means. Also, please disguise names of any persons still living or for any situations that are potentially libelous.