As Madpeople— patients and survivors of the psychiatric system, strategic consumers of services designed in service of power, and distributed unequally— we write from strange minds. We write, too, from strange circumstances: denied authorship of our own lives, each story we tell doubles as a measure of our coherence. Those of us able to affect a semblance of sanity might access literary acceptance, publication, and even acclaim. Yet, still more numerous are those who, in the eyes of power, mouth not sentences but symptoms.

To be an openly-Mad writer, then, is to live inside a paradox: “disorder” is foundational to our writing practices, our processes of becoming-heard. Our methodologies, habits, muses and musings defy all sense  of order. With this folio, “Writing Ourselves / Mad,” I invite creators living, doing, and exploring Madness to submit work that fucks (with) mandates for literary legibility.

This call is open to work of all forms and lengths. I am particularly interested in craft, poetics, annotations/collaborations, auto-/bio-/theory-/fiction, and works of hybrid genre and medium. With a focus on Madness as method, this folio aims to celebrate the ways we seize control of our stolen narratives while providing a toolbox for other creators. Send your pathos, disturbance, rumination, disorganization, perseveration, mania, and catastrophism –– the unspeakable informing your wor(l)dwork.

All Mad, psychiatrically disabled, mentally disabled/ill, developmentally disabled, and neurodivergent people are welcome to submit, regardless of diagnostic status. We especially encourage submissions from queer creators, trans and gender-nonconforming creators, Black creators, Indigenous creators, creators of color, fat creators, poor creators, multiply-disabled creators, creators residing outside North America, and those who sit amid some or all of these positions.

Submissions should be sent to guest folio editor Cavar Sarah at [email protected]; please attach a brief bio and (optional) photo to your submission.

If you or someone you know is currently incarcerated (whether in a hospital, prison, or other congregate care setting) and wish(es) to submit, email [email protected] to arrange submission by mail.

DEADLINE: 15 January 2021 at 11:59:59 PM