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You are here: Home > The Writer's Compass > Events & Opportunities > Competitions & Submissions > Call for Submissions - Transformer: Writing the Black Country
Call for Submissions - Transformer: Writing the Black Country
Deadline: Fri 31 May 2024
Are you a writer interested in landscape, place and transformation? This new Zer0 Books project is seeking poetry, fiction and essays inspired by and/or set in the Black Country - the once industrial heartland of the UK - for a new anthology of regional literature and culture. Free to submit.

When I became a bird, Lord, nothing could stop me… Liz Berry/Bird *Black Country (Chatto, 2014)

Transformer will be a hybrid collection of writing on and about the Black Country, edited by R. M. Francis (University of Wolverhampton) and Anthony Cartwright (University of the West of England) and published by ZER0 Books / Collective Ink.

The book’s premise is that there is a distinct Black Country literature, culture and aesthetics, evident in language, writing, culture and the arts of the region, built often on a sense of duality e.g. Black/Country, centre/edge, industrial/rural, here/there, and on processes of change and transformation (with parallels in geological and industrial process): whether that is the sounds of Anglo-Saxon and noise of industry influencing the formation of the dialect, or metal bashing becoming the sound of heavy metal music, or prehistoric forests becoming coal becoming fuel, or the multiple alchemies of industrial process, or offal becoming faggots, and so on…

Also, the process of movement, mobility and migration, whether from the rural midlands, Wales, Ireland and elsewhere, or from the twentieth and twenty-first century movement from the Caribbean, South Asia and Eastern Europe: how have these waves of great inward migration formed the Black Country and shaped its culture? How has the Black Country shaped its people?

Underpinning this is a sense that the Black Country is a literal and imaginal landscape and is drawn from things that are a strange confluence of the concrete and the abstract, making it decidedly eerie and weird.

We are seeking submissions of up to 5,000 words in any form of writing - creative and/or academic - poetry, fiction, personal or academic essay or a combination of these and other forms - which engage with the Black Country and with the idea of transformation or the transformative act in some way. We welcome abstracts or pitches of between two sentences and 300 words, outlining your intended contribution.

Send these along with a short biographical note by 31st May 2024 to Dr Robert Francis and Anthony Cartwright – r.francis@wlv.ac.uk

Deadline: 31 May 2024
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