It seems like we haven’t discussed arts and literature in a while, and then boom! A whole bunch of projects show up at once — including things that you bloggers at home can do! (Is this a Fall/”back to school” thing? Or something else?) First, non-fiction. The Mormon Lit journal Segullah is offering a fifth anniversary issue on the topic of marriage. On a related note, Holly is planning to edit an anthology of essays by Mormon women on marriage. Here are the rough guidelines:
I want essays by Mormon women who married non-members. I want essays by Mormon women who married in the temple at 18 and are still in love with their husband 30 years later, and still admire him for the way he administers the priesthood. I want essays by Mormon women who elected not to marry in the temple. I want essays by Mormon women who can’t get married in the temple to the man they really love because they can’t get a temple divorce from their first no-good husband. I want essays by Mormon women in plural marriages. I want essays by Mormon women who lost their faith after their temple marriage. I want essays by Mormon women whose husbands lost their faith after their temple marriage. I want essays by Mormon women who left the church with their husband and think it was the best thing ever for their marriage. I want essays by Mormon women who are married to another woman, Mormon or otherwise. I want essays by Mormon lesbians who married men. I want essays by straight Mormon women who married gay men. I want essays by Mormon women in interracial marriages. I want essays by Mormon women who are the primary breadwinners in the family while the husband stays home. I want essays by Mormon women who, to their chagrin, never married and feel betrayed by Mormon promises of fulfillment through marriage. I want essays by Mormon women who haven’t married and don’t particularly intend to, for reasons specific to Mormonism or otherwise. I want essays about widowhood. I want essays about divorce. I want essays about Mormon marriage and menopause. I want essays about a magnificent third marriage.
See her post for details on how to submit an essay. In other non-fiction, I know of some people who are planning a volume of exit stories. As far as I know, they have not announced open submissions, but if you’re interested in contributing, email me (chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com), and I can give you more details and pass your essay along.
In fiction, the submission deadline for the “Monsters and Mormons” anthology is coming up fast! (But if you think you have an LDS-interest genre story in you, it’s not too late.) Also Sunstone Magazine is announcing their call for submissions for their annual fiction contest. Additionally, for a while I’ve been kind of toying with the idea of doing a fiction anthology of exmo writers. There have been so many fiction anthologies of (faithful) LDS writers, and even a handful for the borderlanders, but none specifically for formons (as far as I know). I’m not looking for exit stories (for that, see the previous paragraph) nor for exposes of why Mormonism is bad and wrong, but stories just because we have stories too, and we have different perspectives on Mormonism. Sort of a “Sure it’s not true, but it’s still interesting…” as the guiding theme. This is still in the ideas stage though. Anyone interested in collaborating on this, please email me (again: chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com).
If you’re not not up to writing a story or essay for an anthology just yet, you can always hone your skills by posting on the Internet, either for the 1000+ strong exmo reddit community or for us here at Main Street Plaza (at this point, I imagine I don’t have to remind you of the contact info. 😉 ). Or you could read some banned books for “Banned Books Week.” If theater is more your thing (and you’re in Utah Valley), go see the New Play Project. If you’re more into the visual arts (and you are or know a kid), you might try this evolution and art contest — my kids are already planning their entries! (Be careful, though, the visual arts can be dangerous.) And if none of those work for you, there’s even an opportunity in the exmo culinary arts!
Shifting gears a bit, we have a number up updates on where people are at in their journey through Mormonism. Kaylanamars has posted her exit story: Emotionally I Just Can’t Handle It. Eliza R. Snitch seems to have resigned herself to not resigning from the church (and the girl with kaleidoscope eyes follows up with some discussion of people’s judgements of that decision). Maureen celebrating one year out of the church, and Hypatia has moved on to accepting the dreaded A-word. (Actually, I’d be a little wary of the A-word, too, if we have to agree to all of the tenets of personal failure’s evil atheist agenda, but some of them are pretty good.) And — for all of us who have left the faith — fMh Lisa reminds us of how our moms may well be taking it personally…