Migration Stories Guidelines

The Migration Stories project of the University of Chicago Committee on Creative Writing invites you to submit creative writing (memoirs, stories, poems, plays, oral histories, essays) for inclusion in an anthology, copies of which will be held at the University of Chicago Library, the Pritzker Traubert Family Library of the University of Chicago’s Laboratory Schools, and the Kenwood Academy High School Library. 

Submitted writing may be from one sentence to three pages in length, and might take a personal perspective, or one that is reported, imagined, researched or documented.  We are thinking of migration broadly, from the current refugee crisis, to the Great Migration, from passing through Staten Island, to the forced movements of Native Americans.  Our hope is to recognize some of the variety of migrations by which people have arrived in Chicago, and to attend to the many ways there are to witness, document, remember, and envision migrations happening around the world.

Deadline: Monday, May 1, 2017.

Length of Submissions: one sentence to three pages.

Kind of Writing: memoirs, stories, poems, plays, oral histories, essays, any kind of prose or verse on the theme of migration.

Eligibility: any student, staff, or faculty member at the University of Chicago, the Laboratory Schools, or Kenwood Academy High School is eligible to submit. 

Editors: Rachel Cohen and Rachel DeWoskin, both faculty in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Chicago.  The editors reserve the right to request editorial changes should that be necessary.

Places to Submit:  

Electronically: Email starshagill@uchicago.edu

Drop Off: Paper copies can be dropped off with complete anonymity in submissions boxes located at:

  • The University of Chicago Library, 1100 E 57th St, Chicago, IL 60637
  • The Pritzker Traubert Family Library of the University of Chicago’s Laboratory Schools, 5835 S Kimbark Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
  • The Creative Writing Department, Taft House, 935 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
  • Lee A. Townes Library Media Center at Kenwood Academy, 5015 South Blackstone Avenue, Chicago, 60615

Submission Format:  If submitting by email, please submit both a word and a pdf form of your document.  Submissions on paper should be printed on 8.5x11 paper, double spaced and with at least a one-inch margin.  Both kinds of submissions can be kept entirely anonymous.  There is no need to include your name or email on your submission, although we will not be able to contact you in that case. 

Location of Anthology: This anthology will be available at the University of Chicago Library, the Pritzker Traubert Family Library of the University of Chicago’s Laboratory Schools, and the Kenwood Academy High School Library, and, through the University of Chicago Library in the special collections, open to the public, and as an on-line resource downloadable as a pdf.  Please submit material that you are comfortable having in these locations and formats.  

Anonymity: Complete anonymity will be preserved and the organizers of the project will never share an email address or any information with any outside party.  We would, however, use a submitted email address to contact you about the possibility of your participating in a future public reading, unless you indicate that you do not want to be contacted.  The anthology will be a paper book, but it will also be available as a pdf online.  If you submit your piece without a name, it will be listed as by Anonymous, but please only include in your writing details that you feel comfortable having in these formats.

Future Events: Some writers who submit to the anthology for Migration Stories project will be featured at a reading of the UndocuArts Festival on the University of Chicago campus on May 9th.  Further readings are in the planning stages at the Laboratory Schools, Kenwood Academy, and other venues.  We will let participants know when the anthologies are available in the libraries and when future readings are held.