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Anthology: Tennessee Writers on 2020

call for submissions - deadline March 31

Right now, you may have your sights set on 2021’s tentative promises of healing, repair, progress, and hope. You may also be experiencing just a touch of 2020 fatigue.

But there’s no question that the change wrought during the past tumultuous year – by the pandemic, by the struggle against white supremacy,and by the storms that devastated large swaths of our state – demands our documentation.The traumatic events of these twelve months demand to be reckoned with.

Supported by an Arts Resilience grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, this anthology, with a working title of Reckoning, will invite us to bear witness from diverse angles, from the front lines to our neighborhood haunts to our living rooms;from the Mississippi River in the west to the mountains of the east. Much has been and will be written about the year 2020. This particular gathering of dispatches from our slice of the South will offer Tennessee writers the opportunity for deep reflection, processing, and connection that only writing can provide. It will give readers a meaningful artifact that reveals our state at a particularly dramatic moment, in all of our fortitude, loss, resistance, and bearing-up; in our most passionate shouts and our quiet reflections.  

We seek writing that will help us more deeply understand the year that was 2020: crystalline in detail, layered in meaning, and contextualized in all sorts of ways. Show us the tiniest, breathtaking moment and the bigger picture. Give us the perspective we haven’t yet read. Show us what presence felt like for you in 2020; tell us how 2020 changed your corner of the world. Make us smile. After all, there was much joy and solace to be found this year, often in surprising places, or when we least expected. We made it so.

We strongly encourage writers of color, LGBTQ writers, rural writers, and other underrepresented voices to submit.

Submissions should be no longer than 3000 words. We cannot accept screenplays or scripts. Work must be unpublished; work that has appeared on a personal blog or Medium page is fair game. If your piece is accepted, you will receive a $200 honorarium.

Deadline for submissions: March 31. We expect to release the anthology in June 2021.

Carefully follow guidelines below; any submissions that fail to follow these guidelines will not be considered.

This call for submissions is open to published and unpublished authors over the age of 18 who reside in Tennessee. The manuscript must be the author’s original work and be unpublished and uncontracted. If you submit an entry that is accepted for publication elsewhere prior to our announcement of acceptances, please contact us to withdraw the entry.

Please submit only one piece for consideration. Additional submissions from an individual writer will not be considered.

Please include a brief cover letter, telling us a little bit about you and listing any publishing credits or other honors.

Manuscript must not exceed a word count of 3,000.

Fiction – Manuscripts can be a short story or flash fiction. Maximum 3,000 words.

Creative Nonfiction – Manuscripts can be personal essay or memoir. Maximum 3,000 words.

Poetry – One poem per entry.


.doc, .docx, and .pdf files only.

The title of the document being uploaded must match the title of the entry.

Times New Roman or approximate font, 12-pt font size.

Pages should be numbered.

The following guidelines refer to PROSE entries ONLY:

Double-spaced – no extra spacing between paragraphs.

One-inch margins on top, bottom, and both sides.

Unjustified right margins

Contact hello@porchtn.org with questions or for help with formatting.

Note: We are unable to accept screenplays or other alternative formats/genres.


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