Jim Aitken issues a callout for working people’s stories from contemporary Scotland. Photo: John Devlin
Following the great success of A Kist of Thistles: an anthology of radical poetry from contemporary Scotland, Culture Matters intends to publish a companion volume of prose, to be published in late summer, which I shall be editing.
Covid-19 has well and truly exposed the brutal inequalities that exist in our society, which are class-based and linked to race and gender inequalities. Class divisions have generated corporate and individual greed, and created poverty, social disharmony and an increasingly likely climate catastrophe.
At every stage where profit has had primacy over meeting basic human need, the plight of ordinary working people has worsened. In Scotland we are all too aware of depopulation and deindustrialisation, drug and alcohol addiction, poor health, chronic low pay and precarious employment. We see the results of this every day in our streets.
Culture Matters is seeking submissions from and for working people. We want to publish flash fiction, short stories, memoirs, anecdotes and images which show class consciousness, empathy and solidarity with the working and non-working poor, the victimised and the marginalised. We seek stories of struggle, suffering, solidarity and hope, and of imagined alternatives for Scotland and the world.
The detailed guidelines for submissions are as follows:
1. One or two previously unpublished (in print) submissions per person to be sent as a Word document, along with wordcount and contact details.
2. Maximum of 2,500 words for stories and memoirs, and no less than 250 words for flash fiction.
3. In English, Scots or Gaelic (if in Scots please supply a short glossary, and if in Gaelic please supply an English translation, for our international readership).
4. Images (drawings, cartoons, photographs as jpegs no larger than 1MB).
5. A biography of up to 150 words detailing your own background, connection and commitment to the working class.
Jim Aitken is a poet and dramatist living and working in Edinburgh. He is a tutor in Scottish Cultural Studies with Adult Education and he organises literary walks around the city.
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