As part of Madwomen in the Attic’s literacy mission, we have added a writing component to our monthly meeting tradition: The Featured Writer Project.
MITA meetings are always held on a Monday– and usually on the third Monday of the month. The reason for this is to mirror the tradition of the national holiday Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is held on the third Monday of January each year.
In honor of literacy, the days on which we will hold our monthly meetings will be known as ‘Mad Mondays’. In celebration, on Mad Monday of each month, we will showcase a featured writer by publishing their work and sharing it (or parts of it) aloud at our meeting.
If you are willing to and interested in being a featured writer, these are the most basic stipulations:
- Featured writers need to gender-identify as women or as queer, gender–non-conforming, non-binary, or gender-fluid (i.e., the Featured Writer Project does not feature people who identify as men).
- Featured writers need to write something something (from any genre) that relates in some way to MITA’s mission. Featured Writers should have had some kind of experience with the mental health industry or with mental health issues, whether it be firsthand or secondary experience. We leave the perspective and style of the writing completely up to the writer.
- We require more than just the central piece of writing– our writers are also asked to write a statement about their piece in relation to mental health. If you submit a piece and are selected as a featured writer, you must submit the additional parts of your submission to us by the first day of the month during the month that it will be published so that the editors will have time to offer editing suggestions or to work with you to make additions or changes to it prior to the feature date.
- Featured writers need to assign a writer’s name of some sort to their contributions, whether that be “fictional” (as in Solla Sollew), “actual” (as in Jessica L. Mason), or “anonymousical” (as in Anonymous).
Your subject can be personal, political, both, or neither. You may write poetry, fiction, non-fiction, a book review, a pop culture critique, a rant, an academic essay, a treatise, a list, a resource guide, a dystopian fairy tale, a lesson plan: any kind of writing is welcome, in addition to art, as long as it pertains to and supports the organization’s mission, which is to empower women who have been affected by the mental health industry or the stigma attached to what is called mental illness.
We encourage multi-lingual entries. If a piece is written entirely in a language other than English, we ask that an English translation be provided, as well, secondarily. We also ask that if you are writing about something for which not many people are well-versed that you define unfamiliar terms clearly to make your piece as accessible as possible.
Our hope with this project is to enact radical equality by publishing the work of writers from diverse backgrounds and abilities. In contrast to the literary world of publishing, which might be inclined toward elitism and might favor those who are privileged; Madwomen in the Attic seeks to nurture a sense of equality in the right to express. For novice writers to be able to write alongside veteran writers, despite differences in linguistic prowess, it sends out an acknowledgment of our equality as human beings.
The Featured Writer Project aims to combat the suppression of the voices of those, throughout history, who have had their rights and their voices ignored or taken away by systems of patriarchal power.
Madwomen in the Attic is not funded, sponsored, or financially supported by any source outside of the financial contributions (donations) of its co-founders. The group is a labor of love that relies 100% on the unpaid labor of its co-founders. Thus, MITA cannot and does not provide financial compensation to writers for their contributions to our projects or sites. We are a purely grassroots volunteer organization. Neither of our co-founders receives any financial compensation for anything related to the group. We pay for our website and for materials for our meetings through out of our own pockets. While we cannot offer financial payment for writing, what we do offer is a communal space and writing and advocacy opportunities.
If you wish to be a Mad Monday Featured Writer but do not have access to a pen, paper, or a computer to do so, please contact MITA and we will try our best to offer assistance. If you need assistance with putting your words onto paper or into a textual medium, please contact us and we will work with you to create a solution.
Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Facebook.
Flyer from one of our previous Featured Writer seasons.