Nobody’s Home: Modern Southern Folklore is an online anthology of nonfiction works about beliefs, myths, and narratives in Southern culture over the last fifty years, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The project is a now a work-in-progress that is collecting personal essays, memoirs, short articles, opinion pieces, and contemplative works about the ideas, experiences, and assumptions that have shaped life below the old Mason-Dixon Line since 1970.
Submissions to Nobody’s Home should be accessible to a general audience with a reasonable education level, and may contain 1,000 to 5,000 words. Facts that are included in the work, such as direct quotes, statistics, or polling, should include sources to aid the editor in evaluating the work. Subject matter may be broad, covering a regional trend that extends over decades, but writing about specific aspects of more defined times and places would be better. The editor favors works that have humanity and warmth, that employ concreteness rather than generalizations, and that achieve a measure of clarity about a murky subject.
While this anthology is an appropriate home for thoughtful discussions of complex issues in Southern culture, it is not the right place for intensely academic, highly specialized, or baldly partisan works. If you’re considering submitting but are not familiar with how to write creative nonfiction in an accessible style, try reading editor Lee Gutkind’s brief essay “What is Creative Nonfiction?”
(As works of nonfiction, book reviews and interviews will be also considered on a case-by-case basis.)
Before submitting, please query the editor and be clear in that query about your submission. When sending a query, please include a message that briefly explains 1.) the work’s subject, 2.) its length, and 3.) why you believe it is right for Nobody’s Home. The project’s published works will be tagged with categories like these listed below, so consider which ones would be appropriate for the work.
1970s • 1980s • 1990s • 2000s • 2010s • 2020s
Arkansas • Alabama • Florida • Georgia • Kentucky • Louisiana • Mississippi • North Carolina • South Carolina • Tennessee • Texas • Virginia
Arts • Books • Education • Environment • Family • Food • Gender • Government • Healthcare • Music • Outsiders • Race • Religion • Sexuality • Work • Youth
Previously published works may be submitted, if the author has the rights to grant. Writers who submit previously published works are expected to be upfront about that.
Nobody’s Home is a regularly expanding online anthology, and there will be four reading periods over a one-year timeframe:
Works submitted between October 1 and December 15 will be considered for publication in the early 2021.
Works submitted between December 16 and February 15 will be considered for an expansion of the publication in spring 2021.
Works submitted between February 16 and May 15 will be considered for the third installment in mid-2021.
Works submitted between May 16 and August 15 will be considered for the fourth installment in late 2021.
Each publication period will add to the existing anthology, until its completion in late 2021. During that reading process, the editor may ask writers for revisions in cases where changes could clarify remarks made in the work. All works will receive a response.
Regarding rights and permissions, authors of accepted works will be asked to sign a general publishing agreement that allows the work to be published on the website. The author will retain all rights, with the understanding that, if the work were to be published elsewhere, Nobody’s Home would be acknowledged.
The creation and development of Nobody’s Home is funded by a Literary Arts Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Currently, the project cannot offer to pay its contributors. In the future, if a sustainable funding source becomes available, an offer of payment will include all contributors.
The project does not accept submissions of poetry, fiction, or drama.