This year’s Open Submissions Period will begin on April 15, 2023.

Nobody’s Home is an online anthology of creative nonfiction works about beliefs, myths, and narratives in Southern culture over the last fifty years, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The publication collects 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. 

What is an online anthology? 
What does that mean: beliefs, myths, and narratives?

The initial compilation had four reading periods over a one-year timeframe from October 2020 through September 2021. Though general submissions are not being accepted right now, Nobody’s Home is still open to expanding in the future. The editor will consider additions to the anthology during one open-submissions period each year:

Unsolicited queries will next be considered between April 15 and June 15, 2023. Works accepted during that time will be added to the anthology in August 2023. (This year’s open submissions period has ended.)

There is an invitation-only reading period in November and December 2022. The editor will contact those writers himself. Works accepted during that time will be added to the anthology in January and February 2023. 

*Only submissions of book reviews and interviews will be accepted during other times of the year. (see below)

General Guidelines for Nonfiction

Submissions to Nobody’s Home should be accessible to a general audience with a reasonable education level, and may contain up 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, consider reading editor Lee Gutkind’s brief essay “What is Creative Nonfiction?”

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.) the place and time discussed in the essay, 3.) its length, and 4.) 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

Guidelines for Reviews and Interviews 

As works of nonfiction, reviews and interviews will be considered for publication throughout the year on a case-by-case basis.  

Reviews of films and books submitted to Nobody’s Home should address issues of beliefs, myths, and narratives in or about the South since 1970. These reviews should be accessible to a general audience with a reasonable education level; and may contain 1,000 to 3,000 words. The work-reviewed may be fiction or nonfiction, screen media or print media, poetry or prose. Reviewers should query the editor before sending the review for consideration. 

Interviewers should also query the editor before submitting. For the submission, a complete transcript of the interview with an introduction will be expected. Sound files will not be accepted as submissions.

Other Matters of Importance

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.

During the 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 timely 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 was funded by a Literary Arts Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts in 2020 and 2021. 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 editor will not consider submissions of poetry, fiction, or drama.