Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in this project!
I am pulling together pieces written after the death of a parent. My focus is not the grief, the sense of loss, the terrible sadness, but rather the simpler things – my dad carved the turkey on Thanksgiving, my mom was the only one in the family who did that thing, my parents always had the whole family over on July 4, everyone relied on my dad/mom to help with something.
When your mom or dad dies, everything stops, everything changes. It’s that “day after” that I want to explore.
I am interested in how adults fit into the roles vacated by their parents. What changed, how did it impact your life, how did you feel suddenly not to have mom or dad with you to work things out? Talk about your new role in an old family. And it can be something so simple as having to clean out your mom or dad’s things and finding something about them you never knew or that helped you understand the kind of person they were.
If you lost your parent/s early on, I’d like to hear about how you fashioned your own role as an adult or as a parent, without having them with you.
This is about the intricate and universal workings of family – regrets, learning, problem solving, daily life, and most definitely, love. I want to read about what you learned about your parents and yourself by suffering this loss – but not necessarily in a strict narrative.
Ultimately, I am looking for something beautiful.
- I do not have a publisher yet – working on that – and may publish this under my own imprint, The Backpack Press.
- Odds are this will never make money, but if it does, we share equally.
- Odds are lots of readers would find healing and solace in the type of pieces I am planning to use. Odds are you could have used something like this when you parent/s died.
Initially, I will be reading all the submissions, looking for how closely they come to the above guidelines, and how unique and memorable the voice. I may enlist another reader but it would not be from among the selected writers.
I will be selecting only 18 or so writers.
No images of any sort will be used other than a simple cover image.
Please present your best work. Non-fiction, short fiction, poetry, drama – all welcome. One selection per writer please – if more than one piece is submitted, I’ll read just the first one.
Length – roughly 1000-1500 words, but both shorter and longer submissions will be considered.
Please use LATE ORPHAN PROJECT and the name of your genre in the subject line of your email. No snail mail submissions. And do not attach documents – no attachments will be opened. Each piece should appear in the body of the email.
Use TITLE by AUTHOR NAME but no other complicated formatting, followed by a 6-sentence author’s bio, and the full name, birth and death dates of your mother and/or father, and the city where they were born.
January 15, 2016
If you are interested in supporting the project in any way, please write to me. I envision a collaborative project to present the best writing I can find on this difficult but illuminating topic. Thank you for entrusting your work to me. I am very sorry for your loss.