Call for Submissions: Imitation
Submissions are now open for the Imitation issue. The deadline is November 30, and we expect the issue to begin serializing here sometime in January, after the conclusion of the current Worship issue.
Imitation — that sincerest form! — is in art all too often maligned. “Better to fail in originality than succeed in imitation,” no less a writer than Melville once sneered. For Emerson, imitation was “suicide.” Especially since the Romantic revolt, writers and artists in the West have taken for granted that originality is the soul of creation.
Originality, though, is crippled without discipline, and imitation is an uncompromising practice. The Great Masters of the past knew this well, and would apprentice for years to gain fluency of form; the literature of earlier eras, too, was woven with both homage and parody. Poetry in particular has lent itself to the game: both John Keats and William Blake published An Imitation of Spenser, while Spenser, in turn, openly mimicked a more antique verse. Robert Lowell’s Imitations is humbling in its breadth, and how many countless poets have affixed an italicized “after xx” beneath a title?
We believe there’s plenty to be gained from reviving the imitative tradition — be it in jest, out of reverence, or somewhere in between — and so, for the next issue of qarrtsiluni, we’re asking you for your greatest imitations. Whether you’ve always dreamed of being Faulkner (or Milosz or O’Keefe or Banksy or Bresson), or just want to try your hand at highbrow fanfic, here’s your opportunity.
Submissions will be evaluated not only on their own merits but by how well they evoke the style or approach of another. Though it’s up to you whether or how to acknowledge the model in the submission itself, we do ask that you spell it out in your cover letter. (Where appropriate, you might include a copy of the work being emulated — or spoofed.)
Our limits this time are three poems, five images or videos, and/or 1000 words of prose per submission. All submissions must go through the submissions manager (which also includes our general guidelines). If you’ve submitted to other publications that use this system, Submishmash, you’ll need to log in with the same username and password. Otherwise, you’ll create a new account as part of the submission process.
As always, we consider contributions of nonfiction, poetry, short fiction, photographs, digitized artwork, short films, original musical compositions, spoken word recordings, translations and collaborative works.
Siona van Dijk is an entrepreneur, writer, and graduate student in Depth Psychology. Prior to qarrtsiluni, Siona has served on the editorial staff of The Amherst Review, Circus, and A Further Room. Her favorite mimic is the lyre bird.
Dave Bonta handles most of the day-to-day operations at qarrtsiluni, but once a year he likes to don the hat of an issue editor, too. Some of his other online projects include the videopoetry collection Moving Poems and a daily microblog of observations from his front porch. His most recent print publication is in The Book of Ystwyth: Six poets on the art of Clive Hicks-Jenkins.