American Vignette Show Us Your State Writing Challenge badge on andreareadsamerica.com

vignette¹  (vɪˈnjɛt)
– n.

1. a small illustration placed at the beginning or end of a book or chapter
2. a short graceful literary essay or sketch

I am collecting vignettes from around the United States for publication here on Andrea Reads America. If you are interested in contributing, please keep reading for submission guidelines below.

I am reading my way around the United States in three books per state, and as I read, I am continually confronted by how little of my home country’s landscape and culture I have experienced. When I read a book set in a state I have lived in or traveled to, I can relate to the sense of place, and I love writing about the memories the author’s words evoke. For states I’ve never lived, though, I have no stories to share, and I am at a loss.

This is where you, dear writers, come in. I am seeking guest contributors to share scenes of life from your home states here on Andrea Reads America. I want this site to have more personal touches than just a series of book reviews, and I would like to publish your voices: young, old, gay, straight, white, black, rainbow striped. On the first Wednesday of each month, I will post a prompt to help get your writerly juices flowing, but you do not have to follow the prompts to submit work for consideration. Work may be previously published. All re-publications here on Andrea Reads America will be credited to the original author and will include an author bio, a link to the author’s website or blog, and links to any social media the author participates in (or whatever information the author would like to share).

Submission Guidelines

  • In fewer than 800 words – in a “short graceful literary essay or sketch” – describe a scene that captures a sense of place in your home state (home may be your childhood home, your current home, or anywhere in between). The sense of place may come from landscape, food, culture, ecology, colloquialisms, or any distinctive element of the state you call home.
  • Your vignette must be set in a state you have lived for a minimum of three months.
  • Creative nonfiction only, please.
  • Remember to title your piece, check your word count, and provide the name of the state in which your vignette is set.
  • If you would like to submit your piece via email, please cut and paste into the body of an email (no attachments) and send it to editor [at] andreareadsamerica [dot] com.
  • If you blog your piece, please tag it with American Vignette and use hashtag #AmericanVignette on social media.
  • If you would like to spread the word of this call for submissions, feel free to use the following blurb (remember to check that the link works): Reader, blogger, and essayist Andrea Badgley is collecting “Show Us Your State” stories for her Andrea Reads America website. Submission guidelines are here if you would like to participate.
  • You are welcome to use the badge at the top of this page to show your participation in the blogging challenge.

If you would like inspiration from a prompt or would like to read others’ entries, please see the prompt pages below.

The Prompts

I remember, May 7 – May 18, 2014
Summer Garments, May 21 – Jun 1, 2014
Pie, Jun 4 – Jun 29, 2014
Insects and Arachnids, Jul 2 – Jul 31, 2014

Have fun, and I look forward to escaping into your state!

¹ “vignette.” Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 05 May. 2014. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/vignette>.

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