In an increasingly hostile political climate, we saw a need to establish a positive narrative in the LGBTQ+ community, especially for people of color, who bear the greatest percentage of violence. Often, violence and phobias are born out of ignorance or lack of connection and two things that can fill that gap are art and literature. As we did not see local mediums for such art and literature, we decided to revive the Creative Justice Press that OutFront’s current Executive Director, Denise Miller, founded to create a new platform called OurVoices, OutFront. This new platform will be a print publication, e-book, and workshop series to elevate LGBTQ+ voices in the Kalamazoo arts community. Playwrights, poets, writers, painters, photographers, and the like, will be encouraged to write from their unique perspectives as members of a traditionally marginalized community. The publication will also feature OutFront initiatives and opportunities designed by to take action to build strong community ties and modes of communication that combat fear; a common factor in further isolating marginalized communities. 

While the city and community show support for the LGBTQ+ people of Kalamazoo during Pride Month and special events, consistent involvement from allies is a constant need. Increasing the community’s awareness of recurring events, inter-sectional issues, local and national policy is an important factor in this. OutFront believes that the greatest education on LGBTQ+ issues comes from real connection and tools for self-motivated learning. Too often, allies seek answers from LGBTQ+ people who do not wish to serve as search engine of marginalization. OurVoices, OutFront will be a resource for Kalamazoo residents to be able to attain a new perspective without exploiting or further minoritizing others. This is open to all LGBTQI+ community members with a highlight on Kalamazoo County.

submit poetry, fiction and non fiction as a word document typed in 12 point, times new roman font. all work should be single spaced. Any art pieces should be submitted in black & white and in color. Work previously published online, electronically, or in print should not be submitted. 

please submit:

a short biography to be included in the publication. 250 words or less. 

fiction and non fiction - 1500 words or less, typed and double spaced using 12 point Times New Roman font

poetry - up to 5 poems, typed and single spaced using 12 point Times New Roman font

up to 2 pieces of art as a high quality (originally created at 300 ppi or higher) jpeg in Black&White and Color please! So we may consider them for in the book or on the cover and back pages

Deadline: June 16th 2019 

—We will announce final contributors by email, as well as at by May 20th 2019 (Pride exclusive edition) June 20th (Final June edition)

—Final contributors will be invited to do at least one public reading of their work.

—Contributors copies will be distributed prior to public release. 

All manuscripts will then be read by at least two different editors. These editors will not have access to the identity of the submitter. For the sake of avoiding any conflict of interest, if an editor believes that he/she recognizes the work of a colleague, student, or friend, then that manuscript is given to another editor. 

OutFront 501(3)c abides by The CLMP Code of Ethics. CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines — defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.