A creative time-capsule on babies and care-giving in lockdown
We accept open submissions on a rolling basis.
There is no fee and we aim to get back to you within 4 weeks.
We may publish anything between one piece per week or one per month; as this project is run by volunteers, we need to remain flexible to account for other commitments.
Every piece receives an illustration by one of our in-house artists. These include a variety of styles and your writing will be paired with an artist considered to be the best match.
For further details, see the General Guidelines below.
This is a collection of voices on babies and care-giving in lockdown. As the original care-giving dynamic, babies are at the core of what we’re about. As such, submissions containing babies will be reviewed as a priority. Beyond that, we’re interested in self-care, physical, mental, or emotional health issues; care of toddlers, older children, grown-up children, the elderly; care of plants or pets, gardens…you name it! The setting must include ‘Lockdown’ in some way. You could take a realistic interpretation or soar into the science fiction or fantasy realms. How might aliens, wizards or fairies cope with isolation and social distancing?! Interpret the remit as creatively as you can!
If your piece contains babies, it will be given priority. This is because we view the parent-baby dynamic as the original care-giving exchange and we are excited to see how this is captured in your writing.
The only stipulation is caring, or the lack of, and a lockdown or ‘isolation’ setting. As long as your piece contains these elements, it will almost certainly be published. We may however request to work with you to edit your piece. As this aims to be a family-friendly collection, we are unlikely to publish anything considered 18-plus, however, mild cursing may be accepted if it fits within the context of the work. We are not interested in academic writing, instructional pieces, news items or anything expressing political opinion. There are plenty of other outlets better suited to this.
Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org with your work in the body of the email. If you are sending photos, artwork, animations or visual poetry, please use an attachment or send link to file sharing site. It is free to submit to open submissions and you may submit as many times as you like, but please wait for a response before sending more work. For special submissions, see any cost-specific details.
Please include a biography up to 100 words with your submission. You could describe your connection to the remit, share where you live, or mention your lockdown situation.
Please include social media handles. If you are an established writer, feel free to include links to previous publications, or your website. You may also provide a profile picture and illustrative photos, if you wish.
You can submit:
Creative non-fiction (personal essays, blog posts, memoir, specific-interest stories, etc.) – up to 1000 words
Fiction – up to 500 words
Poetry – up to 50 lines in total
Photos / artwork – up to 5 pieces, with commentary
Videos / animations – up to 5 minutes with commentary
We cannot consider previously published work and pieces must standalone, not be part of a larger whole.
Your work will be reviewed by myself and a number of experienced creative writers, university lecturers and parents! We will be looking for writing that evokes lots of colour, imagery and sensory detail; use of descriptive devices such as similes and metaphors; emotional resonance and empathetic language; writing which feels personal, honest and offers a unique and unexpected view on the remit.
We are particularly keen to publish real-life experiences from parents, grandparents, siblings; midwives, nursery nurses, NHS staff, and teachers. Whether or not you consider yourself a writer, if you can write social media posts, you can write your story! Visit the RESOURCES page for information and inspirational ideas to get you started on your creative-non-fiction piece.
We are also particularly keen to see work from authors with under-represented identities, or works that ethically imagine under-represented characters. This could include LGBTIQ, physical or invisible disabilities, low-income, or minority groups. This list is not exhaustive. You are free to disclose your under-represented identity if you wish. If you have written an under-represented character, but do not share the under-represented identity, please describe how you have attempted to ethically imagine this.
In submitting your work you are expressing consent to granting Lockdown BabyBabble the rights to publish the English language work, in electronic form, throughout the world. You also certify that you own such rights and that the entirety of the work is original to the Author(s).
Accepted work will be published on the Lockdown BabyBabble website, and will be promoted across social media. As this is a not for profit project, we cannot offer payment. Full credit will be given and all copyright remains with the individual authors. There are no restrictions imposed should you wish to publish your work elsewhere.
If the future aim of this project is realised – to collate works into a digital and print anthology – these rights will be renegotiated with individual authors.