Call for Submissions: Honoring the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival

This special issue of Sinister Wisdom is dedicated to honoring the forty-year phenomenon of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (MWMF). It celebrates MWMF as an embodiment of radical feminist separatist collaboration, transformational self-defined autonomous spaces, a commitment to sisterhood and matriarchal culture, and a musical city sprung from the earth for one week in the woods. The guest editors will curate a diversity of womyn’s voices, values, traditions, and experiences of MWMF as it has changed and connected generations. We will explore what MWMF has meant to so many womyn, document its chronology, and commemorate the power of this unique community.

The guest editors are seeking submissions from writers and visual artists intimately connected with MWMF. Writers can submit poems, personal essays, short stories, oral histories, interviews, plays, and other original writing of no more than 5,000 words. Visual artists can send up to 5 paintings, drawings, photos, or other original artwork in black and white. Artists may submit one image in color for cover art consideration. All writing submissions should be in .docx, and for art, please use .jpg, .gif, or .tif (300dpi). We encourage vendors, performers, festivalgoers, facilitators, workers, and womyn from all races, ethnicities, sexualities, ages, abilities, religions, and gender identities to submit.

The guest editors welcome submissions that expand but are not limited to the following:

•Raising the Stages

•Preparing the City

•Body Acceptance

•Safety and Nudity

•Healing and Recovery

•Life Backstage

•Worker Community

•Womyn of Color

•DEAF Camping

•Pilgrimage and "Welcome Home"

•Orgasms, Sex, Romantic Love, and Exes

•Stories of Line Culture and Finally Getting In

•Growing up Gaia, Mothering the Younger Generations

•Chosen Families

•Gender Nonconforming Identities and Expressions

•Radical Spaces

•Workshops and Performances

•Finding Voice, Power, and Self

•Personal Agency in Workshifting

•Intersectional Communities

•Burlesque, Struts, and Walks and Parades

•Spirituality, Witchcraft, The Cult, and Woo

•Ecology and Nature

•Electricity, Plumbing, and Sound in the Woods

•Leather Community

•Babies and Crones

•Drugs, Fists, and Tears

•Lesbians, Lesbians, Lesbians

•Expanding Female

•Vending and Entrepreneurship

•Drum Circles, Hootenannies, Workshops with Artists

•Activism and Advocacy

•DIY Art and Culture

•Rehearsal Tent Hijinks

•RV Community

•Boys and Men

The guest editors want to preserve each submitter’s voice; however, where applicable we will be adhering to Sinister Wisdom publishing guidelines, which follow the Chicago Manual of Style. If you are not familiar with these guidelines, please contact the editors and we will assist with any questions you may have.

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2016; however, early submissions are encouraged and appreciated. Any questions please email

Please make your submissions here:

Allison Ricket is a teacher; writer; young mother; vocalist; white, middle-class radical lesbian feminist; eco-advocate. Allison teaches English in rural southeastern Ohio; reports on local news for the only independent news publication in her town; teaches vocal lessons at Girl’s Rock camp; and works as an adjunct professor in the Rhetoric and Composition department at Ohio University. Previously, Allison blogged for Southern Poverty Law Center’s website Teaching Tolerance where she wrote about social justice issues in educational policy and practice. Through the mothering of other sober Amazons, Allison found the Land in 2009 and returned every year. Her daughter was five at her first fest, and every year, for one week, Allison watches The Land lift her daughter’s spirit, transforming her into a free girl-child.

Amy Washburn is Assistant Professor of English at Kingsborough Community College (CUNY) and Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Hunter College (CUNY). She has an MA in English from SUNY New Paltz. She also has an MA and a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland. Her articles appear in Journal for the Study of Radicalism, Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Journal of Lesbian Studies. Her poetry collection Crestview Tree Woman was published by Finishing Line Press. Her recent poems appear in Sinister Wisdom and Flatbush Review. Her first fest was in 2011, and she has made the pilgrimage every year since then. She has two feline feminists, Lux and Volt, named after Rosa Luxemburg and Voltairine de Cleyre, that make re-entry possible.

Angela Martin is a fernilicious feminist. Her feminism was seeded in the experience of patriarchy and grew in the ferns of Michigan beginning in 2004. A clinical social worker in the world of non-profit, she has experience working with sex offenders, foster families, at-risk youth, and people living with mental illness. She understands we are all walking wounded. Mother of two daughters, member of RV and flex fest family since 2012; a blossoming radical leatherdyke.

Brynn Warriner is a freelance editor, typesetter, indexer, and all-purpose wordsmith based in Denver. Prior to going rogue, she was the managing editor at Marquand Books, an art book publisher in Seattle that produces catalogues raisonnés, artist monographs, and exhibition and collection catalogues for museums around the country and internationally. Michigan first saved her life in 2002, and she joined the worker community in 2012, where she has since served on the worker childcare/sprouts crew. Unrepentant feminist, striving antiracist, devoted aunt, and passionate gardener, she shares an urban space with her cat, three hens, and approximately sixty thousand honeybees.

Dream Gomez - Black lesbian technologist from Atlanta Georgia; female/woman-focused in thought and deed. She was introduced to the music of Ferron, the glories of midnight outdoor showers, and long walks alone in the relative safety of the festival woods when she first attended in 2002. Dream joined the worker Driver family in 2013. Participating in the publication of this special issue of Sinister Wisdom is one way to insure that “fest” lives on in her life in some way, shape, or form, whether she pilgrimages to those acres in the woods or not.

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz is a separatist, zinester, archivist, writer, and black-dyke-participant of intentional, community-specific, collective spaces. A coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and collective member of WOW Cafe Theater as producer of women of color theater, namely, Rivers of Honey, Shawn is a Librarian appointed as Assistant Professor at the Graduate Center, CUNY. From (the people’s republic of) Brooklyn, Shawn founded the Queer Housing Nacional List, and has since purchased a home designated for queer women of color (QWOC) with her wife in the Bronx. A board member of Fire & Ink, a national organization for LGBT writers of African descent, and founder of Lambey Press, independently publishing QWOC; Shawn walked into the woman of color tent in 2009 and it knocked her bra off.

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Gloria Anzaldúa

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