Lesbian and Queer Recovery

Sinister Wisdom: Lesbian and Queer Recovery
Call for Submissions

What does lesbian and queer recovery from addiction look like today? In 1983, when sober lesbian Jean Swallow could not find resources about lesbians in recovery, she set out to create them herself. She wrote in the Introduction of her groundbreaking collection Out From Under: Sober Dykes and Our Friends (Spinster’s Ink): “It is a record of our journeys, our fights, our joy. It is a road-map and a vision, a sharing and a song.” Out From Under remains the only collection of essays about lesbians in recovery.

Now, forty years later, and in the spirit of Jean Swallow, I come to you, mid-life and sober myself, looking for our road-map again. I stand, gratefully, between two generations; looking up to my lesbian elders with my arms wide open to our younger, brighter future.

There are more opportunities to connect in recovery now than forty years ago. But nevertheless, our legacy started in a bar. We found each other in a bar. So how do we find each other when that space is no longer safe? What obstacles to get sober did you face as a lesbian or queer person, as a person of color, as a trans person? What does queer and sober community look like to you?

I seek your stories: your journeys, your fights, your joys.

How did you find your way home?

Please submit fiction, nonfiction, poetry, interviews, and genre-non-specific work, up to 5,000 words, and a short contributor biography between twenty-five and 125 words. I am also seeking illustration and photographs (.jpg or .tif files only, print resolution size at least 300 ppi). Please do not send previously published work.

Submit to Sinister Wisdom
Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2024
Any questions can be sent to sinisterwisdom@gmail.com

About the Editor: Max Backer is a queer writer from Ithaca, New York. They taught English and gender studies at St. John Fisher College for ten years before making the leap into community building for folks in recovery. As a spoken word poet, Max has toured all over North America and opened for Andrea Gibson and Rachel McKibbens. They were a 2012 Lambda Fellow in Poetry under Jewelle Gomez and Dorothy Allison. In 2018, they delivered a TedxTalk entitled: no one has imagined us: the gender non-binary experience. Max created the Jean Swallow Project, a multimedia experience of sober lesbian history, in 2021.

"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

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― Charlene Carruthers

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Audre Lorde

“It’s revolutionary to connect with love”
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