ON / Rules

deadline for submissions: 
June 9, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Lucas Reif / Shelf Shelf and ON Journal
contact email: 

Call for Submissions: Interdisciplinary responses to "Rules"

ON Journal is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary print journal edited by Gabrielle Welsh and published by Shelf Shelf — https://shelfshelf.store/on-being-read/index.html

“I don’t follow the fucking rules,” you hear an earlier version of yourself saying, yet rules—both spoken and unspoken—permeate all facets of our lives, dictating our faculties. How are they broken? If only momentarily?

The third issue of ON Journal seeks interdisciplinary submissions on the ways in which rules are navigated, broken, followed, and/or twisted through any printable medium (essays, poetry, short stories, photography, design, drawing, etc.). Think of writings that call to destroy the systems that oppress, images that disobey the history of visual hierarchy, or poems that break the conventions of the English language. Expand the idea of a rule, beyond a law. Might the rule be reinvented as something freeing? The rule may be interpreted broadly, and we do not necessarily require that you break said rules. 

Potential areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Rules of queerness and gender presentation
  • Unspoken codes that linger in communities and groups
  • Grammatical rules, modes that break these
  • Familial traditions
  • How rules are enforced through policing and control
  • Moments of liberation beyond these rules

Words and phrases to inspire: 

Rules of thumb, time-outs, angst, grammar, the MTA (no talking!), Bonnie and Clyde, common sense, Germanic languages, passports, fake IDs, the stock market, Ninety-Five Theses, aerodynamics, em dashes, your first cigarette, xenophobia, ecosystems, service jobs, traditions, Chicago Manual of Style, lifeguards, time travel, post-punk, driving on the right, shitty bosses, bureaucracy, the fourth wall (and breaking it), generations, units of measurement…

Please email submissions for consideration to both editor Gabrielle Welsh (gwelsh@saic.edu) and publisher Shelf Shelf (mail@shelfshelf.store) by Sunday June 9, 2019. While writing of all styles and lengths will be considered, submissions should be no longer than 4000 words. Pitches and abstracts any long-form writing will also be accepted, with the knowledge that a full draft will be expected by Sunday June 31, 2019. Please include a brief bio (between 50–100 words) along with your submission.