Seal Press Anthology on Lesbian Marriage

full name / name of organization: 
Audrey Bilger/Claremont McKenna College
contact email: 

Call for Submissions: Here Come the Brides! The Brave New World of Lesbian Marriage (Seal Press, 2012)

2,000-4,000 words

Editors: Audrey Bilger and Michele Kort. Audrey Bilger is the Faculty Director of the Writing Center and Associate Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College. Michele Kort is Senior Editor at Ms. magazine, a freelance writer, and author of three books (including Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro).

Same-sex marriage is obviously a hot topic these days, and we want to look specifically at the lesbian side of the equation. Given the secondary status of women throughout much of the globe, bonds between women—particularly intimate connections—can redefine the political landscape as well as the domestic realm. Anna and Eve don't get as much press as Adam and Steve, but they're potentially more threatening to the status quo.

Here Come the Brides will primarily cover legal marriages, but also lesbian commitment ceremonies in locales where the legal status of gay marriage is still up for grabs. We hope the book will be able to represent a diversity of points of view in terms of race, class, ethnicity and geography, and incorporate transgender perspectives. Although the book will be generally upbeat about lesbian marriage, we'd also like viewpoints from those who are opposed to either being married themselves or who have issues with the institution or the politics of same-sex marriage.

We're looking for a variety of material: primarily first-person essays, but also secondhand observations, bridesmaid/mother-of-the-bride/etc. stories, and even analytical pieces (as long as they're written in an accessible style). We're open to graphic essays/cartoons as well, and we're eager to see lesbian wedding ephemera: great photos, invitations, newspaper wedding announcements, vows, guest favors.

Needless to say, we're looking for terrific writing—colorful, moving, funny, surprising, insightful. We can imagine essays that cover a lesbian marriage from soup to nuts, but we think it's more likely, given the word limitation, that it might be best to focus on a certain aspect of lesbian marriage or of your particular wedding—at least as an organizing principle. Here are some questions to think about; perhaps one or more will inspire a resonant tale:

What made you decide to get married? How significant was legalization in your state/country in your decision? How/who popped the question? What trepidations did you have about marriage? What does marriage mean to you/what doubts do you have about the institution? How is marriage the same/different for a lesbian couple? How did your families handle the news? Was there any particular joy or heartbreak about someone who did or did not support your wedding? What was the planning process for your wedding? Was it a fancy affair, or just a trip to the courthouse? Did you have a best man/woman or bridesmaids/bridesmen? Do you have children, and were they involved in the wedding? Do you have a good story about your wedding outfits? About the ceremony/reception? Who did you invite? If you're an interracial couple, did that bring out issues beyond your lesbian connection? Same question if one or both of you is transgender. Was your wedding traditional—or did you purposefully try to "queer" it? Did you write your vows? Did you put out an announcement in the newspaper? Did you go on a honeymoon? What do you call your spouse? How has lesbian wedded life met/exceeded/confounded your expectations? Does your relationship feel different since you married? Has marriage made you more/less radical about LGBT issues?

Deadline for submissions: January 30, 2011. Please consider running your ideas past us before you plunge into writing. We also encourage early submissions.

For more information, see our blog at Please email submissions and inquiries to: