A special issue on the short stories of Ivan Coyote

deadline for submissions: 
May 31, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Halmstad University, Sweden
contact email: 

We are looking for 500-word abstracts for a theme-based special issue of critical essays on the short stories of the queer Canadian writer and performer Ivan Coyote to be published in 2025. The full articles should be approx 7000 words. The deadline for the articles is October 1st, 2024. There will be a peer-review process. Any questions should be sent to anna.fahraeus@hh.se.

Storytelling is a means of telling others who we are but also what the world was, is or could be like. It is a means of safeguarding but also exploring and expurgating and re-envisioning memory, it is a means of bearing witness and of survival. What do Coyote's stories do? Why have the stories given rise to such a strong response among readers?  An intriguing and significant part of Coyote’s work is the role of storytelling and that Coyote frequently or almost always uses an autobiographical lens that blurs the lines between fiction and personal history in their stories that are set off as short stories.  

Born in the Yukon and active in Ontario and British Columbia, Coyote is a storyteller who writes in a variety of genres ranging from performance anecdotes and essay reflections (Boys Like Her and Tomboy Survival Guide) to the novel Bow Grip but a recurring genre is the short story. Though it is sometimes hard to draw the line (and it can be drawn in different places), this issue wants to look specifically at Coyote’s short stories (e.g. but not limited to the collections Close to Spiderman, One Man’s Trash, Missed Her, The Slow Fix and the stories that can be found in Rebent Sinner, Persistence and Gender Failure

In 2012, Coyote published her short story collection One in Every Crowd for queer youth. It was put together specifically to be appropriate for high school libraries. What has been its dissemination and acceptance? For the past three years (2020-2023), Coyote has held the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity at the University of Western Ontario. What relationship does Coyote’s work have to the short stories of Munro? Do they share any themes or strategies in storytelling? What role do stories play in the collection, Care of, that Coyote put together during the pandemic and showcases some of the letters and notes received from audiences and readers to their work, and also contains Coyote’s responses.

In this special issue, the aim is to both celebrate the breadth of Coyote’s work and to examine its relationship to a variety of issues trans identities, trans activism, queer and trans theory, the practice of living as a nonbinary person, and its relationship to short story theory and short storytelling as a practice, that is, to other short storytellers and short story writers.  

The special issue focus can encompass a variety of themes in Coyote’s short stories, such as:

 

Truthtelling

Vulnerability

Exofiction

Being queer

Coming out

Sexual politics

Butch/femme

Gender politics

Legibility of gender and sexuality

Clocking

Childhood and sexuality

Family fragility

Solidarity

Community

Activism

Teen sexuality

Gender dysphoria/gender euphoria

Non-binary identity

Visions of community

Pronouns

Shifting identities

Gender failure – or queer gender success?

Gender communities

Transmedial identity