Monday, July 31, 2006

Single State Of The Union

Single Women Speak Out about Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

Are single women happy individualists? Neurotic man-hunters? Bunny boilers with bad perms? Are we confused or content? Lonely or lively? Angry or ambitious? Or possibly none?or all?of the above? No one seems to know. In fact, it would appear we're at a cultural crossroads as social arbiters desperately try to figure out if the new single woman is a card-carrying member of the Quirky Alone movement or if she's more
comfortable mincing about in a strapless prom dress making cow eyes at The Bachelor.

Single State of the Union is a collection of personal essays that attempt to answer these questions by offering a big picture view of what it means to be a single woman today. We've all read the bad date stories, seen the sassy tales of Cosmo-swilling sirens in search of Prada bags and/or powerful men. What we've seen less of, though, are the stories that reflect the full monty of the single female experience...essays that depict her creative ability, her intellectual pursuits, her physical achievements, relationships with family, friends and pets, weird science projects and obsessive Pez collections. Is singlehood cause for celebration or serious soul-searching? Is it love or not having to do somebody's laundry (including your own) that makes the world go 'round'? In a nutshell, what's the cultural zeitgeist on the new single woman?

Single State of the Union seeks well-written essays that are revealing, rewarding, wry and that give voice to the good, bad and ugly of life as a single woman in a society that idealizes -- even fetishizes -- marriage. This particular collection is not so much looking for stories about dating or the search for love (at least in the traditional sense) but stories of life, liberty, and our individual pursuits of happiness, whether through music, misadventure, motherhood, or all of the above.
Essays from women of all ages (18-88) and all situations (single, dating,
"living in sin," recently married, divorced, widowed, etc) are welcome --
as long as they are on point.

PLEASE NOTE: At this time, the editors are primarily interested in essays dealing with the following topics:

- Filthy Lucre: Single women and money.
- For the Love of Art: Life as a musician/writer/painter/performance artist
- On Our Own: Secret single behavior, issues of loneliness, home repair horrors, etc.
- Obsessions: Single women and their addictions to clothes/fashion, TV shows, alcohol, etc.
- I Married Adventure: Road trips, mountain-climbing, adventures at sea. Danger, intrigue, enlightenment, romance and laughter on the road.
- Best Friends Forever: Single women and their friendships (with men and other women).
- The Egg and I: Pregnancy, hormonal frenzies, the search for Mr. Right Sperm Donor.
- Army of One: Battles with cancer, professional skirmishes, military service, physical accomplishments, mother-daughter duels, tales of revenge, etc.

EDITOR: Diane Mapes has written essays on pop culture, the single life, television, travel, naked sushi, and more for Bust, Christian Science Monitor, Health, Los Angeles Times, Mental Floss,, Seattle Magazine, Seattle Times, Washington Post, and the recent anthology Single Woman of a Certain Age. A native of the Pacific Northwest, she studied journalism at Western Washington University and creative writing at the University of Washington where she won two awards for her fiction. Her
popular reported essays about dating for the Seattle Times were the springboard for her first book, a humorous look at today's courtship practices, How to Date in a Post-Dating World (Sasquatch Books, 2006). She currently lives in Seattle and is happily single.

LENGTH: 1,000-3,000 words

FORMAT: Essays must be typed, double-spaced, and paginated. Please include your address, phone number, email address, and a short bio on the last page. Essays will not be returned.

SUBMITTING: Electronic submissions only, please. Send essay as a Word or Rich Text Format file (with .doc or .rtf extension) to Put ?SINGLE STATE SUBMISSION? in the subject line. Please direct any inquiries to

REPLY: Editor cannot reply to every submission personally. Please allow until September 1, 2006, for a response. If you haven't received a response by then, please assume your essay has not been selected.

Publisher: Seal Press, an imprint of Avalon Publishing Group
Deadline: August 1, 2006
Payment: $100 plus two books

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