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Call For Submissions: Beginnings (Again)


Let's turn over a new leaf together

by Maddie Eisenhart, Digital Director & Style Editor

Call For Submissions: Beginnings (Again) | A Practical Wedding

It’s an APW tradition to start each year with Beginnings as our January theme. This is the time of year when we see the most new faces on the site, and when we work the hardest to undo all of the wedding industry crap and nonsense that goes along with engagement season (a little re-education, if you will.) So as you prepare for the holidays, take a minute and share what you’ve learned with us this year; we want your best planning advice, new marriage wisdom, and anything else that might help usher the newly engaged and soon-to-be married into a less scary place.

And in case, we haven’t said it enough yet, send us your weddings, will you? While we’re on the subject of weddings, we’d like to remind everyone that APW is committed to representing diversity on the site. We don’t get many submissions from people of color (either wedding-related or otherwise), which makes it seem like we don’t publish stories from people of color, which then in turn makes people subconsciously afraid to submit their stuff. So please, send us your weddings. We want them. We’re also always looking to start conversations regarding diversity in both weddings and marriage, so please help us feature more diverse voices on the site by submitting that thing you’ve been thinking about writing all year.

And now, here are the tips and tricks for submitting your story to APW and getting it published:

  • While we don’t exactly have any requirements for post length, essays between 600–1800 words are usually the ones that make it to the front page. Exceptions are always made, so don’t let those numbers keep you from writing what you need to write. If something is too long or too short, but we love the concept, we’ll help you edit it into something we can publish.
  • One of the primary characteristics we look for in submissions each month is a connection to a universal idea. We’re all writing from our personal experiences here, but if you can take that experience and make it something that other people are going to relate to, then we’ve got magic. But that doesn’t mean every post needs to have a big moral or overarching theme. Sometimes the most universal stories are the simplest ones.
  • As always, our themes are meant to serve as a guideline for submissions, but they aren’t rigid. Do with them what you will! For example, if next month’s theme is “Beginnings,” but you really need to talk about how why you hated your wedding, then we want to hear what you have to say. We’re always after diversity of experience here, so the most important thing is that you write something that is authentic to you (particularly if it’s a perspective we haven’t heard from in a while or at all).
  • Also, when you’re submitting for the monthly theme, we don’t want you to feel as though you have to frame your story around the theme itself (i.e., “Starting wedding planning is like…”). Heck, you don’t even have to include the name of the theme in your writing at all. Just write what you would normally write, and we’ll figure out if it’s a good fit for the month, or if maybe it would be a better fit for a future month.
  • Lastly, if you have something you just have to get out there into the world, but it doesn’t fit with the theme for the next month, please send it in anyway. Our top priority is always strong content, regardless of the topic.

And that’s it! So if you have a story to share about what you’ve learned, send it in already!

Cheers and happy writing,
Maddie

Photo by Vivian Chen (APW Sponsor)

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

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  • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

    Every time you link to “When We Got Married,” I click, and then I cry. (WHY do I keep clicking?!!! Mostly because it’s beautiful.)

  • Guest

    A bit confused about the diversity piece. If someone submits a piece of writing, how would you know they aren’t a person of color? We all experience the same things but perhaps race isn’t at the forefront of that experience.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      For the most part, we mean weddings. But this year we’ve also started getting some really interesting pieces about marriage and race, weddings and race, and we don’t want those to stop coming. Obviously race is not going to play a central role in everyone’s experience, but like many other topics, we don’t want to pretend it’s not something people are thinking about.

      • Lauren from NH

        I really appreciate this. I drooped a little when last month went by and the post I submitted didn’t get picked, (mostly because I got a little over excited about participating) but also a little because I thought maybe my situation is too unique/complicated for APW. I will now tell myself that you are holding on to it for the right moment.
        On a separate note, when I jumped head first into my now five year relationship, I thought for a minute is the black/white (not to mention 2nd generation – hello! cultural differences) thing going to matter it’s 2008 and the answer is yes, it matters to a lot of people, more than I could have every imagined.

    • Meg Keene

      Or, weddings/ marriage and sexual and gender identity. Or religious diversity. The wedding world is particularly bad about publishing from the default of the white, straight, well off, (thin), culturally if not religiously christian, women’s perspective, and reducing different perspectives to “other.” Combating that takes significant effort on all of our parts.

      That does not mean that race/ religion/ sexual or gender identity is always at the forefront of our experiences, but I’m not sure it’s actually as simple as “we all experience the same things.” We’re simply used to the narrative being the one that’s become normative, and assume that’s the universal experience.

      • Elisabeth S.

        I’m always excited to see the unique/complicated pieces and the intersection of weddings/relationships and class and sex and race and gender. Universe, I’m putting out a request for more same sex male wordless weddings!

    • http://dressesandyarn.tumblr.com/ Natalie

      To be blunt, race isn’t the forefront of many of your experiences if you’re white. If you’re not white, and especially if you live in primarily white communities, it becomes very clear. Consider that a young white, cis-het woman may have a very different planning experience and different expectations from a transman of color. I suspect that as a fat, visibly tattooed woman of color marrying a fat incredibly-tattooed man of color who passes, we will have different experiences planning our wedding than the average couple depicted on most wedding blogs.

  • KH_Tas

    Well I might have a post about the beginning of wedding planning, or I might just need to write down my rantings about the assumptions and places charging an extra $50 a head just to put a lackluster vegetarian option onto the menu for my own sanity, and then not send it. We shall see

  • Gwen

    I’m not ready to submit my wedding yet, but the link on this page doesn’t seem to be working and I can’t find a submission button anywhere else. Help? :-)

  • friedpod

    oh shit! deadline?

  • http://dressesandyarn.tumblr.com/ Natalie

    I should totally write about how my partner and I are discussing him taking my last name Jay-Z style, picking a new last name out of the random (Persimmon was the first one we came up with), or both of us taking our dog’s made up last name because it references where we met and first lived together. My mother is confused but down with it.