We recently added The Ecological Citizen to our growing list of outlets for environmental writing.
Editor Joe Gray was kind enough to answer a few questions about the journal:
Tell us about The Ecological Citizen
The Ecological Citizen is an independent, free-to-access online journal that provides a forum for inspiring and mobilizing discussion with an Earth-centred perspective. Since the first issue came out, in July 2017, we have published over 180 papers, both short and long, with an ecocentric focus, as well as numerous poems and artworks.
You recently began taking fiction? Why is that?
As David Lodge wrote in The Art of Fiction : “I have always regarded fiction as an essentially rhetorical art – that is to say, the novelist or short story-writer persuades us to share a certain view of the world for the duration of the reading experience…” More than anything else, it is this rhetorical potential that appeals to me as editor of our new fiction section. At a time of great uncertainty about the conditions that life is going to face on Earth in the near future – and where readers of non-fiction are swamped by facts and concerned about misinformation – fiction offers a powerful alternative means of conveying messages of deep import, be they ones that will help shift mindsets or those that will directly inspire action. In my own experience, I found Edward Abbey’s Monkey Wrench Gang to be hugely influential, both in shaping the development of my own Earth ethic and in motivating me to go on to take direct action.
What are you looking for from fiction submissions?
We are keen to be sent plot-driven stories which are set on the Earth that we know, that we knew, or that we might some day experience, and which offer rich descriptions of places and characters, be they human or non-human. Submissions should be no longer than 2000 words. Authors wishing to challenge themselves with shorter word counts are very much encouraged to do so.
Most importantly, we are looking for pieces that in some way further the ecocentric worldview, in which intrinsic value is found not just in the interests of humans but across the ecosphere. This means that while stories that place humans as central characters are welcomed, we want to see a consideration of ecological issues that extends significantly beyond the implications for that one species.
You can find out more about this here.
Author of the novels The Tourist Trail and Where Oceans Hide Their Dead. Co-founder of Ashland Creek Press and editor of Writing for Animals (also now a writing program).