I’ve decided to take a bit more time to work on the anthology book I’m currently putting together on circumcision.
That’s good news if you haven’t submitted yet – there is more time! Submission details are here.
However, I wanted to explain the decision a bit here, since I’ve got enough material now that I could publish.
The Intention of The Book
The original idea of the book was to pair two things – public figures and those who’d been working on this issue a long time. My thinking was:
- There are many public figures who want to speak out on this issue, but have not been given a meaningful opportunity to do so. Right now, if they wanted to speak on this issue, they’d have to give a random tweet, interview, or blog post. This gives them the prestige of being published in a book, and puts their words next to top experts.
- There are many experts who have been doing great work on this issue, but haven’t received the attention they deserve. By putting their expertise next to people with a larger audience, this exposes those experts to that audience and increases the number of people aware of their work. People might get the book because they see a public figures name on it, but the essay that blows them away might be from an unknown.
- Everyone involved gets their words amplified and exposed to a new audience. YouTubers do collab videos. Musicians guest on each others tracks. Why not do a “collab book” where multiple authors contribute and share audiences?
Reaching More Contributors
While I’ve had interest from a some public figures, it takes time and energy to reach them. I’ve found cold emails go almost nowhere, but when I’ve explained the concept on the phone they immediately get it, and are interested. If I want larger names, I need to find a way to have a conversation with them.
That said – I may have the opportunity to do that soon. This year, I’m speaking at the International Men’s Conference, and the Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology (plus, some other potential events). At both, there are people I’d consider including who I can speak with face to face.
However, those conferences are in the fall, after I was originally going to publish. Rather than publish in September, I’d rather wait a bit longer and create an even better book, with even more voices.
That said – I’m glad I put a deadline on the first round, because 90% of the people who said they’d submit sent their writing in week before deadline. (It’s ok, every artist I know works this way.)
Change In Focus
Originally, I wanted submissions from both sides. Despite reaching out to a number of different people the grand total of submissions I got from a pro-circumcision perspective was… one.
Despite working on this issue, I’m not aware of many major public figures representing the pro-circumcision perspective. The pro-circumcision movement has chosen a strategy of silence, so even when I’ve told some I’d publish whatever they wrote, they refused.
Whereas there used to be pro-circumcision figures who would go on TV and debate the issue, now I can’t name one. Those that exist frame themselves as advocates of “parental choice,” rather than circumcision.
Since it would seem odd to have one “token” essay from the other perspective, I may have to re-think this aspect of the book. It may be that we do not include the pro-circumcision perspective, since it no longer exists in it’s earlier form, and has so few strong representatives.
If you’re interested in participating in the book project, here are the guidelines:
- How To Contribute: Send one essay 1,000 – 5,000 words in length exploring an aspect of circumcision, a 2-3 sentence bio, and a signed copy of this form [download here] giving me permission to use your contribution in the book to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Submission” as the first word of your headline.
Thanks for reading.
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