Call for Submissions: Mad Studies Stories and Theory

Autonomous Press seeks submissions of abstracts for two upcoming anthologies, Tinfoil Hats: Stories by Mad People in an Insane World and A Mad Turn: Anti-methods of Mad Studies.
The Basics
Autonomous Press seeks submissions of abstracts for two upcoming anthologies, Tinfoil Hats: Stories by Mad People in an Insane World and A Mad Turn: Anti-methods of Mad Studies.
We’re looking for abstracts of 500 words or less, with short accompanying author bios of 150 words or less (written in the third person), for each anthology. Deadline for abstract submissions is October 31, 2020. Selected authors will be notified by November 31, 2020, with final submissions by March 1, 2021 for Tinfoil Hats and July 1, 2021 for A Mad Turn.
What We’re Looking For
Tinfoil Hats will include stories by neurodivergent people who identify as being Mad, about living Mad in a saneist world. We see these stories as intensely personal – or as intensely as can be done when the intensity can be difficult to write or talk about. They may include stories about incidents and experiences that might seem intensely shameful, horrifying, scary, or hard. We look for narratives about what it looks/feels/sounds/smells like to be Mad, and experiences of interacting with those who stigmatize/psychiatrize/traumatize Mad people.
A Mad Turn will envision Mad Studies as a field, and and what it means to “do” Mad Studies. It will explore and think through what Mad Studies might bring to academia, education, culture, and other social institutions. It will be a place to talk about what Mad Studies offers Mad people and Mad activists. A Mad Turn will explore intersections with anarchism, disability justice, Mad justice, as well as gender and queer and race studies. Writing will generally be plainly spoken, working to step away from jargon, while understanding that there are things that need to be/can only be said with complex language, and working to explain that complexity.
Format and Length
For each book (authors are invited to submit pieces for one or the other or both), we’re looking for 10,000 words or less of fully-polished prose, submitted in standard manuscript format (title page with contact info, double-spaced Times New Roman 12-point font, pages numbered with either title or author’s name in the header). All submissions must be in a Word-compatible format (.doc, .docx) – no other file formats will be accepted. Writing may be poetic, in the form of memoir, or other alternative means of written expression.
How to Submit an Abstract
Email all abstracts to
When submitting your abstract, please put in the subject line one of the following:
“A Mad Turn Submission”
“Tinfoil Hat Submission”
Please send only one submission for each anthology, and only put one submission in each email.
Please include a cover letter that clearly specifies the name under which you want to be credited in the body of the email.
Abstracts (as well as final submissions) must meet the following criteria:
  • Double-space all text.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph, and do not put extra whitespace between paragraphs.
  • Make the first page a cover page with title and author contact info.
  • Number all pages.
  • Use Oxford commas consistently.
  • Thoroughly spell-checked and proofread (we recommend it be reviewed multiple times, by the author and by at least two other readers who have a sharp critical eye for detail, punctuation, grammar, and clarity of writing).
The Editor
Phil Smith is a recovering Professor of Special Education. He identifies as Mad (as hell) and Disabled, and also works as Development Editor at Autonomous Press. He’s published widely, including Writhing Writing: Moving Towards a Mad Poetics (2018, published by Autonomous Press). A poet, playwright, novelist, and visual artist, he’s an activist, and served on boards of directors of national and state organizations, including President of the Society of Disability Studies. He lives in a cabin beside Lake Superior, where he makes maple syrup, heats with wood, and yells at chipmunks.
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