Vol. 11: The Long & Winding Road

Hey MM fam! Sam here, waving at you from Santa Monica, where the sun has finally come out after an extended period of June gloom. It’s August 1st, but we’re finally in the thick of it now!

Summer has always been my favorite season. I love everything typically associated with it. Swimming pools, Otter Pops, and ice cream sandwiches purchased from a van that plays circus music. Beach trips, watercolor sunsets, and tropical drinks that match. The intoxicating (and probably toxic) scent of Hawaiian tropic sunscreen…Ahhh, yes. Coat my body in it and let me breathe it in!

Even now that I’m a cog in the corporate wheel and don’t get summers off, I still look forward to this season every year. Mostly, I think, because I had so much fun during the summers when I was a kid, when summer meant total freedom from the relatively smaller responsibilities that stressed me out during the school year. Even if I can’t reclaim that freedom, I can still bask in the memories, right?

Some of my favorite summer memories are those from the road trips I took with my family throughout my childhood and adolescence. We used to make the 10+ hour trek from southern to northern California to visit my mom’s side of the family every summer. And while I didn’t particularly enjoy those drives when I was a hyper kindergartener, I quickly learned to love sitting in the backseat with my headphones on, spacing out as the scenery rolled by.

There’s nothing like a good road trip. Especially if you have some good pals, tasty snacks, and killer tunes streaming through your speakers along for the ride.

For Volume 11, we want you to bring us along for your favorite (or least favorite!) rides across this majestic planet. Of course, we won’t limit you to road trips; if you want to share the story of your honeymoon in Paris, or your spontaneous jaunt to the top of Mt. Everest, we’re all ears & eyes! We want all of your travel stories, whether they’re also love stories, horror stories, success stories…you know we’re flexible here.

The only rule is the same as it always is: this trip must include music!

We can’t wait to see where you take us!

Submission Requirements:

-DEADLINE FOR VOL.11 SUBMISSIONS: September 30, 2019, 11:59 PM (PDT)

– Send in your submission using our brand new SUBMISSION FORM, embedded below!
You should receive a confirmation of receipt from: SUBMISSIONS@MEMOIRMIXTAPES.COM

Memoir Mixtapes only accepts creative non-fiction essays and poetry for publication in our Volumes. Any fiction pieces we receive will be automatically rejected. We’re looking for your personal, creative non-fiction prose and poetry inspired by the music that makes you feel feelings.

-Attach your submission as a .doc or .docx file (do not send PDFs or enclose your submission as text in the body of your emailyour submission will not be logged)

-Please include a third-person bio with your submission
(photos aren’t necessary, but if you want to send us pictures of your beautiful faces we won’t protest)

-One submission, based on one song, per writer. For prose submissions, 3500 words maximum (12 point font, single spaced). For poetry submissions we will only read one poem—please do not send multiple poems, as we will only read your first and make our decision based on that.

Submission Guidelines:

-The sweet spot for prose submissions is between 2–6 pages, single spaced. (If your submission runs a little shorter or longer, it’s not the end of the world.)

-Poetry submissions can be any length, but please bear in mind that over 5 pages is going to be a tougher sell.

-Proofreading is the best friend you have. We have other responsibilities / cats / dogs / spouses that eat up a lot of our time and we can’t dedicate as much effort as we’d like to on extensive edits to your work. Please, make sure your piece has that extra polish and shine before you send it in.

-We try to retain original formatting where applicable (particularly where poems are concerned), but your piece may be formatted/edited to fit our desired A E S T H E T I C.

Other Items:

As much as we’d love to pay contributors (or even ourselves), we’re broke as hell and can’t do any of that; as such, Memoir Mixtapes is free. This project is a labor of love and volunteer work, and will likely remain that way until we find ourselves a rich-ass patron who wants to throw cash at us to do what we love. (We’re still crossing our fingers for sponsorship from Taco Bell, so if anyone has the connect, hook us up.)

We’re not picky about whether your work has been previously published elsewhere, but we’d like to ensure that we’re not going to get sued to hell over copyright infringement, so make sure you’re okay to do so before sending it our way. In the same vein, we don’t mind if you want to submit your pieces to other publications after they have showed up in Memoir Mixtapes first—the work is yours, after all. Just please ensure that you credit us for being the first to publish it.

We make our decisions for inclusion once we’ve closed submissions for the current call; however, we will always respond to you to let you know we received your submission. These response times can vary from a day to a week, depending on our inbox / available time, so please be patient with your editors. That said, our spam folder has been known to eat potential contributor submissions, so PLEASE check in with us if you haven’t received a confirmation email within a week of sending your submission, preferably from a different email account (because Google is likely to throw you in spam again if you use the same address) or by Twitter/Instagram/Facebook message.

FOR TEACHERS WANTING TO GET STUDENTS INVOLVED: We’ve had it happen a few times now where teachers want to use our prompts as a basis for their classroom assignments. We think this is an excellent idea—we love the idea of helping to inspire burgeoning writing talent! And if your students want to submit to us, that’s even cooler! We’d be happy to read and consider their submissions for publication.

HOWEVER. We want all of our submissions to come from a place of passion and enthusiasm, not dread or annoyance. As such, we would ask that you please refrain from making submitting their work to us mandatory in order to pass your assignment. Nothing breaks our hearts quite like seeing “I’m sending you this story because I have to if I want a good grade for my English class” in a cover letter. It makes the students unhappy, and it makes us unhappy. If they want to submit, please encourage them, just don’t turn us into a chore for the students that don’t want to. Cool?

Are you a former contributor with exciting news to share? Use this form to keep us in the loop re: your recent publications and other accomplishments!