Rosemary Ganley is a Peterborough, Ontario feminist activist and writer whose weekly columns in The Peterborough Examiner reach a wide audience and make waves. WATER commits to following her lead by encouraging this kind of writing for a broad audience.
The WATER Essay Contest is an invitation to writers at all stages to submit 650 well-chosen words on a topic related to feminist work for social change that springs from spiritual commitments. Politics and the arts, sports and theology, local and global happenings are all fair game. Your imagination and activist priorities are the only limits. Write boldly and clearly à la Rosemary.
For wonderful examples, see Rosemary’s blog: https://yellowdragonflypress.weebly.com/columns
- Make it accessible to a general reader
- Research carefully and make a clear argument
- Convey a sense of calm and hope
- Wit welcome
This is the second WATER Essay Contest. For 2023, we had many wonderful submissions, with three stand-out winners:
Mary Dyer, “Rock, Paper, Scissors: Love Letter from Kenya”
Diana Ensing, “How Our Clothing Choices Can Help the Earth”
Bernadine Lanot, “How the Feminine God Subverts the Patriarchal Gaze and Rebuilds a Home in One Woman’s Body”
Their essays may be found down below. Note the readable style, the seriousness of content, the steady, forward-looking views. And there are snippets of wit!
Graduate programs in religion do not teach this kind of writing. But WATER finds it a great way to share the wealth of progressive scholarship. Short pieces that readers are eager to post on social media, use in teaching and discussion groups, and expand in deeper dives are the order of the day. The goal is to get the best of feminist studies in religion into the hands of local people who create conscious communities and vote.
Here’s how to get involved:
- Submit your essay (one per writer) to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15, 2024. Be sure it is 650 words or fewer crafted in the spirit of the contest. If it is in a language other than English, please provide an English translation. Please do not include your name on the essay itself to help with a fair review process.
- Consider where you will try to get it published whether you win or not. Include that information with your entry because it signals your intended audience.
- Include your name, email, and a two-line description of yourself to accompany your article.
- Up to three prizes of $650 each will be awarded by April 15, 2024. Winners will also receive a signed copy of one of Rosemary Ganley’s anthologies of her articles.
- Anonymous judges will offer a careful reading of each piece and, if possible, suggestions for next steps in content and publication. WATER sees this as an extension of our teaching and networking commitments.
We are grateful to a generous donor who believes that Rosemary Ganley is changing the world 650 words at a time. WATER agrees with our donor and seeks to encourage many to join her in this work.
Submit your essay to email@example.com by March 15, 2024! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mary E. Hunt, firstname.lastname@example.org.