calling all writers, educators, scholars, & artists
Unsilence builds and distributes free and accessible educational programs - for youth and the general public - that unsilence an array of taboo and marginalized human rights issues, from historical to contemporary. In our effort to shed light on hidden stories of human rights and atrocity, Unsilence is accepting contributions from writers, artists, historians, educators, psychologists, scholars, game designers, and anyone who cares deeply about social justice and has something to say.
What is Unsilence looking for?
We're looking for new, engaging content to be turned into innovative educational programs. Our youth and community programs are story-driven and learner-centered, made up of intersecting, highly-engaging activities. At the heart of our programs are the questions: How and why do certain narratives become forgotten, hidden, and silenced? And how can we unsilence them? How do hidden narratives connect and overlap?
Here are some examples of what we're looking for. These lists of content and methods are not exhaustive.
MEDIA & METHODS:
Can I submit fiction?
Yes, The human rights fiction we promote is always grounded in rigorous research and real experiences, framed as an entry point to exploring non-fiction human rights content. Most programs of Unsilence combine fiction and non-fiction narratives of human rights. If you're interested in submitting fiction, submissions of short, interactive fiction accessible to teenagers are preferred. (At the initial proposal stage, in addition to your proposal describing your project, you may submit a short writing sample.) We accept all genres, including fantasy and science fiction.
Can I submit non-fiction research?
Yes. Non-fiction, research-based content is one type of content we're looking for. If you're a historian or social scientist, we'll work with you to make your research accessible to youth and communities (for example, we might adapt your research, photography, or artwork into an online exhibition).
I've never designed educational programs. Can I still submit?
Yes. If you've never created a learning experience, don't worry. If you're a scholar, we'll work with you to turn your academic research into compelling, accessible feature for young people and communities. If you're an artist, writer, or photographer, we'll work with you to turn your work into a compelling feature.
What does a completed Unsilence program look like?
A typical Unsilence program is structured as a series of features from different perspectives, through different forms of media. For example, flash fiction might be placed alongside research data, or a virtual art exhibit might complement an interactive biography, and so on. Features are often accompanied by educator guides. Through common themes, a series of features will tell a broad, complex story that connects local, national, and global aspects of a human rights issue.
Where will my work be published?
Unsilence content is published online, right here. The vast majority of our content is made available to the public for free. We feature our content in our educator training workshops across the country, and we promote our content through our network of educational institutions and through social media.
Will I receive recognition for my work? Will I be paid for my work?
You will receive full recognition for your work. Our intention is to keep Unsilence educational programs free for schools and communities. We are a new nonprofit and, at the moment, we regret that we're unable to pay contributors.
The content I want to submit has appeared elsewhere. Can I still submit?
Yes. We accept and adapt previously published work, as long as you have all the necessary permissions.
Can I submit more than one proposal?
Yes. In your proposal, please indicate if you are submitting more than one project for consideration.
My written content is not in English. Can I still submit?
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept non-English proposals at the moment. We are also unable to provide translation services.
What is the deadline for proposals?
There is no deadline. We are currently accepting proposals year-round.
What is the review process for considering submissions?
A team of reviewers will consider all submissions and select those for pre-development that best align with Unsilence's mission and guiding principles. We will notify you within 60 days if your submission is accepted into pre-development. Due to the high volume of proposals and queries we receive, we regret that we cannot respond to all submissions.
What is the timeline for developing the content of accepted proposals?
If your proposal is accepted into pre-development, we will work with you individually to determine a manageable timeline. Acceptance into pre-development does not guarantee full development and publication.
What additional support does Unsilence need?
In addition to accepting proposals for content, we're always looking for content advisors, proof-readers, and content road-testers. If you're able to provide us with this kind of support, we'd love to hear from you. You can sign up to volunteer here.