Today, the magazine’s co-editors-in-chief are Katie and Kelly.
We founded DISABILITY ACTS because we were fed up with the challenges disability writers face placing our work in normate magazines. It’s not like we haven’t been successful hewing to normate requirements—we have been. And we appreciate the magazines that have given us space to write about disability.
But we, like other disabled writers, have been in situations where editors didn’t believe what we wrote was even real. Or we struggled to tell our stories within the parameters set by the magazine. CripLit is still a burgeoning genre, and it deserves its own space.
Here’s one of them.
The editors of D/A are also freelance writers; therefore, we don’t think it’s crass to talk about money. Right now, D/A does not pay. That’s because we have no money. We’re just friends who thought it would be great to volunteer our time to create space for disabled writers to publish their work. We volunteer our time to edit and publish pieces that wouldn’t otherwise be out there, and we think that time is worth it.
We are working on raising money to pay writers via crowdsourced fundraising. We have a tip jar on our main menu and after every piece we publish. Send your friends there. Every dollar counts. Once we have a sustainable fund, we’ll start paying writers for new writing.
But we don’t expect to make any money or see money pour in. Disabled people are poor. In our fantasy, monied normates fund us. Wow, how great would that be.
If you can’t write for free, that doesn’t hurt our feelings. How on earth could it? We don’t write for free, either. Here’s the deal: Submit your stories to paying outlets. If you end up with a story you can’t place, then submit it to us. We don’t mind being your last resort. Sometimes the stories that no one else wants are the weirdest, wackiest, very best ones of all.
We’ll keep a running update on donations received below.
Update as of 2/17/2019: We have received $30 in donations. Thank you, those who have donated to us.
What we’re looking for
In DISABILITY ACTS, we publish #ownvoices disabled writers, broadly construed, who are writing about disability.
We publish “Essays, Screeds, Manifestos,” also broadly construed. We welcome multi/inter-media.
Sometimes we publish poetry and fiction, but it is rare, and we will might ask you to write some framing context to go along with your piece. Here’s an example.
Do you want to change the world? You’ve come to the right place.
Length: As of now, 900–2000 words, but we are flexible.
We’re glad you’re here.
Guidelines for how to submit — PLEASE READ
(1) Subject line: Put the word “Pitch” in the subject line plus the title of your pitch or piece.
(2) Write a pitch. (Here’s how.) Please write a proper pitch so that we can properly consider your story.
(3) Our email: disabilityacts at gmail dot com.
(4) Submitting a draft: All submissions must be sent in an editable format. You can write your draft in a Google doc and share the link with us. Alternatively, you can send a Word doc.
(5) Content note: We don’t publish pieces with footnotes; sources should be cited in-line or as links. Pieces for D/A tend to have a personal element, telling the story of the writer’s life in some way and tying her life into the piece. Make the personal universal. We publish very few straight “opinion” pieces anymore (although we did so early on).
(6) Twitter and Medium: With your pitch, include your Twitter handle and your Medium handle. (You’ll need to create a Medium account to publish with us.) Here’s the Medium Help Page. We can’t be your Medium support team, unfortunately, because we have kids and jobs. Read their support pages to learn about how to use Medium properly.
(7) If you know one of us personally, you can email us your pitch directly with our personal email addresses. But if you do not know us personally, please use the main magazine email address.
(8) Timeline for submissions: This is a volunteer operation run by two people named Kelly and Katie. We’re disabled working moms. Please give us, at minimum, 3 weeks to review your submission before pinging us about it. I promise we didn’t forget you. We’re just trapped under something heavy.