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Call for Submissions from Friends of Migrants

Published: Dec. 11, 2020


To writers, artists, songwriters, photographers, and visual artists working with migrants:

The publishers of “Books for the Journey” are seeking submissions for an upcoming anthology, We Are Here to Represent.

Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2021.

For more details, read the message below from editor Denise Chaves.

from Vona Von Cleef, El Paso Friends Meeting (12/6/2020)


Date: Wed, Dec 2, 2020 at 4:59 PM


The anthology is a Witnessing of the Heart. It is YOUR story about YOUR experience working with our Refugee, Migrant and Asylum-seeking children, youth, and families on the U.S./Mexico Border. These are not interviews or fictionalized imaginative interpretations, but deep reflections and testimonies by people who have worked with love to bring dignity and respect to the lives of our brothers and sisters, no matter how brief the encounter.

A focus will be on the stories of those fixing lunches for the bus, a snack for the plane, those organizing hospitality bags, taking temperatures, or distributing diapers and shoes, those preparing a meal for 400 people on Monday night for those living on or under a bridge, those who have translated and shown families where they are on a map and where they are headed. These are the stories of those working diligently and quietly in the background to help Refugee, Migrant and Asylum-seeking children, and families.

If you were a high school student, college student, or adult and came to the U.S. Border during a Border Immersion Program to learn about what was going on. . .and were changed or moved by your experience. . .we want your story. If you fixed pancakes on Monday mornings in a rec room for families, we want to know your story.

We want to know from the inside out the story of your work with Refugees and how it has affected you and what you learned from your experience. The anthology will illuminate the hands-on stories that heal our world by that “heart-turning “consciousness that forever marks a person.

Editors of the anthology are Denise Chávez, Author, Owner and Bookseller at Casa Camino Real Bookstore, Kari Lenander, Executive Director of the Border Servant Corps (BSC) and Dr, Enrique Lamadrid, Professor Emeritus in Spanish and former director of Chicano Hispano Mexicano Studies at the University of New Mexico. Chávez and Lenander are Co-Founders of Libros Para El Viaje, an ongoing book distribution program that began in the summer of 2018.

Potential Stories may include those working in the following capacities: 

Submissions may be in English, Spanish, Bilingual, Portuguese, and other Indigenous languages used by our Refugee families.

Preference is given to stories about the U.S./México border near Las Cruces, New Mexico, El Paso, Texas, and Cd. Juárez. México. However, submissions will be considered from other Border communities. Some of you may be professional writers, others may not. What matters is the authenticity and sincerity of your story. Find and share that ONE story that moved you most deeply.

Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2021.

Contributors will receive copies of the Anthology.

Above all, it is important to the editors that all submissions respect and honor those whose stories are being told through you. We have listened, and now are interpreting the stories we have witnessed through the lens of our perception and understanding. Confidentially is vital, we cannot use names or show faces in photos unless there is permission.

We are accepting submissions in PDF format.
Send to comezon09-AT-comcast-DOT-net.
Also send one hard copy to:  Casa Camino Real Bookstore, c/o 480 La Colonia, Las Cruces, NM 88005.

We do not have a word limit, but we reserve the right to edit material for length and style. We see the pieces as a “tapestry of vignettes” leading to a powerful whole, a Mosaic of imagery lending voice to this choir of story. We will work with you to tell the best story you can.

“Writing is Setting the Spirits in Motion to be freed.” —Denise Chávez, Editor

“Our work is to mitigate unnecessary suffering.” –Kari Lenander, Editor