I want to hear how Madonna — her music, her persona, her image, her lyrics — has changed your life. Â Love her or hate her, you probably have an opinion; she elicits major passion from millions of people. Whether you think she’s a genius marketing maven, a pioneering feminist businesswoman or little more than a very rich stripper, I want to hear your perspectives. Â How did her work affect your feelings, your mindset, your sexuality, your ambitions? Where were you when you first heard her music, and how did it make you feel? How did seeing her videos on MTV change the way you thought about growing up female? How did your parents react when they heard you singing the lyrics to “Like a Virgin” at the dinner table? Â What was it like the first time you saw her perform live? What about her pisses you off to no end?
I’m looking for a wide range of perspectives. I don’t care if you love her or loathe her — just own a strong point of view, and write your essay in an honest, thoughtful, engaging fashion.
Some possible themes are below. These are jumping-off points — no need to heed them if you have another idea of your own.
- How your ideas about feminism changed, or were challenged, by Madonna
- How her ever-changing image helped spark a transformation in your life
- Madonna’s role in club / nightlife culture and how that impacted you
- How her sexual expressiveness affected your feelings about your body & sexuality
- How Madonna influenced your thoughts about gender roles / gender identity
- How she influenced your individual approach to romantic and sexual relationships — straight, queer, alt/kinky, etc.
- How she helped you “come out”
- How you felt about her as a child or adolescent vs. how you regard her as an adult
- The many eras of Madonna (the club kid, the sex queen, the superstar, the spiritual seeker, the caretaker, the humanitarian) — in your own life, how have you evolved on a similar (or different) path as you grew older?
WORD COUNT: Submissions should be between 1000 – 5000 words, double-spaced and paginated.
DEADLINE: September 1, 2009
DETAILS: Please send your submission via email, as a Microsoft Word document attachment, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also include your full name, address, phone number, email address and a short author bio.
CONTACT: Feel free to email the editor, Laura Barcella, at email@example.com with questions.
FURTHER INFO: Writers whose work is selected for publication will be notified as quickly as possible. Writers whose work is selected for inclusion will be compensated ($TBD) upon publication. They will also receive a copy of the finished book.
ABOUT THE EDITOR: Laura Barcella is a San Francisco-based writer & editor who has written for more than 40 magazines, newspapers and websites, including the Village Voice, Salon.com, AlterNet.org, Time Out New York and the Chicago Sun-Times. She contributed to the acclaimed book BitchFest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism From the Pages of Bitch Magazine. This will be her first anthology.