Call for Papers: TEXT Special Issue – Writing through Things

Creative writers take from the world around them – observed environmental details, character traits, that time when Aunty Bev threw a glass at Uncle Kevin’s head during Christmas dinner. But what happens when we focus on everyday objects to construct and inform our creative practice? How does responding to an object change the writing, and the object? As thing theory suggests, an object becomes a ‘thing’ or an artefact when it is noticed beyond its everyday use. Can creative writing make meaningful things of everyday objects by using them as the prompt the writing responds to? The objects in question stop being purposeful only in their functional capacity and become instead a thing that embodies meaning. Everyday things can be evocative; they can be used in a manner unintended by their original design by creating a prompt for writing. In moving objects from their original use to be in the service of literature, they ‘shift from function to meaning’ and this shift is exactly the process that transforms the item into an artefact. As writers, we are always responding to something and in times of uncertainty, concrete objects might provide the stability and the limitations required to take our creative practice into new and exciting areas. By fostering a discussion of the things we write to, we intend this TEXT Special Issue will interrogate ideas pertaining to the collaboration between writers and the concrete objects in their worlds.

To participate, please email with a brief abstract (150 words) by May 31st 2020. Selected contributing scholars will need to send their articles by September 30th, after which the articles will be peer-reviewed as per TEXT’s standard procedures: we request contributors assist by peer-reviewing two papers each (please inform us if this is likely to pose any problem).

We welcome proposals for articles and/or creative interrogations relating to the theory and practice of using everyday objects to construct and inform our creative work; enhance the relationship between our writing, ourselves, and the (significant objects in) the world around us; and expand insights about the nature of limitations on our creative practice and the use of artefacts. All submissions are electronic. Contributors will be asked to submit research articles of 4000-6000 words or creative works of similar negotiated length accompanied by a research statement or exegetical component. There is also the option to submit fictocritical articles of this word length. All submissions must be sent as a Microsoft Word document attachments to the special issues editors at by 30th September 2020. Please use ‘CFP: TEXT Special Issue’ as the subject line.

Please contact the special issue editors if your proposed submission requires additional formatting, including images or figures, or if you have any enquiries regarding your submission. We kindly look forward to receiving your submissions.