UPDATE Sept. 1, 2023: Our Open Call is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted!
For a limited series art journal, Milk seeks works of visual art and writing by artist-mothers on the topic of motherhood. See below for details.
There is no fee for submitting.
Milk art journal Open Call
We’re interested in work from people who are both mothers and artists. We understand some people may not like the term “mother” and you’re welcome to include details of that in your submission, but it does serve as a useful starting point. The point is that the artist should be reflecting on motherhood from the inside, rather than an observational, outside perspective. The word “artist” is also fraught but we’re interested in seeing work from people who take their artistry seriously—people who have been thinking about, improving upon, and producing their work for years. Work is expected to be at a high quality, suitable for an internationally engaged audience.
We’re looking for visual art (photography, painting, illustration, collage, etc) and written work (essays, reports, poems, shower thoughts, stories, etc) on topics related to motherhood, such as:
- pregnancy, trying to get pregnant, topics of fertility or infertility, trying to adopt, surrogacy, giving birth, or any experiences in the lead up to motherhood.
- Parenthood at any stage or age
- Empty-nesting or the experience of post-parenthood for any reason
The theme for Volume 3 of Milk Art Journal is “Purpose & Ambivalence”, in response to the paradoxical sense of deep purpose that emerges (for some) from the experience of motherhood as well as the mixed or ambivalent emotions about one’s role/identity as a mother. Works accepted for publication will fall within this theme.
Images can be single works of art or series/projects. Images that contain photos of people should have rights for publication. By submitting images to us, you assert that you own the complete rights to the images and have publication permission from any people portrayed.
Texts should be complete, rather than pitches to produce new work. For longer works, we recommend sending pieces with a maximum length of 3000 words; for shorter works (e.g. poems, flash fiction), we recommend no more than 5 pieces.
Multiple submissions are possible. We also are fine with simultaneous submissions (meaning the work is out for consideration at other publications) or work that has been published prior, we only ask that you inform us about this.
Until end of August 2023. This art journal is limited series: there are three issues planned. Two issues have already been published (in March and June 2023) and the final issue is due out in September 2023.
First and foremost, we want to bring together considered work of various media, about motherhood, into one art journal because it has inherent value and interest. Second to that, we recognize that motherhood creates certain barriers to artistic production and it may be the case that “getting your work out there” (in publications, exhibitions, etc) may prove more difficult. We want to create an avenue for mothers to keep their publication credits moving and shaking.
Is there a fee for entry?
No. As much as possible we would like to keep submissions open and accessible to all. If processing the submissions becomes too time consuming and costly, we may later add a minor administration fee, and so we urge you to submit early!
Is there payment for publication?
Also no. At least, not a financial payment. This is an art journal, which will be produced at our own costs and risks, likely for only a nominal return. We recommend reading this article on why art journals typically don’t pay, as it gives (we think) a good explanation of the art journal landscape. All contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the journal.
What types of visual art?
Painting, photography, illustration, digital art, sculpture, pottery… whatcha got? We only ask that you clearly and unambiguously state your medium and means of production. Any art produced with AI or digital manipulation or processes must be disclosed.
You must have all rights for reproduction, including release forms for anyone portrayed (if necessary and relevant).
What will be the format of the journal?
The art journal will be produced in color by print-on-demand service and available as an e-book. This will help us ensure as wide availability as possible, for an international readership. For those who aren’t in the publishing world, you may not be aware, but it has been a global trend exacerbated by Covid: production costs and distribution costs have skyrocketed even to the point of causing major companies to fold. Typical channels of getting print media around the world just don’t work unless you’re a huge publisher working in mass volume. With the print on demand model, copies can be printed local to the customer, ensuring the lowest distribution cost possible. Likewise ebooks will ensure the journal is available to anyone online.