The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library
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The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library
The submission period for our eighth annual So It Goes Literary Journal opened February 1, 2019, and ends on May 1, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EST. This year's theme is Slaughterhouse-50.
The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library (KVML) was founded in 2009 to keep the literary, artistic, and cultural legacy of Hoosier author Kurt Vonnegut alive. In 2019, most of our programming focuses on the theme of Slaughterhouse-50, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Vonnegut's masterpiece, Slaughterhouse-Five.
Many of the ideas for this book materialized from Vonnegut's personal experiences 25 years earlier. When the young Vonnegut turned 20, he joined the U.S. Army and shipped to Europe in the final years of World War II. Soon after he arrived, he was captured by Germans in the Battle of the Bulge and sent as a prisoner of war (POW) to Dresden, Germany. According to Vonnegut Historian William Rodney Allen, "On February 13, 1945, British and American bombers destroyed the city by dropping high explosives followed by incendiary bombs. The resulting firestorm turned the non-militarized city into an inferno that killed up to 60,000 civilians. Vonnegut and his fellow POWs survived by accident only because they were housed some 60 feet underground in a former meat locker and slaughterhouse. Vonnegut’s job for weeks after the bombing was to gather up and burn the remains of the dead. His experience at Dresden marked him for life and eventually resulted in his most famous book, Slaughterhouse-Five."
Essentially, the book is "semi-autobiographical," minus the porn star and the green, hand-shaped Tralfamadorian aliens, of course. Critics immediately categorized Vonnegut's novel as a work of science fiction, although Vonnegut was never comfortable with that label. He simply set out to write about the absurdities of war and life, in general.
Now it's your turn to create. In keeping with the theme of Slaughterhouse-50, all submissions featured must touch in some way on any or all of the following topics:
* Prisoners (prisoners of war or in the state or federal penal system)
* Absurdities of war or life
* Science fiction
Please do not submit "Vonnegut fan fiction," as such writings will be disqualified.
Submissions are limited to one work of prose (1500 words max) OR up to five poems (1500 words max for all five) OR five photographs or artwork. Employees of KVML and KVML Board of Directors and Advisory Board Members are not eligible to participate. Everyone else is encouraged to send in a submission(s): Students; amateur or professional writers, poets, artists, and photographers; young or old; and current/retired military veterans. The veteran community was important to Vonnegut, so we imagine he'd love to see literary representation from current and former military personnel, as well.
We will accept new and previously published work (simultaneous submissions are allowed with notification) and will credit the original publisher. If the work in your submission(s) has been published elsewhere (even if it is your own work), you may need permission to publish it in this issue of So It Goes. If this is the case, you must obtain written permission from the rights holder(s) and include this written permission with your submission(s). Please request worldwide rights for print and electronic formats in all languages and editions.
Please double space for prose and single space for poetry. Use 12-point, Times New Roman font. Group multiple poems into ONE document. DO NOT SUBMIT A PDF, or it will be disqualified. For artwork/photos, submit as ONE document as a JPEG. All submitters must include a cover letter with a brief biography. We greatly appreciate your submission(s).
Thank you in advance for your submissions to our eighth issue of So It Goes, and be sure to order a journal in November 2019! Selected contributors will receive one free copy following VonnegutFest.
Also, because this is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five, we encourage you to read or re-read this thought-provoking book. You'll be glad you did!
If you have any questions, contact us at SoItGoes@vonnegutlibrary.org.