Belt Publishing will be compiling an anthology of essays about Dayton in 2020 as part of our City Anthology Series.
It was one of America’s earliest centers of innovation, a hub of creativity in the early 20th century that made the name Dayton synonymous with progress.
The region’s close-knit communities facilitated an incubator of industrial and artistic development long before the concept became identified with 21st century tech hubs. People with big dreams rubbed shoulders with others who possessed big ideas, leading to the creation of the Wright brothers’ airplane, John H. Patterson’s cash register, Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poetry and Charles Kettering’s self-starting engine within a 20-year period in the early 1900s.
Even as Dayton began grappling with the ills that befell most Rust Belt cities in the second half of the century – factory shutdowns, racial tensions, a population exodus — Daytonians were still creating. A funk music movement emerged in the mid-1970s that followed the same pattern of its manufacturing predecessors – groups formed through high school music classes or the local music scene and artists stayed in town after achieving success, mentoring their younger counterparts as they all became architects of Dayton funk.
And now, Ohio’s sixth-largest city is ready to innovate again. How does Dayton’s past inform its current post-manufacturing era identity and its future? How will the city’s efforts to brand itself as a welcoming location for immigrants encourage a new era of innovation, and can its downtown revitalization be inclusive of all its citizens?
They are looking for stories, reflections, poems, and reported essays from the city and surrounding locales that put Dayton in perspective for both longtime residents, newcomers and outsiders. Submissions can be related to a specific place, event (personal or historical), or personage, and must take place in or around the city. Stories from the area’s colleges and universities, including historically black Central State University and Wilberforce University, are very much welcome. All stories should evoke the feel of the city in a meaningful way.
They are actively looking for stories from African American, Latinx, Asian American, immigrant and LGBTQ+ communities, so please circulate. Stories that have a specific perspective and point of view, in which something happens, something changes, and/or something is lost or found, will be prioritized.
Authors can submit multiple pieces. We will accept previously published pieces, but the author must include the original publication information and have the rights to the piece. Accepted submissions will likely be edited in coordination with the author.
The anthology will be edited by Shannon Shelton Miller, a former newspaper journalist and nationally published author.
Submissions are due by December 1, 2019.
To submit an entry, please:
-Include author’s full name and contact information (phone, email, address and 3-4 sentence bio).
-Indicate where the author lives/where the piece takes place
-Write “SUBMISSION” on the subject line.
Submit all entries and questions to: [email protected]
-Nonfiction essays between 300 and 5000 words.
-Poetry related to Dayton.
-Space pending, we may publish longform pieces over 2000 words. Query first.
-No Fiction, sorry!