UNCERTAIN GIRLS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
poetry, essential advice and practical know-how for women
aiming to set the world on fire
Uncertain Girls in Uncertain Times is an anthology of inspiration and encouragement for the next generation of thinkers, problem solvers, peacemakers, and creators of all kinds. It is a collection of poetry paired with reflections and life lessons from those who have the wisdom to impart, history to share, and hope for the future.
We live in an uncertain world. A world that can sometimes seem as broken as it is beautiful. Those launching into adulthood voice this paradox again and again: the frustration and despair that makes them want to set the world on fire — to lay waste to it whatever the consequence; and the joy and excitement that makes them want to set the world on fire in a completely different way — to imagine deeply, to create bravely, and to do something truly remarkable with their lives.
Navigating between this hope and disheartenment isn’t easy, especially when you’re about to start your adult life. That is why we are casting our net wide for this anthology, looking for contributors who reflect the ways we learn to trust our inner authority, find meaning, and set the world on fire.
There are thousands of inspirational stories out there, and we want to hear yours.
Will you join us?
WORRIES, WONDERS, WANTS
on the minds of those beginning the journey into adulthood
I worry I know a lot less than I think I do. I worry that I am not prepared. I worry about how I stack up compared to my peers. I worry I will get stuck in a job, a relationship, a city. I worry about being successful socially, in my relationships, in my career, in romance.
I wonder how I will create the change I want to see in the world. I wonder if I can fulfill my dreams. I wonder about money and what trade-offs I will have to make between money and my passions. I wonder what will happen in the world.
I want to experience the world. I want to make a difference. I want to stay true to myself. I want to be self-sufficient. I want to be challenged. I want to have fun. I want to be seen, believed in, respected. I want to be a good person.
Uncertain Girls want to know there is a path to a meaningful and joy filled future. They want counsel, conversation, and a sense of camaraderie. They want to learn from your experience, to understand that while life is hard it is also rewarding. They want to know where you have roamed and the paths you have wandered. They want to know when you stalled and what propelled you forward. When you listened to your inner beat, when you said “no” to fear, when you found your conviction and knew you would be okay, at least for a while. They want to see how you met the challenges of life, and how you embraced or overcame them.
This is your chance to share insight and experience, to lend a hand to young women in these uncertain times. And there are just three things you need to do:
SHARE YOUR WISDOM
Think about your experience of passing through the portal from college to life, or another life transition that was meaningful to you. Think about what mattered to you, what shaped and inspired you during that time. Think about the counsel you received that helped you through a challenging time or the advice or insight you wish you’d been given. What influenced your path? And what would you most like to share with young women today as they step into the unknown?
Then write it down — a short, personal reflection on your experience. Write it as if you were addressing a young woman today. Tell her what you learned in a manner that will inspire, support, and encourage her as she starts on her own journey.
SHARE A POEM
Find a poem that resonates and stirs you, one that seems to distill some essential truths of your personal reflection, and serves to make sense of the possibilities and challenges of stepping into the unknown of the "real world.”
Why poetry? We believe poetry is a superhighway into our interior self and a perfect partner for reflection and inspiration. It sparks our heart, opens our eyes, and invites us into a bigger world, one filled with possibilities we may never have imagined.
US YOUR WORK
Once you’ve written your personal reflection and selected your poem, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your submission may be in plain text, Microsoft Word, or Apple Pages format.
Please also include a one or two-sentence bio to let us know who you are.)
We’ll be gathering submissions throughout 2019. We can't wait to see what you come up with!
HOW LONG SHOULD MY PERSONAL REFLECTION BE?
Your piece should be short, not more than 200-300 words. That’s approximately one type-written page.
CAN I PICK A POEM FIRST, AND THEN WRITE MY REFLECTION?
Yes, you can work on your submission in whatever order makes the most sense to you.
CAN I PICK A FAMOUS POEM?
We want you to share whatever poem inspires you. If for some reason there is a problem publishing a particular poem, we will let you know and work with you to find a new one.
HOW MANY CONTRIBUTORS WILL THERE BE?
We estimate the anthology will include forty to fifty reflections with accompanying poems.
WHO ARE THE OTHER CONTRIBUTORS?
Contributors identify across the gender spectrum. We are casting a wide net in hopes of including as many disparate and distinct voices as possible, to let women know there are a multitude of paths to explore as they launch into life.
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD RESOURCES FOR EXPLORING POEMS?
Once you start looking, you'll see that poetry is everywhere. A few good sites include poetryfoundation.org and poets.org. The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Atlantic all have poetry archives. Sun magazine also has a wonderful archive and, of course, there are books and books and books. So get yourself to a library or a bookstore!
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY REFLECTION AND POEM ARE SELECTED FOR THE ANTHOLOGY?
If your reflection and poem are selected, Wonderpress will include it in the first edition of Uncertain Girls in Uncertain Times. Contributors and poets will be featured on the WonderPress website, and they will receive an honorarium for their contribution as well as an author’s copy of the published anthology.
"We want this to go well for you". This was the advice my sixth-grade sex ed teacher gave us girls as she guided us through what do when we first get our periods. This was a whish of relief and the first time I remember being truly uncertain and realizing there was a universe of folks ready to help me out.
Fast forward 40 years (yikes!) and I've since been uncertain more times than I can count and have been guided and inspired by countless wise people and saved many times over by poetry.
Now my eldest daughter is about to launch into one of the greatest periods (ha!) of uncertainty in woman's life, the leap into adulthood. To say I want this to go well for her is a drop in the sea of things I hope for her. But I don't just hope them for her, I need them for her and for all women who are beginning the journey. They are our future memory and our changemakers.
Uncertain Girls in Uncertain Times is an attempt at a collective "We want this to go well for you" wish. I hope you'll join us.
How to Triumph Like a Girl
Ada Limón, 1976
I like the lady horses best,
how they make it all look easy,
like running 40 miles per hour
is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
I like their lady horse swagger,
after winning. Ears up, girls, ears up!
But mainly, let’s be honest, I like
that they’re ladies. As if this big
dangerous animal is also a part of me,
that somewhere inside the delicate
skin of my body, there pumps
an 8-pound female horse heart,
giant with power, heavy with blood.
Don’t you want to believe it?
Don’t you want to lift my shirt and see
the huge beating genius machine
that thinks, no, it knows,
it’s going to come in first.