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It’s time to tell the stories of Flint.

That’s stories of Flint, mind you, not story, because there is no one story, no singular narrative that can define the Vehicle City. We know the common tale of Flint — the one in which the city and auto industry grew side by side until, well, they didn’t anymore. And that’s important, but so are Flint’s other stories — stories about Flint’s people; neighborhoods; histories; cultures; and sure, even all the things that happened alongside, because of, or in spite of all those cars and factories — that make Flint, Michigan the unique place it is.

The latest in a series of anthologies chronicling America’s Rust Belt cities, Belt Publishing is seeking pieces for its Flint Anthology.

Flint is a city many people, and publications, like to talk about, but it’s not one many people know. Not really. Not intimately. We want to look beneath the common narrative of deindustrialization and high crime rates. That doesn’t mean we’re looking to ignore those elements, but rather that we’re looking for writers who understand they’re part of Flint’s setting, part of the backdrop, not the whole story. The Flint anthology will make Flintoids knowingly chuckle or shake their heads (even we can surprise ourselves), and make outsiders understand there’s more to the Flint story than the clichés that have come to define it.

What we’re looking for:

  • Nonfiction essays between 1,000 and 4,000 words.
  • Longform journalism between 1,000 and 4,000 words (Note: Only pieces with a long shelf life will be considered. Choose subjects that will still be interesting and insightful in five, ten, or twenty years. Timeliness and news pegs need not apply.)
  • Photography (most will be black and white).
  • Art (must be in grayscale)

Send all submissions to Write the genre and the word “SUBMISSION” in the subject line. Example: ESSAY SUBMISSION. Journalists wanting to pitch projects should put QUERY in the subject line. All other submissions must be complete and include the author’s contact information as well as a short bio (three or four sentences).

Deadline for submissions is February 1, 2016.

The anthology will be edited by Scott Atkinson, former award-winning feature writer for The Flint Journal, former assistant editor of The Uncommon Sense, and current contributor to Belt Magazine. Scott is also an instructor of writing and journalism at the University of Michigan-Flint.

While Belt Magazine is committed to paying all its writers, Belt Publishing is currently seeking funding to pay all anthology contributors. Payment, if available, will depend on funding.

We look forward to reading your work.

Banner photo by Tony Faiola.