OPEN CALL: Queer & Feminist Poetry Anthology

April 2, 2021

Are you a queer spoken word artist or poet based in the Netherlands? We are looking for you!

Unwanted Words is welcoming applications for the 1st Queer & Feminist Poetry Anthology. A book with the goal of compiling the works and talent of poets, writers and spoken word artists based in the Netherlands who identify themselves as part of the LGBTQIA+ community and/or whose works center around fourth wave feminism(s) in both Dutch and English. 

This book is intended to be a celebration of the talent and stories of our community. It will be a compilation of 30 to 40 writers, poets and spoken word artists whose works discuss topics of feminism and the queer experience from an intersectional perspective, centering on diversity and embracing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) voices.

The Queer & Feminist Poetry Anthology is initiated by Unwanted Words Project, an award-winning platform for up & coming queer voices working with poetry and spoken word based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. With the support of the Gemeente Rotterdam, Pitcher Perfect 010 and WORM.

Why an Anthology?

Throughout history, the people who fall under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella have learned to express themselves, discover themselves and each other through art and creativity. Literature and poetry have played a fundamental role in how our stories have been told through generations.

However, the stories we know, the stories we hear, are often not told by ourselves. Many LGBTQIA+ people grow up with stories of our experiences told by people who don’t know what it means to be trans, who don’t know what it’s like to be gay, to be non-binary, to be intersex and so on. In this way, our stories change, and our community is reduced to caricatures and stereotyping in the media.

We learned to read between the lines to find each other, unless we write those lines ourselves. Help us write these lines for the 1st Queer & Feminist Poetry Anthology! 

The deadline for applications: Friday September 10th 2021.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their works to become part of this publication. Please be sure to read all information about the call before submitting in your application, the deadlines and requirements are detailed down below. If there are any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

A bit more details:

Unwanted Words will publish The 1st Queer & Feminist Poetry Anthology as a physical and digital book with the help of Wilde Haaren, a Rotterdam-based publishing company. The first edition will count with 200 physical copies and afterwards, on-demand digital and physical copies will be available for purchase online.

Each participant gets 5-8 pages to feature themselves and their work. A page for the author’s bio, a picture and if desired, contact details/websites, as well as 5-6 pieces/poems. The idea is that not only the work is visible, but also that the participant can be found by our readers and new audiences. Each participant will receive 1-2 physical copies of the book and a small remuneration.

The deadline for applications: Friday September 10th 2021.

1. Objectives

The Queer & Feminist Poetry Anthology has the aspiration to provide a stage for LGBTQIA+ and feminist poets, writers, spoken word artists in Rotterdam and its surroundings and invite them to contribute to the body of poetry of BIPOC experiences, LGBTQIA+ life, feminism(s) and (political) queerness. 

The Anthology aims to:

  • Celebrate original work from our intersectional community.
  • Sow seeds of interest, inspiration and enthusiasm about Queer and Feminist poetry.
  • Emphasise marginalised voices from any perspective through poetry and spoken word.
  • Provide a stage and archive of and for LGBTQIA+ and feminist poets, writers, spoken word artists to perform, be celebrated and be heard, in the physical form of a publication.
  • To cultivate the promotion of LGBTQIA+ and feminist poets, writers, spoken word artists to a broader audience.

2. Who can apply for the open call? 

For any aspiring writer or poet, publishing is one of the best achievements they can achieve. There are so many local LGBTQ+ writers who don’t get the chance or opportunity to share their talent and their story.

Through an anthology like this we want to capture the essence and stories of the LGBTQIA+ community in Rotterdam and the rest of the Netherlands and save it for the cultural archive of this community. Everybody is welcome to participate regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. To be eligible for the publication, your work needs to cover topics of feminism(s) and/or the LGBTQIA+ experience. This doesn’t need to be too explicit and exceptions can be made as long as the author identifies themself as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Unwanted Words and thus this Anthology take an open stance against racism, islamophobia, transphobia and any other form of discrimination. We are a pro-black, pro-feminist celebration and support the Black Lives Matter movement. If your beliefs, discourse or work promotes hate speech, discrimination or shares views that compromise people’s wellbeing and human rights, we reserve the right to deny participation and entry to this initiative and other events under our brand and collective in order to make sure we provide a space that is as safe, inclusive and participatory as possible.

Participants from any nationality and immigration status are welcome, but you must reside within the Netherlands at the moment of submission. Participants can apply in English or Dutch. 

3. How to apply?

Every participant must submit their application online through our official form with the following information:

  1. Full name
  2. Stage name
  3. Pronouns
  4. Email address
  5. Location in the Netherlands
  6. Bio: A short description of yourself as a performer. 3-5 lines describing your style, achievements and relevant information about yourself.
  7. A link to where we can read about 5 or 6 pieces for your submission in one document (Google Drive, Dropbox).
  8. Consent: we will use your work for this anthology and subsequent promotional material (digital and physical), we would like your permission to do so. Please note that if we cannot have your consent on this, your work will not be eligible for the anthology.

Submissions do not have to be new or unpublished to be eligible. But the pieces must be original work written by the artist that applies. The artist also needs to have full rights to publish their pieces through us, published work with copyright shared by other publications or entities are not allowed. Covers or renditions of work from other artists are not allowed. 

We request you send your application and submission in English. But your poem or spoken word piece can be in English or Dutch.

You can apply here:

4. Procedure & timeline

The procedure is as follows:

  • Open call live: Monday August 16th 2021.
  • Open call closes: Friday 10th September 2021, 18.00hrs. CET.
  • Processing of applications by Unwanted Words team.
  • Selection of participants: Early-Mid October.
  • Launch Event: The 1st Queer & Feminist Poetry Anthology launch ceremony will take place on Sunday November 26th, at WORM Rotterdam.

5. Submission

The Queer and Feminist Anthology 2021 application can be found on the website of Unwanted Words ( Only applications done through the official Typeform will be taken into account.

You will receive a confirmation of receipt no later than 10 working days after you submitted your application.

Privacy note: Unwanted Words will use your personal data only for the 1st Queer & Feminist Poetry Anthology of 2021 and further notifications regarding the process of the publication and upcoming related events. Your personal data will not be shared with any other parties except for the relevant information for Unwanted Words. Please also note that Unwanted Words will use your work for the Anthology and promotional materials, both digitally and physically.