Button Box is in the works and submissions are no longer being accepted.
We are working towards a December 2017 publication date.
Button Box is asking for your buttons and the stories that make them unique. Or a story with a button attached. A button can be a reminder of an event, person, or symbolic of something we hold in or have let go. "Button" can be a euphemism for parts of the body, or a trigger for intense emotions. My mother's button box was a tin of characters for me, each button had a personality. Many of us have a special button among others in a tin or box, tucked away in a dresser drawer, or kept close to the body to be lightly touched as memory imposes on our day. Whatever your association with a button, Button Box is a repository to hold both your button and story in a community box of such buttons. Button Box will live in a public institution, surrounded by other art, where anyone can visit and read every story and admire every button. In addition, up to three of the submissions will be selected to be letterpress printed by May Day Press as limited edition broadsides.
Please be sure to read every important detail about our unusual call out:
– We want to see your nonfiction prose or poetry – 250 words or less.
– Poems are limited to 250 words and no more than 28 lines.
– If you are more of a visual storyteller than literary, we welcome your entry. We will limit you to approx. 2/3 of a page - same as the literary entries. Images will be printed in b&w, unless you send your own hand-colored hard copy.
– You must include the word “button” as noun or verb in your writing.
– Writing may be previously published, but you must have the rights to it and tell us where it was published.
– Please use 12pt type, double-spaced, easy to read font. Name included in "Word." Do not use Pages and do not send a pdf.
– Attach a photo of one button that inspired your submission – not a puddle/box/tin/jar of buttons. This need not be a professional photo, but it must be in focus and easy to see both color and detail. If accepted, you must be willing to send your button for inclusion in Button Box. Your button can measure no more than 2 inches in diameter and your button must be attachable.
– In a cover letter include your name, email, and a short bio. If your button is from a place significant to the button (but maybe not to your story) please tell us where.
– We will accept submissions in any language, but non-English submissions must come with an English translation. Both the writer of the original script and the translator should include a bio.
– Only if your writing is selected will you be asked to send us the actual physical button from your story. Failure to send the button will de-select your writing from the final project. You will be sent a form to fill out and send back with your button. The button you send must match the photo attached to your submission.
– Deadline: July 15th, 2016.
– Email submission, with photo of your one chosen button attached to: ButtonBox2016(at)gmail(dot)com.
If your work is accepted and your button received, your story will be published in Button Box. Button Box is a one-of-a-kind book with a wooden box designed specifically for this project by a fine woodworker. Contributor’s writing will be organized in the box separate from the buttons. The buttons will each be sewn to a letterpress printed card so it may be mounted for display within the box. Number, name, and title will identify each button card and the number will index its written companion. Upon completion, Button Box will reside in a public book art collection that appreciates such unusual books and has easy public access. The nonfiction prose or poems chosen from the entries to be printed letterpress in a limited edition will be available separately. The writer of each broadside will receive multiple copies.
Although Button Box is a one-of-a-kind book and button box, it may become a commercially printed book in the future. In that event, contributors will be contacted to opt in.
Catherine Alice Michaelis, creator and co-editor of Button Box, is a storyteller, story collector, book artist, and videographer. In 1999, Catherine created Stack the Deck: 22 Artists Mark the Cards for Women's Health & Healing. This player's deck was her first call out for community contributions and was printed and boxed in an edition of 100 by women printmakers across the U.S.
Jim Carmin, co-editor of Button Box, directs a special collections of rare books, manuscripts, and other great things during the day; by night he is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and reviews books and writes essays for The Oregonian, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and other publications.