PLEASE NOTE: Only writers and artists who have participated in our Jacksonville writing circles and art exhibitions are eligible to participate in this anthology. Space is limited to 50 writers and 50 artists; please submit early. Writers and artists who participated in the Rivers and Oceans semesters (fall 2021 and spring 2022) will be given first priority if necessary. 

“Women catch courage from the women whose lives and writings they read, and women call the bearer of that courage, friend.” — Carolyn Heilbrun


Dear Friends,

Women Writing for (a) Change Jacksonville invites you to submit work for publication in (a) river rising: an anthology of women’s voices (RIVERS and OCEANS Edition). We look forward to lifting your voices and your vision through this annual anthology. We are a diverse community of women creating change in ourselves and our worlds one truth, one voice at a time. We focus primarily on the voices of women and those who identify as female, but not exclusively.


This anthology is based on writing and art inspired by our latest art exhibits: RIVERS in the Fall of 2021 and OCEANS in the Spring of 2022.

  • Water is a symbol of the feminine—of life, creation, nourishment, and healing. In the same vein, rivers throughout history have served as a life force of civilizations, most of which grew in river valleys. In RIVERS, we pay tribute to the women writers, artists, environmentalists, and community leaders who safeguard one of Jacksonville’s best assets—its waterways. Many of us also have a connection to the river, and we welcome writing and art that take a deeper dive into memories of growing up near its life-sustaining grace. We also explore the role of rivers in the cycle of life, the themes of cleansing and purifying, the plants and wildlife that thrive near and below the surface, and also the calmness that can be upset by raging storms, resulting devastating floods.
  • RIVERS can be explored further with the following related terms: fluidity/resistance, flow/barrier, rivers as borders, life-sustaining, energy, storm surge, flooding, thirst, freshwater, pool, surface, mirror, memory, fishing, camping by the river, riverbank, river mouth, tributaries, river stones, boating, the benefits of living in a river city like Jacksonville, and so on.
  • In OCEANS, we explore the mighty body of water that sustains all life on earth. Being relatively close to the Atlantic Ocean, we understand the beauty and bliss that beach life can afford, but we are also aware of the responsibility that comes with sustaining it. We thus explore the themes of environmentalism and activism, endurance, and change. We also touch on the theme of destruction; while we know Mother Ocean to be the origin of life, her currents and upwellings can also present a threat. In addition, we also explore the oceans as the great connector of all continents; ironically, they also separate land forms and define borders. This brings us to the themes of immigration and crossing borders. 
  • OCEANS can be explored further with the following related terms: waves, surf, beach, sun and sand, saltwater, coastal area, shoreline, seashells, undertow, rip currents, rip tides, moon tides, seabed, trench, diving, sunrise and sunset on the water, sounds of the sea, marine life, bird life, marine pollution/prevention, sailing, voyage, navigation, and so on.


If you have participated as a writer or artist in one of our circles or art shows since 2014, you’re eligible to submit your unpublished work. We hope you will allow others to “catch courage” and inspiration from your work. We are radically inclusive and see it as our mission to lift the expression of the feminine here in Jacksonville. The Anthology is an annual platform for you to do so.


Please submit up to three works that resonate with the theme “RIVERS” or “OCEANS.” We will choose at least one for publication as long as it fits our theme and our editorial guidelines. (See terms of use below). If you submit words AND art, we may only select one or the other; we will not necessarily be able to include both due to space limitations.


The submission fee is $35. This covers the expense of your own copy of the Anthology ($25 value) and a $10 screening fee. This fee helps us to cover some of the expenses of editorial production. To preorder additional copies for friends and family, place your order here: Shop The Anthology.                                 


“True communities are possible. It begins in your writing, where you come together in true community with yourself, where you give yourself permission to acknowledge your pain and joy and sadness and fear, where you begin to accept and love yourself as you are, without pretense.” — G. Lynn Nelson in Writing and Being

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.