Not That Bad

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Call for Submissions to Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture

Victims and survivors of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse have been taught by this culture that whatever horror they have endured could have been worse. At least you weren’t touched. At least you weren’t raped. At least you weren’t killed. This world effectively silences those who have been violated by demanding their first reaction be gratitude for what did not happen.

Not That Bad is an opportunity for those whose voices were stolen from them, to reclaim and tell their stories. This anthology will explore what it is like to navigate rape culture as shaped by the identities we inhabit.

Contributing to this anthology is a chance to own your own narrative with all of the complexity of reality without shame or condescension. Because too many of us have lived this truth, there is no one way to tell this story.

We warmly encourage submissions from people from all walks of life and across the gender spectrum.

If you would like your essay to be considered for this publication please submit via Submittable at We are accepting essays, 2,500 - 7,500 words in length. We are not accepting queries. Please submit your work as a Microsoft Word file. Please submit your best work. We are seeking original work ONLY. We will be accepting approximately twenty essays so please be patient with us as we take the time to consider your work.

Submissions will be open until December 15, 2015. We hope to respond to all submissions by March 15, 2016. All accepted contributions will be paid.

Not That Bad will be co-edited Roxane Gay and Ashley C. Ford and will be published by Harper Perennial.

Potential Topics (a brief list, not a prescription)

  • Testimonies of what “not that bad” looks like
  • Critical examinations of rape culture
  • What it’s like to negotiate rape culture as a man
  • How women diminish the sexual violence and aggression they experience and the effects of doing so
  • What “not that bad” looks like in popular culture—film, television, and music
  • Resisting rape culture
  • Combating sexual harassment, street harassment and cat-calling
  • How sexual harassment and violence erode women’s privacy