Women – and women of a creative disposition, especially – are often described as many things. Hysterical. Moody. Unstable. The most recent thing we’ve had levelled at us – for you know, having opinions – is that we are Deranged. This was applied to poets in particular – or should that be “poetesses”? (No, no it shouldn’t be, because that word is ridiculous.)

We are not going into the origin of the #derangedpoetess Twitter debacle – that one dismissive comment doesn’t deserve to be publicised any further (google it if you care). But it did lead to a former Slim Volume contributor wondering publicly which indie press was going to come up with an anthology inspired by the phrase. Rachel Nix and I (Kate Garrett) jumped at the chance. So we want you to submit your work to our new poetry anthology, Deranged.

Deranged needs poetry about breaking rules, gender nonconformity, and/or women (cis or trans, we don’t care) in the arts who have done those things down the centuries.

We don’t care if you personally identify as female, male, cis, trans, non-binary, or none of the above. Yes, the “deranged” comment was very generally thrown at women who write poems, but as far as we’re concerned, everyone should be breaking social rules and feeling free to ignore the concept of “normal”. This isn’t an -ist/ism/y anthology, unless creative anarchy counts. People doing what’s expected of them and fitting into boxes, regardless of gender identity, is part of the problem.

We also think people shouldn’t stick to writing what’s expected of them either. This is a poetry anthology, so unfortunately we can’t read any prose fiction submissions this time. Even so – if you usually write prose fiction, nothing is really stopping you from giving poetry a go, and we want to see it if you do.

Everyone should also be free to honour their favourite badass creative women – Rachel loves Joan Jett. I love Aphra Behn. Others love Patti Smith, Frida Kahlo, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Kathy Acker, Odetta, or even Sappho (now that’s going back a bit). The list could go on, but then, that’s where you come in.

How to submit:

  • Send us 1-6 poems on any or all of these themes (rule breaking, gender nonconformity, women in the arts who do one or both of the above)
  • Send the poems in a .doc, .docx, .rtf or in the body of an email. Please DO NOT send PDFs. We don’t like them.
  • Address your submission to Kate and Rachel at
  • Give us a one-sentence creative bio on our themes. E.g. “Kate Garrett actually loves the word ‘lady’ and wants to reclaim it from centuries of demure boredom.”
  • We don’t care about your previous writing credits, so please don’t send details of your 800 publications. Your writing is what we want to read.
  • However, it’s nice if you chat a little bit to us in your email. A simple “hello here are my poems” is very considerate compared to nothing at all. We’re friendly folks.

Reprints are fine, but please let us know where they first appeared so we can credit if your work is selected.

Simultaneous submissions are also fine, but notify us ASAP if the work is accepted elsewhere.

Unfortunately we are unable to provide paperback contributor copies or payment for this anthology, but every contributor will receive a polished PDF ebook version of the completed collection.

The deadline for Deranged submissions is Friday 29 April 2016.