Death’s Garden Revisited call for submissions

Death's Garden001Twenty years ago, I was given a box of miscellaneous cemetery photos. They had been taken by my best friend’s husband over the course of his travels around the Americas. Blair was 28 years old and dying of AIDS. He wanted to know his photos had a good home.

I decided to put together a book that would feature those photos. Initially, I was going to write all the text, but as I talked to people about the project, everyone seemed to have a cemetery story to tell.

The book title expanded from Death’s Garden to Death’s Garden: Relationships with Cemeteries. I was thrilled to discover that people I knew — even complete strangers — all had a graveyard they’d connected with, either because a family member was buried there, or because they’d visited it on vacation, or because they’d grown up in a house near it, or for a whole bouquet of other reasons.

The contributors varied from people I met through zine publishing to a ceramics professor at Ohio State University, writers for the LA Weekly, professional artists and photographers, underground musicians, depressed high school girls, and punk rock diva Lydia Lunch. As the book came together, Death’s Garden blew away my expectations.

glenwood_morrison

Morrison monument in Glenwood Cemetery, Flint – taken by Loren Rhoads

The initial print run of 1000 copies sold out 18 months after my husband and I put it together for our publishing company. I’d only asked for one-time rights to use everyone’s contributions, so I couldn’t republish it. Once it was gone, it was gone.

As the years passed, I’ve lost track of many of the contributors. Some are dead and have a different relationship with cemeteries altogether now. Others have sunk into the anonymity of a pseudonym on the internet.

For a while now I’ve wanted to assemble a second volume of Death’s Garden.  I think there are a lot more stories to be told about relationships people have formed with graveyards. For instance, what’s it like to be a tour guide? How are cemetery weddings different than others? What’s the strangest cemetery you’ve ever visited, or the most beautiful, or the spookiest?

Eventually, I’d like to put these new essays into a physical book, but for now, I’d like to kick off a new feature on Cemetery Travel. This feature is open to anyone who has ever visited a cemetery where something special happened, either good or bad.  Tell me about your relationship with a cemetery.  I’d like to publish it on CemeteryTravel.com.

What I’m looking for:

  • personal essays that focus on a single cemetery
  • preferably with pictures
  • under 1500 words (totally negotiable, but the limit is something to shoot for)
  • descriptive writing
  • characterization, dialogue, tension: all the tools you’d use to tell a story
  • but this MUST be true — and it must have happened to you!

Reprints are accepted.  If you’ve written something lovely on your blog and wouldn’t mind it reaching the couple thousand people who subscribe to Cemetery Travel, let me know.

If I accept your essay for publication on Cemetery Travel, be warned: I may do some light editing, with your permission.

Also, I’ll need:

  • a bio of 50-100 words
  • a photo of you
  • a link to your blog or book
  • links to your social media sites, so people can follow you.

Finally, if — as I hope — this project progresses to becoming a legitimate book, I will contact you with a contract and offer of payment.  Stay tuned!

To be absolutely clear:  I am only looking for guest posts for the moment.  Payment will come when I have the funding in place for the book.  Right now, I am only looking for one-time or reprint rights.

In the meantime, here are some links to the original Death’s Garden:

You can submit your story via the Contact Me form above or leave a comment below and I’ll get in touch.  Thanks!

Reviews of the original Death’s Garden:

Turner monument at Glenwood Cemetery, taken by Loren

Turner monument at Glenwood Cemetery, taken by Loren

“This impressive book is so striking that, upon opening its binding, one is hard pressed not to be moved by its contents. With every perusal, the reader finds another thing to think about.” — Carpe Noctem

Death’s Garden is an anthology of cemetery tours from all around the world, well-photographed, and smart enough to know it’s not the where and when of certain burial grounds that intrigues us, it’s the why as well. There’s a certain joy about Death’s Garden which is hard to pin down; the sense that just as no two graveyards are the same, no two burial beliefs are the same, either.” — Alternative Press

“The photographers and writers relay their thoughts on the relationship between the living and the dead, creating a feast for the eyes and senses. Death’s Garden goes a long way in showing just what these residences of the dead have to offer to those of us that are still among the living.” — Maximum Rock N Roll

64 Responses to Death’s Garden Revisited call for submissions

  1. Pingback: The 4th of July if You Like Cemetery Hilltops | Cemetery Travel: Adventures in Graveyards Around the World

  2. I am very interested! I have a story about my baby brother’s cemetery stone. I will try to get photos, but it’s quite a drive from my home. I also have interesting photos taken in Cedar Key, Fl, where the cemetery is amazing and unique to the point that they offer tours.

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  3. Thanks! I’ve thought about writing it for a long time. What is the deadline?

    Like

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  10. Ta Mara says:

    I have many tales and photos of my favorite cemeteries just need to get them on paper for you. Deadline is when? And what format is good?

    Like

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  15. Ed Snyder says:

    Thanks Loren! I just emailed you my essay.

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  18. rrmason88 says:

    Just seeing this now, Loren. I’ll try and get you something when I can. I have a story and some pictures of a Revolutionary War cemetery from an Air Force in Plattsburgh, NY where I grew up.

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  41. abbey1927 says:

    Hello!
    My name is Robert, and I met one of your contributors this past weekend during the “Movies Under the Stars” event that the local preservation association I volunteer for was holding.She encouraged me to reach out to you. I volunteer for Green Lawn Abbey, a mausoleum built in 1927 in Columbus,Ohio. The Abbey has space for 600 interments, one of deceased being Thurston the Great, a stage magician more famous than Houdini in his time. We are trying to restore the Abbey after she suffered from decades of vandalism and neglect. I hope I can share some stories of the Abbey’s “residents” with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Loren Rhoads says:

      Robert, I’d like that very much. Tell me how you first met the cemetery, what drew you to it, and how you now try to share it with others. I’d like to read that story very much. You can contact me directly at morbid at charnel dot com or through the contact form at the top of the page.

      Like

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