Dear Commoners & P2P community,
Below my signature is Shareable's call for pitches and submissions
to an anthology we're putting together that's a how-to survive by sharing
and making handbook for Gen-Y.
We imagine an anthology written by Gen-Y for Gen-Y. Much has been
written about this generation, but we want to give them a chance to tell their
story, and to help their peers re-imagine the present and future as an
opportunity for vastly more meaningful and constructive lives and world
that what they may think lies before them. It will be a combination of
analysis and how-to.
Please forward this call to other individuals and forums. And we welcome
your feedback and suggestions about our call.
Share or Die, Youth in Recession Call for Submissions:http://www.shareable.net/blog/share-or-die-youth-in-recession-call-...
Contemporary American 20-somethings face a disorienting set of
conditions. While only a few years ago pundits worried about the “me”
generation, children raised in material abundance and cultural
vacuity, even college-educated young people have come to face to face
- 85 percent of graduates move home with their parents (Twentysomething Inc.)
- Official unemployment - a notoriously underestimating measure of a
population’s immiseration hovers around 15 percent for young
Americans, one-third higher than the overall population’s rate.
(Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Self-employment, which is almost always precarious, shot up 27
percent between 1995 and 2005. With employers hiring fewer and fewer
new employees, long-term secure employment is unrealistic for many
young people. (BLS)
- Youth has become such a material hardships that, for the first time
ever, today’s college graduates face the same level of unemployment as
the general population. (BLS)
Just when young Americans seem to need advice the most, the older
generation is least able to provide it. Having lived through
post-World War II prosperity, most middle-aged parents have never
experienced a job market this bad. For this generation of young adults
- “Y” or “millennial” or what have you - the future is hazy and the
present isn’t much clearer.
At the same time, America’s young adults are well-educated and
resourceful. They have spear-headed the rise of online communications
technology, and lines of commonality that seemed impossible to draw a
generation ago are only a click away. For all the drawbacks of social
media (and it certainly has its share), it is a powerful force and a
resource an otherwise poor generation can largely call its own. The
current crisis presents a series of opportunities to break with what’s
broken and build communities that are more self-reliant, sustainable,
and democratic. We’re in the midst of a forced redefinition of our
values, where “the good life” will be more about relationships and
experiences than possessions and titles.
A confluence of economic and social factors have composed a generation
we do not understand - thus the now-iconic NY Times Magazine headline
“What Is It About 20-Somethings?” Traditional forms of social
organization (at the workplace, young nuclear families) are on the
decline, while new forms develop in their wake. This shift presents a
host of hardships, but an equal number of possibilities for young
people to change the world we have been given.
Its with all this in mind that we begin the Share Or Die project. Over
the next few months, I will be collecting and editing an eBook about
youth in recession for Shareable, and I need your help. Just as no one
person experiences as a generation, no one person could write this
collection. Rather than keep to the circle of established professional
writers (a category that includes few young people), we decided to
present an open call to our readers and their wider communities.
Here’s what we’re looking for:
Stories from the front lines: What is it like to try and get by in
America as a young person these days? What is it like to try and do
more? We’re not looking for simple stories of triumph or catastrophe,
but productive struggle. There may not be easy solutions, but there
are tactics and strategies, and we want to hear yours. These can be
advice from experience (e.g. “What not to do as a freelancer”) or
stories without an easy lesson.
DIY How-to’s: If we can’t afford to buy stuff, we’re going to have to
do a lot more making, repairing, and sharing. Share Or Die is supposed
to be a useful guide for young people, so this section is going to be
the core of the collection. These are practical tutorials, but they
can be as material as building a backyard herb garden or as immaterial
as starting a band. We’re concerned with the big stuff here: housing,
transportation, food, relationships, non-traditional forms of work,
travel, that kind of thing.
Analysis: Young people get our lives explained to us by a lot of
publications, now it’s our turn. How are we to understand our
generational situation, and how can we use our common resources to
improve it? We’re looking for ideas outside the traditional
government-non-profit axis and beyond any partisan program. Possible
topics include: youth and technology, common space, sharing and
property, the contemporary workplace.
Art: Although it’s a prose-centric project, Share Or Die would be
incomplete without art. We’re hoping to include some cartoons, graphic
art, and illustrations that address the above themes. We’ll look at
graphics with or without pieces of writing, but combined is probably
best. If you’re an artist or graphic designer interested in working on
the project but without any particular idea, send some samples of your
work anyway and we’ll see what we can think up. Cool (and relevant)
data visualizations are especially welcome.
We’ll be accepting pitches and completed pieces (1,000-3,000 words)
during the month of January. Writers and artists from traditionally
underrepresented communities are particularly encouraged to submit.
Although youth is a perspective rather than a number, we’re
predominantly trying to showcase writers in their twenties; old people
with lots of great ideas about how young people should live are
discouraged from submitting. We’ll be paying for selected pieces at
average non-profit publication rates - not mind-blowing, but we know
even writers and designers need to eat every once in a while. For
legal reasons, we can’t accept already published material unless it
was published under an open license (e.g. Creative Commons). Send
questions as well as submissions and pitches, along with links to a
sample or two and your online presence in any and all public forms you
choose (Twitter, blog, tumblr, etc.) to firstname.lastname@example.org