Submission Call: France Stories by Women

Hey Women, do you have a great story about France? Seal Press is taking submissions for a new book, France, A Love Story, due out next Spring.

Read on for the full submission guidelines, deadlines, and payment details.

And if you love Seal Press, keep an eye on their regular submission guidelines page. Right now they also have a call out for a Friendship Anthology, and one about changing your life after 50.


Women Write about France
For many women, a love of France and all things French started when we were school girls tackling one of the most seductive of tongues. Drawn to what we believed was the world’s most exalted culture, we made trips or moved there, approaching every aspect of the culture with the devotion of pilgrims to a shrine. We learned much along the way. Women who love France often seem united by an almost mystical bond. This anthology will gather the essays by women who have stories to tell about their firsthand experiences in a country that has had an outsized influence on the world—historically, politically, artistically, gastronomically, and culturally.




Send your finest nonfiction writing (previously published work is acceptable). Whether traditional or creative personal essays, I’m looking for more than memoir and travelogue, though these both may lend stories appeal. I’m looking for the strong narrative arc—stories that build toward that satisfying dénouement—something changed, learned, seen more clearly. Strong character development is helpful. A good sense of humor is desirable, though tragic accounts are welcome. Stories may be rooted in some aspect of traveling there, the joy and/or difficulty of living in France, an insightful moment of culture shock, the agony and ecstasy of immersion, loves lost or gained with French men or women. I’m looking for substance, but style is encouraged.

Some possible topics to jog your imagination:

• Gastronomy magnifique – (think M.F.K. Fisher)
• L’Age de raison (coming of age stories)
• The French paradox (usually refers to their diet, but can refer to Americans’ eternal love-hate relationship with France)
• Toujours l’amour – comic, tragic, unrequited or otherwise, it makes a good story
• Au pair memories
• City of Light – Paris, the moveable feast, exerts its own timelessness and magic
• Going provincial – many of M.F.K. Fisher’s best stories take place in the provinces
• Welcome to my humble chateau – have you experienced setting up home there?
• Maybe you worked there once and learned something about the French work ethic.
• The dream vs. the reality—did it match up?
• Manners and cultural nuances—navigating an unfamiliar realm
• Fashion and style—learning to look the part
• Making friends and other interactions with the locals
• France at different ages—how it has changed or not over the years

Camille Cusumano, an editor at VIA Magazine in San Francisco, is the author of one novel, The Last Cannoli (Legas, NY, 2000) and several cookbooks, including Rodale’s Basic Natural Foods Cookbook, The New Foods (Henry Holt), and America Loves Salads (Literary Guild). Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Islands Magazine, Country Living, and other publications. Her short story, A dying tiger moaned for drink, was a finalist in the 2003 Katharine Ann Porter Prize for fiction.

Submission information: The manuscript should be between 1000 and 5000 words. Please include your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and a brief bio or resume. Please mail the completed manuscript, double-spaced, to Camille Cusumano, 1270 D Storey Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129. Original and previously published material will be considered.

Contact: For questions or queries, please e-mail
Deadline: December 1, 2003.
Payment: $100 plus two copies of the book
Publication: Spring 2004, trade paperback, Seal Press, an imprint of Avalon Publishing