The Shallot

The Shallot

The Layered Onion (TLO) proudly publishes The Shallot: Journal of Mental Health, Art, and Literature twice a year in partnership with the Dane County Food Collective (DCFC), supported by Dane Buy Local and a grant from Dane Arts. Available as part of artist membership or supporter tiers!

The Shallot is brought to you by The Layered Onion, Dane County Food Collective, Dane Arts, and Dane Buy Local.

Submission Information

We are open for submissions Monday, January 15, 2024, through Saturday, February 17, 2024.

How to Submit to The Shallot

  • How
    • On our submission page via Duosuma: here. It will open for submissions on the date listed above (as open calls go live).
    • The Shallot is open to artists with lived mental and emotional health experiences.
  • What we publish
    • Submit a piece of work inspired by or related to this edition’s prompt.

Vol. 3, No. 1 – Prompt: “If They Only Knew”

Your work for this issue should relate to the below prompt:

“If They Only Knew”

Up before the sunrise, tired bodies rise to work the land. Farmers cultivate year-round, sowing seeds, raising livestock, harvesting, and putting the land back to rest. A hard day’s work, a hard season’s work, bleeds into the next. Little magic moments accent the experience and make a hard job worth doing.

But what happens to the fruits of agricultural labor? They will travel to someone’s table, of course.

At a bustling local restaurant, a server takes a moment to themselves in a back hallway between serving tables. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Ready, the server turns out of the hallway, a bright smile now visible on their face as they approach a patron. If only they knew what all went into their meal!

We’re all made of layers that we use to protect ourselves from being overwhelmed. If they only knew what our lives were like—our joys, struggles, little magic moments, insurmountable challenges, and unbelievable highs—the tapestry of our lived experience.

In this work, open the door to a behind-the-scenes space. Tell the audience something you wish they knew. Share your vision through writing, visual art, or creative recipes.

Submission Guidelines

  • One visual and one written submission per artist at this time for a maximum of two submissions. You can submit multiple pieces in the same entry.
    • Submissions can include:
      • Nonfiction
      • Fiction
      • Poetry
      • Drama
      • Experimental
      • Creative Recipes
      • Visual Art
        • Please provide high resolution files for artwork. Images need to be at a minimum of 150 pixels per inch (PPI) at 5”x7” (though 356 PPI or higher is preferred). Lower resolutions WILL NOT be accepted.
        • Artwork should be photographed on a plain background so the focus stays on your piece. Submissions should be cropped to just the piece itself (not including artwork, table, etc. unless an intentional part of the composition). For artists photographing sculptures or other 3-D prints, we prefer simple, neutral, solid-colored backgrounds.
    • Written work should be no longer than 1000 words.
  • NO submission fees.
  • Bio
    • Always include a third-person author/artist/professional bio. The bio should be at least 1-2 sentences and up to 50 words. 450-500 characters maximum. More extended bios will not be accepted.
      • Note: There is a question for a more extended bio in this round of submissions. We may or may not continue this forward.
    • We will publish the bio, your pronouns, and links to your social media that you include.
    • We reserve the right to make grammatical changes while copyediting, but you will get to approve the final version.
  • Questions
    • Answer all required questions in the submission system.

Other Information on The Shallot

  • Rights
    • Writers and artists retain copyright, but The Layered Onion requests that you ask us before republishing your content. If it is republished, please ensure the second publication provides credit and links back to The Layered Onion, indicating that TLO was the first to publish.
  • Payment
    • Accepted artists will choose between an honorarium or an artist’s copy of the journal.
  • Sharing Your Work in The Shallot
    • Your work may be included in promotional material on TLO social media, always giving you credit. The Layered Onion collection may be sold in the TLO shop.