Mission Statement | The New Engagement

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

We are excited and honored to announce the arrival of The New Engagement.

The opportunity to contribute to the critical, creative, and conceptual conversation by selecting, editing, and publishing online and in print original short stories, novel excerpts, essays, poetry, photographs, illustrations, paintings, and films submitted by writers, artists, photographers, and filmmakers from all over the world is humbling. We intend to focus on social issues, topics, and themes that beg addressing, though, we are not interested in screeds or outright polemics, but rather complex, nuanced, and personal ruminations and explorations. As always, the work should be about deep, honest, and incisive engagement.

Shock value is fine as long as it is buttressed by substance. The project should strive for an authentic and pure impression of whatever idea is being examined. We especially invite work that takes dares, experiments with form, and is even defiant in tone. We have a particular aversion to anything that smacks of product or formula. The derivative and the consciously commercial have no place in our journal.

In addition to literary psychodramas and character studies, The New Engagement will also be featuring radical political, philosophical, psychological, and/or scientific works. Utopian or dystopian literature, re-imagined history, radical/liberation psychology, speculative/slipstream/sci-fi, trans-disciplinary ideas, Afro-futurism, magical realism, and other innovative theories and concepts will also find a home at The New Engagement. It's less important that you know what category of literature or art your work falls under than that you create from a place of genuine care, experience, and interest. We welcome a wide range of voices, and despite our austere approach, also love humor pieces, particularly clever satires!  

Essentially, we're looking to form a collaborative of great writers and artists on the vanguard. Previously, periods of great turmoil and social change were accompanied by an artistic response. In our own era, with a few notable exceptions, that response has been sorely lacking, with the last major art and theory movement, which came 30-40 years ago, being focused primarily on deconstructing what came before it--i.e., post modernism. While independent journalism, personal essays, and documentary filmmaking have provided invaluable exposure of the truth, there are certain types of insight that only art can provide. Activists boast passion. Academics and journalists have an easy grace with data. Artists, by marrying passion with data, provide soul. Art and literature have the potential to move in unexpected, ineffable ways. They reach private places. Secretive places. Places that are otherwise girded by defensiveness and diversions.

Before submitting to The New Engagement, please take a close look at the literature and art we have already published to determine if your work would be a good match for our endeavor. Please note that there is no guarantee that submitted material will be selected for inclusion in the journal. We will only choose those works that complement The New Engagement's vision.

Forget the old indifference. It's time for The New Engagement.

Join Us!

Mercy, ingenuity, nuance, complex truths, guts and honor still matter! Join us in proclaiming so by purchasing, or giving the gift of, a print subscription (2 issues per year) to The New Engagement.

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"You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive."
~ James Baldwin

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Contests & Prizes

Flash Fiction Contest
On May 1st, we announced the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest: Thomas Garcia (1st), Rick Krizman (2nd), and Rios de la Luz (3rd). Read more.

The James Baldwin Literature Prize
It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner of The James Baldwin Literature Prize of $1,000 to Hafsa Musa. Read more.

The New Engagement

The New Engagement endeavors a novel approach to discovering, introducing, and showcasing writers, artists, and filmmakers, by providing them digital and print platforms, while encouraging and supporting their social-consciousness.