The Motley Open Committees

We're not currently takeing submissions.

The Open Committees welcome submissions from any source.

The presentation will be like that in a journal or magazine which prints a chain of letters on the same subject from several authors. The Committees are places to deepen conversation, to push thinking to its edges, and to write into a venue of others trying to do the same. We have no formal or literary conventions -- the usual Internet styles are perfectly okay here. We are trying evoke the spirit of the correspondents of earlier times, not imitate their styles.

Letters will be variegated; i.e. selected and edited. Each of the Committees is directed toward a particular subject area, but the decision to accept or reject your work will be made by human beings, without reference to an overly narrow charter. If you don't think your correspondence fits any of the Committees exactly, send it anyway; we'll look it over. For technical information on how to submit your contribution, see Technical Details.

Variegators may send back suggestions for the editing of your accepted work, but will place nothing on the Locus without your permission. (Content will not be edited per se; i.e. nothing will be rewritten or reassembled. Variegation will be largely a matter of shortening some pieces; at least that's how we see it in advance.)

If your work is rejected, you won't get a mechanical-sounding rejection letter, and you won't get unsolicited comments on the piece itself -- we don't feel that it's our place to make such comments.

Once your work is accepted by one of the Committees, it will remain accessible as long as the Locus is up on the Web. It will become part of a long and branching chain of correspondence with an active end reached by a series of (quantum-like) jumps -- a structure which will become clearer as the correspondence develops.

We have do have one suggestion; that you review personal letters, as well as letters you have written to listservs and newsgroups, edit out material that's only of personal or passing interest, and submit an edited version to the committee of your choice.

Eventually the Committees will have "listed correspondents" around the world whose material will be accepted automatically, and who will help search for interesting writing for their respective Committees. These correspondents will also select the variegator for each committee.


  1. Letters will be stripped of headers -- but they will be signed and dated.

  2. Letters should be addressed to the Committee or to fellow correspondent(s).

  3. Letters may be signed with your name, or with a "handle" or screen name.

  4. Send your letters to the variegator of the committee you are addressing, or to the variegators at large, with a note indicating where you'd like them placed.

Committees -- particularly the Open Committee of Joking Correspondents, and the Lovers and Teasers -- may also accept poems and short stories, as well as graphics, cartoons, and drawings.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Motley Focus Variegators

MaryAnn Bennett Rosberg (Poetry Variegator)

William Timberman
Emeritus (Timberman is the founding Variegator of the Motley Focus)

Stephen Williamson (Other Submissions)

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