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Original Poetry & Song – Call for Submissions


Access Support Network (ASN) and St Stephen’s Episcopal Church, both in San Luis Obispo, CA, are inviting creative minds to submit original poetry and songs which will form part of our fourth World AIDS Day joint effort. If your life has been touched by HIV/AIDS, and if you have written or will be writing and performing poetry or music, it could become part of the World AIDS Days Service on the afternoon of December 1, 2019. We are hoping that a wide range of experiences of, emotions around, responses to, hopes and dreams for, and all other aspects of living with HIV/AIDS can be expressed at the Service through your poetry and music.


Here is how it works:


  • Your poetry or song (submission) must be your own original work, or your must have written permission from the person who wrote it.

  • The content of submission should relate to your experience of how HIV/AIDS has touched your life, either through your own experience with the disease or through supporting a loved one. There must be a personal connection, and one that is with a person (or yourself) who lives or has lived on the Central Coast of California.

  • The content of your submission should not be intended to cause offense. The listeners will be from a wide range of backgrounds and experience who will attend the Service for various reasons, including comfort and solace, peace, grace and inspiration. While submissions which challenge our perceptions, stereotypes, and ignorance are welcomed and important, we must always be respectful.

  • Submissions should be no longer than 4 minutes when performed in full. For written submissions, this is typically less than 500 words.

  • Not all submissions will be guaranteed to be a part of the Service. Selection will be based on the number of submissions received, their relevance and their content.

  • If your submission is accepted, you may be asked to perform in at the Service. If you submit without the intention to perform, please include who you intend to ask to perform it in your stead. A rehearsal will be required.

  • Submissions (all those performed and a selection of those which are not performed) will be published after the Service in paper and/or digital formats and made available to the general public. Any submissions which are under copyright prior or subsequent to publishing in relation to the Service shall not prevent this publication. This publication will not be related to any for-profit activity. A small fee may be taken from those who request paper copies in order to offset printing costs.

  • Those submissions which will be performed at the Service will be part of an act of Christian religious worship in the tradition of The Episcopal Church. Submissions do not have to be religious; submissions of a religious nature do not have to be explicitly Christian. Both religious (of any recognized religion) and secular submissions are welcomed.

  • Anyone who performs a submission must provide their own equipment above and beyond a microphone and a chair. St Stephen’s does have a piano and an organ for those who are able to play. A rehearsal will be required.

  • Submissions, whether or not selected, do not come with any remuneration of any type. Submissions, and the performance thereof, are voluntary and the author’s free-will contribution. Money, gifts in-kind, royalties or any other forms of payment will not be distributed at any point, now or in the future, for any submissions.

  • Anonymous submissions will not be accepted.

  • Both ASN and St Stephen’s Episcopal Church welcome all who are interested to make a submission, and our selection of submissions to be performed will not discriminate on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.


Making Your Submission:

  • Submissions should be sent by email to both email addresses:

  • Poetry submissions should be in the body of the email not as an attachment.

  • Song submissions should be attached as MP3s only.

  • To eliminate the possibility of viruses, only email body text or MP3s will be accepted.

  • The deadline for submissions is Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 11:59pm. ASN and St Stephen’s reserve the right to extend or shorten the deadline based on volume of submissions. You will be notified of the status of your submission no later than November 1, 2019.

  • Please include in the body of the email of your submission:

    • First and Last Name

    • Preferred Pronouns

    • Contact email and phone number

    • Title of submission

    • Brief 50-word-or-fewer description of your submission and how it relates to your experience of HIV/AIDS

    • Who will perform the submission, if accepted


If you have any questions prior to submission, please contact both Derek Cummings and Father Ian Delinger on

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