Guide to Hosting a Carnival: Call for Submissions

Writing a Carnival Call for Submissions Post

Once you have a general theme in mind, the next step is drafting up a call for submissions post. Each call for submissions post should generally include the following items, in whatever particular order you choose:

A title with the month and theme,  such as “[Month] Carnival of Aros Call for Submissions: [Theme].

A brief explanation of the carnival of aros, and a link back to the main site.

A link to the last month’s roundup (note: this will often not be out until a few hours or a day after you make your initial post, so you can either link to that month’s call for submissions as a placeholder, or just leave this section out until it’s ready.)

Instructions on how/where to submit. You should choose whatever submission methods work best for you. You can accept more than one method. Generally speaking, I’d recommend accepting submissions via links in comments on  / reblogs of the original post, as well as links sent by email (for people who don’t have tumblr.

A submission deadline. Generally this will be midnight on the last day of the month. (but this isn’t a hard deadline – we usually recommend still accepting late submissions for a couple days, even if it means adding them to the wrapup post retroactively.)

A succinct statement of your theme.  Themes should be a succinct topic – no more than one sentence, and one or two words can be even better. They can be as serious or as silly as you like, but it should be general enough to allow many different interpretations. You can see our submission archives for a list of topics that have already been done, and you can also take a peak at our asexual sister carnival’s much more extensive archives for inspiration.

A longer explanation of your theme (optional). This can be 1-2 paragraphs explaining your theme in further detail – perhaps sharing the backstory for why you wanted to choose this theme, or explaining any more abstract or metaphorical topic choices.

Specific prompts. These prompts should be some possible interpretations of the theme, to give writers some ideas to start with. Where themes are more abstract, these should be specific questions. Also, try to provide a range of questions so that as many people as possible will be able to answer. (For example, if you have a theme like “aromantic in the workplace”, try to think of alternative prompts for people who are too young to work, retired, unemployed, working from home, in school or training, etc.).

In general, 5-10 prompts is a good number to aim for – it’s enough that it gives people several options, without being too overwhelming.


Thus, a sample post might look something like this (although your theme may or may not be this silly):

December 20XX Carnival of Aros Call for Submissions: Aromanticism and Vegetables

This is a call for submissions for the Carnival of Aros, a monthly aromantic/aro-spec themed blog carnival. You can find the roundup of last month’s submissions for the theme “[last month’s theme]” here.

Anyone can write a post – to be featured in the carnival, just post a link to your article here in the comments or shoot me an email at carnivalofaros@gmail.com. No worries if you don’t have a blog – we can host posts for you here as well.

Submissions are due by December 31, but if you think you might take a little longer you can just shoot me a message to let me know and I can hold a spot for you.

This month’s theme is: Aromanticism and Vegetables

The aro-spec community has a long and intimate history of vegetable symbolism, starting with the moment our wtfromantic friends coined the term “zuchinni” as a nickname for significant but not necessarily romantic relationships. Soon squishes were leading to squashes, and a flag was announced with suspiciously vegetable-like colors.

We’re even confused for vegetables in the mainstream culture, where typos often lead to us being confused with that most delicious class of vegetables, the aromatics.

That’s why for this month, I want to talk about our personal relationships with vegetables. Some sample prompts include:

  • What do you think is the most aromantic vegetable?
  • How much (if at all) has being aromantic increased or decreased your appreciation for vegetables?
  • Besides zucchini and squash, what other vegetables are ripe for re-use as new aromantic terminology? What new definitions would you propose for them?
  • Some biology sticklers out there insist that zucchinis are biologically defined as a fruit, while others argue it’s culinarily defined as a vegetable. The same thing often happens to aro-spec folks, who get bounced around in communities and aren’t always sure where to fit in or what model to use. What definitions of a/romanticism do you prefer to use and why do they work best for you?
  • Another fate of vegetables is that they are often [and wrongly] seen by some groups as inferior to meat and insufficient as whole diet – much like how some groups view platonic relationships as inferior to romantic ones. For those of you who choose life without romantic relationships – or without ‘relationships’ at all – what other relationships or activities do you choose to create a healthy social diet for yourself?
  • And for those of you who actually are vegan or vegetarian, do you see any overlap between your experiences with those identities and your aromantic experiences? Why or why not?
  • Finally, for those of you who aren’t so partial to all these vegetables metaphors I’ve been listing, what are your other favorite aromantic symbols or metaphors?