During its first decade, Free Inquiry was known for its series of essays entitled “Why I Am Not A …”. Inspired by Bertrand Russell’s short book Why I Am Not a Christian, each article detailed a writer’s intellectual and moral odyssey from a childhood religious belief to his or her current humanist or atheist beliefs. In a future issue of Free Inquiry, we will devote a cover feature to a new set of essays by contemporary humanists, atheists, seculars, and freethinkers, sharing how and why they left their former faiths. We hope to include entries such as “Why I Am Not a Presbyterian,” “Why I Am Not a Christian Scientist,” “Why I Am Not A Mormon,” “Why I Am Not a Muslim” (with apologies to Ibn Warraq), and many more. Also fair game: “Why I Am Not a Humanist” (if the author has abandoned humanism for atheism) or “Why I Am Not an Atheist” (if the author has abandoned atheism for humanism).
Essays must be 1300 words or less and must be titled “Why I Am Not a [religion or lifestance descriptor].” Any writer who now holds a nontheistic worldview, and held a significantly different theistic or nontheistic viewpoint earlier in life, is invited to recount the circumstances of his or her former lifestance and the process by which he or she moved to a nontheistic perspective.
Submitted articles must be new and exclusive to Free Inquiry – that is, they must not have been previously published, either in print or electronically, and must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. For this feature only, submissions will be accepted as physical manuscript, physical manuscript accompanied by digital file (on thumb drive or CD-ROM), digital file attached to email, or as text included in the body of an email. Digital files must be in Windows-readable .doc, .docx, or .rtf format. All submissions will become property of the Council for Secular Humanism. Any author desiring return of a physical submission in the event of non-acceptance must enclose a self-address stamped envelope bearing sufficient postage to return the manuscript and any digital media accompanying it. Submissions may be published in the magazine, online, or both, at the editors’ discretion. Each author whose submission is published in the magazine will receive two complimentary physical copies of that issue. No further compensation will be paid to authors. Last day for submissions will be April 30, 2013.
Please send either a proposal or a finished essay to Essays, Free Inquiry, P. O. Box 664, Amherst NY 14226-0664 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.