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  • NYS Writers Institute

Call for submissions: Trolley journal

March 15, 2021

When we put out the call for submissions last spring, the word "coronavirus" was indeed novel. Since then, we've witnessed a path of death and mourning sweep through our cities, towns, nation, and the world.

Last week marked one year since the World Health Organization declared the pandemic. Its effect on our society is both immeasurable and quantifiable: 2.5 million dead worldwide, including more than 500,000 in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's data shows that life expectancy in the U.S. decline by a full year in the first half of 2020 — the worst decline since World War II.

Our Summer 2020 Trolley journal featured contributions from more than 70 writers, poets, photographers, and artists, serving as a time capsule of creative expressions published in a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Call for submissions

A year later, we find the pandemic still casts a shadow over our daily lives, affecting work, the arts, education, and our social fabric.

We invite writers, poets, and photographers to express creatively how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed them. How have you adapted, coped, fallen apart, or grown. How do you choose to remember the pandemic. How do you contextualize a pandemic with your words or photos.

What is Trolley?

Trolley began with an idea from Writers Institute founder William Kennedy, who envisioned an online literary journal published free of charge in which each issue's words and images related to a single theme. See previous editions at

Submission guidelines:

  • We will accept essays, journalism, poetry, narrative nonfiction, fiction, and photography.

  • Please limit your submission to 1,500 words.

  • You do not need to be a published author to submit. ​

  • We welcome submissions from the UAlbany community as well as the Capital Region community.

  • There is no payment nor submission fee. Trolley is published free of charge as a partnership of the NYS Writers Institute, UAlbany, and the community.

  • Writers, poets, and photographers retain rights.

  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted.

In your email, please include:

  • the text of your submission, or an attachment (.jpg or .png) if it’s an illustration/artwork,

  • attach a photo of yourself,

  • a bio, no more than 100 words.

Deadline is Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

E​mail your submission or any questions to Michael Huber, NYS Writers Institute, at


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