CFP: Unapologetic Magazine Special Issue

2004 Citizenship Referendum

Call for contributors | Unapologetic Magazine

Deadline: 5pm February 29th, Irish Standard Time.

Theme and prompts

For us, Irishness is not defined by your birthplace, your parent’s birthplace, or anything written on a legal document. Irishness is defined by you and those who relate to the Irish identity. The 2004 Citizenship referendum created a limited definition of Irish citizenship – reducing it to those born in Ireland with at least one Irish national parent. Those born to two non-Irish parents in Ireland were not considered Irish citizens despite this land being the only land they had seen or known. We want to hear your voice, opinions, and stories related to the 2004 referendum. Did it affect you and your family? Did you find the new rigid definition of Irishness affected your identities? Submit a piece of poetry, prose, art, or academic writing about the 2004 Citizenship referendum. This special issue is funded by Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Interculturalism at Mary Immaculate College. 

Below are some prompts as a guide to inspire you – you may write on the referendum without referring to the below prompts, or you may use your piece to reflect on what the below prompts suggest – the choice is yours: 

  • “I was born here; where will I go?” I belong to a new Ireland. 
  • “I’m a citizen of the world, but Ireland is my mother” – James Joyce. Reflect on this quote in relation to the 2004 citizenship referendum. In particular, the contradiction to Joyce’s quote that the referendum represents in relation to citizenship and definitions of Irishness.
  • Motherhood and Motherland. Reflect on the 2004 citizenship referendum in the light of the rhetorical positioning of motherhood within both Irish nationalism specifically and Irish nationalism more generally. Consider the fractious history of motherhood in post-independence Ireland (Magdalene Laundries, the campaign to legalise contraception, the Eighth Amendment) and the rise of ‘population replacement’ racist conspiracy theories.
  • Precarious citizenship: Judith Butler has claimed that “precarity is to a large extent dependent upon the organization of economic and social relationships, the presence or absence of sustaining infrastructures and social and political institutions.” The citizenship referendum creates a precarious citizenship for those not born to citizens of the state.
  • Expat, migrant, non-national, undocumented, illegal immigrant, naturalised citizen, migrant, asylum seeker, refugee – terminology matters. 

Submission Requirements

Important notes:

  • The work must be original and cannot have been previously published. This rule includes personal blogs.
  • We ask that you comply with these requirements as much as possible. If a requirement is an obstacle for you, please reach out to us via email:
  • This magazine is peer-reviewed. It goes through two blind processes, please comply with the reviewer’s remarks as much as possible.
  • The Unapologetic team is working hard to secure funding to pay you for your work. As soon as we secure funding, you will be paid for your work.

General requirements:

  • All written pieces must be submitted in .doc format. 
  • Use the following file name convention: LastName_FirstName_Category. For example, Doe_Jane_Poetry
  • Maximum of 3 submissions per person.
  • Email your submission to by February 29th 2024 at 5pm IST.

Review process

  • Submissions will be peer-reviewed by academics, activists, and artists. There will be one (1) round of revisions for works on the cusp of being accepted to the magazine. 
  • We ask that you respect and comply with the reviewers recommendations. If you feel any recommendations were unfair, reach out to us. We will happily discuss the remarks with you.
  • If your contribution is selected, you will be asked whether you are interested in participating in workshops, exhibitions, or other working opportunities.

Category specific guidelines:


  • Please format poetry how you imagine it printed. We ask that you refer to previous issues to see which way we publish poetry pieces.
  • No more than 2 pages for double column poems and 3 pages for single column poems.
  • A readable font like Arial or Time New Roman (size 12).

Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Academic Essays 

Visual Art, Music, Photographs

  • Image files may be submitted via email (depending on file size).
  • Up to 200 words detailing the inspiration for the piece and the artist’s vision of how it relates to this issue’s theme.
  • For more guidance on artwork and creative pieces, see the Art-specific call for contributions.

Audio, Other Electronic Media 

  • 10 minutes Maximum. 
  • .mp4 format Only. 
  • An introductory text to accompany electronic media to give the audience a better understanding of the work and its significance to the selected theme. 

Contributors’ Rights

After publication, Unapologetic retains nonexclusive rights for the continued use of your work in electronic form. You may republish work published in the journal as long as you credit Unapologetic with the original publication.

The magazine is not limited to the prompts. If you are inspired to respond to this call and have any other ideas that you feel are relevant to the magazine, please email us at, and we would be happy to discuss possible ideas or answer any questions about submission formats and the submission process.