A fixation in the form of a thought or behavior that is intrusive, unpreventable, or inescapable. Obsessions can take many forms, including a belief, a habit, a goal, or an idea. Obsession could also be construed as a state of being.

Sapere Aude accepts all varieties of submissions, whether they be non-fiction, creative non-fiction, short stories, poetry, plays, screenplays, paintings, drawings, sculptures, music, dance, film, photography, fashion, etc. Below are some examples of how to look at obsession in the context of a category, utilizing your choice of expression:


Does a person have control over an obsession or is a person controlled by it? How does obsession compel, or at the very least, motivate certain actions or behaviors? Perhaps consider the ways in which body image and a societal fixation on youth and beauty contribute to obsessiveness. You are invited to engage with obsession as both an intrinsic and extrinsic force, whether as obsession with the body or as obsession within the body.


The roots of obsession begin in the mind, manifesting either as persistent, intrusive thoughts or feelings, or as a singular, overriding fixation on an object. Consider the idea of the one-track mind, the conscious or unconscious nature of an obsession, and how the mind distinguishes it from passion. What powers an obsession? Can it be stopped or controlled? When the mind is consumed by an obsession, what are the consequences? What of the mind or of the person is left when obsession takes its hold?


At what point does the individual desire for self-preservation become an obsession with cheating death? Does the “quest for immortality” represent a noble pursuit which gives life meaning or is it a delusion which only distracts from the inevitability of death? How does the societal preoccupation with death and dying influence media, culture, and literature?


Why do humans attribute significant value and meaning to particular places and not others? What makes a place a desirable tourist or travel destination? Why are humans fascinated or obsessed with particular spaces and/or places? Why do we find it necessary to embark on pilgrimages to specific destinations?  What role does aesthetics play in evoking fascination with a place? Alternatively, being immeasurably large, space is often labeled the final frontier. In what ways does man’s enthusiasm for exploring outer space and the natural world reflect upon a deeper obsession with finding answers and purpose in the universe?


While time is largely perceived as a linear phenomenon, it actually has been shown to be a relative experience. Are there individual or cultural obsessions with making time, having enough time, or finding time? Is time itself the subject of obsession? Does time lead to obsessiveness? Do people have fixations with living in a certain time frame, such as past, present, or future? You may consider the relationships between nostalgia, obsession, and time.

The first deadline for submissions to Sapere Aude’s Volume 6: “Monster” is October 13, 2014. Submissions received prior to October 13 that are not accepted for publication may be resubmitted with edits for a second review before the final deadline, November 17, 2014. Submissions and resubmissions will be accepted through November 17, 2014.

Submission Guidelines:

All categories accept a variety of media—films, photographs, visual art, music, performance, poetry, non-fiction, opinion editorials, essays, screenplays, short stories, gaming, codes etc. Non-fiction word limit is 2,000, short stories and screenplays 2,500. If you have a type of submission that we haven’t outlined, please talk to us, we want to accommodate new types of submissions.

Accepted file types:

  • Photos: .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .gif
  • Stories, essays, poetry, text: .doc, .pdf
  • Plays & screenplays: .pdfs
  • Audio: Soundcloud links
  • Videos (films or performances): Vimeo or YouTube links

How to submit to Sapere Aude

  • The submission process is blind; our web administrator removes the names before the editors review submissions to eliminate bias.
  • You can submit as many pieces as you want per issue. Again, we evaluate blindly, so if it’s all of merit, it will all be published.
  • Each submission must include author commentary that briefly explains how the piece addresses the theme as it relates to the chosen category.
  • The name of your file must be the same as the title of your submission.
  • Please note that the author commentary you submit will be published with your submission, if accepted.

Why should you submit?

  • Prior publication is important for your resume and C.V. (Curriculum Vitae, what you use to apply to grad school).
  • Sapere Aude is a vehicle to showcase your work and share with the community. Possible collaborations from faculty and fellow students could arise once your work appears in a public forum.
  • Sapere Aude provides a platform to learn what is required for publishing.


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