Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Seeking experimental microstories

Call for Stories

The TFF-X (The Future Fire—ten years) anthology will contain 15 reprinted or slightly revised stories, plus at least as many new pieces that we hope will give an idea of the sort of things we’d like to see more of in the magazine in the future. We’re enthusiastically looking forward to the next decade, as well as celebrating the last one.

If you think you can help us to exemplify different and experimental modes/kinds of social-political, diverse, progressive and speculative stories, we’d love to hear from you. Some of our ideas are listed below. We're looking for very short pieces, so 500-1000 words is about right (or equivalent, for comics/poetry). We'll pay $20 per piece, and this call will remain open until we have the 5-10 new pieces we need to fill the volume (or until the end of October at the latest, at which point we'll have to firm up the table of contents if we’re to publish the anthology before the end of 2015). If you have any other experimental ideas—try us! Email your submissions or pitch ideas to fiction@futurefire.net with a subject line beginning “TFF-X submission: (title of work) and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Genre, style or conceit (many of these can be summed up as “ekphrasis”—a representation of one art form via the medium of another):
  1. Story written as a theater or radio play, or as an interview
  2. Story written as a pitch for a TV show or web series
  3. Story in the form of an online user review for a science-fictional/fantastic product (hoverboard, replicator, magic wand? You can think of something more original than this!)
  4. Design a poster or one-page advert for a made-up book or film
  5. Story in the form of a critical review of a non-existent book (no spoilers!)
  6. Story in the form of a user guide for a videogame or a module for an RPG
  7. Story told via a letter or letters (letter to a magazine advice column; letter of complaint; rejection letter for a job/story/grant; letter of condolence/congratulation; any letter that isn’t just the sender telling a story to the recipient)
Theme, content or medium (can be combined with one of the above, if you want to be hyper-efficient):
  1. Stories written largely/partly (or with dialogue) in a language or dialect other than US-English—with no apology or translation for the reader
  2. Bi/pansexual and trans/nonbinary characters (we do pretty well with queer representation otherwise)
  3. Utopian story—a world that satirizes our own by being visibly better than it in some significant way (doesn’t have to be perfect)
  4. Absurdist or nonsense piece—any combination of surrealism, dadaism, bizarro, dream-quest
  5. Horror and dark fantasy (so many possible modes)
  6. Poetry (any style; up to 40 lines)
  7. Graphic/comics story (2-4 pages)
All stories should of course be social-political, diverse, intersectional, and all the others things that TFF want to see in fiction anyway!
(If you would like to read more about what some of our editors would like to see more of in TFF in the future, the question has been addressed by Kathryn, Cécile, Valeria and Djibril in recent interviews. More suggestions welcome!)

Submission guidelines summary:

Length: approx. 500-1000 words (poems 40 lines, comics, 2-4 pages)
Email submissions as attachment to fiction@futurefire.net
Deadline: October 31, 2015, or sooner if filled
Pay: $20 (USD) per story, poem, comic, etc.

1 comment:

  1. Note: Joshua over at the BFS forums asks about image formats for comics/graphic submissions, to which I clarified:

    We're flexible about formats and media, but the basic parameters we're working within are:
    • Black and white only; images will be printed on pulp paper, so need to be reasonably high contrast (but plenty of shades of grey are fine)
    • The page size is 6" x 9", so images need to fit within (and ideally fill) borders of about 11.5cm x 19cm; the higher resolution you can send the better—we'll resize/format as needed
    • For image work only, we're happy to look at a draft/pitch before you work up the full-quality piece, if you prefer

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