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Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Steamfunk, Sword & Soul, Horror, Commentary, Reviews, and more . . .

The Diverse Writers & Artists of Speculative Fiction

Cameron Battle by rayseb_d

Science Fiction Rarely Addresses This Aspect Of Interplanetary Travel

The point of the science fiction genre is to follow a fictional story that weaves in elements of true or theoretical science. The allure of this is that it seems to symbolize the future, especially for humanity. There’s no doubt that one creative concept that will always intrigue people is storylines that examine a potential fate of our species, which is why so many books, shows, and films that focus on this exist. When these plots can achieve a certain level of accuracy or likelihood they begin to feel more realistic to the viewer, and thus, the audience is more likely to connect to them with more focus, as if their stories could actually reflect the future.

A science fiction topic that is commonly used, and is most successful when it uses story details that cater to a more realistic approach, is that of interplanetary travel. When stories exploring this concept follow the accessible, established science and research that currently exists about space travel and exploring foreign planets, they feel more believable. However, if these storylines lack important realities of science that people are familiar with, it stands out and takes the viewer out of the story, proving that consistency is just as important as accuracy.

One detail that many interplanetary sci-fi storylines tend to neglect is the likelihood of foreign viruses and bacteria. As history has proven, even a move across the globe can bring havoc in the form of problematic germs and sickness that attack unexposed immune systems in masses, quickly killing off entire peoples. If a foreign planet is host to alien plant or animal life, it is almost certain to contain microbes that are equally unknown to the human immune system.

Despite the consciousness around the spread of infectious disease being much more relevant in recent years, this awareness is not commonly displayed in stories. It only makes sense that coming from a planet where just existing within society could spread sickness, that traveling among other planets could do the same. Because of this current focus on how easily bacteria and viruses can spread, it may occur to audience members if the detail is lacking from a story, and it could alter their suspended belief.

While there’s no way to contain every potential detail of a theoretical science fiction concept, such a current detail seems to call for more focus and could likely even strengthen the story. Nonetheless, there are a number of sci-fi pieces that focus on interplanetary travel and don’t have this seemingly essential element in the storyline. There are several popular films that are guilty of this, like Interstellar for example, which was considerably successful.

Strap in and enter worlds of wonder in Chosen Realities: Summer 2020. The Journal contains a dazzling array of short stories, scripts, interviews, and more! Stroll through fantastical universes, rocket through science fiction landscapes, and muse on poetry in this jam-packed introductory volume of the Journal of Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction. Entertainment and enlightenment await!

Excerpt from "A Change of Plans"


K. Ceres Wright

Addis Ababa

September 25, 2070

The neon lights of Addis Ababa streamed past like confetti in a whirlwind as Dani roared into Meskel Square. She

slid into a right turn with one foot on the ground, leaning the bike as she swerved in front of a blue donkey. The van

honked in protest.

“That was too close.”

“Quit your whining, Felix. You’re still alive.” The AI in her helmet displayed a pixelated middle finger across her face

shield. Dani smiled and checked her side mirrors, but no one was following her. She figured she lost Maricela’s goons in Bishoftu when she motored up a flight of stairs, shot over two side streets, and escaped onto the A1, leaving them stuck in a traffic jam.

Giant logs for the Meskel Festival bonfire were already stacked in their usual spot. In two days’ time, thousands

of worshippers from the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Churches would gather in the Square to sing, dance, and light the bonfire to commemorate the finding of the True Cross by some Roman queen. Dani used to know her name, even attended with her mother once upon a time, but had since strayed from the faith. It would be a time to avoid Meskel Square.

Dani hopped onto the A2 toward Kotebe. In 15 minutes, she pulled off Asmara and killed the engine, then walked

her bike to the abandoned Gedera Hotel behind the metal tools factory. She had been living there for close to a year

without any of the neighbors alerting the authorities of a squatter stealing water and Wi-Fi from the factory and using

a generator to light a hotel room. Dani had purposely chosen a room facing the factory, and the nearby bushes aided her subterfuge.

She stashed the motorcycle behind the reception desk and went to her quarters. Switched on the generator, which

illuminated a small yellow room with a single bed in the far corner. A small refrigerator, recycler, and washer stood in the other corner. Next to the door was a small security screen that allowed her to monitor the hallway. Against one wall stood a table with a hot plate and pot, a large container of water, various personal effects in stackable plastic boxes, and the body of a robot.

“Transfer to body.” Dani took off her helmet and laid it on the floor next to her bed. Within seconds, the AI animated

the robot. It walked over to her and helped her take off her clothes.

“Hot bath?”

“Yes, please.” While she waited, Dani dug into a container and retrieved an insta-meal. She pulled the tab, shook it, and waited 15 of the recommended 30 seconds. As soon as it began to steam, she ripped open the top and used the supplied spork to shovel the lukewarm beef stew into her mouth. She hadn’t eaten since her energy bar breakfast.

“I thought they would at least give you lunch.” Felix picked up the water container and carried it into the bathroom.

“I know! Even criminals are getting to be cheap bastards…on a 200-million-dollar yacht in the middle of a lake.”

Dani shook her head in judgement. “Did you see the look on her face, though, when Maricela checked her bank account and didn’t have enough money in it? I thought she was going to have a stroke then and there. Even I didn’t expect that. And then had the nerve to blame me when Cristof wouldn’t transfer the information she wanted. Hector pulled a gun on me. A gun!”

“Quick thinking on your part, though. Do you know what the information was that she wanted?”

“Not exactly, but I think it had to do with shipping containers at the Port of Djibouti. But you know me, I try to stay

out of the details.” She licked the last bit of stew from the container and tossed it into the recycler. It grinded and churned until a small cube popped out into a larger box. Once it was full, Dani would take it to the recycle plant in town and get 160 birr. Every little bit helped toward retirement.

“Your bath is ready. And how much longer are you going to be an information broker to the stars of the underworld?”

He gathered her discarded clothes and put them in the washer.

Dani shrugged, suddenly sad. “I dunno. Thinking about the future makes me think about the past.”

Felix’s shoulders slumped in mirrored action. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean--”

She closed the door to the bathroom and stepped into the tub, then sat and drew her knees up to her chest. Dani

thought about her family.

You may be looking for some Afrofuturistic art for your project. Click the links to the artist and contact them on Deviant Art to collaborate!

SF/F Markets for August 2022

35 Themed Submissions Calls for August 2022

These are themed submission calls and contests for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Some themes are: creepy railway tales; cats; dogs; funny stories; from the depths (sea fantasy and intrigue); ominous visitors from deep space; speculative humor; nostalgia; oceans; joy is resistance; unravel; and Sherlock Holmes. Please see this list for a few more upcoming deadlines.


The Suburban Review: Weeds

They want fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, comics, and art on the Weeds theme. “WEEDS are at once slapdash and punctilious in their efforts to evade order—growing in pavement cracks, springing up and spreading out in between the planted rows of suburban gardens. They’re anathema to a manicured lawn, territorial and shape-shifting. But are they an object of horror, or of ground-altering potential? Send us your poems that twist through the gaps, your stories that creep up slowly and insistently, your essays that grow despite it all, and your art, photography, or comics which picture the things hidden underneath life as we’ve planned it.”

Deadline: 3 August 2022

Length: 500-2,500 words for prose; up to 3 poems

Pay: AUD150-275 for prose, AUD125-275 for poetry

Details here and here.

Guernica: Anthologia – A gathering of 3-10 poems by the same poet

They are reading poetry submissions for their Anthologia section. They have extensive guidelines, including, “For a new quarterly section featuring gatherings of poems, we invite submission of a range of poems that are critically plural, that cohere — or that fragment — a shared project. … An Anthologia at Guernica might be tethered through theme, narrative, form, or any other frame which the poems collectively compel. We are excited for the section to foster editorial collaboration with poets around their work, vision, and poetics. Together, we might ask: what project is being shaped across this gathering of poems, and how is this vision articulated and reconfigured through each poem in the series? … We’d love to read poems that congregate around (or refuse) questions of desire, language, or form, but most importantly, that speak to the wild capaciousness of your work. Submit 3-10 poems that shape each other in some way; they could accumulate, thicken, complicate, and make spare — or make inverse — the questions that drive them.” They are open for other genres as well – at the time of writing, they were also open for fiction, nonfiction, general poetry, and Global Spotlights; there were no deadlines for those genres.

Deadline: 15 August 2022 for Anthologia

Length: 3-10 poems

Pay: $150 for Anthologia, $50 for poetry, $100 for essays and Global Spotlights, $150 for fiction and for reportage/journalism

Details here and here.

(Submissions are also open for Poetry Wales. They take unthemed submissions from all writers, and also run themes. This time marks the 75th anniversary of the Partition of the Indian subcontinent, so “we are especially interested in hearing from writers with links to India and Pakistan, although writing is not limited to the topic of Partition”. Pay is £20-£200 for poetry and related reviews and articles, and the deadline is 8 August 2022. Details here.)

Medusa Tales: Horror issue

They usually publish speculative stories (sci-fi, fantasy, and horror) but during their upcoming window, they want only horror. They publish stories of human transformation and immobilization. “Stories may fall into three broad categories: Transformed and immobilized: Medusa turning victims to stone (of course), laser weapons that convert their targets into mannequins, athletic competitions in which the winners become trophies; Immobilized but not transformed: stasis pods gone wrong, steampunk carbon freezing chambers, devices that dilate or stop time; Transformed but not immobilized: converting people into robots, magical transformations into other creatures”. Also see their wish list, for the kind of stories they love. They also accept reprints.

Reading period: 1-15 August 2022

Length: 100-5,000 words

Pay: $0.01/word

Details here.

The Haunted Train: Creepy Tales from the Railways

They want suspenseful, atmospheric, and creepy stories about trains, tracks and railway stations. They especially welcome creepy, spooky tales about haunted trains, stories with strong settings, locations in Africa, Asia, Australia, NZ, South America, and unusual trains – e.g. a suspended train, an underground train. They want stories in the Gothic, Horror, Fantasy, and Mystery genres. This is primarily a reprint market – they’ll take original stories also, but at the same flat rate as reprints. Multiple submissions are welcome.

Deadline: 15 August 2022

Length: Any

Pay: €10

Details here.

Cemetery Gates Media: Campfire Macabre Volume 2 – five themes

They want horror flash fiction on a few themes for this anthology. Writers can submit one story per theme (see guidelines).

— When We Were Getting High: “Oasis. The Chronic. 90s. That kid in HS that dropped acid every morning before school.”

My Last Trick ‘r Treat: “You’re 12 or 13 out trick-or-treating with your pals, having the time of your life–and somewhere in the back of your mind you knew this was probably the last night of your childhood. Make it spooky.”

— Body Grotesquerie: “ “Your body is like a charcuterie board for worms and maggots.” -Something I think I read on social media.”

Ominous Visitors From Deep Space: “Everyone knows that aliens love 80s slashers, so they emulate them when they land in your backyard. It’s like with kids and violent video games and movies; except for real.”

Out in the Fields, Forests, and Lakes: “Out here in the fields, we fought for our meals. Cabins by the lake. Hikes. Farm fields and rows of corn for miles.”

Deadline: 15 August 2022

Length: 500-1,500 words

Pay: $0.08/word

Details here.

(– And Eerie River Publishing is open in August for two horror anthologies – It Calls From Beneath/Below, pays CAD0.01/word up to CAD70, deadline 1 September; and one of their Elements series, Water – horror stories involving water deities, drowning, sea accidents, storms, flooding, draughts, pays CAD0.01/word up to CAD70, deadline 31 August.

— Submissions are also open for Bang! An Anthology of Noir Fiction from Head Shot Press. Pay is £10, and the deadline is 1 September 2022. Details here.)

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Four themes

They publish nonfiction stories and poetry. They have deadlines for some themes in August. There are other themes listed too, with later deadlines. Please note, their deadlines sometimes change. The links to detailed guidelines and themes are at the end of the section on the Chicken Soup series.

— Cats: “We want your true funny stories, your heartwarming stories, and your mindboggling stories about all the simply amazing things that your cat does. What have you learned from your cat? How does your cat improve your life?“ Deadline 19 August 2022.

— Dogs: “Our canine friends make us smile every day with their crazy antics, their loving companionship, and their amazing intuition. … What crazy things does your dog do? Has your dog ever done anything heroic? How does your dog warm your heart and make you smile? We want to hear all about the absurd antics, funny habits and insightful behavior of your dog.” Deadline 19 August 2022.

Funny stories: “Share your funny stories about something that happened to you in your life – in your relationship with a partner or spouse, a parent or child, a family member or friend, at work or at home – that made you and the people around you laugh out loud. Did you mean for it to be funny? Did the other person mean to make you laugh? Did a situation just get out of control? Did a misunderstanding turn into a comedy of errors?” Some of the suggested topics are: Slips of the tongue; Misunderstandings that led to funny moments; Weird habits; Pranks; Wedding mishaps; Funeral foul-ups; Holiday meltdowns; and Workplace mishaps. Deadline 30 August 2022.

— Impact of a Chicken Soup for the Soul story on me: “To celebrate our thirty-year anniversary in June 2023, we are creating a very special edition of our book filled with stories about how a Chicken Soup for the Soul story you read made an impact on your life and changed it. Those changes can be little day-to-day changes that improved your life or a monumental change that changed your life completely. … Tell us the title of the story that affected you, the title of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book in which it appeared and the name of its author. Then write us a new Chicken Soup for the Soul story all about how the old story helped, encouraged or changed you. We’ll publish the stories in pairs — the old ones and the new ones.” Deadline 30 August 2022.

Deadlines: Various

Length: Up to 1,200 words

Pay: $200

Details here (guidelines), here (themes), and here (submission portal).

Unidentified Funny Objects

This is an annual anthology of humorous science fiction and fantasy. They want all style and sub-genres of speculative humor.

Deadline: 25 August 2022

Length: 500-6,000 words

Pay: $0.10/word

Details here.

Inked in Gray: Reclaiming Joy. Joy is Resistance

This is a speculative fiction anthology. “These past few years have brought more fear than hope. It seems as though our world is becoming a scary place, especially for marginalized individuals. … We must continue to protest but we also must continue to find joy and happiness in the moments between. Joy is resistance. If we feel only fear, anger, and disgust, we will lose the fabric of our existence. The core of our being centers around the joy of who we are. And we must reclaim any and all semblance of joy in our lives.”

Deadline: 30 August 2022

Length: Up to 8,000 words

Pay: $45

Details here.

Wyldbood Press: From the Depths Anthology

This is a fantasy anthology. “Monsters and mermaids, sea serpents and sailors, the deep dank dark and the glistening coral; if you’ve got a fantasy story that reeks of seaweed and intrigue, we want to see it.

From Moby Dick to The Kraken Wakes, we’ve always liked sea stories. Pirates and shipwrecks, undersea kingdoms and mutant killer sharks, aquatic nightmares and waterworlds – we’re open to any stories so long as they’re (loosely defined) fantasy tales. We like action, but we love intelligent, character driven stories that make us think.” Please note, they’ll print only one long story in the anthology.

Deadline: 31 August 2022

Length: 1,000-12,000 words; sweet spot is 3,000-5,000 words

Pay: £0.01/word

Details here.

Inked Publishing: Hidden Villains Anthology Series – Arise

They want “bold, imaginative fantasy, horror, and sci-fi sculpted to thrill and entertain readers with the bizarre or delve into the shadows.

Arise – appear, emerge, come to light, surface, befall, ensue, stand up, transpire, etc. … There is no restriction as to how you incorporate the theme into your story as long as the genre falls within Sci-Fi, Horror, or Fantasy. We encourage you to weave the theme into an engaging story with well-developed characters and deep emotion.”

Deadline: 31 August 2022

Length: Up to 7,000 words

Pay: $0.05-0.08/word

Details here.

The Quiet Ones: Nocturnal Animals

They publish fiction and poetry. Their website says, “The Quiet Ones is a tri-annual e-zine that centers LGBTQIAP+ and women’s voices in the subgenres of quiet horror and intimate dystopian fiction, both for YA and Adult audiences.” They want “Quiet Horror and Dystopian genre works that fit the theme, “Nocturnal Animals.” You may be as creative with your interpretation of the theme as you like as long as your submission fits the genres we publish”.

Deadline: 31 August 2022

Length: Up to 3,000 words

Pay: $25

Details here.

Timber Ghost Press: Along Harrowed Trails

This is an anthology of horror set in the Old West. “We are seeking well-crafted stories and poems that are creepy, disturbing, and weird that embrace the Old West aesthetic from around 1800-1900.” They want poetry, flash, and short fiction.

Deadline: 31 August 2022

Length: Up to 1,000 words for flash fiction, 1,001-6,000 words for short fiction, up to 3 poems

Pay: $10 for poetry, $15 for flash, $35 for short fiction

Details here.

Apparition Lit: Nostalgia

This is a quarterly speculative fiction and poetry magazine. They will soon open submissions on the Nostalgia theme. As part of their equity initiative, they have a one-week extra reading period for writers who self-identify as BIPOC in their cover letters.

Reading period: 15-31 August for general submissions; will extend by a week for BIPOC writers (see guidelines)

Length: 1,000-5,000 words for fiction, up to 5 poems

Pay: $0.05/word for stories, $50/poem

Details here.

Reckoning: Two themes

Reckoning Magazine publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry on environmental justice. For Issue 7, they are reading work on the Oceans theme (deadline September 2022). And they are also open for submissions for a special issue, Our Beautiful Reward, about bodily autonomy, following the fall of Roe Vs. Wade (deadline end-August). The submission portal for both projects is the same.

— Our Beautiful Reward: “The fall of Roe V Wade in the U.S. has codified dramatic restrictions on the right of pregnant individuals to make their own reproductive choices. In the U.S. and internationally, we are also witnessing an increase in already significant levels of hostility against trans and genderqueer bodily self-determination. These struggles for basic bodily autonomy are linked, and find common grounding in the pursuit of joy, flourishing, care and safety.

Likewise, the pursuit of joy, flourishing, care and safety requires that we fight for a sustainable world within which chosen families of all kinds can exist and tend to one another. With a deep sense of the urgency of the moment, Reckoning invites you to imagine this world, and the roles that bodily autonomy and bodily self-determination play in both creating and inhabiting it. We will read submissions of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction for the special online issue through the end of August 2022.”

Deadline: 31 August 2022

Length: Unspecified

Pay: “Professional rates”

Details here.

— Oceans: Reckoning Magazine has specific guidelines about what the various genre editors want for this issue. In general though, the magazine publishes “creative writing and art about environmental justice. The fiction we publish is mostly, but not exclusively, speculative; the nonfiction is more creative than journalistic, the poetry tends towards the narrative, preferably with some thematic heft, the visual art leans away from the pulpy towards the surreal, subversive, political. The heart of what we want is your personal, visceral, idiosyncratic understanding of the world and the people in it as it has been, as it is, as it will be, as it could be, as a consequence of humanity’s relationship with the earth.

We are always seeking work from Indigenous writers and artists, writers and artists of color, queer and trans writers and artists, and anyone who has suffered the consequences, intended or otherwise, of dominant society’s systemic disconnect with and mistreatment of the natural world.” They also publish translations, and artwork.

Deadline: 22 September 2022

Length: 0-20,000 words for prose, 3-5 poems

Pay: $0.08/word for fiction, $30/page for poetry

Details here, here, and here.

(And B Cubed Press is open for Post Roe Alternatives themed anthology. They want poetry and prose, pay is $0.03/word, and the deadline is 8 September 2022. Details here.)

Parabola: Darkness & Light

Parabola is a quarterly journal that explores the quest for meaning as it is expressed in the world’s myths, symbols, and religious traditions, with particular emphasis on the relationship between this store of wisdom and our modern life. Their guidelines say, “We look for lively, penetrating material unencumbered by jargon or academic argument. We prefer well-researched, objective, and unsentimental pieces that are grounded in one or more religious or cultural tradition; articles that focus on dreams, visions, or other very personal experiences are unlikely to be accepted.” They publish articles (1,000-3,000 words), book reviews (500 words), retellings of traditional stories (500-1,500 words), forum contributions (up to 500 words), and poetry (up to 5 poems). The theme for their upcoming Winter 2022/2023 issue is ‘Darkness & Light’.

Deadline: 1 September 2022

Length: See above

Pay: Unspecified

Details here.

Sadwrn: Wind guide you

Their tagline is, “Small works, strange balms”. For this call their guidelines say, “Jacques Yonnet once stated that “an age-old city is like a pond. With its colours and reflections. Its chills and murk. Its ferment, its sorcery, its hidden life.” And the same could be said for the most intoxicating of video games.

Getting truly lost in one means encountering places more vivid than our physical reality. Wind Guide You will be a pixelstruck anthology of enchanted texts devoted to exploring these territories and digital ramblings. We want pieces that talk about the most otherwordly and intense settings of virtual universes. We want your beautiful dérives. We want your utter escapism, your childlike stray in the woods.

But we aim to go beyond mere description. These short incursions must absorb the reader, envelop the way the most lucid video game environments do, with a poetic, complex, evocative prose. The pieces will be accompanied by a pixel art illustration, especially commissioned for each of the selected texts.”

Deadline: 1 September 2022

Length: Up to 1,500 words

Pay: €40

Details here.

Input/Output Enterprises: And the Dead Shall Sleep No More Anthology

This is a fiction anthology. “We love vampires. They’re our favorite horror monster and we’ve featured them in several of our previous publications. But we’re not done yet.

And the Dead Shall Sleep No More is an anthology series about vampires.”

Deadline: 1 September 2022

Length: Up to 6,000 words

Pay: $15

Details here.

(— Shakespeare Unleashed anthology is also open for submissions – horror fiction based on Shakespeare’s plays, and sonnets. Pay is $0.06/word for prose, $35 for poems, and the deadline is 25 August 2022. Details here – guidelines, and here – Kickstarter.

— Madame Gray’s Poe-Pourri of Terror anthology, which pays homage to Edgar Allen Poe, is open for fiction submissions too. Pay is $5, and the deadline is 1 September. They have other themes listed, as well. Details here.)

The Victorian Writer: Unravel

Writers Victoria is an Australian not-for-profit charity that supports and advocates for writers, illustrators, editors and literary-sector workers to be paid for the work that they do. They are accepting article pitches and submissions, as well as poetry and fiction for their in-house magazine, The Victorian Writer. They are reading on the ‘Unravel’ theme. “We publish poems (AUD70), and articles/writing of 600 words (AUD100) and 1200 words (AUD200) in the print edition with particular interest in the craft of writing and the writing life.”

Deadline: 5 September 2022

Length: See above

Pay: AUD70 for poems, AUD100-200 for prose

Details here.

Belanger Books: The Consultations of Sherlock Holmes

They are reading submissions for four anthologies. One of these is The Consultations of Sherlock Holmes, for which they want a pastiche that is canonically accurate. “Although we are used to seeing Sherlock Holmes as the brilliant detective who can solve cases from the minutest of clues, Watson tended to recount for his readers only those stories that took Holmes out into the field, where he personally discovered those “trifles” that others would overlook. We rarely have seen examples in which Holmes solves the case entirely from the arm-chair of his sitting-room. This anthology is intended to fill in that gap in Sherlock Holmes’s published career. These will be stories in which Holmes serves as the “last resort” for other detectives — both private investigators and those from the official police force — who are in need of Holmes’s unique perspective and aid. These adventures could be written from the viewpoint of the other detectives, in which Holmes may figure only toward the end, or the stories might start with the other detectives arriving at Baker Street in order to consult with Sherlock Holmes. The key to these stories, however, is that Holmes does not figure into the mystery as the primary investigator, but he provides the crucial insights that enable his fellow detectives to solve the case.”

Deadline: 15 September 2022

Length: 5,000-10,000 words

Pay: $50 or $100 + a percentage of Kickstarter profits

Details here.

(The page also has details of other Belanger Books anthologies: The Pontine Dossier – Millennium Edition 2022 Annual, for which they want articles of Pontine Scholarship about Solar Pons, characters in the Solar Pons canon, or author August Derleth – payment is a contributor copy, deadline 30 September; The Detective and the Clergyman: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown, pays $50 or $100, deadline 15 October; and Sherlock Holmes: Adventures in the Realms of H.P. Lovecraft, pays $50 or $100, deadline 15 November 2022.)


Cast of Wonders Flash Fiction Competition

Cast of Wonders is a YA speculative/genre fiction market. They will open submissions for a flash fiction contest in August; the details will be live on their Moksha submission page when the contest opens. Their usual pay rate is $0.08/word.

Value: Unspecified

Reading period: 1-31 August 2022

Open for: All writers

Details here (schedule), here (general submission guidelines), and here (Moksha submission portal).

The Val Wood Prize 2022

They want a short story of up to 2,000 words. Their guidelines say, “The overall theme of this year’s competition is simply great storytelling. We are looking to receive entries packed with originality and creativity that paint a picture and take the reader on a journey. The story can cover any genre as long as it is not brutally violent or gruesome.” The competition is open to anyone over 16 years of age. Their rules also say that entries from already commercially published writers will not be considered.

Value: £100

Deadline: 31 August 2022

Open for: All writers who haven’t been commercially published

Details here.

(Another fiction contest that’s open now is the ServiceScape Short Story Award. All applicants should submit a work of short fiction, any genre or theme, or non-fiction, 5,000 words or fewer. Read the guidelines carefully – they reserve the right to modify or terminate the contest at any time without prior notice. The winner gets $1,000, the deadline is 30 November 2022, and it is open for all writers. Details here.)

Preservation Foundation Contest: Biographical non-fiction

This is an international contest for unpublished writers (see guidelines). Their upcoming deadline is for the biographical non-fiction category: “A biographical entry must be a true story about the author or an individual(s) known to the author personally–not a fictional or historical character. Or, it could be autobiographical, a true story about the author’s life, the whole or an episode.” Entries should be 1,000-5,000 words. They want all entries, regardless of whether or not they win, to be on their website as long as the Foundation exists (see guidelines). Also see contests in other genres, which will open for submissions later.

Value: $200, $100

Deadline: 31 August 2022

Open for: Unpublished writers

Details here.

(Another nonfiction prize that opens during August is Lunch Ticket’s Diana Woods Award in Creative Nonfiction, which offers $250 for a piece of creative nonfiction – details here. There’s also the Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts, also by Lunch Ticket, which offers $200 for a piece of translation – details here. Both awards close on 31st August 2022, and are open for all writers.)

Gulf Coast: The Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing

This prize is for critical writing on art, of up to 1,500 words. Their guidelines say, “The Beauchamp Prize will consider submissions of work that have been written (or published) within the last year. A variety of creative approaches and formats to writing on the visual arts are encouraged, and can include thematic essays, exhibition reviews, and scholarly essays.”

Value: $3,000; two prizes of $1,000 each

Deadline: 31 August 2022

Open for: All writers

Details here and here. (Gulf Coast has opportunities in other genres too, which have entry fees.)

Kindle Storyteller Award

This is an international award for those who publish their work through Kindle Direct Publishing in English in any genre. Entrants must make the book available for sale in both digital and print versions through KDP. The book must be at least 24 pages long, and can have a maximum of 2 co-authors. Please note, readers play a significant role in winner selection.

Value: £20,000

Deadline: 31 August 2022

Open for: All writers

Details here.

The Academy for Teachers – Stories Out of School Flash Fiction Contest

They want honest, unsentimental stories, of 6-749 words, about teachers and schools. The story’s protagonist or narrator must be a K-12 teacher. Sentimentality is discouraged and education jargon is forbidden.

Value: $1,000, and publication in A Public Space

Deadline: 1 September 2022

Open for: All writers

Details here.

American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Awards

The American-Scandinavian Foundation annually awards translation prizes for outstanding translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose written by a Scandinavian author born after 1900. The Leif and Inger Sjöberg Award is for those whose translations from a Nordic language have not been previously published. There is also the Nadia Christensen Prize, and the Wigeland Prize (this is for the best translation by a Norwegian). The application includes 25-50 pages of prose or 15-25 pages of poetry.

Value: $2,500 (Nadia Christensen Prize); $2,000 (Leif and Inger Sjöberg Award); $2,000 (Wigeland Prize)

Deadline: 1 September 2022

Open for: Unspecified

Details here.

On the Premises: Objects in Motion

They want short fiction, and the theme is ‘Objects in Motion’ – “For this contest, write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long in which the story’s main character(s) spend most (even better, all) of the story’s time in constant motion. For instance, they could spend the whole story in a moving vehicle. There are plenty of other ways to do it, too. (Just being on the Earth, which is spinning and moving around the sun, doesn’t count.)” They do not want children’s fiction, exploitative sex, over-the-top grossout horror, or stories that are obvious parodies of existing fictional worlds/characters created by other authors.

Value: $250, $200, $150, $75

Deadline: 2 September 2022

Open for: All writers

Details here and here.

Bio: S. Kalekar is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to this magazine.

How Do You Build a World?

Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. Developing an imaginary setting with coherent qualities such as a history, geography, and ecology is a key task for many science fiction or fantasy writers. Worldbuilding often involves the creation of maps, a backstory, and races, including social customs and, in some cases, an invented language for a world. (Wikipedia)

K. Ceres Wright discusses Worldbuilding with AFROFuturists LH Moore and William Jones who share their insights about realistic and entertaining stories for readers and writers.

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