Call for submissions: “Clockwork, curses & coal”

by Nyctophilia

CLOCKWORK, CURSES, AND COAL: Steampunk and Gaslamp Fairy Tales
Anthologist: Rhonda Parrish
Open for Submissions: February 1 – March 31, 2020
Expected Publication: early 2021
Story Length: up to 7,500 words
Payment: $0.01 per word + contributor copy

Steampunk’s core is a re-imagined 1800s using steam-powered technology so it is all about gears, goggles and gaslamps. And corsets and courtship and exploration (often in the form of colonialism). I want the bustles, parasols, high tea and airships, of course, but I also welcome stories which confront the darker, problematic side of Victorian sensibilities and attitudes. Plus fairy tales.

For example: What if a shoemaker was visited at night by tiny automatons? What if the little mermaid didn’t have to escape the ocean to be with her prince, but instead her social class? What if a woman’s upper class family was embarrassed by her scientific endeavors so they locked her in a tower… or tried to, anyway? Or a mechanized cat discovers a pair of fantastic boots? Or an explorer climbed a giant beanstalk and found a whole new, forgotten world?

Original fairy tales are welcome, as are retellings. If you choose to retell a familiar favourite, make sure your story offers something new and interesting. I’d rather see stories that reflect the long history of fairy tales as social commentary than those which simply tell the same story with a different setting.

Although steampunk tends to be focused in the American ‘wild west’ or Victorian England, this anthology needn’t be. I am open to stories set all over the world, and would love to see ‘Own Voices’ stories. As with the first book in the Punked Up Fairy Tales series, Grimm, Grit and Gasoline, I would love to see a diverse collection when it comes to which fairy tales are represented but also the races, genders and sexualities of the characters within them.

Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.

How to submit: Between February 1 and March 31 only, upload your story here: Please mention in your cover letter which fairy tale your story is retelling, but do not describe the plot or themes of the story.

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