Tag Archives: call for submissions

An Interview with D Franklin

D Franklin was kind enough to drop by today to discuss their new venture, Galli Books. I’ll start things off with an introduction by way of shamelessly stealing from their bio…

D is a genderqueer Glasgow-based bookseller. They are a recovering Ancient Historian, a comics nerd, a science fiction and fantasy devourer, and they are founder of Galli Books.

Galli Books Welcome and congratulations on the launch of Galli Books! For those not in the know, what is Galli Books? What sort of titles can people expect from Galli? What inspired you to found Galli?

Galli Books is a small publisher of speculative fiction anthologies with social themes and intersectional social justice intent. Our first couple of planned titles give a good idea of what to expect in future, too; a book about alternative masculinities, and a book of stories of scientists who aren’t (gasp) men!

I was inspired to found Galli when another call for submissions from another publisher went out that basically called for stories that it claimed represented suppressed ideas, when, in reality, they’re the dominant ideas in our genre and across society. A few people on Twitter joked about a response anthology and I… maybe took the joke too far?

You recently put out your first call for submissions (including a call for artists’ portfolios). For hopeful authors out there, what type of work is likely to catch your eye? Conversely, what do you not want to see in your submission pile?

I’m not editing it alone, I’ve got some excellent consultants in to co-edit the volume with me! Shout out to Jay Wolf, Ronan Sadler, and Brandon O’Brien! Work that will catch our eye will be socially progressive, will rewrite the standard toxic and fragile models of masculinity that dominate in our society, will have diverse casts, and will engage with a range of responses to masculinity. What we don’t want to see is a whole lot of Conan clones, because that’s what we’re reacting to, nor straightforward parody of that… unless it’s really spectacularly done parody, of course!

On a somewhat related note, since you’re also a reviewer, what are some of your recent favorite reads? Or your all-time favorite reads? What titles would you point people toward in order to get a sense of your tastes, or just in general because you love them and want people to read them?

Recently, I loved Jeannette Ng’s Under the Pendulum Sun: theology and fairytale run up against each other in a claustrophobic Victorian gothic melodrama. More broadly, everyone should read the Imperial Raadch trilogy by Ann Leckie, Becky Chambers’ heartwarming and intelligent Wayfarer series, and quite literally every novel N. K. Jemisin has ever written. Your own Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves The World Again has a special place in my heart for combining so many different registers so brilliantly, and for what it does with masculinity (TOPICAL); I’m still not over ‘Roller Girls Have More Fun’.: blushing over here.) (Interviewer’s note And, of course, there’s Terry Pratchett, miss him as we all do…

In addition to being a reviewer and a publisher, you’re also a bookseller. Do you have any “tales from the trenches” that you’re able to share, either in terms of odd questions you’ve received, or inspiring stories of helping someone find the perfect book?

Oh, the tales I could tell… if it wouldn’t be unprofessional. Let’s just say that sometimes, “It’s the recent one with the silver cover” is surprisingly more than enough information to go on; that books that haven’t been in print for half a century AREN’T going to be available in a first-hand book shop; and that no, you can’t have a copy of the book that’s not out for another week, because we don’t have it in – it’s not out for another week.

To topic switch a bit, you’re based in Glasgow – what’s the speculative fiction scene like there? More generally, what are some of your favorite places to visit in the city, or places you would recommend to someone coming to Glasgow for the first time?

Glasgow has a seriously thriving speculative fiction scene; internationally it is perhaps eclipsed a little by some of Edinburgh’s writers like Laura Lam, Ken MacLeod, and Elizabeth May, but we’ve got some great folks of our own. The irrepressible and brilliant Hal Duncan is possibly our most notorious current speculative author, but Neil Williamson, Ruth Booth, and Cameron Johnston, whose debut is coming later this year, are all also locals; the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers’ Circle does a great job of encouraging and helping new writers, and it’s produced some real crackers!

Any visitor to Glasgow needs to visit one place, and it’s a café. Or a gin bar. Really, it’s both. Cup in the daytime is a lovely café with cakes, food, and a whole menu of different kinds of tea. At about 5 o’clock, it turns into Gin71. The name originally referred to its street address; now, it refers also to the number of gins they have. We’re also home to a whole lot of museums and art galleries, plus there’s always the Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture to admire!

Aside from Galli Books, do you have any other upcoming projects you’d like people to know about, or any other closing thoughts in general you’d like to share?

“Aside from founding a publishing house and putting out a public call for stories to your anthology while working as a bookseller”, you mean? HAH, oh for that kind of energy! Though watch this space for future calls for submissions!

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Galli Books. Thanks for dropping by!

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An Unlikely Holiday

FoolAs I mentioned in my last post, Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix is officially out in the world. That being the case, Unlikely Story has moved onto its next adventure. This time, we’re exploring the roots of April Fool’s Day. It’s a strange holiday, unlikely even. Peasants become kings, the earth is renewed, and tricks are played. Can you write a story encompassing those concepts in less than 2,000 words? If so, we’re the venue for you!

The guidelines for The Journal of Unlikely Observances can be found here. This is a mini issue, so we really are looking for flash fiction. As the guidelines say, we’re willing to be a little flexible, but by that we mean it’s okay if you go over by a few words, not a few hundred words or more. As the old saying goes – kill your darlings. Give us a story that’s lean and mean and encompasses the spirit of April Fool’s Day. There are more details on our website. We can’t wait to read what you send us.

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It’s the Final Clown Down

It’s hard to believe it, but we are in the final stretch of the Kickstarter for Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix. We have 4 days to go, and while we’ve hit our funding goal, we’d love to be able to add even more stories to the anthology. With clowns, you can always fit in more than you think. Every $125 raised above our goal allows us to add another story. As of this writing, we have only $76 to go before we can add the next story.

On May 1, we’ll be re-opening to submissions for a month. We’ve updated our guidelines accordingly. The best way to get an idea of what we’re looking for with the anthology is to take a look at the current issue available free online. The five stories from the online issue will be reprinted in the anthology, along with six additional stories we already have in hand, and a to be determined number of new pieces from the open submission period.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the Kickstarter thus far. We could not do this without you! This is a new venture for us, and we’re very excited about it. Over the next few days, please do continue to signal boost the project if you can. True to the spirit of the anthology, we want to fit in as may clowns between our pages as possible.

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Cryptography and Clowns and Academics, Oh My!

The Unlikely Story submission guidelines have been updated. What’s changed? We’re now paying $0.06/word in keeping with the SFWA’s new rules for pro markets. We’re also no longer accepting unsolicited reprints, though we will continue to consider them until the end of our current Unlikely Entomology reading period, which closes on 8/1/14. We’ve also announced our next two reading periods, and our next three unlikely themes.

The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography will accept submissions from 8/1 to 10/1. For this issue we’re looking for stories about coding, cracking, hacking, and things with a vaguely cyberpunkish feel. To get an idea of the kind of things we’re looking for, peruse the digital pages of our first Unlikely Cryptography issue.

The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia is our next April Fool’s Day mini-issue, and we’ll be accepting submissions from 10/1 to 11/1. Why clowns? Because we’re horribly masochistic human beings and clowns are terrifying. See? We’re also looking for stories of jesters and fools, and they don’t need to be terrifying, but they do need to be 1038 words or under.

While we haven’t determined the exact reading period yet, The Journal of Unlikely Academia will be next. We’ll be looking for stories about unlikely fields of study, fictional academic papers, stories about schools, students, teachers, and teaching. Why limit ourselves to one specialized field when we can look at learning itself?

In the meantime, our current issue, The Journal of Unlikely Cartography, has been getting some nice reviews. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, I encourage you to check it out! Don’t forget, you can also subscribe and receive the PDF version, including author interviews and occasional bonus content. Just send an email to unlikelystory (at) kappamaki.com and we’ll sign you up. Happy reading!

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The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography

Over the weekend, the latest issue of Unlikely Story went live. Consider it a belated Valentine’s Day present. Or perhaps an early President’s Day present. Or a just because we know you love free fiction present. Unlikely Story #8: The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography features brand-new fiction by Barry King, Mari Ness, Mary Alexandra Agner, Ada Hoffmann, and Gregory Norman Bossert. As always, it’s full of gorgeous artwork, too. Head on over, peruse the digital pages, and treat yourself to some fabulous fiction, just because.

Looking ahead, we’ll be bringing you a new mini-issue, the Journal of Unlikely Story Acceptances on April Fool’s Day, and our next full-length issue, The Journal of Unlikely Cartography, in May. We’re currently open to submissions for our next Entomology issue, which will be out in November. Send your buggy stories our way, and while we’re reading those, I hope you’ll enjoy our current issue of stories about cracking, hacking, coding, and surveillance, sprinkled with a dose of cyberpunk flavor.

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Signal Boost: Steam-Powered Anthologies Looking for Submissions

JoSelle Vanderhooft, the editor of the Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk anthology series has given me her blessing to signal boost her call for submissions here. She recently accepted my story, The Kissing Booth Girl, for Steam-Powered III: Further Lesbian Steampunk Stories, and she’s looking for a few more tales to fill the volume. In particular, she’s interested in stories featuring WoC and stories in non-European/non-American settings.

The original call for submissions appears below, but there are a few important changes to note. The new submission address is: steamthologies@gmail.com.

Ideally, stories should be received by March 15, 2014.

But wait, there’s more! She will also be considering stories for the next volume in the series, Steam-Powered IV. So if you aren’t able to make the March 15 deadline, don’t despair. And if you are able to make the deadline, wonderful! Submissions will be considered for both anthologies.

Steam-Powered III Guidelines:

Although “steampunk” is a fairly broad genre, we are interested in the following:

* Stories set in the past and present as we know them, or in an alternate past or present, as well as a future in which 19th Century technology dominates.
* Stories that involve 19th Century steam technology or retro-future technology that does not involve steam. For example, if your story is set in the Gobi Desert, the lack of water may make this technology look different than it would in a society that has enough water for steam technology to be feasible. For a good idea of what I mean here, please read this essay by Steam-Powered 1 contributor Amal El-Mohtar: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/10/towards-a-steampunk-without-steam.
* Stories that explore and critique 19th and early 20th Century notions of colonialism, empire, race, sex and sexuality.
* The editor also has a strong preference for stories set outside Victorian England and the United States, stories that feature women of color protagonists, stories that feature protagonists from the lower or working class, stories with disabled protagonists (including those with cognitive disabilities and mental illnesses), and stories whose protagonists are not Christian. This is not to say that more ‘typical’ steampunk stories are unwelcome, just that they will be a harder sell.
* While Torquere Press publishes several romance and erotica titles, stories need not have romantic or erotic elements.

We are not interested in the following:

* Stories that exoticize, misrepresent or demonize lesbians, people of color, people with disabilities, or any culture or religion. (look up “cultural appropriation” for an idea of what we mean here).
* Stories with anti-lesbian clichés (such as the lesbian who would really enjoy heterosexual sex, if she met the right man)
* Stories with villains whose sole motivation for being bad is a mental illness or “being crazy.”
* Poetry
* Fan fiction (stories featuring characters that are not copyrighted to the author)

As Steam-Powered is entering its third incarnation, we’ve seen a lot of stories set in a lot of places. However, some countries and regions have never appeared at all. Thus, I am particularly keen on seeing stories set in the following countries/regions/cultures.

1) Eastern and Central Europe. Seriously. We’ve had all of one submission ever set here.
2) Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, or Scandinavia. (I will seriously love you forever if you send me a story set in Italy–though by saying this I’m aware I may have just opened the floodgates lol)
3) Southern and Central Africa. Though I always want more stories about this continent!
4) Australia
5) Russia
6) Mexico
7) Canada
8) Anywhere in South America. I have one acceptance for SP3 set here, but I’d love more.

Of course, all regions are fine–specifically if they’re not England–so please don’t think I’m going to bounce your story if it isn’t set in any of these places. I’m simply, again, offering up a few that I’ve seen little or nothing from and would like to see represented.

Word Count: 3,000 – 10,000 words (though shorter stories may be considered). **PLEASE query with your story idea first to save both you and the editor time.
Payment: $35 per story.

If your query is accepted, submit stories in .rtf or .doc format to JoSelle Vanderhooft at steamthologies@gmail.com. Please title your submissions as [Author’s Last Name]: Steam-Powered III Submission, and use standard manuscript format that includes your full name (and pen name if applicable), address, phone number and email.

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

As you know, Bob, a while back we held a contest to determine the next unlikely theme for the series of unlikely journals which we publish. By we, I mean Unlikely Story. And if you didn’t know that, and you haven’t been paying attention… shame on you/or, welcome, it’s lovely to see you here.

Regardless, whether you knew about it or not, we held a contest, and the winner was… The Journal of Unlikely Cartography.


Maps are wonderful. They’re practical in terms of getting you where you want to go, and physically, they can be downright gorgeous. By their very nature, they’re designed to guide you to places you’ve never been. What could be more unlikely?

With this issue, we’re looking for unlikely stories of maps and map-makers. As always, genre is not important to us, but our theme is: Maps/Map-making must be integral to the story.

Take us where we’ve never been. Tell us what happens when Google Earth shows a town that doesn’t exist. Spin the tale of the treasures discovered beneath X marks the spot. Tell us about that most unlikely map written on whale skin, in disappearing squid ink, leading to the lost kingdom of seal-pups seeking revenge.

You get the picture. Hopefully.

In addition to the examples mentioned in the guidelines, this editor urges you to read A.J. Fitzwater’s Cartography, and the Death of Shoes, and Livia Llewellyn’s Omphalos for an idea of her tastes.

So there you have it. The issue is officially open to submissions. Take a look at our guidelines and send us your best. We look forward to reading your work!

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An Unlikely Contest

Unlikely Story is holding an Unlikely Contest to help us pick the theme of our next issue. There are fabulous prizes at stake, and of course the glory of putting your stamp on the world of unlikely literature. Not to mention coming up with odd themes is just good fun! Contest details can be found at the Unlikely Story blog. Head on over and give us your best suggestions!

Speaking of Unlikely Story, just a note to remind you that today is the last day to get us your submissions for Unlikely Story #7: The Journal of Unlikely Entomology. The issue closes at midnight tonight (9/1/13, EST). We’ll remain open to Cryptography submissions through November 1, 2013, at which point we’ll be posting the guidelines for the next unlikely issue whose theme may very well be chosen by you.

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Of All the Unlikely Things

Today is the day for all things unlikely. Unlikely Story #6: The Journal of Unlikely Architecture went live last night. This is the first non-entomological venture for the Journal, and the first issue under the new Unlikely Story name. As you’ll notice when you click over, it’s also the first (non-archival) issue published on our shiny new website! Needless to say, I’m thrilled with the way the issue turned out. The art is gorgeous, as always, and the stories are wonderful. But, as Levar Burton would say, you don’t have to take my word for it. You can read the issue for yourself! (Man, I wish Levar Burton would say that about Unlikely Story. That would be awesome!) The issue features stories by Alma Alexander, Daniel Ausema, Kelly Simmons, Kelly Lagor, Matthew Timmins, Rose Lemberg, and Mark Rigney.

In other unlikely news, Jim Harrington interviewed us for his Six Questions For… series as while back, and the post went live today. So, if you want to know more about what we do and do not want to see in the slush pile, check it out!

Ellen Datlow posted the full list of Honorable Mentions for The Best Horror of the Year Volume 5 today, and I’m delighted to say that Sunny Moraine’s Invasives, from Issue #4 made the list. If you haven’t done so yet, you can read Sunny’s story here.

Finally, a friendly reminder that you have just under two weeks to send us your bug-relatedsubmissions. We’ll be closing to subs for the Entomology Issue on September 1, 2013, and publishing it in November 2013. We’ll remain open to Cryptography submissions through November 1, 2013. We haven’t announced our next Unlikely Theme yet, but stayed tuned for announcement regarding that soon!

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Unlikely Guidelines

It seems we were confusing folks with the new guidelines for Unlikely Story (formerly known as and still encompassing The Journal of Unlikely Entomology). Apologies! But let it not be said that we don’t listen to feedback. So, allow me to present the new, new guidelines.

A few points of interest:

We are currently reading for our Entomology and our Cryptography issues. The guidelines for both can be found at the link above.

All publications falling under the Unlikely Story umbrella pay 5cents/word.

Please read the aforementioned guidelines before submitting. We have very specific themes for our issues, and while I’m sure your story about crocodiles fighting off a space invasion is wonderful, it doesn’t fit what we’re looking for right now. At the moment, we only want to read stories about cryptography and bugs.

We want Unlikely Story’s publications to represent the full spectrum of humanity in both its authors and the content of its stories. We want to see stories by diverse authors, in diverse settings, featuring diverse characters. By that we mean authors and characters of color, from all (or no) religions; genderqueer authors and characters; bi-sexual, asexual, and neuro-atypical authors and characters. You get the idea. Basically, we want stories representing the way the world really is and not focusing on just one narrow slice of it. (As long as the stories also feature cryptography or bugs!)

We’re very open to publishing new authors. It doesn’t matter to us one bit whether you have prior publishing credits or not. Send your stories our way!

We’ll read stories from authors living anywhere in the world, as long as they are written in English. That includes translated work, too.

Did I mention the cryptography and the bugs? I feel I can’t stress that enough.

So, to sum it all up, read our guidelines and send us your best work!

Feel free to drop a note in the comments or send me an email if you haven’t any questions. You can find Unlikely Story on twitter as @grumpsjournal and on G+ as Unlikely Story. Slush updates are frequently posted there, along with other fun and relevant things that may just help to spark a story.


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