CFS: Black-Spec-Fic

Dear blackfellas,

Send me your weird and wonderful short stories!

I want to read your work for a collection of blackfella speculative fiction I’m editing, to be published by UQP in 2022.

I seek work written by us, with a strong preference for stories written for us and about us.° I’m looking for stories that take place outside the bounds of consensus reality, that are rooted in our ways of doing, being, knowing – or becoming.

Spec-fic is a big and porous basket that holds all the slippery types of stories together, including science fiction, climate fiction, alternate history, futurism, post/apocalyptic, utopian, dystopian, fantasy, horror, gothic, surrealism, magic realism, and slipstream. I want to read work that affirms or extends or subverts these genres, or collapses them into new forms, or discards their conventions entirely.

I just want ripping good yarns, told in interesting ways.

My personal tastes lean more toward the experimental, outlandish, surreal and satirical, rather than the traditional, predictable, conventional and solemn, and I prefer stories written for adult rather than younger readers – but I’m open to reading anything outside my comfort zone. As long as it’s weird, black and excellent, I want to read it.

I encourage all blackfellas to submit, whether emerging or established writers, unpublished or widely-so, and whether you have written spec-fic before or writing it for the very first time.

I’m committed to nurturing less-developed work that shows possibility and potential through a collaborative editorial process. I guarantee cultural safety through my editorial guidance (I won’t try to make your voice sound white, and I’ll protect your work from unnecessary meddling). All writers will have creative control of their stories.

It’s my hope that this anthology will coalesce a multi-generational, multi-gendered, multi-perspectival community of creative collaborators – brave and strange thinkers, feelers, fighters and healers – uniting hearts and expanding minds over the portal of our collective campfire. Come join us aye!

Please share this CFS far and wide – I want every brilliant blackfella to submit!

The fine print

  • Submit up to two stories, no more than 5000 words each piece.
  • Stories may be previously published, but I’ll prioritise fresh work.
  • Please submit as one Word doc with at least 1.5 line spacing and 12 point font.
  • Send your stories to me by midnight, 30th of April 2021 via email, at mykaela dot saunders at gmail dot com. Early submissions are very welcome.

This anthology, like all blackfella community projects, will be grown and nourished through good relationality – so in your submission email, please introduce yourself and locate yourself in community.

Writers will be notified of the outcome of their submissions some time in June 2021.

Selected stories will be paid $500, thanks to the support of the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Got questions or wanna yarn further? Get in touch by filling out the form at the bottom of this page, or email mykaela dot saunders at gmail dot com.

° Us = blackfellas. Must descend from and identify as and be claimed by mob°°

°° First Nations / First Peoples / Aboriginal / Torres Strait Islander / Blackfella / Black / Blak / Indigenous to the Australian continent. This is a requirement for payment from the Australia Council for the Arts, and you may be asked to provide a CoA.