Payment: 3 Cents Per Word

I meant “What is solarpunk?”

Oh. Sorry. Solarpunk is, broadly speaking, near future science fiction that deals seriously with the major environmental and social problems of the 21st century, and approaches them with optimism. The aesthetic starting point for the movement is this August 2014 Tumblr post by Olivia of missolivialouise, which imagined a strong aesthetic relationship to Edwardian and Art Nouveau fashion. Ideologically, this September 2014 Project Hieroglyph article “Solarpunk: Notes toward a manifesto” by Adam Flynn set the map for the conversation.

Since then, both the aesthetics and the politics have diverged beautifully.

Submission guidelines:

We’re looking for short fiction,

Word count: 2,000 to 5,000 words; will consider shorter or longer, but they’ll be a harder sell.

Pay rate: 0.03 USD per word. (Word count will be determined using Google docs and rounded up to the nearest hundred.)

Genre: Near-future SF (Solarpunk)

Multiple submissions: No. Please submit one story at a time, and wait until we’ve made a decision about the current story before submitting another.

Simultaneous submissions: Allowed, but only if you tell us so in the cover letter, and let us know immediately if your story is sold to another market.

What we’re looking for:

“Solarpunk” means different things for a lot of different people in the community, but on here, for the most part, we mean near-future science fiction that deals seriously with environmental crises, systematic oppression, global imperialism and other issues in dire need of solutions. These issues are complex, and we’re interested in stories that treat them with appropriate complexity. Check out the Wikipedia page on wicked problems for an idea of what we mean.

Vitally, we want stories that are optimistic about these problems. They don’t have to be all solved as of the story’s present-day; they probably shouldn’t be; but we don’t want to publish stories that portray hope and effort as absurd or pointless endeavors. We don’t want “Resistance is futile” or “It’s all downhill from here.” We’re fans of Kafkaesque fiction but it’s going to be an extremely hard sell here.

That said, if you’ve got a story that feels to you like it’s solarpunk in its values and attitude, but that’s urban fantasy or historical fiction or far-future hard SF or space opera or anything else, go ahead and send it. We are open to the possibility of being blown away, and we don’t want to limit ourselves to an overly preconceived narrative structure.

Our About page has a more detailed description of what we mean by solarpunk, and the two of us also run a personal solarpunk Tumblr, watsons-solarpunk, which you’re welcome to check out for a lot more content on how we think and feel about the genre.

Call for diversity:

Among the above-mentioned wicked problems we expect our writers to be conscious of is systematic oppression in terms of race, gender, sexual and romantic orientation, physical ability, neurodivergence, mental and physical illness, metaphysical beliefs and associated communities practices and organizations, age, nationality, and, certainly, more that I’ve failed to capture here.

We’re proactively seeking submissions from people in one or more of these groups. We do so to counteract the feeling that many marginalized or oppressed people have that their voice may not be welcome, and we do so because these people bring perspectives that are by definition exclusive.

To be clear: we want to see stories that feature diversity regardless of the author, and we don’t intend to limit marginalized writers to narratives of oppression to the exclusion of other narratives. What we mean to say is that submissions are open to everyone. 

Trigger warnings:

If your story contains prominent segments involving common triggers, please say so in your submission. In particular, if your story prominently features spiders or suicide, say so: these topics are both sensitive for one of our editors, and you’ll have much better odds of being accepted if we know in advance and can arrange for the other editor to give it the first read.

Response times:

We’re not sure. This magazine is currently just the two of us, and we’ve got experience reading submissions for publications but never in a context that tracks closely enough to this one for us to judge.

Rights we ask for:

  • first world electronic rights for web, ebook and audio publishing (first to Patreon supporters and then, usually 3 and no more than 5 days later, for public release),
  • first print rights for a small-run print edition available to Patreon supporters, and
  • an option to buy non-exclusive anthology rights, in anticipation of a year 1 anthology

(Note: the rights section was updated to add print rights on Saturday, July 25, so you might want to read that again if you last checked it before then.)

Via: Solar Punk Press.

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