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Omenana Speculative Fiction Magazine – Democracy Special Edition

April 30, 2022

Deadline: April 30th, 2022
Payment: $100
Theme: Positive Visions of Democracy
Note: Authors must be speculative fiction writers from across Africa and the African Diaspora and the stories should be centered around an African experience

As we put pen to paper, it was literally raining coups in Africa.

From Sudan to Mali, from Burkina Faso to Equatorial Guinea to Niger, one hears either of violent truncation of government or an attempt at seizing the reins of power by gun wielding soldiers who purport to act for the greater good of the country.

Democracy, the system of governance that best serves the interest of the individual by allowing them a say in who governs them and how they are governed, is in peril. With this backdrop, Omenana Speculative Fiction Magazine in partnership with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) – a US-based non-governmental organisation that works to strengthen democracy – is calling for submissions for a special themed edition that explores positive visions of democracy.

Note that some of the stories in this special edition will form part of a global anthology edited by Dr. Amy Johnson in late 2022. Stories for the anthology will be selected from Omenana and two other great SF magazines from South America (Mafagafo and A Taverna) and an SF magazine based in Asia (Mithila Review).

What we are looking for

We are looking for 15 speculative short stories that explore the theme “Positive Visions of Democracy”.

We are looking for strong, character-driven stories that focus on future or other worlds where society’s bedrock is solid democratic institutions. These future or other worlds can be dystopias, but they should be ones where an entrenchment of universal suffrage holds hope.

Maybe democratic principles or institutions shape the events of your story. Maybe your story re-envisions how democracy could work. Or maybe democratic norms are just key components of the background.

Think space operas that look at the intricate politics of people in ships hurtling towards distant galaxies.

Think stranded explorers trying to build a home on a planet light-years away and having to decide about leadership.

Think love! Think war! Think family! Think technology! Think gods and goddesses and what they could get up to if they ever decide to cleave to a system of democracy!

Please don’t restrict yourself to one version of democracy, or feel that you need to lean only on governance and its accoutrements.

You can draw from African examples such as the Igbo, where a republican system of governance that existed before the coming of westerners and colonisation allowed for each town, village or city to be independent and governed by the people through representation in a council of elders.

You can explore the notion of independence where every town/village is its own country and can decide its own fate without recourse to control by larger towns or stronger city states. You can take this thought to space, across time or into alternative worlds. You can also backdrop your story within a confederacy.

You can look at minority rights for aliens/orishas/muos/jinns/humans as entrenched in the principle of democracy in a brave new world where almost instant travel across planets and galaxies is a norm.

You can place modern iterations of democracy and the different facets that make them work in the background of stories about average persons in far-flung places in space and time.

Let your creativity run wild.

Word length

We are looking for stories of 1000-5000 words and bespoke illustrations that convey the spirit of the individual stories. We hope to work with 15 different illustrators and writers from across Africa on this project.

Additional requirements for stories

Stories should be centred around an African experience and can be set anywhere in a near or far future, other place, other world. If you can imagine it, let’s see it.

However, stories should be vivid enough to give artists something to work with.

Stories can be Science Fiction, Fantasy, African Futurism, SteamPunk, Space Opera or any other genre of speculative fiction.

Finally, stories should be original and should not have appeared anywhere else.

How to submit

All submissions should be sent to [email protected] on or before April 30, 2022.

Interested illustrators should send a sample of their work to [email protected] before April 30, 2022.

Submission format

All stories must be submitted as a single attachment in .doc file format.

Artists should send a link to their portfolio or samples of their work.

Include a cover letter in the body of your e-mail providing your contact details (name – not the pseudonym you write under – address, email and phone number), a brief publication history, a bio of no more than 100 words and a profile photo.

Please follow this Standard Manuscript Format.


Yes. We will be paying a flat rate of USD 100 for published stories and USD 50 for accompanying Illustration.

We can’t wait to see your work!

About Omenana Speculative Fiction Magazine

Omenana Speculative Fiction Magazine is a tri-monthly magazine that is open to submissions from speculative fiction writers from across Africa and the African Diaspora.

Via: Omenana.


April 30, 2022