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Taking Submissions: Alternate Antarcticas

November 15, 2023

Deadline: November 15th, 2023 (Extended)
Payment: Royalties
Theme: An alternate history of Antarctica

Antarctica. The White Continent. The last continent reached by humans. The unexplored frontier of alternate history.


Following on from the Alternate Australias anthology, this is a call for alternate history short stories in an Antarctica-themed anthology, Alternate Antarcticas (working title). This anthology will be edited by Jared Kavanagh, who also edited Alternate Australias.


Stories should be set in, or very strongly connected to, Antarctica. The neighbouring sub-antarctic islands and polar seas also count as part of Antarctica for these purposes. Stories need to include a meaningful alternate history element—that is, they must be set in a history different to our own and that difference should be relevant to the story.


The other general guidelines are:

  • Seeking around 10-12 stories with a target length of 60,000 words (+/- 5000 words)

  • Optimum length for stories is in the 3000-7000 word range. Stories shorter or longer than that may still be considered but most chosen stories will be within that range.

  • Any author may submit up to two (2) stories.

  • Reprints will be considered if they fit the theme, but seeking the majority to be original stories.

  • Overtly supernatural stories are not excluded, but will be a hard sell. Ambiguously supernatural stories (eg a ghost story where it’s not clear whether the ghost is real or part of a character’s imagination) will be an easier sell.

  • Querying beforehand is encouraged, though not mandatory. If you are planning to use one of the possible story prompts below, querying first would be strongly recommended since only one story based on each prompt will be accepted, so it may be helpful to know which prompts are already being used.

  • Submissions close on 31 July 2023, unless a prior extension has been approved for an individual story. Stories may be given provisional acceptance and/or feedback before that date, but no final acceptances will be issued until submissions have closed.


Stories which are written, co-written, or otherwise assisted by “AI” such as ChatGPT, OpenAI etc will not be considered.


Some possible story prompts/settings may include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • A different Mt Erebus crash means that there’s a few survivors—what do they do?

  • Ernest Shackleton’s expedition doesn’t make it out when trapped in the ice.

  • Robert Scott’s expedition does make it out from Antarctica.

  • Some oral histories suggest that Polynesian explorers reached Antarctica, or at least one of the subantarctic islands. What if one of those voyages of discovery turned into something more long-lasting?

  • Antarctica as a possible front in a different WW2 which has one or more South American nations involved (or alternatively there’s a separate war in South America around the same time which gets lumped into WW2 in the popular narrative).

  • A near-future colonisation attempt of the Antarctic Peninsula story set in a history where climate change happens earlier.

  • HMS Beagle is driven further south by storms and/or shipwrecked on the Peninsula during its second voyage; Charles Darwin is among the few survivors, and the experience has a profound effect on his many burgeoning theories.

  • James Cook presses on after crossing the Antarctic Circle in 1773, reaching and surveying a chunk of the mainland—and possibly becomes trapped / barely returns.




This is a royalties-only anthology. 60% of gross royalties will be divided between authors and editor, with one share per story (regardless of length) and one share for the editor. (For example, if there are 10 accepted stories, then the editor and each author will receive 1/11th share of 60% of gross royalties).




Stories should be in .docx, .doc or rtf format and emailed to jaredkavanaghaustralia at gmail (dot) com. Please include SUBMISSION in the email header for submissions, and QUERY for queries.


Feel free to include a short cover letter with a brief author bio (referencing up to 3 previous publications). However, decisions will be made solely on the quality of the story submitted.


Stories must be in Shunn manuscript format (either modern or classic is fine), except as follows:

  • There is no need to include mailing address or phone number, but a contact email address is required.

  • Any reasonably legible font is acceptable provided that it displays quotation marks as curly, not straight. Comic Sans does not count as legible.

  • One space after a full stop only.

  • Any dialogue marks must be curly double quotes, not straight or single quotes.


Any submissions which are too divergent from the format above will be returned to authors with a request to resubmit in the proper format.

Via: Sea Lion Press.


November 15, 2023


Sea Lion Press
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Sea Lion Press
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