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Taking Submissions: Problem Daughters

March 31, 2017

Deadline: March 31st, 2017
Payment: $0.06 (6 US cents) per word for fiction, $100 flat rate for poetry

The fundraiser for this anthology at igg.me/at/problem-daughters has met its minimum goal and so publication and pro-payment is guaranteed. We can still do bigger and better with more funding, so keep spreading the word.

Problem Daughters will amplify the voices of women who are sometimes excluded from mainstream feminism. It will be an anthology of beautiful, thoughtful, unconventional speculative fiction and poetry around the theme of intersectional feminism, focusing on the lives and experiences of marginalized women, such as those who are of color, QUILTBAG, disabled, sex workers, and all intersections of these.

Call for Submissions

Problem Daughters is an anthology of engaging tales that reflect the true complicated, colorful, intersectional nature of feminism, and of feminists.

Not every woman in every community faces the same challenges, or shares the same vision of the world. Even the most well-intentioned model of feminism can leave out many people for the sake of presenting a palatable, unified front. Are there some communities that feel underserved or ignored by the prevailing norms and priorities in feminism (women of color, disabled women)? Do some women feel openly persecuted or attacked by mainstream feminist narratives (trans, non-binary, poly, sex workers)? What experiences are unique to these women, and what problems are created when we attempt to address women as a homogeneous group with a single set of concerns?

Broadly speaking, feminist movements seek to empower women to agency, but what happens when a woman’s free and voluntary expression of agency clashes with her society’s popular notion of empowerment? What happens when her society’s model of feminism fails to address her needs, or the realities of her situation?

We’re seeking works of speculative fiction and poetry (science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternate history, slipstream, or just plain weird) that reflect and celebrate the full range of feminist experience and agency, across the globe and across time.

Who can submit?

We’re looking for narratives that don’t fit cleanly into the mainstream label of feminism: stories of women of colour, disabled and/or neuroatypical women, religious feminists, sex workers, anyone identifying as QUILTBAG, poly, or non-binary, and anyone who has struggled with their gender identity or society’s reception to it. We especially welcome work by writers who identify as belonging to any of these categories, including new or unpublished writers.

What we want:

  • Humane, thoughtful, character-driven stories that invite us deep into the experience of someone who may be underserved or left out of mainstream feminism. We’re looking for compassion, empathy, insight, and nuance—not a catalogue of injustices.
  • Stories that celebrate a woman’s agency in all its forms, not just the ones presently deemed acceptable by the mainstream.
  • Heroines who are active, empowered participants in their own lives—whether seeking glory, fighting for survival, putting themselves in harm’s way to protect those they love, or working quietly behind the scenes, holding their communities together with both hands. Den mothers, market queens, medicine women, hunters, gatherers, warriors, monarchs, councilors, sisters and wives, lovers and fighters, whose decisions shape their world.
  • Stories that expand feminism’s boundaries, rather than constraining them. Thinly-veiled rebukes of mainstream feminism are not enough; we want to move beyond “Feminism 101.”
  • If a story includes a villain or villains, they should likewise be thoughtfully developed, rather than relying on tired tropes or stereotypes.

What we don’t want:

  • Stories about how feminism is destructive to society or marginalizes and persecutes men, or “thoughtful” pieces about how women are better off without feminism.
  • Stories about how trans women, religious women, or sex workers undermine the legitimacy of feminism.
  • Body-shaming or slut-shaming.
  • Stories of relentless, sadistic cruelty toward women (or anyone); explicit violence will be a very hard sell.

Fiction: Up to 7,500 words.
Poetry: Up to 60 lines.

Payment and rights:
$0.06 (6 US cents) per word for fiction, $100 flat rate for poetry, for global English first publication rights in print and digital format. Author retains copyright.

To submit:
Send your story or poems as a .docx, .doc, .rtf or .odt attachment to [email protected] by March 31, 2017. Please do not submit more than one story or more than 3 poems at a time. Please do not send work that is under consideration elsewhere (no simultaneous submission) or that has been previously published (no reprints).

Nicolette Barischoff, Rivqa Rafael & Djibril al-Ayad, Problem Daughters: An anthology of speculative fiction from the fringes of feminism. Futurefire.net Publishing, 2017. Pp. tba. ISBN-print 978-0-9957265-0-5; ISBN-electronic 978-0-9957265-1-2. $tba.

Via: The Future Fire.


March 31, 2017