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Taking Submissions: The Dancing Plague

May 24, 2022 - May 25, 2022

Deadline: May 24th, 2022
Payment: $10 and a contributor’s copy
Theme: Tell us what really happened during the dancing plague of 1518 (full details below)

The Dancing Plague: Our 4th Collection of Utter Speculation
Tentative Deadline: May 24, 2022

October 2022 Release

Pay: $10 payment and a contributors copy

10k words or less (less words will have a better chance of being included)

In the summer of 1518, in the free city of Strasbourg, Frau Troffea stepped into the street and started to dance. Unable to stop, she danced until she collapsed from exhaustion. Then she got up and danced some more. Soon other citizens of Strasbourg joined her.
At the peak of this bizarre mania, up to four hundred people danced, against their will, for months on end, until, just as mysteriously as it began, the dancing plague began to taper down.

What happened in Strasbourg was not the only case of the dancing plague, but it was the most carefully documented.

So, what happened?

Wizards? Ergot? Brainwashing?

That is what we want you to tell us.

Send us your stories of utter speculation on the cause of the dancing plague, for our fourth collection. 10k words or less (less is more)

How to submit:

Name your file: Title – Dancing sub

Include your title in both your submission email and on your piece.

No cover letter necessary.

Do not include your name on the work. All files will be downloaded into a folder and read blind to ensure fairness. Again, make sure you include the title of your piece in your email so that we can match them up later.

Email submissions to: [email protected]

Some tips for what we’re looking for

First of all, we want stories that speculate, not speculations that are forced into a story. If you aren’t sure what the distinction is check out one of our previous collections.

We don’t care how crazy you get, if you can back it up. Reptilian space lords? Sure, but make sure you don’t have them eating seedless bananas in 1510 France unless they’re also time travelers.

Give us characters! Give them depth! We want to fall in love with your made-up people like we did with Susan Tulio’s Jersey Devil lovers, D R Kinter’s zany Roanoke road trip gang, and River Eno’s mysterious Lady in White, Johanna. They don’t know they’re living in a mystery. They have their own motivations.

We do not want gratuitous or sexual violence toward particularly toward children or animals nor are we interesting in being a platform for bigotry. Body horror, sure, rape horror, no. Social commentary, hell yeah! Platform to justify hate and discrimination? No. There is a clear line here and if you don’t know where it is, we suggest you figure it out before submitting.

Depending on the response, we hope to have all replies back by July.

Looking forward to your speculations and a truly maniacal book.

Via: Utter Speculation Publications.


May 24, 2022
May 25, 2022