Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday! Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a story to help inspire your submission and finish off with a list of writing industry news and articles I came across this week.
This week we’re looking at the Bikes in Space anthology series and reading the Bicycle Rebellion by Laura E. Goodin and published by Daily Science Fiction.
Bikes in Space
Eligibility: feminist bicycle fiction on the theme of cats, 500-6K words
Take Note: must be feminist, speculative, and contain kitties
What makes this call stand out: I’ll be honest, it’s the quirkiness that grabs me. I love my bike, I love feminism, and I definitely love my cats.
Payment: dependent upon kickstarter success, but no less than $30 USD per story
Submit by: August 1, 2019
A story to ignite your creativity:
For the purposes of getting your writing mojo fired up, I’m going to focus on the bicycle aspect of this call rather than the cat or feminism. Those are fairly straightforward, and writing about bicycles always poses the greater challenge for me. The bicycle story we’re going to look at, the Bicycle Rebellion by Laura E. Goodin, does not take place in space, either. What it does do is stretch our imaginations outside of the usual way we think about bicycles, which is what will best help us craft our own stories.
Laura E. Goodin’s the Bicycle Rebellion is available to read for free on Daily Science Fiction. Click here to go there now. I’ll wait.
This story is no wind-in-your-hair love story to the “the beautiful duet of human and machine” (I do love that line of Goodin’s). The bicycles are not behaving as a bicycle should. They have shed their identity as an inanimate object and rove in “packs of feral bicycles.” This is fresh. It makes me think of both wild animals and those horrific pileups you see on turns in bicycle races. It grabs the reader’s imagination and lets them know the usual rules will not apply in this story. This is the kind of permission we need to give our creative selves when working on a bicycle-in-space story. What can a bicycle do beyond gravity-required transportation? What can a bicycle be besides a human powered vehicle? We’ve got two wheels, a gear mechanism, some brakes, and the whole universe to work with. Let’s get writing.
NOTE: There are multiple Bikes in Space anthologies available. I recommend reading them as they’re fun, imaginative, and the stories are well-written. They will give you the best sense of what the editor likes and what you can do with this theme. However, I couldn’t find them in my local library system and it is important to me to keep this blog inclusive to writers who may not have financial privilege.
Writerly links worth sharing this week:
In a bold move, the Writer’s Guild America East and West advised writers to fire their agents this week. This comes in the wake of distrust caused by agents working for both writers and film companies in negotiation of film rights, which the Writer’s Guild pointed out as a conflict of interest. David Simon detailed his experience of this conflict in an article posted last month.