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 inspire your submission and help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.
This week we’re submitting to Third Flatiron‘s Gotta Wear Eclipse Glasses anthology and we’re reading Mary E. Lowd’s story Necessary as a Rose in Kaleidotrope.
Third Flatiron: Gotta Wear Eclipse Glasses
Eligibility: speculative stories of a positive future between 1,500 and 3K words, or humorous pieces around 600-1k words.
Take Note: think along the lines of “my future’s so bright I gotta wear eclipse glasses”
Submission Dates: this call is open from February 15, 2020, to March 15, 2020
Payment Offered: $0.08 per word
A Story to Ignite Your Writing Mojo:
This week we’re reading Necessary as a Rose by Mary E. Lowd as published in Kaleidotrope. You can click here to go read that story now.
Lowd takes us on a journey through space with a lonely astronaut and a rose bush they believe is embedded into the workings of the ship. They feed the rose, speak with it, nurture it, and watch it bloom, but as time goes by, the astronaut’s mind grows more and more erratic. They question themself. Why are the rose’s petal purple and orange? What does that mean? Have they flown through dangerous radiation? Why are these new petals pink? Each of these questions deepens the astronaut’s paranoia as they drift, alone, unable to fill in the gaps of their knowledge, through space.
I wouldn’t call the future in this story ‘so bright I gotta wear eclipse glasses’ but I chose Necessary as a Rose because it offers multiple elements that suggest a brighter future. One of the most profound elements, for me, is the inclusion of nature. I was raised by trees, so when I read/see a lot of military-type sci-fi stuff I get an ache for the lack of nature and a weak-but-present sense of claustrophobia without something green and alive nearby. Nature helps ease human stress and strengthen our sense of wonder, which can lead to a happier future.
Another element of a positive future is the astronaut’s journey: they are travelling to a new world to accomplish their dream of being an architect. We find new worlds! We can have satisfying careers again! And finally, we see how much the citizens of this future care for strangers, and that promises much more below the surface of the story.
What’s the brightest future you can imagine? Can you see it? Okay, toss in some conflict and get plotting. We’ve got less than a month until Third Flatiron opens.