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 get you thinking about your own submission and to help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.
This week we’re submitting to Cossmass Infinities and we are reading Frances Rowat’s stunning story Mechanical Connection from their first issue.
Eligibility: original science fiction and fiction from 2K -10K words
Take Note: after receiving a rejection, writers may submit another, different story for the duration of the magazine’s opening
Submit by: this opening closes May 14th, 2020 (open calls happen 3x per year)
Payment offered: $0.08 per word
A story to ignite your writing mojo
This week we’re diving into Cossmass Infinities‘ fiction section and reading Mechanical Connection by Frances Rowat. Click here to go read that now.I like this story because of the trope subversion, what we can learn from it as writers, and because I’ve always had an affection for a superhero story.
In Mechanical Connection, Jennifer Jackson, AKA Phosphorus Jack, is a mechanic with a side of vigilante. There’s a sequence in the story wherein Rowat describes how Jennifer fixes the mechanical devices she works on, by feel and instinct and seeing what comes after this next thing, and it grabbed me because it felt like story construction. Maybe you’ll have a similar reaction, but I bring it up because, like the way this story subverts a ton of female superhero tropes, it also upends ‘the write what you know’ and shows us how to actually do that. Mechanics for Jennifer are an act of creation, and perhaps mechanics aren’t our specific passion, but creativity is (I assume, since you’re reading this) and there are certain universals in human nature we can build on – things we ‘know.’ Rowat has taken a chance and written the mechanics from the perspective of creativity rather than methodical attention to order and three-dimensional place.
Now hear me out because while this scene is a wonderful lesson for writers, this scene also works as some damn positive feminist fiction. Rowat has taken a superhero, eliminated any need for hyper-sexiness, gave her the quintessential man’s job, AND made our perception of that job shift into something more feminine so as not to strip Jennifer of her womanhood. Moreover, Rowat then has Jennifer (SPOILER AHEAD) take a woman out of an actual fridge to save her. This dynamic writer/character duo has just subverted the fridging trope. I am so impressed and delighted to read this.
Stay safe everybody, and happy submitting this week. If you need a pick-me-up, be sure to check out #BookCoverChallenge on twitter and enjoy people recreating book covers with random objects lying about their homes during lockdown. It’s a good time.