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 Podcastle‘s open call and we’re reading Gem Isherwood’s Salt and Iron.
Eligibility: fantasy stories up to 6 000 words
Take Note: the editors request writers remove their legal name and address from standard manuscript format before submitting
Submit by: submissions open tomorrow, June 1st, and run through to the June 30th, 2020
Payment offered: $0.08 per word
A story to ignite your writing mojo
This week we’re dipping into Podcastle‘s recent archives to read (or listen to) Gem Isherwood’s story Salt and Iron. You can click here to go read or listen to that story now.
There are several elements to this story that read like a fairy tale, in keeping with itself as a retelling of the Girl Without Hands, collected by the brothers Grimm. To escape being sold to the fairy king, the protagonist Dagna chops off her hands and a local midwife bewitches her a pair of iron hands to replace them. Dagna struggles with her new freedom and her new identity, but after killing a would-be lover with her uncontrolled strength, she banishes herself to the outskirts of society. It’s hard not to think of Frankenstein’s monster in this scene, following that first murder of his own, and I think Isherwood did that intentionally to illustrate Dagna’s shift from innocent to clever to monster in society’s, and her own, eyes.
Here Isherwood leaves those traditional narratives behind, pulling Dagna from the presumed monstrosity of her disability and putting her on the path of redemption. I like the course of this redemption especially because Isherwood upends many of the harmful disability tropes rampant in fairy tales. Neither is the happy ending guaranteed or even inferred, instead Isherwood gives Dagna the agency of her own future.
This kind of fresh take on an old story is key to a successful retelling, and the trope-busting elements are among those I’ve learned to associate with Podcastle over the years.
Now, it’s your turn writers! Give them the best you got. In the meantime, stay healthy and happy writing.