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 you get a feel for the editor’s tastes or the theme of the anthology.
This week we’re subbing to the anthology Water: Selkies, Sirens, and Sea Monsters and we’re reading Nibedita Sen’s We Sang You as Ours from Cast of Wonders.
Water: Selkies, Sirens, and Sea Monsters
Eligibility: stories about magical beings who live in the water under 7500 words
Take Note: final versions should follow Canadian spelling
Submission deadline: September 30, 2020
Payment Offered: $50 CDN and a paperback copy
A Story to Ignite Your Writing Mojo
This week we’re reading (or listening to) Nibedita Sen’s story We Sang You as Ours as published by Cast of Wonders. You can click here to listen or read that story now.
Sen’s story follows the struggle of a siren coming of age into a life without agency. Cadence’s mother has disappeared, abandoning her and her sisters to the care of their other two mothers. There’s a new brother growing inside an egg in the bathtub and Cadence must go on her first hunt soon, seducing a human from the beach to feed her father.
This is a strange, uncomfortable story in many ways. Cadence is only now coming into an understanding of her species, touching on elements of incest and forced labour. She recoils, but she feels responsibility to look after her younger siblings and seeks to create her own agency with the few tools she has. Its this creation of agency that made this story stand out for me, the idea that the most hopeless, bound situation can still have small gaps for a rebellion. It’s a siren call for freedom (pun intended, shamelessly).
The story works because it captures the element of responsibility that can come with rebellion, yet finds a way to keep it from stopping the necessity of rebellion in its tracks. There’s an empathy here that Sen has threaded into non-human characters. Yes, we read on in a sort of horror to see the life of secretive human predators revealed, but we keep reading because we forget that we are the prey in this story, deep in the perspective of the siren. One could almost say the reader is held in the siren’s song…
**shakes head** whew, okay, I’m safe, I’m safe.
It’s your turn now, writers, to choose your mythical being, get to know them, and write their story.
Bonus submission opportunity: Pro market Apex magazine has opened for submissions after more than a year away. There is no indication of how long this opening will last, so don’t delay! Click here to go to their submissions page.