As a genre, Dystopian fiction has a remarkable track record – 1984, Brave New World, Farenheit 451, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Phillip K. Dick, Neuromancer by William Gibson, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells...the list could go on and on. These are visions of our darkest possible future as a species, but they are the vision of a single individual. Our collective fate will be decided by many, not just one, and that is why The Subtopian is innovating a collective, collaborative project to tell the story of our possible downfall as a civilization.
Authors will create short, first person narratives that tell a personal story for a particular character. These stories must paint a picture of what it was like when civilization fell, what it is like trying to survive in the aftermath, causes of the apocalypse, or how people are trying to rebuild. It is important to keep in mind that these are the stories of the survivors, told and retold so that history, in the absence of other media, will not be lost.
The stories selected will be presented in a theatrical reading in the style of an oral history. Characters in the future will tell an audience their story, their memory, or their perspective about how and why the world as we know it came to an end. Imagine a ruined city, the homeless survivors gathered around a fire, sharing with one another where they were, or where their families were, when it all happened. The different stories will be read and evaluated for quality, original thought, and for thematic elements as they will all be part of a larger narrative and must not contradict. No vision of how these events transpired will be prepared ahead of time, it is up to the writer to decide and the editors to select pieces that create one vision.
Selected stories will be performed live by Serendipity Players, a theater troupe in the Portland area, and will be filmed for those that are unable to attend. The stories will also be published in a creative anthology by The Subtopian Press and will be made available both online and at the theater event.
Twenty stories will be selected from the submissions. All of the winners will be given a copy of the printed anthology and a copy of the performance as a hard disc or digital download. The winning story will be the focal point of the show and will receive $100 as compensation. The shortlisted stories will be published on Subtopian.com.
Above all, variety is key, we don't want the performance to feel like many people talking in one voice. We want various ethnicities, ages, etc.
500-1000 words, excluding the title, but closer to 500 words is best. Exceeding the word limit will result in disqualification, however, the winning story may be offered the opportunity for expansion, provided the author is interested.
The Deadline is May 30th, 2014.
Any style, voice, or genre is accepted provided it suits the topic of a Dystopian future. In other words, it can be romantic, humorous, dramatic, or action-packed, but it must weave itself into the overall narrative in a way that makes sense.
There is a submission fee of $10 to cover production expenses.
Stories can only be in English.
There is no limit to how many stories an author may submit.
Stories must be submitted in Times New Roman, 12-point font, in .doc or PDF format.
Submissions are accepted via Submittable or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publishing rights of the winning and the shortlisted stories remain with the author. Subtopian publishes First North American Serial Rights. You can use your story anywhere you like, but you have to let other publishers know that it was published with us first.
Please note that our editors may require small changes to be implemented in stories, in order to maintain the consistency throughout the project. We will always ask for authors’ approval in such cases.
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