PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING PAGE CAREFULLY!
WHAT WE WANT
We want progressive speculative fiction.
This means: fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, steampunk, weird west, solarpunk, lunarpunk, magic realism, post-apocalyptic and more.
We want experimentation and depictions of underrepresented, as well as marginalized groups. Take us by surprise. Use points of view that are uncommon. We want full and round characters with depth. We want emotional relationships and unique settings. We want beauty and charm and fuzzy feelings and sadness. We want revolution and utopia and hope, and we want texts to talk about.
We encourage you to stray from the norms. We want mold-breaking stories, with unusual forms.
Here are some examples:
- Jeff Vandermeer’s A Short List of Mistakes Starting with “OWL”: A Halloween Story
- P. Djèlí Clark’s A Dead Djinn in Cairo
- Haruki Murakami’s Super-Frog Saves Tokyo
- Alix E. Harrow’s Do Not Look Back, My Lion
- Neil Gaiman’s How To Talk To Girls At Parties
- Iori Kusano’s Next Station, Shibuya
- Iori Kusano’s can i offer you a nice egg in this trying times
We preferably want texts from writers from or living or having experience with Luxembourg.
We accept texts in: Luxembourgish, English, and German. (Sadly, both of us are not any good in French, and can therefore not guarantee proper spelling in French. We are actively searching for someone who could help us, and as soon as that someone is found, we will update this section).
We accept multilingual texts, as long as it is Luxembourgish, English, German, and French.
We want fiction and non-fiction under 2000 words (for the moment). The minimum is 250 words (microfiction).
We want poetry not bigger than 3 pages (please keep to the formatting suggested in the formatting section).
We want clear prose and good style. To be fair, we are not prescriptive or grammar experts, on the contrary, we let things slide a lot because we believe in showing off raw, unfiltered texts in the style and tone the author had anticipated from the start. We also approach language differently than most editors. Standard grammar of a language is never a true depiction of the language reality. We will therefore guide you on artistic paths and decisions with our editorial comments, rather than correct every single sentence structure or choice of words.
However, we demand some adherence to basic grammar rules, no matter what language.
WHAT WE DON’T WANT
We don’t want incomplete stories. There has to be plot structure and narrative design. We don’t want snippets or insights or scene descriptions, without any meaning behind it, unless it is poetry, and even then it has to have some kind of structure.
If you don’t know where to start, we recommend the following resources:
- Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook
- Brandon Sanderson’s Creative Writing Lectures on Youtube
- Odyssey Writing Workshop’s Writing Tips
We don’t necessarily want horror. We know it belongs to the speculative fiction spectrum, but it often brings with it unnecessary violence and harm. That being said, we don’t want meaningless violence, casual death, or glorification of such. We refuse stories with r-pe, pornography, sadistic violence, gore, bestiality, child abuse, and blatant racism, as well ass transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, or hate speech as focal point of the story. But horror, if done well and subtle yet exciting, we will consider.
We don’t want blatant capitalist or right-wing propaganda.
We don’t want resubmitted stories that have previously been refused, even if changed.
We don’t necessarily want already published stories, simply because of the problems that may arise with the contractual rights.
We don’t want clichés. Tropes are fine. There is a difference.
We don’t want simultaneous submissions. We do, however, accept multiple submissions (don’t overdo it though).
We don’t mind spelling mistakes, it happens, even to us, but if every third word is written wrong, and it’s not a literary device that has some effect on the text, we don’t want it. There is no shame in using a spellchecker (we do too).
We don’t want stolen content.
Also, Strange Horizon has compiled a list with story plots and subjects that are rather common and used a lot, lacking a bit of originality, and we generally agree with this list. If your story structure is listed on there, make sure it has something unique to it. Challenge yourself! We appreciate that a lot and want to see the best of you!
SPECULATIVE FICTION: A DEFINITION
Our definition of speculative fiction matches the following quote:
“[…] ‘Speculative fiction’, as now most often used, does not clearly define any generic boundary, it has come to include not only soft and hard sf but also Fantasy as a whole […]. [T]he term has been useful precisely because it allows the blurring of boundaries, which in turn permits a greater auctorial freedom from genre constraints and ‘rules'” (The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction).
While we generally agree that speculative fiction originates from science fiction, we believe the term encompasses all of the genres. We see speculative fiction as an umbrella term.
However, on a more formal level, we believe speculative fiction is an interplay of three elements: novum, cognition, and estrangement — a theory established by Croatian literary critic Darko Suvin. To summarize Suvin’s concept, the following quotes will suffice:
“By ‘cognition’ Suvin appears to mean the seeking of rational understanding, and by ‘estrangement’ something akin to Bertolt Brecht’s Verfremdungseffekt […]. Perhaps the most important part of Suvin’s definition, and the easiest with which to agree, is the emphasis he puts on what he and others have called a Novum, a new thing – some difference between the world of the fiction and what Suvin calls the “empirical environment”, the real world outside.” (The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction).
Now, this refers to science fiction, what about fantasy? Well, fantasy works similarly, the only difference is:
“Peter Nicholls, pointing to this particularly blurred demarcation line, argues that sf must by definition follow natural law whereas fantasy may and mostly does suspend it. Fantasy need not be susceptible to ‘natural’ or cognitive explanation; indeed, supernatural explanation is at fantasy’s heart.” (The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction).
You see, the difference is how something exists within the story’s world; it is magic vs technology; the natural vs the supernatural. Cognition in the science fiction example refers to our reality, while the cognition within a fantasy world refers to a reality that is supernatural in essence and has completely different rules and laws than our world, which already affects the reader with a sense of estrangement or wonder. Of course, for the characters that world is normal. Unless it’s something like urban fantasy, where the protagonist explores the world for the first time and learns to live within this supernatural world; an example would be Lev Grossman’s The Magicians (2009).
So, while the novum and cognition slightly differentiate, estrangement is core.
Keep the formatting simple and clear:
- Font: Times New Roman
- Font size: 12
- Line spacing: 1.5
- Page numbers: Bottom right.
- First line of new paragraphs should be indented.
- Remove space before and after paragraphs.
- Alignment: Justify (!).
- Title sheet with the following information: Name and family name, address, phone number, e-mail, website, title of the short story, and how many words.
- File type: DOCX or PDF.
This is the bare minimum, so please keep to it, thank you.
Our team is a couple, still studying and soon let loose on the working world, who do this voluntarily. We will try to give each submission some kind of feedback and also the reasoning for refusal. However, this is sometimes not feasible.
If your story has been accepted, we will e-mail you our feedback and changes. These can be discussed with us beforehand.
We currently do not give any payment, because, as already mentioned, this whole project is done on a voluntary basis. We are an amateur magazine and in no way a professional market. If you choose to submit and publish with us, you will become part of a speculative fiction culture in full bloom. Aner Welten can become a playground, a platform of exchange, and a way to publish something, which we will actively try to promote.
Finally, any and every rights belongs to you and it will stay that way. We do not wish to take or buy any rights related to your text. We want to make Aner Welten as accessible and writer-friendly as possible.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Returns will take as long as it has to. We don’t like to rush and take our time going through the slush pile. That is why we don’t want simultaneous submissions. But, if you feel like we take too much time and want to take back your submission, go ahead and send us an e-mail, formatted like this: [TAKE BACK] your name and your text’s name.
READY TO SUBMIT?
Awesome! Click on the bug below and fill in the form
(and yes, we are sorry, but you need a google mail).