Update (16.07.2023): This open call is officially done! Thank you to everybody who submitted, you will hear from us soon!
Update (14.06.2023): We extended the deadline for our Solarpunk open call to the 15th of July. So you have one more month to finish and polish your short-stories!
Update (17.05.2023): New section with recommended reading at the end of the page.
“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”
Ursual K. Le Guin
Climate crisis, alienation through capitalism, a push to the right, and bleak outlooks for the future are current notions dominating our everyday life. Notions which are often portrayed in fiction. Think dystopias, post-apocalypse, or cyberpunk. We are sure, much of them will come to mind.
Think now of utopias in popular culture. Sure, some might come to mind, such as Star Trek: Voyager (1995) or recently Kogonada’s After Yang (2021). Nonetheless, dystopia outweighs utopia.
Let’s change that!
We here at Aner Welten have therefore decided to focus our first thematic anthology zine on the genre of: Solarpunk.
WHAT WE WANT
What we want is simple: We want hope. We want revolution. We want a future that is anti-fascist, anti-capitalist, and full of nature and diversity. We want stories that seek and project the unconventional; that worship beauty and love and sadness. If anything, make us yearn; yearn for a better future.
Without, however, falling into the pitfalls of utopia. Solarpunk has a tendency to be used solely as an aesthetic, and although we seek the utopian, we do not want to falter to the “fascism of utopia” as Rhys Williams so poignantly explains in his article Solarpunk: Against a Shitty Future. We want thrill and adventure, excitement and action. We want the mist of reality covering the dream of peace.
Just to be clear, all of the definitions – Cosimo’s included – are not prescriptive of what the genre exactly is. It is a young genre, and while, yes, there are commonalities, definitional discussions happen constantly. And this is good. It challenges prescriptiveness; it influences the genre, shapes it, and makes it essentially unstable, disruptive, everything Solarpunk should seek to do.
Your writing adds to the discussion. That is why we encourage all of you to keep to your voice and style and raw emotions. Give us your narrative. Tell the story you want to tell.
WHAT WE NEED
We are looking for 6 stories. They should be short stories with a maximum of 3000 words, and should be written in English, German, French, or Luxembourgish. The submission is open for people either from Luxembourg or living in Luxembourg, and should be at least the age of 18.
The accepted stories will receive a payment of 75 euros (budget is tight, sorry! But we want to be as transparent as possible), as well as two copies of the anthology. The stories will be printed and published online on the website. Additionally, the story will be edited in correspondence with the author, of course.
The submission deadline is the 15th of July 2023. The zine will be published at the end of the year. The jury are the Aner Welten Team: Sandy Heep and Cosimo Suglia.
Please follow the formatting rules on our website. You can find them here.
The following is a list of recommended readings:
N.K. Jemisin, “Emergency Skin” (2019)
Jeff VanderMeer, “Annihilation” (2014) [Not Solarpunk per se, but the nature elements mixed with weird fiction could be repurposed for Solarpunk]
Ted Chiang, “Story of Your Life” (1998) [Not Solarpunk, but the way it reuses a Science-Fiction trope like an alien invasion into something positive is something Solarpunk should strive for]
Hitoshi Ashinano, “Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou” (1994) [Manga that plays in a post-apocalyptic world where people know that humanity will cease to exist, but rather than panicking, they live the rest of their existence in harmony; hope in a setting of despair]