—Katniss in Mockingjay
“And it would do nothing at all. It would change nothing at all. It would move no one at all, and so it really wouldn’t be art, would it?”
—June in The Summer Prince
“We were going to change how people think…. You can’t transform a society with violence, Ashala. Only with ideas.”
—Ember in The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf
Call for Submissions
When we talk about American dystopia today, we talk about George Orwell. We talk about the classics. We talk about men and power and the end of the world. And Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale is back on the bestseller list and being made into a television series in Trump’s dystopia. We need to look to other stories as well. We need to tell more stories.
The major issues of our times point toward a country, and a world, that we can find in the books of Octavia Butler, Suzanne Collins, Sherri L. Smith, Ambelin Kwaymullina, and Alaya Dawn Johnson. Many “Girls on Fire” tell us stories that speak to intersectional futures—to multifaceted ideas, people, and movements and to the possibilities of change in many possible futures.
This collection seeks critical and creative explorations of dystopia: short stories, essays, graphic art, interviews, poems, testimonials, or any format that uses dystopia as a means for understanding the present moment. This collection seeks the stories, the images, the ideas and ideals of “Girls on Fire”—to inspire hope, vision, and action through the power of dystopic visions. To get us all through the fear, disappointment, anger, and anxiety.
Tell a compelling story that sheds light on our present moment and inspires us to work for a better future. Write a scathing commentary that exposes the problems of the present and the possibilities of the future. Capture a moment, an image that speaks to today’s dystopia. Imagine a manifesto, a moment, a movement. Create an image that moves us and makes us think. Use your arts—your mind and your heart and your skills and your training—to speak back to the present through the lens of tomorrow.
Imagine what the future of America looks like—30 days, 4 years, or several decades or centuries into the future. How has Trump’s reign shaped our cities, the country, the world? How have we been divided; how have we been united? What is the state of the climate, our social and cultural institutions? What dystopic future grows from the present moment? What challenges do people face? Where is there hope? What are Girls on Fire making from this future?
This collection is intended as a sort of companion piece to (working title): Girls on Fire: American Dystopia and Intersectional Futures, Sarah Hentges’ forthcoming book from McFarland Publishing, Inc. This book explores the ways in which young adult dystopian texts with female protagonists can inspire social justice. It considers foundations and possibilities. It looks to “Girls on Fire”—in fiction, and in life—to lead the way to a better future.
See http://www.cultureandmovement.com/ya-dystopia.html for more information about Girls on Fire: American Dystopia and Intersectional Futures
pdf call for submissions
5,000 words maximum. Images should be high quality.
Inquiries and ideas can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Submit to: email@example.com by January 20, 2018