170131 | 3¢-6¢* | 7K | The Gender Diverse Pronouns Issue

For more info, go to: http://www.capricioussf.org/submissions-the-gender-diverse-pronouns-issue/

Submissions: The Gender Diverse Pronouns Issue

Important note: both the pay rate and whether this issue goes ahead at all are dependent on the success of our current crowdfunding campaign. We will update this page as details are confirmed. As no decisions on submissions will be made until after the closing date (28 February 2017) authors will be at no disadvantage if they choose wait until these details have been finalised to submit.

We’re publishing a special issue of Capricious featuring stories that use gender diverse pronouns, and submissions are now open! Read on for details.

Gender diverse pronouns – like ze and hir, or singular they, or any of a number of possibilities – are an increasing part of many people’s vocabulary. They can be used to describe people for whom “he” or “she” are not a good fit, or to refer to a person, real or hypothetical, of unknown gender. But – with some notable exceptions – they’re under-utilised in science fiction and fantasy – despite the fact that they’re necessary just to depict our world accurately, let alone the myriad worlds of the imagination. This special issue, to be published in late 2017, will not only showcase stories that use gender diverse pronouns, but embrace them. Stories with gender diverse characters, in worlds where gender is conceptualised in many different ways – or not at all.

We’ve published two such stories in Capricious: “The Need for Overwhelming Sensation” by Bogi Takács and “Moments of Light” by Toby MacNutt, both of which use multiple sets of gender diverse pronouns – and such pronoun usage is very welcome in every issue of Capricious. Now we want to specifically celebrate it and showcase the possibilities it allows.

About gender diverse pronouns:

A pronoun – or, more specifically in this case – a personal pronoun, is a word you can use in place of someone’s name. Rather than saying “Ryan picked up the book but Ryan decided it wasn’t the sort of thing Ryan enjoyed reading” you would more typically say “Ryan picked up the book but she decided it wasn’t the sort of thing she enjoyed reading”. She is the personal pronoun.

In English, the personal pronouns we’re most used to are he and she. Not only do these require the speaker to know the gender of the person they’re talking about, but they only really cover two genders. Humans don’t always fit in these boxes.

Fortunately, there are a range of gender neutral pronouns  – and they’re not all modern inventions. They are used mainly to either refer to an individual for whom “he” or “she” isn’t appropriate (that individual might identify as non-binary or genderqueer) or for a hypothetical person whose gender is not established (“when you find out who the person in charge is, tell them I need to talk to them”).

What’s the difference between gender neutral and gender diverse pronouns? There’s significant overlap between the two, but I chose the “gender diverse” terminology for this project because we also welcome stories in which pronouns do signify specific a gender, but in different ways to he and she.

What we’re looking for:

We’re looking for speculative fiction (up to 7500 words) that uses singular they, or xe, or e, or per or any one of many possibilities – including those of the authors’ invention. We’re also looking for stories that use culturally specific pronouns, or pronouns created by the author for a fictional world. We’d love to see stories that also address other ways in which languages are gendered, and stories with multiply-marginalised characters. And of course, we want stories that delight and amaze us, are beautifully written, and explore different worlds and new futures.

Please do not send us:

  • Anything over 7500 words.
  • Anything that does not contain some element of science fiction or fantasy (broadly defined).
  • Your views on why [pronoun] is grammatically incorrect.
  • Graphic or detailed descriptions of sexual assault. Stories that (for example) include characters who have survived sexual assault and/or experience related trauma are welcome, but please handle with care.
  • Work that has been previously published elsewhere (however translations of work not previously published in English are welcome).

Also check out this interview with the editor at Bogi Reads The World for more discussion of what the editor is looking for.

The details:

The word limit is 7500 words, with a preference for stories under 5000 words. There is no minimum word count, and flash fiction is very welcome.

Author compensation is a minimum of US3c/word, plus both electronic and paperback copies of the issue, rising to a possible US6c/word depending on the success of the crowdfunding campaign. Payments will be made via PayPal.

Formatting: just be sensible. 10-12pt is a good size range, and Times New Roman/Georgia/Calibri are good fonts (we’re not wild on Courier, but we won’t hold it against you). Please submit in .doc/.docx/.rtf/.odt format.

We accept multiple submissions to a maximum of 3 per author.

Please submit using the online form below. Submissions by email, or that link to externally hosted work (eg on Google Drive) rather than uploading the story in question will be deleted unread. All submissions will be responded to after the closing date (28 February 2017).

For more info, go to: http://www.capricioussf.org/submissions-the-gender-diverse-pronouns-issue/

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