We are excited to announce The Space Crone Prize for speculative and science short fiction.
The special one-off prize, established by Silver Press in collaboration with The Ursula K. Le Guin Literary Trust, celebrates the publication of Space Crone by Ursula K. Le Guin, a selection of essays edited by So Mayer and Sarah Shin.
Space Crone includes the essay ‘Is Gender Necessary? (Redux)’ in which Le Guin reflects on The Left Hand of Darkness (1969). In being ‘about’ gender, Left Hand is in fact about something more revolutionary: like the Foretelling practice of the genderfluid Gethenians, the subject of gender seems to ‘exhibit the perfect uselessness of knowing the answer to the wrong question’.
The Space Crone Prize invites short fiction that speculates about questions about difference and gender. The prize is open to UK-based entrants who identify as one or more of: women, intersex, non-binary, agender, genderfluid and trans, and will be awarded by a selection panel (to be announced).
The winner will receive a £1000 prize and a mentoring session with the editors of Space Crone. Three shortlisted stories will be published on the Silver Press blog. The winning story will also appear on Granta.com.
The entry form for submissions of up to 2000 words is here (detailed submission guidelines below).
- Deadline for submissions: 30 April 2023
- Longlist announced: 26 July 2023
- Winner and shortlist announced: 23 September 2023
- One writer may make only one submission of a single story
- Stories can have a word count of up to 2000 words
- In the submission email, please state the title of the story, word length, your writing/publication name, pronouns, and whether you are UK-based
- Stories must be previously unpublished (including on personal blogs, newsletters or social media), and must not be on submission to any other magazine, journal, anthology or prize
- Stories must be written in English, broadly defined
- Submissions should be sent as a Word document or PDF that includes the story’s title on each page, but does not include the writer’s name or identifying details anywhere in the story
- We welcome submissions that work within and across the broad and multiple traditions of speculative fiction, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, surrealism, experimental fiction, Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, folk tales, and other non-realist approaches.
- We are committed to work that challenges the often cis-hetero-patriarchal-colonial histories of speculative genres.
- Citing Augur Magazine’s guidelines, we ask that you do not submit:
- Stories that are “speculative” because a non-marginalized group suddenly experiences what it’s like to be a marginalized group (e.g. a man “has to live with sexism”, a white woman is suddenly “treated like a woman of colour”)
- Anything that minimizes sexual trauma/any trauma as a plot device (eg. A woman is assaulted in order to motivate a man, without dealing with her story or experience)
- Stories that feature casual or blatant misogyny/bigotry/racism/etc.