Call for Submissions!

Call for Submissions -

Call for Submissions!

For the last few months, Blaft has been working with R. Talitha Samuel and a crew of amazingly talented writers, translators, and artists to put together…


Speculative fiction (SF) is a broad term, including science fiction, horror, magical realism, weird fiction, alternative history, and several other sub-genres. Though SF has a long history in India (and the rest of South Asia), most published work has been written by authors from privileged communities. Some of this work engages with social equity issues, but even when it does so well, it tends to be written from an urban, elite, anglophone, upper-caste perspective. 

Meanwhile, Dalit fiction, Ambedkarite fiction, and fiction expressly focused on caste issues have all tended to be overwhelmingly realist. Only recently have a few writers begun to break new ground…

This anthology is an attempt to collect the forays into anti-caste speculative fiction that have already been made, as well as to encourage new ones: works of SF that take an anti-caste stance and launch it into the future, outer space, the lairs of nightmarish monsters, or bizarre solarpunk dreamscapes.

We have a lot of material selected already–enough for roughly 300 pages, which is 70-80% of our target length. Some of these stores have already been published elsewhere, while others are newly commissioned. To fill the last 100 pages of the book, we wanted to put out an open call for other writers who are interested in being part of the project.

Here’s what we’re looking for:

-Speculative fiction defined broadly to include science fiction, supernatural horror, magic realism, etc. 

-Writers from caste-oppressed or indigenous communities or other marginalized backgrounds are encouraged to submit. 

-***TRANSLATIONS***: While we will consider original English submissions, we are especially interested in translations of South Asian language speculative fiction–again, particularly from writers from caste-oppressed communities. Though we have found or commissioned translations of a few amazing pieces from Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Gujarati, we are sure there is lots of other great work out there that we don’t know about yet. If you know any writers in South Asian languages whose work would fit in the anthology, please let us know, even if you're not a translator. And if you are a translator who knows such work, please send us your pitches (ideally, a synopsis or sample translation)!

-Comics/graphic narrative: We will be including a few graphic pieces in the anthology, but we are unlikely to select more; the book will be mainly prose. (If you don’t mind long odds, you can still send us stuff.)

-Length: Ideally between 1500 and 5000 words. We’ll consider translations up to 10,000 words.

-Payment: If your work is accepted we will pay 3/word for new English pieces. For translations, we’re paying 1.5/word (of the English translation) each to the translator and author. We’re also planning to run a Kickstarter campaign soon, and if we beat our target by enough we’ll share a percentage of the extra money with the contributors.

-Rights: On acceptance of new (previously unpublished) work, we ask for first print and electronic English rights, exclusive for 6 months after publication (after this you are free to publish the story elsewhere), continuing rights to publish the work as part of the Anthology in English (print and digital), and rights to publish the story in translation into any other language as part of the Anthology. For previously published work, we’ll need to negotiate terms.

-Submissions window: Submissions are open now through May 15, 2024. Submit word documents to with the subject line ANTI-CASTE SF. We’ll let you know if your work has been selected by June 30, 2024.


Illustration: Priyanka Paul, Graphic: Ritu Elizabeth Samuel

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