Bawajigan: Stories of Power

Dreams (Bawajigan) have always played a powerful role in Indigenous cultures across Turtle Island: they have changed the course of history, and served as warning, insight, guidance, solace, or hope. In Bawajigan (Anishinaabemowin for Dream) – and the 17th volume in the Exile Book of Anthology Series – we are gathering fictional stories about what it means to dream and be Indigenous, how dreams weave their way through our realities, how they impact history, lived experience, and the stories we tell each other and the world. These can be lucid daydreams, waking trances, hallucinations, reveries, reoccurring nightmares, revenge-fantasies, fever-induced delirium, coma, sleep-paralysis visitations, sleep-walking disorders or sleep deprivation, communication with non-human entities, messages from beyond the grave, cybernetic ghosts, vision-quests, ceremony, or ghost-dancing hopes for the future, all while you just try to make it through the week. We want to hear your stories about the strength and power of dreams! 

Are dreams merely wish fulfillment? Can they offer healing, guidance or insight through psycho-analysis? What do dreams reveal or conceal? Are they another level of reality? Do computers, AI entities, or androids dream? Are we living inside of a holographic universe? What do animals or monsters or ghosts or devils dream about? What if two people had the same dream? What if there were predators that stalked our dreams? What if designer-dreams became just another product to sell? Do dream-worlds exist? Are dreams multi-dimensional or cross-dimensional realities? Who is that dream-man or dream-woman? What if a dream came true? What if they always came true? Do places incite specific times of dreaming? Are we our ancestors’ wildest dream come true? 

What are we looking for?

We prefer stories to be by Indigenous writers - which means anyone who identifies as First Nation, Inuit, Metis, Status and Non-Status (including those of mixed heritage/ancestry). We’d also love to consider Indigenous writers who are not Canadian, but keep in mind that at least 90% of the authors must be Canadian, or who continue to pay taxes in Canada while living abroad.

We also encourage submissions from New-generation (18-30 years of age) and Two Spirit / LGBTQIAP folk.

Submissions including Indigenous languages are also welcome, although please include English translations. 

The stories can be influenced by cultural understanding, traditional knowledge, set in modern day/historical/or futuristic settings, but filtered through a fictional lens. Stories can be in any genre, including but not limited to magic realism, alternative history, literary fiction, science-fiction, fantasy, horror, romantic comedy, erotica, urban-fantasy, mystery, and graphic-forms (comics and/or illustrations; we can even consider including a link to an online animation) — they can also be based on mythical creatures, supernatural entities, or technologies that do not exist in real life, so long as the story is in some way about drawing strength from the power of dreams.   

Tropes to Avoid: Think of The Wizard of Oz “it was all a dream” ending, and unless you think your story is particularly awesome, try to steer clear of this sort of ending, it can come across as a trick played on the reader at their expense.

Submission Details: 

Original unpublished work up to 5,000 words, fictional stories only. No novel excerpts, poetry or essays. If you have something that almost-but-not-quite fits the criteria as it is laid out here, but it’s burning a hole in your pocket and you are certain of its awesomeness, please do submit it anyway. Legible 12-point font. Please list your name, contact info, and word count on the first page.   

Call open until: October 1st 2017 (Late Submission Deadline: October 31st)

Payment: 5 Cents/word CDN

Editors: Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler 

         & Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith

Rights: Writers grants the publisher one year exclusive English World rights from date of publication/release; no reprint rights are allowed for one year from date of publication/release except at the discretion of the Publisher; non-exclusive English World rights one year after date of first publication/release.

Expected Publication Date:  May 2018

Submit via submittable: https://exilepublishing.submittable.com/submit/72583/bawajigan-stories-of-power-call-for-submissions