Editor: Colleen Anderson
What is Alice Unbound about?
Carroll (Charles Dodgson) explored childlike wonder and the
bewildering realm of adult rules and status, which clashed in bizarre
ways. Many characters in his tales are anthropomorphic, whether
talking cards, crying mock turtles or saucy Tiger Lilies. Over 150
years later, people still recognize characters from Carroll's works.
Who doesn’t know of vorpal blades and tardy white rabbits,
protagonists and antagonists that resonate in a primal part of the
human psyche? They hearken to the mysticism and mystery of the ancient
world, when one wondered how the rain fell, or which gods empowered
madness through drink, or whether a person was separate from an
animal or could become one.
passed and myth became fairy tale, evolving to resonate with each
era, showing the triumphs of the common man, the humble and generous
woman who outsmarts tempters, jailers, and evil stepmothers, or the
trials and tribulations of seeking the unknown. Carroll's characters
jumped forward, not just following the regular metamorphosis of an
age-old tale, but leaping off the cliff of the familiar into
something altogether new, different and endearing. We might not truly
want to live in the world of Alice or have to deal with mad queens
and bandersnatches, but what if that Wonderland ceased to exist on a
separate plain, and melded with our modern world? How would these
characters fit in, and what would they bring or change? Are we ready
to accept Alice Unbound into our hearts and let the Jabberwock in the
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was Carroll’s most famous work but there are other
stories and poems (some within the greater works) where madcap creatures abound.
Alice Unbound should contain an
element of the speculative and may embrace fabulist, weird, myth, SF, fantasy,
steampunk, horror, etc. Other speculative elements or characters may be
combined in any way. I don’t want to see rehashings of Carroll’s tales but new stories
taking place in a modern or slightly futuristic world. Your tale may take place
in Wonderland but only if it has connections with this world. That’s not someone
thinking about having a drink at the café they miss but actually integrating
modern elements. If you have a talking cat, it must be recognizable as the
Cheshire Cat. You should not be copying Carroll’s style but telling a new tale
in your voice. Too many stories submitted with the same character will limit
chances of the story being accepted. NOTE: I am getting many Alice, falling through rabbit hole and
Cheshire Cat related stories. Which means competition will be harder in
these areas. You might want to look beyond these elements.
Whether the Mad Hatter, the mock turtle, or Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum,
write a new tale. QUILTBAG or people of colour as characters are encouraged.
Alice doesn’t have to be white and blonde. I will accept any characters from
the following works . I have not read everything so if you want to write about
another character that fits into Carroll’s fantastical tales, please write
first and ask.
- Alice’s Adventures
- Through the Looking
- The Hunting of the
These are story examples only but not requirements:
Writers must be Canadian citizens (living in Canada and/or paying taxes
in Canada) or permanent residents of Canada. LGBQLT, POC are encouraged to
submit. I will read cover letters last and will choose stories on
merit first. This resource may be of use in your research:
caterpillar is the owner of a medical marijuana store but turns out to be part
of a moonlighting superhero team by night.
Walrus and the Carpenter’s strange relationship is strained farther when they
both fall for a mermaid, who crusades for the murdered oysters.
- The Snark is as
elusive as the Sasquatch, but when they vie for the same space in an endangered
environment, what happens?
- The last Jabberwock
is captured and used to battle an overpopulation of vampires.
- From space comes a delegation that looks a lot like the card soldiers. They have a concern with Earth for harbouring fugitives from their world.
- A company has perfected an AI that emulates the Mad Hatter, something to help run parties and liven them up. What could possibly go wrong?
.05/word CDN (that's 5 cents a word, not a half cent)
2,000-5,000 words. Poetry: minimum 1,000 words (and 2 may be
submitted at the same time: submit each in a separate document and submission).
No; if you submit to me, please do not send it anywhere else until
you receive a rejection.
You may send one story, or two poems. Please wait until I’ve sent a
rejection before you send anything else. I may hold some pieces until
the submission window is closed.
Final acceptances will go out a month after the submission window
Please use standard manuscript format (Google William Shunn):
double-space (except for poems), no extra spaces between paragraphs,
indented paragraphs, title, etc.) This also means full contact information on the first page, unless you want me to attribute your piece to someone else. Failure to follow formatting may see
your piece rejected without being read. Canadian spelling would be awesome but I won't turn down a story that comes in UK or US spelling. Submit .docx, .doc, or .rtf only.
Deadline: Extended to July 15, 2017
Publication Date: April 2018 (tentative)
First English-language rights
& non-exclusive Anthology rights for one year from publication (print and