Edited by Emily Gillespie and Jennifer Lee Rossman
All too often in popular media, disability is used as shorthand to say a character is helpless or weak. A victim. And if that character is a superpowered person, their disability becomes something for them to overcome or cure in order for them to become a hero.
We want to challenge those tropes and celebrate characters who are disabled and still save the day, whose abilities and disabilities are equally important aspects of their lives and identities.
What we want
- Fiction stories ranging from 500 to 3500 words.
- Disabled characters being empowered and living full lives while still being disabled
- Stories that play around with tired clichés and tropes about disability
- Stories about and by people at the intersection of disability and other identities that have been traditionally excluded from publishing. This includes but is not limited to people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, religious minorities, women, older adults.
- Cross-genre stories. Science fiction is good, but we welcome any genre of speculative fiction. Can you tell a superhero story in a fantasy or weird west setting?
What we DON’T want
- Inspiration porn, or stories in which the disabled character is seen as an inspiration for overcoming or simply living with a disability. You can find a definition of what inspiration porn is here: https://www.pyd.org/what-is-inspiration-porn-tiny-tim-disability/
- Stories that promote hatred against a group of people. Characters can be racist, ableist, sexist, etc., but the story should not portray this behavior as acceptable.
- Stories written by non-disabled friends, family, and caregivers of disabled people. Your experiences are important, but they aren’t what we are looking for.
What do we mean by disabled?
We are actively seeking stories written by and about people who are physically disabled, developmentally disabled, neurodiverse, blind or low vision, d/Deaf, mentally ill, have invisible disabilities, manage chronic conditions, and anyone else who identifies with this community. If you are comfortable with the word “disabled” being used to describe yourself and your character, we want to read your story.
Rating and adult content
Violence, profanity, and sexual content is welcome if it serves the story, but we aren’t looking for anything gratuitous or overly graphic.
Please avoid violence toward animals or children.
How to submit
Please start by formatting your story in as close to Shunn standard manuscript formatting as possible and saving it as a .doc or .docx.
Second, you will need to anonymize your manuscript. We are doing anonymous submissions with this anthology as the editors wish to avoid bias. To accomplish this, we ask that you remove any identifying information from your manuscript except for the title, and that you submit the identifying information via Google form. You will notice that, along with your bio and other contact information, our form asks you about Canadian citizenship; this is because this anthology may be partially funded by a Canada Council grant, which means we need to publish a majority of Canadian stories. Please do not self-reject if you are not Canadian, as we accept stories from around the world!
There are two ways to submit: we strongly prefer receiving all your information via Google form, including your manuscript, but doing so requires you to have a Google or Gmail account. If you have or can obtain a Google/Gmail account, please simply fill out this Google form.
If you don’t have a Google/Gmail account
You will need to do this in two steps: first, fill this Google Form (not the other one!) with your submitting information. Along with filling the form, please send your anonymized manuscript to renaissancesubmissions (at) gmail (dot) com. Please put “Mighty Submission” along with the title of your story and the word count in the subject line.
In the body of your email, please confirm whether you have filled out the form.
We take accessibility very seriously. If there are any accessibility accommodations you want us to be aware of while communicating with you, please let us know. Similarly, if there are any barriers to you submitting, please contact us at pressesrenaissancepress (at) gmail (dot) com and we will make alternate arrangements.
Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please let us know as soon as possible if your story is accepted by another publication.
No multiple submissions, please. Just send one story. If your story is rejected before the deadline, you are welcome to submit another.
Deadline and submission period
Submissions begin on September 15th 2022. Stories must be received and forms filled by or before November 14th 2022 at 11:59 PM EDT.
Payments and rights
Compensation for stories accepted in this anthology is 0.08CAD per word. We are looking for world English language rights, exclusive for the first year of print and non-exclusive afterwards. You will also receive a copy of the anthology.
You will receive a confirmation email within two business days of submitting your story. Please make sure to whitelist renaissancesubmissions (at) gmail (dot) com. Check your spam folders and query if you haven’t received it within a week, and don’t be afraid to get in touch if you do not receive it at all to make sure it went through.
Every story will receive either a rejection or a notification that it is being put on our shortlist by the end of the submission window, or soon after. Final decisions may take several weeks. Again, please query if you don’t hear from us.
Above all, don’t self reject. The world needs to hear your voices.
If you have any questions about anything, if you’re a new writer and need clarification and anything we’ve written here, or if you just want to say hi, please feel free to email us.
We can’t wait to read your stories!