A Call for Stories

The Interstitial Arts Foundation will be publishing a second volume of Interfictions. The first volume was edited by Delia Sherman and Theodora Goss. I’ve been asked to fill the co-editor seat for this second volume, and am excited to be along for the ride. Below are the guidelines for the next volume. We would love to see work from you all, so please distribute these guidelines near and far to help spread the word. And then send us your best when the reading period opens this coming October! More information on the Interstitial Arts Foundation can be found by clicking here.



Interfictions II: The Second Anthology of Interstitial Writing

Editors Delia Sherman and Christopher Barzak

We invite submissions for an Anthology of Interstitial Fiction, to be published by Small Beer Press under the auspices of the Interstitial Arts Foundation in ??? of 2009.

What We’re Looking For

Interstitial Fiction is all about breaking rules, ignoring boundaries, cross-pollinating the fields of literature. It’s about working between, across, through, and at the edges and borders of literary genres, including fiction and non-fiction. It falls between the cracks of other movements, terms, and definitions. If you have a story idea that’s impossible to describe in a couple of sentences, it may be interstitial.

We’re looking for previously unpublished stories that engage us and make us think about literature in new ways. Rather than defining “interstitial” for you, we’d like you to show us what genre-bending fiction looks like. Surprise us; make us see that literature holds possibilities we haven’t yet imagined.

We are also open to graphic stories of about 10 pages.

Who We’re Looking For

Writers in all genres of fiction (contemporary realism, mystery, historical, fantasy, whatever) who have an idea that challenges generic tropes and expectations. If you’re not sure whether a story is interstitial, send it along anyway.

Practical Matters

Our submission period will be from October 1, 2008 to December 2, 2008. Please submit electronically only. Send your stories as .rtf attachments to: interfictions@interstitialarts.org. You will hear from us after January, 2009.

Overseas submissions are welcome. Stories previously published in other languages may be submitted in English translation for first English language publication.

Please follow standard manuscript formatting and submission conventions: ie, double-spaced, with 1” margins, and the name of the story on each page. No simultaneous or multiple submissions. Word count is open, but the ideal range is 4,000-10,000 words. Payment will be 5 cents a word for non-exclusive world anthology rights, on publication, along with 2 author’s copies.

Any questions? Write us at interfictions@interstitialarts.org



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26 responses to “A Call for Stories”

  1. Cliff Burns Avatar

    Good luck with your interstitial antho, Christopher. I like work that crosses boundaries and crosses up preconceptions too. There’s also this sub-genre of “new weird”, not to mention good, old-fashioned “slipstream” fiction. Keeps readers on their toes, messing with their equilibrium.

    And don’t let your own writing languish, lad…

  2. Christopher Cocca Avatar

    this sounds like something I’d be into. Thanks for sharing, Christopher.

  3. angus25 Avatar

    hello. i was just wondering what the differences of an interstitial and a postmodern short story are. thanks. 🙂

  4. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    I’ll try my best not to let my own writing languish, Cliff. Thanks!

    Hope to see something from you Christopher.

    And angus25, I think perhaps the interstitial story and the postmodern story have a lot of commonalities. However, the postmodern short story seems to me a much more amorphous labeling, which can assimilate pretty much anything “new”. The interstitial story, I think, deals directly with work that crosses borders and boundaries, or that exists between genres. I think the term “postmodern short story” probably encompasses the term “interstitial short story” but that this doesn’t necessarily work the other way around. If you’re in doubt, send the story and we’ll have a look at it for ourselves. Part of why we’re doing the anthologies is to make it an open conversation as to what an interstitial story looks like.

  5. angus25 Avatar

    i have been brewing a new formula (at least for me) for a new short story since last month. once i finish it, which could take me weeks, or even months, i will send it right away. thanks for the info!

  6. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    No hurries. We aren’t accepting submissions until this coming October, if you read the guidelines carefully. This is just the call, so you can work on your short story until then! 🙂

  7. Cliff Burns Avatar


    Well, this dumb Canuck didn’t read your guidelines all the way through and zipped off a tale to the address you provided via attachment. So, either ignore it ’til October or toss it out and I’ll try to remember to re-submit when I’m supposed to.

    Apologies, mate, blame it on a busy schedule and the fact that I rarely, if ever, submit my work any more, content to let my blog be my main publishing venue.

  8. […] then on Friday Christopher Barzak announced that he and Delia Sherman will be editing the second Interfictions. The editors will be reading […]

  9. Kathleen Avatar

    What are your guidelines/tolerances for erotica?

  10. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    Kathleen, there’s no problem with a story having erotic content if it’s in service of the story, as with any sort of content, really. However, if it’s a piece of erotica that doesn’t attempt to be anything other than a piece of erotica, it might not be to our taste. Remember, more than anything, the stories we’ll be looking for will exist between various genres, not clearly inhabiting any one in particular. Hope that helps!

  11. […] II will be edited by Delia Sherman & Christopher Barzak.  It will be published by Small Beer Press under the auspices of the Interstitial Arts Foundation […]

  12. Susanne Avatar

    Will you be accepting stories shorter than the “ideal” minimum of 4,000 words?

  13. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    Hi Susanne,

    If the story is exactly the sort of fit for the anthology that we’re looking for, we’ll certainly consider those under the ideal word counts. Those are guidelines only. There’s room to play. 🙂

  14. Jesse Avatar

    What is the pay rate?


  15. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    Jesse, the pay rate is included in the guidelines listed in this entry. End of the guidelines. Five cents a word.

  16. Bill Avatar

    Jesse, if a SF/historical concoction includes (but is not limited to) religious history and themes), would that disqualify the story?

  17. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    Not at all.

  18. Susannah Avatar

    Hi there!

    Have you any problem with stories with illustrations? (That is, prose stories with illustrations, as opposed to “graphic stories.”)

  19. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    Not at all. Please send it!

  20. JJ Beazley Avatar
    JJ Beazley

    It’s difficult to know just how deep this vision of interstitial goes. Would it, for example, include stories that simply contain elements of more than one genre, as many of mine do?

  21. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    I think the best thing to do would be to send it along, JJ. Or you might ask yourself if the story in question simply contains elements of more than one genre, or if its inherent effectiveness and meaning arises from the combinatory nature of those elements? But again, the best thing to do is to send it along.

  22. JJ Beazley Avatar
    JJ Beazley

    Another question. Will we get the opportunity to submit further stories if the first is rejected?

  23. Christopher Barzak Avatar

    Unfortunately, no, as we’ll be sending rejection letters after we’ve read and decided upon the submissions we receive in the two month period of submissions. So do send your best! 🙂

  24. Susannah Avatar

    Hi there:

    I’ve been having a bit of a problem with your submissions process — when I tried to submit my story two weeks ago, it was bounced back with a “permanent failure” notice. The error message seemed to suggest that this is because the file was too large. It’s 4366K, because it contains pictures.

    I sent an inquiry to the same address (interfictions[AT]interstitialarts[DOT]org), but I haven’t heard back. I’m sure you must be getting lots and lots of submissions, and I wondered if my message had simply been buried in the flood. But I’d hate to miss the submissions window! 🙂


  25. […] The second Interstitial Arts Foundation Interfictions anthology is still open to submissions until December 2. More here. […]

  26. […] The Interstitial Arts Foundation will be publishing a second volume of Interfictions. We invite submissions for an Anthology of Interstitial Fiction, to be published by Small Beer Press under the auspices of the Interstitial Arts Foundation in ??? of 2009. […]

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