In our fund drive last year, one of our stretch goals was a special issue focused on the work of writers who are black, indigenous, and/or people of color from the Southeastern USA, which is a region that we think tends to be underserved and underrepresented in speculative fiction. We raised part of that stretch goal at the time and made up the remainder through our recently concluded prize draw, so this issue is going to happen! We're planning it for Monday, July 30 2018. As our special issues usually do, it will feature original fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.

We're very happy to announce that this special issue's fiction will be co-edited by one of the most acclaimed editors in shortform speculative fiction, the multiple World Fantasy Award-winning Sheree Renée Thomas! (Jennifer Marie Brissett interviewed Sheree for us in 2009, talking about her celebrated Dark Matter anthology series.)

2018 will feature Sheree in an editorial role in multiple projects, including the Trouble the Waters anthology from Rosarium Publishing and a special issue of Apex Magazine. We're very happy to see Sheree's editorial work getting more prominence and recognition in the field, as emerging writers and new contributors in her Dark Matter anthologies went on to become a National Book Award Finalist, a Pulitzer Prize Winner, and Tiptree, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy Award Winners as well.

But in a way this is also indicative of a problem we'd already recognized in designing this special issue: the list of names that come to mind when looking for an editor is always narrower than it should be. Partly this is because the field is usually not good at recognizing the talent that's already there; 2018 being a jubilee year of Sheree Renée Thomas is unfortunately the exception, not the rule. And partly because it's difficult for new editors to get into the field at all, a difficulty (in being read, in being seen, in having work recognized) that is only multiplied for editors from backgrounds, demographics, or regions marginalized in speculative fiction.

With this special issue we want to celebrate and recognize Sheree as one of the field's great editors, but we also want to explicitly make room for someone new to work with her and gain that experience. So we will have a second guest fiction editor for this issue, and we're opening up that up for applications. If the profile below fits you, please contact us! We're looking for people who:

  • are black, indigenous, and/or people of color
  • are from or have roots in the Southeastern USA. Southeastern states traditionally include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia; however, if you're from Arkansas or Louisiana—two Southern states that are west of the Mississippi River—then you are welcome to apply as well.
  • are interested in the editorial side of speculative short fiction and want to pursue that line of work in future

If this sounds like you, definitely do apply; if it sounds like somebody you know, do make sure they see it!

This editorial position will be limited to the Southeastern USA Special issue's fiction selection (i.e., excluding nonfiction and poetry), and will involve reading submitted stories, making selections, and discussing and editing those selections in collaboration with your co-editor. Most of this work will happen in April and May, and will conclude with the publication of the issue in July.  We're offering an honorarium of $50.

If you're interested, please email us at with the subject line "Co-Editor Application: [your name]". The body of your email (no attachments) should include:

  1. A brief introduction: tell us who you are and why you're applying, and please do describe your relationship with the demographics and region that this special issue is focused on. We're not policing identity, but we do want to get an idea how you would relate to the work that's going to show up in submissions.
  2. Choose at least three short stories that you think are particularly interesting. They can be in any genre or style; if they're online, include a link. For each story, briefly explain why you chose it in this context, and what you think is interesting about it. Not more than a couple of paragraphs per story, please.
  3. If you have any previous experience as an editor in the field, or any other relevant experience, do tell us! (You don't need to have anything here. If you have no experience whatsoever but you really want to be an editor, we'll be glad to hear from you.)

The deadline for guest fiction editor applications is Mar 19 2018. (We'll announce an open call later for submissions.)

Vajra Chandrasekera is a writer from Colombo, Sri Lanka. His fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Black Static, among others. For more, see his website or follow @_vajra on Twitter.
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