Call for Submissions: Spoon Knife 4

The Basics

Autonomous Press seeks submissions of poetry, short fiction, and short memoir pieces for an upcoming anthology, Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime.

Scheduled for publication in Spring 2019, this fourth volume of the Spoon Knife Anthology series follows The Spoon Knife Anthology: Tales of Compliance, Defiance, and Resistance (Spring 2016), Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber (Spring 2017), and Spoon Knife 3: Incursions (Spring 2018).

Deadline for submissions is September 30, 2018.

What We’re Looking For

As people, we’re drawn to both telling stories and listening to the stories of others. Navigating life can be joyous, frustrating, frightening, sorrowful, and complex. Among all these realities we usually find one truth that always remains: the unknown. And what do we do when confronted with the unknown? We might fear it, try to avoid it entirely, or charge towards it with aplomb or gusto.

Speculative fiction has long dealt with themes surrounding the unknown. Sci-fi and fantasy themes have allowed their creators to conceptualize how space and time can exist, merge, warp, or even disappear in strange and terrifying ways. How in the hell do you map a black hole? Can you really kill your own grandfather? And what happens if your past self travels forward and meets the present iteration of you? What do past, present, and future even mean?

Those are just a few thoughts, but we’re basically looking for work that examines and explores two fundamental ideas: time and space. Moreover, we want work that engages with themes of neurodivergence, queerness, and/or the intersections of neurodivergence and queerness. These might include, but are not limited to, themes such as:

  • Travel through time and space via technological methods (vortex manipulators, star ships, big blue boxes, etc.)
  • Involuntary acts of time travel through PTSD-related mental/emotional trauma
  • Deliberately journeying/revisiting through memories in one’s own timeline
  • “Slipping” through time and/or space via astral projection, quantum jumping, or other non-tech means (such as in Octavia Butler’s Kindred)
  • Outcomes and consequences of changing past events
  • Meeting one’s past/future selves

The Editor

Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime will be edited by N.I. Nicholson.

N.I. Nicholson is collectively four cats in a human suit, as well as a legal and pen name under which members of the Teselecta Multiverse publish poetry, creative nonfiction, and essays. Nicholson’s work has appeared in publications such as GTK Creative Journal, Alphanumeric, and Assaracus. Editorial work includes collaborating with V.E. Maday to produce Barking Sycamores, a journal for neurodivergent literature, and bringing transformative works to print on Autonomous Press’ NeuroQueer Books imprint. Stay tuned for Nicholson’s first full length poetry collection, Time Travel in a Closet.

Format and Length

Fiction and Memoir: We’re looking 10,000 words or less of fully-polished prose, submitted in standard manuscript format (title page with contact info, double-spaced Times New Roman 12-point font, pages numbered with either title or author’s name in the header.)

Poetry: You may submit up 5 pieces of any length and style, provided they fit the theme of this collection.

All submissions must be in a Word-compatible format (.doc, .docx, .odt).

When and How to Submit

Submissions are now open. Please submit your work no later than Sunday, September 30, 2018.

Authors will be notified of their acceptance or rejection around the end of the year.

Payment for accepted submissions will be 1 cent per word, to be sent by check during the first quarter of 2019.

Email all submissions to ian@autpress.com.

When submitting your work, please put in the subject line one of the following:

  • “Spoon Knife 4 Submission – Fiction”
  • “Spoon Knife 4 Submission – Memoir”
  • “Spoon Knife 4 Submission – Poetry”

Also, please include a cover letter that clearly specifies the name under which you want to be credited, along with a 3-4 sentence bio written in the third person. The name and bio should be typed exactly as you want them to appear in the book.

We Are Back on Kindle! (And More International Distribution is coming!)

Hi there AutPress fans! Athena Lynn here, and I want to let you know that all of our titles are once again avaialble on Kindle. We had a couple weeks of service outage there because we were changing distributors as part of our larger plan to connect our authors to larger audiences, and there were just a couple of hiccups while we made the change. There are a few new things you might notice now that we are with our new distributor:

  • None of our ebooks are over $10 anymore. That’s because our new distributor helps us make more money at the lower price point, and we want to make sure our books are as economically accessible as possible. You can find those new prices at our store if you want .epub books, or you can get them at Amazon for your Kindle.
  • Our Amazon distribution has increased to offer more ebooks on more Amazon sites internationally, making it possible for people in countries where we previously had no coverage to access our books. This includes Japan, Brazil, and many countries in Africa.
  • Our new marketing partners are helping us to find readers in communities that are dedicated to spreading the word about books, including communities that encourage their readers to review books, like Goodreads.

Changes Coming Soon

On top of our new Kindle distribution, we are picking up a second print distributor to help us make our books available in more places. As that happens, we will be able to offer international shipping to more countries. We’re still in the process of setting that up, but once we do we will be able to get paperbacks out through Amazon in all territories, even places where we have not been carried yet or where our distribution was disrupted, like Australia.

As we make those changes, expect to see international options showing up in our store, too. I can’t promise we will be available in every country, but we are looking at solutions for the UK, Canada, and Australia to start. After that, we’ll see where we can go. Some of it depends on you, our readers, because some of it requires an extra push for demand for our books before it will be profitable to provide them in that market or that format.

One big example of this is audiobooks, which are both expensive to produce and time consuming. While the whole partnership realizes that they are an accessibility issue, if the press is simply not capable of funding them, then going bankrupt to provide accessibility is not going to work. That’s why we put our books out through Bookshare, and we let them work on ways to make them accessible to those who need non-print editions.

We would like to change that, and we realize that being in commercial audiobook markets aids with accessibility because not everyone has Bookshare. We still need to get to a place where that project is feasible, and the more our distribution improves, the easier that is.

How You Can Help

There are a few ways that you can help us out as we prepare to release a book each and every month from now until we run out of manuscripts–and currently, that looks like next year. Whether you have a lot of extra cash or not, there’s something on this list that every fan can do:

  1. Review any Autonomous Press books you have. Go to Amazon.com, search for a title like Spoon Knife 2 that you have read, and write just a 3 or 4 sentence summary of your thoughts. Give us a rating 1-5 stars to go with it, and post. We’re not even asking for a review at a particular level, just an honest assessment from as many people as possible. It helps even more if you bought the book on Amazon, but that’s not entirely necessary.
  2. Go to Goodreads and do the same thing. Also, while you’re there, search for all of our books and add them to your to-read list. It doesn’t cost you anything and it helps more people see our titles.
  3. If you’re a blog person or you work for a place that takes book reviews, consider doing a longer review that you can put out there where it will be seen by people googling our titles.
  4. Sign up for the Autonomous Press mailing list and get coupons every month when we send our newsletter with more announcements and book teasers.
  5. Buy copies of our books so you can review them later.
  6. Post about us on social media. Put us on Amazon.com lists of things you like. Do the same thing at Goodreads.
  7. Check out our anthologies, too, because we have only put out about 10 books so far, but we have published over 100 authors because of our aggressive anthology development process.
  8. If you are in our anthologies, promote them on your own platforms. That’s the only way that future books will be there as income opportunities for you.
  9. Ask your friends to review our books after you recommend them.
  10. Contact bookstores and libraries in your local area and ask them to carry our books. We are available in the Ingram catalog, or you can refer them straight to us.

If you can help us spread the word over the next six months, then we will be able to grow enough to offer true worldwide distribution, audiobooks, and a bunch of other cool stuff like book tours. It takes a fandom to build a publisher, though, so if you have been enjoying our books, please think about what you can do to help spread the word. – Athena