Call For Submissions

New Orleans by Gaslight
Edited by Brandon Black

Assistant Editor Christopher Wong

Call For Submissions:

This is a general call for poetry and fiction of a
steampunk nature set within the Free City of New Orleans, a
neutral port for maritime and airship traffic on an
alternate Victorian-era Earth.

Stories need not remain within the confines of New Orleans
for their entirety but those stories that are well-written
and make use of the unique setting and culture of New
Orleans as a colorful backdrop will be more favorably

Writers of fiction may send no more than two works. Novel
excerpts are acceptable so long as they work independently
as short stories. Poets may submit no more than five poems.

As we seek to publish the highest quality steampunk fiction
and accept both traditional and experimental writing, we
place no arbitrary limits on length. Writers, however,
should be aware that short shorts and longer manuscripts,
such as novelettes and novellas, will have to be
exceptionally good to be accepted for publication.

While writers are encouraged to present a nostalgic view of Victorian-era culture as such is in general keeping with the optimistic ethos of the steampunk genre, we encourage authors to present the various and sundry evils of Victorian-era society (slavery, classism, racism, poverty, a lack of child labor laws, etc.). The history of literature is built on the artful depiction of complex, flawed characters, and as such, stories wrapped around such characters are to be encouraged, so long as the moral of the story is that these social evils are, in fact, evils.

Individual scenes of an adult nature or entire stories of
steampunk-themed erotica are perfectly acceptable so long
as they are well and tastefully written. Likewise,
profanity is perfectly acceptable. Please use whatever
language you deem appropriate for telling your story.

The inclusion of occult elements (Hoodoo, Voudou,
witchcraft, Freemasonry, Native American shamanism,
theosophy, etc.) is not only permissible but actively
encouraged, if and only if it is well-researched and
detailed and not of the “wave wand and utter faux latin”
style. Authors are warned that the trite, outdated and
erroneous assumption of the practice of Voudou being evil
will not be tolerated. Nor will any stories of a “Zombie
Apocalypse” nature be accepted.

A note of warning about the American Civil War. The
American Civil War was a decidedly grim time in American
history and should not be “whitewashed” with the Victorian
optimism characteristic of the typical steampunk work. If
one wished to submit a “dark and gritty” story of the Civil
War-era battlefield complete with steampunk elements, that
would be permissible. However, in no way should the
Confederacy’s cause be presented as moral or heroic. While
not required as a mandatory inclusion of publication,
making New Orleans a free and neutral city is a means to
provide authors an easy way of largely ignoring the war if
they so wish.

10 Writing “Rules” We Wish More Science Fiction and Fantasy
Authors Would Break:

What We’re Not Looking For:

SFWA Manuscript Format Article:


Authors of fiction chosen for the anthology will
receive two free copies of the book as compensation.

Poets will receive as compensation $2 per poem, no contributor’s copies.

Authors agree by virtue of submission to allow their work,
if accepted into the anthology, to be later reprinted in a
“Best of” anthology or other such compilation.

Submission Guidelines:

All submissions shall follow the following guidelines:
All content submitted must be original. Submissions cannot
have been previously published or posted to any public

Any and all submissions must be submitted by the person who
wrote or created them. No submissions from third party
individuals will be accepted in any form.

Submissions shall be formatted as follows:

Submissions will be double-spaced with wrapped text and in
12 point Courier font.

Italics, bold text and underlining may be used as

Section breaks within the body of a story will be denoted
by a center-justified “* * *” with a blank line above and

All stories and poems shall be delivered in .rtf (RICH
text) format.

All stories submitted shall have a plot synopsis included
on page one.

The cover page of the synopsis will have the following
contact information: Real Name/Pen Name, address, the
country in which you reside, telephone number, email
address, author’s age, working title (include series title
if applicable) and word count.

After the synopsis, please provide a list of other
steampunk works written by the submitting author for the
information of the readership. Please provide documentation
of any other publishing experience you have had.

To submit a story, send an email to AT rocketship DOT com. Attach the submission to the
email in the format described above, and include the word
“submission” in the subject line.

Submissions chosen for publication are subject to revisions
by the editor.

Receipt of your submission will be responded to via email.

Please do not write us to inquire about the status of your
submission. If your submission is accepted, we will contact
you with details.

Submissions that do not follow the guidelines will not be


The deadline for submissions is October 31st, 2012.


10 Responses to “Call For Submissions”

  1. Bryce Carlson Says:

    I’m onboard with this and would love to submit a piece.

  2. no only is this idea fantastic, but love that your guidelines take into account issues of race, slavery, lost cause mythos and more… refreshing!

  3. How long are you holding the rights? Just until publication or longer?

  4. All rights will revert to the author upon publication with the exception of the anthology retaining the right to republish in the event of a “Best Of” compilation.

  5. That’s what I was curious about! Thanks! I look forward to submitting. 🙂

  6. Love the idea for this anthology! Sent you guys a story!

  7. Thanks for submitting!

  8. Hi!! I done with my submission, I just need to know can the synopis be two pages double spaced and do you include that with the word count? If so can it be italicized to make sure it’s separate from the actual story? Thanks for your time!

  9. A two page synopsis is a bit long but I don’t have a problem with it or italicizing it so the readers can be sure to see it’s separate from your story. The synopsis should not be included in the word count of the story as it isn’t part of the story.

    Thanks for your submission–I look forward to reading it!



  10. Eric McCormick Says:

    I am writing a series of short stories set in a quasi-magical New Orleans circa 1890 with steampunk elements. If anyone is interested in taking a look, email me at

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