Clockwork Canada (Anthology)–Call for Submissions

For those of you writing short stories in the steampunk genre, “Clockwork Canada” Anthology is calling for submissions:

“Just a reminder that I’m open to submissions for my steampunk anthology, Clockwork Canada, until April 30th. I pay 5c/word and the book will be published by Exile Editions.”–Dominik Parisien

Clockwork Canada (Anthology)

Dominik Parisien will be editing Clockwork Canada for Exile Editions. The editor is interested in stories from 2,000 to 8,000 words. (Under 5,000 words is preferred.)

Stories must be set in Canada and written by Canadian authors. Canadians living abroad must indicate their status in their cover letter. Please indicate if you consider yourself any of the following in the cover letter: Aboriginal writer, culturally diverse writer, Francophone writer, new generation writer (definitions below). You are welcome to indicate your gender and if you self-identify as LGBTQIA (otherwise called QUILTBAG).

What is Steampunk?

Coined as a term by K.W. Jeter in 1987, Steampunk is variously described as retrofurism, technofantasy, and alternate history; at its core, Steampunk is a hybrid genre that makes varying uses of anachronistic technologies, social criticism, DIY and maker culture, and a sense of adventure and play. Proto-Steampunk works such as the novels and stories of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Edgar Allan Poe have influenced the genre, along with scientific romances and the dime novels of 19th. One of the earliest examples of modern Steampunk, which had a greater emphasis on the problematic nature of technology and imperialistic culture, is Michael Moorcock’s Nomads of the Time Streams trilogy. Frequently associated with Victorian culture, Steampunk has in the last decade reached beyond that historical period and been explored in other cultures and time periods.

There are more rigid interpretations of Steampunk available but I am not interested in them. Adaptation and reconfiguration are a major component of Steampunk, and definitions of a genre must be fluid if they are to remain relevant.

Some examples of Steampunk books include Michael Moorcock’s The Warlord of the Air, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling’s The Difference Engine, Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century books (such as Boneshaker), Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate Books (such as Soulless), Genevieve Valentine’s Mechanique, Scott Westerfield’s Leviathan series, and Karin Lowachee’s Gaslight Dogs.

Steampunk’s highly visual component has, unsurprisingly, translated well into movies. Some examples include The Prestige, Howl’s Moving Castle, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Wild Wild West, 9, and Sherlock Holmes.

For more basic information on Steampunk, see the wikiSteampunk Magazine, or Beyond Victoriana.

 What I’m Looking For

I am interested in all permutations of Steampunk, including Boilerpunk, Clockpunk, Gaslight Romance, Raygun Gothic, Stitchpunk, and other variations.

Stories must be set in Canada. There are no restrictions on the time period, though technology should be limited to pre-twentieth century. I want to see Canadian takes on classic Steampunk elements, but I would also like to see more than just steam technology. I highly recommend reading Amal El-Mohtar’s excellent article, Towards a Steampunk Without Steam, for inspiration in this respect:

Many great Steampunk stories interrogate and engage with historical and cultural elements in their setting. In particular, we often see the exploration of characters and stories that were ignored by dominant historical narratives. Although alternate history is a large component of Steampunk, be aware of Canadian history and utilize it or rework it in original ways. For example, how would the proliferation of more capable steamships and airships have altered immigration in Canada? How would the western expansion, the Trans-Canada Railway, and the Underground Railroad have been affected by alternate forms of transportation?

I am looking for stories that explore diverse settings with all manner of characters: Aboriginals, Francophones, senior citizens, LGBTQIAs, PoC, etc.

Submission Details

Length: 2,000 to 8,000 words. Under 5,000 words is preferred.

Payment: 5 cents/word for original fiction and a contributor’s copy.

Reprints: will be considered if the story has appeared in journals and magazines, but NOT in book form (collections, anthologies, etc.). Payment for reprints is 2 cents per word. Indicate where the story was first published and when in the cover letter. Reprint stories must also be set in Canada.

No poetry, plays, or novel excerpts. Only short fiction will be considered.

No simultaneous submissions. The only exception is for stories submitted for the $15,000 Vanderbilt / Exile Short Story Competition sponsored by Exile Quarterly / Exile Editions (see

No multiple submissions. If you received a rejection before the deadline you may submit again.

Submit stories in standard manuscript format as .doc, .docx., or RTF with indented paragraphs, italics in italics and bold in bold. Include full contact information and word count on the first page. Include a cover letter (name, story title and word count, contact information, previous publications) in the body of the email. Include a brief biography and indicate if you are an Aboriginal writer, culturally diverse writer, Francophone writer, or new generation writer. Submissions in English only, although stories translated into English are acceptable.

Send submission to dominik [dot] parisien [at] gmail [dot] com

Indicate in the subject line: Submission: Story Title, Last Name.

Reading period: December 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015. Do not submit stories before this date.

All acceptances or rejections will be sent before June 31. Please do not query before this date.

Rights purchased: First English-Language Rights & Non-exclusive Anthology Rights (Print and eBook).

The book will be published in Spring 2016.



Canadian: Canadian permanent residents, Canadian citizens, Canadians living abroad. Canadians living abroad must indicate their status in their cover letter.

Aboriginal: Means status, non-status, Métis and Inuit people.

Francophone: Someone whose mother tongue is French and still speaks it.Steampunk-vehicle

Culturally diverse: People of colour. The term is defined by the Government of Canada as “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.”

New generation: Between the ages of 18 and 30.

One thought on “Clockwork Canada (Anthology)–Call for Submissions

  1. Pingback: Clockwork Canada (Anthology)–Call for Submissions | Subtly Conspiring with the Universe

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