Upcoming Themes

How We Decide on Themes

F(r)iction is a literary anthology carefully curated to evaluate an important cultural topic from vastly different perspectives. From historical origins to nonfiction essays to the wildest reaches of fiction, poetry, comics, and art, each issue inspires us to think differently. For the full low down on what we’re all about, please check out the journal’s About page.

This mission—to create a little friction in the mind of the reader, to inspire us to think differently—is precisely why we agonize over theme. We specifically seek topics with cultural and intellectual relevance to curate each issue around, guided by the wonderful material that our senior editors pitch up for publication. Then we draw together the best 20 or so stories, poems, essays, and comics that tackle the topic—seeking a wide range of perspectives, diversity of voice, and uniqueness of form—to create a little mental “friction” for our readers, hopefully inspiring them to question and reevaluate their thoughts about our world (or, at the very least, to become enchanted by something fresh and engaging!). 

Because, after all, isn’t that the point of great art and literature?

Theme is also a fantastic frame for our artwork, allowing us to develop the colour palette, graphic design, and look of each issue so that it is visually as engaging as the incredible content within.

To this end, we have created this page as a guide to our next few themes. So that it works as a helpful resource for any authors interested in submitting, or from whom we’ve solicited work, we will be sure to keep it updated with upcoming themes!

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The Gods issue will seek to question, define, confront, and defy our ideas of higher powers, mythological figures, forces that move mountains, and icons of faith. It will also explore the ways we fantasize about immense power, and influence, as well as the kinds of heroes and heroics that we canonize and memorialize. Of course, you’ll also find investigations of the art of creation—whether it’s benevolent, or the dangerous game of “playing God”. As with every issue of F(r)iction, this theme will take many shapes and forms (perhaps a bull or a swan?) and will focus on exploring the idea of “Gods” through unique, strange, and oft-underrepresented lenses. Imagine confronting the infinite, in spirit or in space… or, perhaps you will show us “fear in a handful of dust.”


For this issue, F(r)iction seeks to uncover the redacted with Censored! Let’s investigate the burning of books, witches, and bridges as we delve into all things sanitized. What are the secrets a family withholds about their past? What histories do we bury, whitewash, or blackout? What voices are lost to time, imprisoned, and expunged? Bring us stories, poetry and creative nonfiction that wants to hide truths, or protect others from them. Join us as we contemplate blacklists, consider authoritarianism, and debate the trade off between freedom and safety. Imagine an microchip in a person’s brain that keeps them from talking about certain things… and how it might go wrong. Ponder a dress code that erases identity completely. Or maybe the part of yourself you obscure to fit in. Question a person scouring their socials to delete their younger self for a job. Send us your writing that interrogates obfuscation, from without, and within.


Covering 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, the ocean directly and constantly impacts our lives in ways we see and ways we don’t. From epic sea squalls and hurricanes and floods, to quiet currents that maintain the weather and house thousands of creatures, large and small, the seas wield immense power over climate and the lives of humankind. Yet, there’s so much we don’t know about the vast, abyssal territories of darkness, high pressure, and incredible cold and heat that surround us, impenetrable (or extremely dangerous) to landlubbers. In F(r)iction’s Ocean issue, we seek stories, poetry, and nonfiction about underwater cities, rising seas, harrowing travels, creation, destruction, thirst, and whales. Give us space whales! Tell us about a galaxy of oceans contained in a holographic fishtank, preach the gospel of Poseidon, or win millions with the help of a chance-taking cephalopod. The opportunities for observant and original writing are as boundless as expansive as the briny deep. 


Join us on the Red Carpet for a notable (and maybe notorious) issue of F(r)iction! The Fame issue will explore all the fabulous, fascinating, and sometimes Faustian facets of rising in reputation and renown. Let’s questions the costs of social media stardom, relish the heights of heroism, and contemplate the most infamous of individuals and events. Fame might take the shape of a recognized discovery in science, or in a string of high-profile crimes. It might be a potion that brings glory into a person’s life, or a pursuit that ultimately brings their downfall. It might even be the short-lived legacy of a high school embarrassment, or a testament to peaking during youth. Maybe an AI gains an audience and begins to question itself? Or a person’s worst moment is captured on video and broadcast to the world? We’re seeking your short stories, poetry, flash fiction, and CNF that ponders the impacts of celebrity, whether practical or fantastical. 

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