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.”
The Dreams issue will dabble in all things outside the waking world. Unleash your subconscious and journey with us into the wildest stretches of our imagination, where our sleepy minds conjure fantastical means to grapple with the real life obstacles that await us when we wake. As in all issues of F(r)iction, this theme takes many shapes, from nightmares brought to life to our deepest aspirations grinding with reality. With engaging stories of subconscious detectives to gritty sci-fi exploring how virtual reality radically reshapes the economy, this issue will link emerging and celebrity voices to take readers on a journey into the dreamscapes.
The Bodies issue engages with something we all have—in one form or another—that empowers us, mobilizes us, defines us, betrays us, and serves as our primary mode of interacting with our world and each other. From compelling fantasy worlds where bodies are harvested for jewelry to personal essays on transitioning, our Bodies issue unites celebrity and up-and-coming voices to continue an ever-present human dialogue on what it is to have a physical form that’s at once so close and at times so alien.
Our Unseen issue will explore what hides in the shadows. Stories already locked for this issue range from genre-soaked tales of ghosts, real-life imaginary friends, and old-fashioned invisibility guns. Moving into realism, stories explore what it’s like to live on the margins of society, to be someone who the rest of the society doesn’t wish to look at. These works explore race, cultural assimilation, homelessness, and sexism. From the partnership with Kelly Sue DeConnick and #VisibleWomen, to a focus on bringing in people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ authors, and many other “unseen” creators, this issue will burst with perspectives that we don’t see enough in publishing.
How Do I Get My Hands on a Copy?
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