Drowned Earth Novellas

Scientists predicted that it would take 5000 years for the polar ice-caps to melt. They were wrong.

Welcome to the not-too-distant future, where sea levels have risen by 90 metres. All major cities in Australia have been flooded, their residents killed or displaced, seeking refuge on higher ground. Privilege in this new watery world no longer belongs to those who have money, but to those who have access to land and fresh water.

This is the springboard for a brand new novella series from Aussie Speculative Fiction. We are looking for 9-12 Australian or Kiwi authors to pitch their ideas for a novella set in this watery dystopia.

How to be involved? Write a pitch of up to 300 words describing your protagonist and a synopsis of what would occur in your novella (sorry pantsers, for this one to work properly we need to collaborate so that our world is cohesive even though each novella could stand alone).

Due date of pitch: January 31st 2019. Email to aussiespeculativefiction@gmail.com with the subject DROWNED EARTH PITCH

NON-NEGOTIABLES: Your proposed novella must be set in Australia (or in Australian waters). Although all novellas are set in the same world and will connect to some degree, your novella must be a complete story – ie. have a beginning, some sort of conflict, and a satisfying resolution for the reader.

Please note: The decision on who will be involved in this series will be based on the quality of the pitch. We are looking for stories that are recognisably Australian, and you are encouraged to use real Australian settings (although they may be a bit flooded).

Accepted authors will write a 17,000 – 25,000 word novella to be published as an ebook by Deadset Press. Editing, cover design and formatting will be provided. Royalties will be split 50/50. Selected authors will be added to a closed facebook group with detailed information about the world and a timeline, as well as a map of flooded areas. It is also important that you are willing to collaborate to some extent (cameo appearance of a character from one novella in another, anyone?)

Publication details: Novellas will be released once a month over 9-12 months (depending on how many authors are involved). Strict deadlines will need to be adhered to in order to have all novellas released on schedule. A draft will be due two months before your scheduled release date, with a final copy due one month prior to release. Eg. If your release date is December 2019, a draft will be due in October 2019, edits will be suggested, and then a final copy will be due in November so that there is time for formatting and proofreading. The release dates will be worked out once all authors have been selected.

Need some inspiration for your pitch?

  • Did something drastic occur to hasten the ice caps melting? An asteroid colliding with Antarctica?
  • Is your character a refugee who used to live in Sydney and is now searching for higher ground?
  • Perhaps there are water police who limit people’s rations of fresh water?
  • Are coastal areas now plagued by extreme weather such as tsunamis? How might your characters cope with this?
  • Do scientists find something interesting under the ice that had been trapped for thousands of years?
  • According to National Geographic, Australia would end up with an inland sea if the ice caps melted. However, rising temperatures would mean that the climate was even harsher than it is now. What is everday life like for your characters?
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