Open Call for Papers on Fantasy and the Fantastic

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Mapping the Impossible Journal

Mapping the Impossible is a brand new open-access student journal publishing peer-reviewed early-career research into fantasy and the fantastic.

For more information about the journal and submissions click here>>

Aims and Scope

We welcome submissions from undergraduate and postgraduate students (and from those who have graduated within the last year) from any higher education institution. We publish articles on any aspect of fantasy and the fantastic and any work within this transmedial genre. Increasingly, students from more established disciplines (including, but not limited to, Literature Studies, Game Studies, Film and Television Studies, Media Studies, Philosophy and Theology) elect to write essays on a fantasy related topic that intersects with their primary discipline.

Robert Maslen defines Fantasy as that which ‘focuses instead on what certainly did not happen and never could, foregrounding the impossibility of what it represents.’ While this is only one definition of how fantasy works, and certainly not definitive, we find ‘representing impossibility’ to be a useful starting point when approaching fantasy, the fantastic, and the techniques of wider speculative fiction. However, we would like to note that this is only a starting point. We are open to papers that explore all different kinds of interpretations and definitions of fantasy across disciplines and across media.

Our second issue, to be published in March 2022, will be a general issue. Submissions for this issue are currently open.

Deadline: We operate with a rolling submissions window, meaning that we are always open to submissions for our general issues. 


Mapping the Impossible exclusively accepts academic papers between 3000 and 5000 words in length, including references but excluding bibliographies. Along with your paper, we ask you to submit a 300-500 word long abstract, and a 100 word long biography. Please attach these to an email as separate Word documents, each clearly labelled with your name. For instance: TerryPratchettSubmission.docx, TerryPratchettAbstract.docx, TerryPratchettBiography.docx

Please note that we ask for your paper to conform to the Mapping the Impossible Style Guide when you submit it. Your paper should also be anonymised as far as possible when you submit it (except for the file name!), as per our double blind review policy. 

When you’re ready to submit, send your email to with the subject line “Submission – [your name][date of submission]” You will receive a confirmation email within seven days, to say that we have received your submission.

The board meets at least once a month to discuss submissions, and you should expect to hear back from us within five weeks.