Call for Queer Trans Speculative Fiction and Art

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
TDS: The Dogsbody Syndicate

When we come together as queer, trans people, as feminist, dalit, adivasi, labour activists, as students collective members, labour union members, climate action group members, or as recluses hiding from the rest, magic happens. Entire worlds of possibilities sit within us, waiting for the thrill of some interaction, a trace of hope to channel them. They materialize in the strategies of our politics, together or alone, in the act that balances what we imagine and what is needed. Too often, it takes a few moments to even allow imagination to run wild – free-range wild, that too, not wild as in wilderness, as in orcas and mushrooms and such. 

But what if we take the time to give shape to the wildest of our desires, the deepest most despairing of our nightmares of the worlds that haunt us? What if nothing is out of reach, as far as the mind, affect, political passion – whatever the thing that moves us – goes? What are the worlds that lurk in corners, knowing what we know from who we are and our politics?

What lurks and in what form? If they are hybrids, monsters we love, chimeras; on land, in the skies, beyond horizons, what captures and embodies them? Do they speak in the rhythms of prose, do their bodies bend genre, do they flirt with colour and form? 

These questions started with a couple of us – queer/trans persons who write, read, edit, connect and hide in a city in India – wanting to read more speculative fiction that starts from the activism we are connected with, and that draws on how we live our lives and how we dream of living them. And now we look for others who want to bring to this conversation voices from multiple locations. We particularly invite queer trans people from Adivasi, Dalit, Vimukta, Muslim and other marginalized communities, from disability rights and other movements to join the editorial/advisory team. Please write to us at if you are interested.     

 The Dogsbody Syndicate is a non-funded, community-run space. 


Submission guidelines:

Genres: The anthology is open to anything that departs from reality, whether utopian, dystopian, fantasy, science fiction, alternate history, while remaining connected with our queer-trans* political lives, however indirectly. These could be poetry, prose and anything in between, graphic art, sound or wherever the imagination takes you. 

Please write to us with queries, to discuss possibilities, or if you would like to send in a contribution, but futuristic nightmares are making it impossible to write.

Authorship: Writers who identify as queer and trans* and who are located in India or are part of the Indian diaspora. We encourage especially new voices, without prior experience publishing or even writing. We see this as a space for the futures we imagine as people with different class and caste locations, across rural and urban contexts, people living with physical and psycho-social disabilities. We are also open to individual as well as collective pieces. 

Languages: Primarily English; please provide subtitles in English for audio-visual works in other languages; we will consider other languages too, but may take longer to find readers and potential translators into English 

Length: The ideal submission is between 1000 and 5000 words long (fiction); max 3 pages long for poetry submissions; 3-5 art works; and max 12 minutes for audiovisual pieces.

Copyright:Please send us unpublished work or work for which you retain copyright. Please let us know if the copyright status changes during the process of selection/ editing. Contributors are free to reprint their submissions elsewhere, with acknowledgement of the original publication.  


  • Submissions need to contain the work to be considered for publication in its entirety. Please submit Word Documents for text, unless your text has specific formatting or uses a script that requires a particular font (in which case please submit PDF).  

  • All submissions will be acknowledged within 4 days of receiving them. If you have not heard from us, please send us a follow-up email to ensure that the text has reached us. 

  • The selection of the contributions for the Winter 2023-24 Issue will be made by the 15th of October.

Please write to us at at any stage of the process if you’d like clarifications or would like to discuss with us.