Submit Your Stories to ‘IRAQ + 100’ – ‘العراق 2103’

I have some of you particularly in mind, but even if I don’t know you personally, I’m sure either: a) you have a brilliant story to contribute to this collection, or b) you will want to read it.

comaThe notice comes from Iraqi short-story writer and filmmaker Hassan Blasim, who will edit the collection. Comma Press clarifies that the deadline is June 1 and they add that you might want to check with Blasim to see if your city’s been taken.

IRAQ + 100

Comma Press is looking for new short stories written by Iraqi writers (currently based in Iraq) to be published in both Arabic (eBook) and English translation (book and eBook) in 2014. The anthology will be edited by Hassan Blasim, and each contribution will be selected according to how well they respond to the following brief: Stories must be set in the year 2103 – exactly 100 years after the invasion of Iraq – and must present visions of how the authors imagine life in particular Iraqi cities might be, in 90 years’ time. Each story must tell a stand-alone drama, a complete human story in less than 6000 words. The culture, politics, technology, architecture, and most importantly the language must all be set firmly in the future however, as well as tied to one particular real-life city.
Ten stories will be included, set in ten different Iraqi cities; no city may be featured more than once. There is a list of possible cities to choose from below.

If you would like to write for this project, please contact both the organisers via email (hassanblasim[at]gmail[dot]com and[at]commapress[dot]co[dot]uk) to check if the city hasn’t already been taken. Comma can pay £200 for every story it publishes. However it cannot pay for a story if it does not ultimately publish it.

We are not just approaching science-fiction writers (although they aren’t excluded). We feel that it’s just as interesting to ask literary writers to try their hand at something they’ve never considered before (like science fiction). Authors are allowed to be extravagant in their visions of the future, or to use the unfamiliar future setting as a canvas for allegorical comments on contemporary issues.

Cities to choose from (but you can pick others!):

1. Baghdad
2. Basrah
3. Kirkuk
4. Sulaymaniyah
5. Mosul
7. Erbil
8. Najaf
9. Karbala
10. Falluja
11. Tikrit
12. Kut
13. Nasiriya
14. Amarah
15. Sadr City
16. Halabja
17. Ramadi

And in Arabic, for those who prefer the notice as such:

العراق 2103

تبحث دار النشر البريطانية ( كوما بريس ) عن قصص قصيرة جديدة من تأليف كتاب عراقيين يكون أساسها العراق الراهن ، وستنشر باللغة العربية في كتاب ألكتروني ، و الترجمة الانكليزية ( رقميا و ورقيا ) في العام 2014 . وهذه الأنثولوجيا سيشرف حسن بلاسم على اصدارها ، وفي كل اصدار سيتم اختيار القصص وفق الشروط التالية :
أن تكون القصص مكرسة لعام 2103 أي بعد مرور مائة سنة على غزو العراق ، كما على الكتّاب أن يطرحوا رؤاهم وتصوراتهم عن كيف ستكون ، بعد 90 سنة ، الحياة في مدن عراقية معيّنة. على كل قصة أن تروي دراما مستقلة أي قصة انسانية في أقل من ستة آلاف كلمة. وعن الثقافة والسياسة والتكنولوجيا والمعمار ، والأهم اللغة ، أن تكون كلها على رباط وثيق بالمستقبل وكما رباطها بحياة فعلية لأحدى المدن العراقية. وهذه القصص العشر ستكون مضامينها متعلقة بعشر مدن عراقية مختلفة ، أي ليس هناك قصة لأكثر من مدينة واحدة. وقد أعددنا قائمة بالمدن التي من المقترح اختيارها.
اذا رغبتم الكتابة نرجو الاتصال بنا عبر هذين العنوانين للبريد الألكتروني

للتأكد من أن المدينة التي أخترتها لم يسبق لغيرك أن أختارها.
دار ( كوما بريس ) تدفع عن كل قصة منشورة ميلغا قدره 200 باون استرليني وفي كل الأحوال لا تدفع المبلغ عن القصة التي لم تنشر .
نحن لانتوجه فقط الى كتاب الخيال العلمي ، رغم أنهم غير مستثنين هنا ، بل نشعر بأنه أمر مثيرللاهتمام دعوة الكتاب الى محاولة الكتابةعن أمر لم يأخذوه البتة سابقا بنظر الاعتبار وكصنف للخيال العلمي. وللكتاب الحق في اطلاق كل مخيلة في رؤاهم المتعلقة بالمستقبل أو تناول أيّ مستقبل غير معهود كخلفية لتعليقات لامنطقية تخص القضايا المعاصرة. ندرج قائمة المدن العراقية التي أخترناها ، و بمكنتكم اختيار أخرى أيضا :
مدينة الصدر


    1. Bit isn’t quite a lot of Iraqi fiction focused on Baghdad – it would be good to see perspectives from a wider range of cities perhaps?

    2. As Sarah said, it’s nice to encourage representations of other cities. But only 10 stories from all Iraq! We could do another collection, why not.

  1. Based in Iraq …such a bummer

    1. Yes… Well, I’m not affiliated with the project, but I imagine the thinking is: Most Iraqi voices available in English are those Iraqis who live abroad. This is an opportunity for those living in Iraq. It would be great to have another, and another, and many more. Heck, I should organize one.

  2. Hello,

    Thanks for the information. I have a question for you. Do you by any chance have a list of Iraqi authors in the United States or Iraqi-American authors in the US? I’m organizing an event here in the US later this year and have been thinking abiut inviting US-based Iraqi/Iraqi-American authors.

    Thanks again.


    1. Let me email you… In case it doesn’t go through, I am mlynxqualey – at- gmail – dot – com.

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