The Ayam Curtain: OPEN CALL

Kong jiao wei: Hokkien, colloquial, lit. “speaking bird language”. A cock-and-bull story, a flight of fancy.

In conjuction with Math Paper Press, we are assembling a collection of very, very short speculative fiction stories to be published in the second half of 2012. Anchor contributors to the anthology include Dave Chua, Judith Huang, and Alvin Pang.

Speculative fiction is fiction that contains speculative elements — things that are different from the world we live in. It covers the genres of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, horror etc., although it is certainly not limited to that. The Handmaid’s Tale is speculative fiction. Midnight’s Children is speculative fiction. 1984 is speculative fiction. Anything with an imaginative element to it falls under the broad umbrella of speculative fiction.

We are looking for stories of alternate worlds marinated with a local flavour: Tell us your visions of an alternate Singapore. Airships? Robots? Exciting new laws? Let your imagination take wing.

Our submissions fall into two categories:

From the branches above Orchard Road to the void decks where old men with cages gather, bird share stories of fantastic realities they have visited in a cacophony of tweets.
Send us microscopic glimpses into fantastical worlds of lengths between 100-150 words

Numbering more than 23 billion across the globe, there are more specimens of Gallus gallus, the domestic chicken, than any other bird in the world. On paper, by the reckoning of numbers, they are a runaway success as a species. But what utopias do they dream of, caged in their factory farm coops?
Send us 500-1000 word stories of worlds where the boundaries have been shifted in strange ways.

We’ve been asked if stories need to be bird- or chicken-themed: No, they don’t have to be! Feel free to explore whatever nifty ideas you have.


Submitted entries should:

  1. be speculative fiction– fiction that largely contains elements of science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternate history/reality, and related genres.
  2. be primarily written in (UK) English
  3. be authored by Singaporeans or residents of Singapore (not necessarily PRs).

The finer print:

  1. Submissions are open between 1st April 2012 and 31st May 2012.
  2. Multiple submissions are allowed.
  3. Email your stories to specfic.sg@gmail.com, with “AYAM CURTAIN + (category name)”,  AND your name in the subject.
  4. Send submissions in a readable font, either in .rtf or .doc formats. We don’t want .docx files, it makes some computers cough up hairballs. Include title, your name, and pen-name (if applicable) in the text of the document.
  5. Please include a 50-word author biography in the submission email.
  6. Selected authors will receive 5 complimentary copies of the anthology, as well as a 40% discount on as many other copies they want to buy.
  7. Reprints are okay, as long as you have the rights with you. Do let us know if you’re sending us a reprint.
  8. All submissions chosen for the anthology may be edited.
  9. The editors reserve the right to reject submissions based on inappropriate content, including (but not limited to) excessively graphic sex & violence, and disrespect towards individuals, groups, cultures and religions.

send us your brainfruits



40 thoughts on “The Ayam Curtain: OPEN CALL

  1. Hmm… how about organising a writing workshop in conjunction with this call for submissions? I can see how this workshop could help nudge some writers into submitting stuff. More important, publicise such opportunities to budding writers. I’d be happy to help arrange for a public library to host the venue.

    Posted by Ivan Chew | October 2, 2010, 4:15 pm
    • Hi Ivan,

      A writing workshop sounds like a good idea. When is a good time? 😉


      Posted by jolantru | October 8, 2010, 5:03 pm
      • Up to you to propose (including date, time, preferred venue). The library will assess the suitability of the request and also the availability of the requested venue. If that venue isn’t available then an alternative venue would be offered. BTW, almost everyone would ask for Central Public Library, so if you’re thinking of that, do propose up to 3 venues. You can email me at ivanchew [at] nlb.gov.sg. Cheers

        Posted by Ivan Chew | October 9, 2010, 2:47 am
  2. Wow, sounds exciting! Never dabbled in any of these genres before, but I’ll give it a go 😛


    Posted by rrrett | January 12, 2011, 6:07 pm
  3. Would love to attend a workshop. Will definitely give this a try though havent tried writing a sci fi story before. Another venue could be one of the halls at Arts House or at the Earshott Cafe. What about one of the museum auditoriums?

    Posted by piu lahiri | February 15, 2011, 7:54 am
  4. A short workshop will be great. If it is too difficult to orgranize, a 2 hour panel discussion with a few published local writers could be arranged. It will guide the budding writers to participate.

    Posted by Sam | February 15, 2011, 9:10 am
  5. Workshop sounds groovy. Let me know.

    Posted by Amy Rashap | February 22, 2011, 10:16 am
  6. Love the idea! Can’t wait to read the pieces.

    Posted by jerroldyam | March 21, 2012, 11:33 am
  7. Is there a possibility of including speculative poetry?

    Posted by jerroldyam | March 23, 2012, 8:12 am
    • Hi Jerrold, thanks for the question! We are not specifically accepting poetry because the editors have not worked with enough poetry to feel comfortable in editing it – our strengths lie more in the arena of prose.

      Having said that, I’m of the opinion at lengths of 100 words the lines between poetry, prose and prose poetry become rather blurred. Make of that what you will! 🙂


      Posted by misshallelujah | April 2, 2012, 3:55 am
  8. I have two questions.
    i. For category ii, do I actually have to write about chickens, or just a speculative world involving birds?

    ii. How “Singaporean” does the story have to be? Because if the world is shifted sufficiently, “Singapore” as a concept becomes kind of fluid.

    Posted by Yuen Xiang Hao | April 4, 2012, 5:45 am
    • i. Nope! Send us stories on anything you life! (Although: we would be amused if everybody sent in stories containing chickens.)
      ii. We’d love to see how fluid your concept of Singapore can get! We don’t ascribe to the particular school of thought that says “Singaporean” writing = talk about nasi lemak and ERP every two sentences. Although if your vision of Singapore happens to look exactly like, say, 18th century England, it would baffle us a bit.

      Posted by misshallelujah | April 6, 2012, 12:04 pm
  9. Hi hi, is it all right if I exceed the word limit by about 10- 15 words?

    Posted by Geraldine | April 18, 2012, 2:34 pm


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