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Reimagine Southeast Asia: Call for Flash Fiction Submissions

“All meaningful and lasting change starts first in your imagination and works its way out.”

–Albert Einstein

TO modify a certain quote from Mark Fisher, it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of rampant corruption, censorship, and exploitation in Southeast Asia. It’s easier to joke in resignation about how we will all eventually be consumed under dictatorships or stuck in a cycle of poverty rather than bravely claim that change is possible. In the midst of everything going on today, courage seems naive.

At New Naratif, we believe that the opposite is true. While we regularly portray the unpleasant underbellies of the most glamorous promises of Southeast Asian governments, we also believe that such expositions are only half of the equation. The other half lies in civic participation and empowerment, in answering the question “What can I do?” and taking action to create change. Courage is not naive–it is revolutionary.

As New Naratif approaches its 5th anniversary, we remain as hopeful as ever that things can change. But before change happens, we must first figure out: What kind of future do we want to realise in Southeast Asia?

In this opportunity, we invite writers to our second flash fiction series, where we ask you to imagine the Southeast Asia of your dreams. Here is the prompt: If you weren’t so restricted by the various concerns and political conditions that we have today, what kind of Southeast Asia would you like to see?

We are looking for fiction of 300 to 500 words in length, which can be written in any format. Standard prose, conversations, email exchanges, interview transcripts, pieces of fictional news media–you name it. The only guide you have to follow is that your work should portray a reimagination of Southeast Asia, a world you would like to see realised in a not-so-distant future.

Submit your story to pitches@newnaratif.com no later than August 25th, 11.59 PM MYT. Applicants will be notified of their status of acceptance no later than September 1st, 11.59 MYT.  We accept submissions in English and Bahasa Indonesia.

Eight selected pieces will undergo editing and development throughout the month of September. The stories will be released on the website at the end of September as well as in audio format in the coming months.

We look forward to reimagining Southeast Asia with you.

Previous Stories

Read the four stories from our previous flash fiction series, Speculative Futures in the Climate Crisis.