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Open Call For Submissions

Tales From The Cyber Salon Event #2 – The High Street

Throughout 2021, Cybersalon will host ‘Tales of the Cybersalon’, a series of interdisciplinary technology and policy investigations through science-fiction storytelling. We want your stories and we want you. Help us imagine the future of our digital revolution in industry and society, and to identify and explore its emerging cultures.

Each event will feature new speculative short stories purpose written for the exploration of Healthcare, The High Street, Social Communities and Political Representation. Each short story will interrogate where we are and where we might be going. The series kicks off on March 30th with the first event, New Normals in Health. And we’d like your submissions for the second of the four events. An open call for events three and four will follow.

Selected writers will be expected to engage with the panel experts ahead of the event to finesse the technological aspects of their fiction. Each event will have three or four new short stories which will be released in advance to the audience on Cybersalon’s Medium page.

The stories will be read on the night by their authors, followed by a panel discussion between the writers and the technologist domain experts who inspired them, with an open invite to audience questions to wrap up.

We’re looking for submissions of approximately 1000 words that explore the future by extrapolating from the present. Please bear in mind that we are not looking for the post-apocalyptic or utopias on other planets; the stories need to be plausible enough for our experts and audience to engage with them meaningfully. If you want to get a feel for Cybersalon you can attend the inaugural event https://cybersalon.org/tales-from-the-cybersalon-1-new-normals-in-health, & look at our video archive https://www.youtube.com/c/CybrSalon/videos.

Submissions close at midnight (GMT) on 2 May 2021.

Theme: “One thing is certain. The high street landscape has now irrevocably changed and there is no point clinging on to a sentimental vision of the past.” (The Grimsey Review – 2013 https://bit.ly/2QoQ6vH) In 2013 and 2018 the High Street Tasks Force’s Grimsey Reviews attempted to offer alternative futures for our high streets and town centres. The accelerated digital transformation brought about by Covid-19 has made their challenge to, “start planning for a bold new world,” all the more urgent. Retail has left the buildings! We invite you to offer new visions of the high street and to reimagine the centres of our towns and cities.

Expert Panel Lead: Priya Prakash, Founder & CEO of Design for Social Change http://www.d4sc.io/

Further Background: https://cybersalon.org/tag/smart-cities/
Grimsey #2 (2018): https://bit.ly/2OUGSae

6:30pm – Tuesday, June 8th

Submission guidelines

  • Length: approx. 1,000 words
  • Closing date for submissions: midnight GMT on 2 May 2021
  • Payment and conditions: No reprints. £50 payment for exclusive world rights. The author will not be able to re-use the story until six months after the event without express permission from Cybersalon.
  • Please submit by email to cybrsalon@gmail.com.
  • In the subject line please state: Tales The High Street | your name | your story title
  • Please submit your story in the Microsoft Word document format as an attachement to your email and include your name, contact details and title of story in the Word document.

The stories will be chosen by the hosts of the evening, Benjamin Greenaway and Stephen Oram.

Benjamin Greenaway writes software for ecommerce and web start-ups. He writes short stories to avoid a life in politics and to shortcut the product development cycle. An unpublished amateur of short scifi whose career has taught him the benefit of being able to tell a good story.

Stephen Oram writes science fiction. He is a founding curator for near-future fiction at Virtual Futures, a writer for SciFutures and a member of the Clockhouse London Writers. He is published in several anthologies and has two published novels. His Nudge the Future collections have been praised by publications as diverse as The Morning Star and The Financial Times.

About Ben Greenaway

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