Submission guidelines, discussion forum, etc.

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From Hamlet as half-man half-machine to Henry V at the helm of an army of men in steam-powered mechanical suits, the sky is the proverbial limit for adapting William Shakespeare’s classic plays and sonnets to the Steampunk aesthetic.

This is not intended to be a series of mash-ups, like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, but rather re-inventions of the classic Shakespearean stories and sonnets. You are free to adapt Shakespeare’s language and themes to a Neo-Victorian setting as you will, but unlike the typical mash-up, you don’t have to include every line of original text from your chosen play or sonnet.

We prefer stories where Steampunk elements and themes are thoughtfully applied to Shakespeare’s works. Do not simply throw automatons into Hamlet or Steampunk technology into Richard III; consider how such technological changes may reinterpret the original stories. Saying it another way: What new insight will your Steampunk version of Shakespeare bring to the Bard’s original works?

General Guidelines:

  • Send all submissions to as attachment in either Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX), Real Text Format (RTF) or OpenOffice (ODT) format, with a short introductory letter.
  • All submissions should have STEAMPUNK SHAKESPEARE: Story Title/Sonnet Numbers in the subject line. Any submissions without this information will not be considered for the anthology.
  • We’d prefer inclusion of Steampunk elements in the title of each story, i.e. “Othello, The Half-Machine Moor of Venice” or something similar.
  • We also welcome interpretations with queer characters, characters of color, non-heteronormative relationships, characters with disabilities, non-Eurocentric settings and other traditionally marginalized narratives in mainstream fiction.
  • All submissions must be received no later than 12 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time on 30 May 2011. There will be no exceptions.

Play Adaptation Guidelines:

  • 10,000 words or less on one scene, act, or aspect of any play from Shakespeare’s canon.
  • Integrate Shakespearean language as best as you can within the context of the story; it’s not required that you include some of Shakespeare’s original lines, but it is encouraged.
  • The play that your story is based on must be recognizable within your version; if you adapt Henry V, the reader must be able to tell it’s Henry V as source material.
  • Any violence or sexual situations should remain within the limits of general audience acceptability. Let the play you’re adapting be your guide.
  • You are allowed to submit multiple short stories, so long as you do so by the deadline.

Sonnet Adaptation Guidelines:

  • Adapt any of Shakespeare’s sonnets into a Steampunk version of the same sonnet.
  • The original Sonnet must be recognizable inside your adaptation (i.e. if we the editors can place your version of Sonnet 156 and Shakespeare’s Sonnet 156 side-by-side, we should be able to identify the origin of your version).
  • You may submit multiple sonnets.

Payment is a percentage of the royalties If there are any questions about these guidelines, anthology co-editors Jaymee Goh, Lia Keyes, and Matthew Delman may all be contacted via The Steampunk Writers & Artists Guild webportal at

NOTE: This anthology will be released through the Steampunk Imprint of Flying Pen Press ( as both a print book and an ebook.


We’ve extended the submissions deadline by one month to midnight, on the close of 30 June 2011, Pacific standard time.

Discussion Forum

Deadline Extension News and a List of Unadapted Plays

Started by Lia Keyes. Last reply by Christina Scott Sayer Grey May 28, 2011. 8 Replies

A very big thank you to all the writers who have submitted stories so far. Matt, Jaymee and I are very much enjoying the products of your fertile imaginations!However, we’ve noticed that some plays…Continue

Tags: anthology, steampunk, shakespeare

How to Adapt A Shakepeare Play into a Short Story

Started by Lia Keyes. Last reply by Christina Scott Sayer Grey May 24, 2011. 3 Replies

 Start with the basics:…Continue

Tags: how, to, adaptation, story, short

New Blog/Site: Steampunk Shakespeare!

Started by Lia Keyes. Last reply by Helen Ryan Jan 10, 2011. 0 Replies


How Many Submissions Will Be Accepted?

Started by Helen Ryan. Last reply by Matthew Delman Dec 16, 2010. 2 Replies

One, how many submissions will be accepted, and Two, is this the anthology you mentioned yesterday, Lia?Continue

Comment Wall

Comment by David Haugh on March 3, 2011 at 3:00am
OK, I'm just about ready to send in my submission... have to let it set for a few days while I have a couple of people I trust test read it. And then of course go back and reread it yet again. So two questions. First, can I submit illustrations with the submission? Second, is there a set physical format you would prefer the submission in? For example double spacing between all lines, one inch margins all around, etc. You can tell by my question how long it's been since I submitted any stories. Thanks, Dave
Comment by Lia Keyes on March 3, 2011 at 8:20pm

Yes, Dave, standard submission format applies. Double-spaced, one-inch margins, numbered pages, no numbers on the front page, which should have your contact details in the upper left corner, the name of the story half way down the page, etc.

You can google for further advice on standard publishing submission format.

You may submit illustrations with your submission, but we may choose not  to use them, even if your story is accepted. As long as you don't mind that, send away.

Look forward to receiving your story!

Comment by Peter Francis on April 6, 2011 at 5:25pm
Are you looking for whole scenes or can the submission be partial?
Comment by Leslie Orton on October 17, 2014 at 6:16pm

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