Open Call: Time Travel

Stories that begin where they end, “today meets tomorrow”, and other weird tales for

Time Travel: Now & Then

Deadline: January 31, 2019

Since the time machine of HG Wells and the ghosts of past and future of Charles Dickens, authors and artists have used time travel to explore humanity through the looking glass of another time. What happens when characters have the chance to talk to themselves in the past or when they receive a glimpse of possible futures?

The London Reader is issuing an open call for short stories, flash/mini-fiction, poetry, artwork, and any other literary, speculative, or science fiction that reveals character or explores difficult issues facing society through the convention of time travel.

The concept of travelling through time may be interpreted broadly by contributors. Among other inspirations, works can be in the style of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report, Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Kurt Vonnegut’s Timequake, Sun Ra’s Space Is the Place, Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, or the butterfly effect of Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder.

Possible story prompts:

  • A drone delivers letters from the year 2019 to 1619.
  • A famous historic figure visits the present day and asks some difficult questions.
  • People from a future wracked by climate catastrophe flee back through time and become refugees in the present day.
  • A narrator with a fear of ageing keeps returning to their youth to prolong the inevitable.
  • The main character wakes up in a future where gender stereotypes are reversed.
  • A  teenager in 2018 can somehow Instant Message their own teenage parent in 1998.
  • German punks go back in time to the Great War to enlist in the Bavarian Reserve Infantry and plan to assassinate a young Lance Corporal Hitler.
  • A writer’s words travel into the future…

What to submit: Creative works can be stand-alone pieces or collections, but should generally be fewer than 5,000 words or no more than 3 poems. Multiple submissions are welcome. Artwork should be favourably viewed on a tablet or single A5 page.

How to submit: Submit using the London Reader Submission Portal here.

If you have any questions or difficulty submitting, email

The deadline for submission on this theme is January 31, 2019.

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