Book Description

AU: Alternate University is a fanfiction-inspired collaboration which imagines an alternate universe of academe. Produced by those who do not have ownership stakes in academia— adjuncts, ex-academics, graduate and undergraduate students, staff, non-academic community members— AU will challenge readers to confront an uncanny and surreal world, familiar yet decidedly not our own: one in which department meetings morph into activist collectives, or “diversity and inclusion” programs are run by black and brown teenagers, or in which sexual harassment reporting procedures actually work.


Submissions to AU: Alternate University are being solicited within two main categories:

The first category, narrative, will contain short pieces of fiction, poetry, or other creative work that convey the experience of living and working within a more just system of higher education. What would your university life look like if you weren’t worried about job security, abusive colleagues, insufficient wages, or micro/macro-aggressions? What would you learn, teach, research, serve, or create? (Maximum length: 4000 words.)

The second category, dossier, will collect documents that might appear in a just and equitable university setting. Ranging from realistic (even implementation-ready!) to speculative and fantastical, these documents defamiliarize the familiar bureaucratic genres of academe, heightening the contrast between what is and what could be. Experiments with breaking these forms are welcome. You may submit one document or a short series.  (Maximum length: 1000 words.)

Submission Details

For the first submission round, please send an abstract, pitch, or excerpt of no more than 400 words to Abstracts should indicate the category of submission, a sense of the scope of the piece, and the estimated final length. Please include a brief bio, resume, or short CV with your submission.

Deadline for abstracts / pitches / excerpt: December 30th, 2018

Notification of acceptance: February 1st, 2019

Final narratives or documents due: October 1st, 2019