Stories of superheroes in film and comic books capture essential truths about human nature. We relate to – and identify with – the characters and themes in these stories; we empathize with the dilemmas and problems that superheroes face, and we admire – and often mimic – their heroic acts.

The definition of a hero is someone who rises above his or her fears and limitations to achieve something extraordinary. A hero embodies what we believe is best in ourselves.

The clearest difference between a hero and what we tend to consider a superhero is that superheroes possess fantastic powers, fight their battles with advanced technology, or possess uncanny beauty, bravery, skill, or luck.

No costume is necessary; but it is cool.

We – Black / Afrikan adults AND youth – need our stories told; and WE need to tell them. We need to read about and see ourselves as superheroes from OUR perspective. We need and want this.

We at Roaring Lions Productions are going to meet that need. Following the worldwide release of the Rococoa anthology in February, 2016, we will release Black Power: The Superhero Anthology in December, 2016!

What We Are Looking For

When it comes to superheroes, we think of sweeping themes that deal with the central issues of heroism and, of course, superpowers. We welcome authors to subvert these tropes, to expand upon what “superhero” means, and to mash-up the superhero tropes with the tropes of other genres under the Speculative Fiction umbrella.

We seek original stories with more depth than simple origin tales or superhero-versus-supervillain battles. Who are these people who have strange and wonderful powers and choose to use them to exact justice? What makes them tick?

We must emphasize that your characters should be original creations. We will not consider work utilizing licensed characters or knockoffs of licensed characters unless your story is clearly a parody or spoof.

Rules

The main character in your story must be Black / of Afrikan descent. The character can be from the continent of Afrika or anywhere in the Diaspora.

The characters can be of any age.

If your story is about a superhero team, the team members should be majority Black / Afrikan descent.

Length: 1500-10000 words. This is firm.

Payment: $25.00 per story.

Type of submissions accepted: Electronic only.

Reprints? No

Multiple Submissions? No

Simultaneous Submissions? Yes

Submissions close: June 30, 2016. This is firm, as each story will have original artwork attached and the artists need time to do the illustrations.

Response time after submission of story: 4 weeks or sooner.

Publication date: December, 2016.

Submission Requirements

Failure to follow these requirements pretty much guarantees your work will be rejected.

  1. Email your submissions to blackscififantasy@gmail.com. Put in the subject line: Black Superhero. Give us a short summary of your story in the email body (no more than two or three sentences) and a short summary of who you are (previous publishing credits, etc.). Include your word count in the email.
  2. Send in .doc, .docx, or .rtf formats only.
  3. Your manuscript should follow standard formatting protocol. Times New Roman or Courier fonts only. Please ensure your story is free from typos, spelling and grammatical errors.

Good luck! We look forward to seeing what you have for us!

About Balogun

Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link, Rite of Passage: Initiation and Rite of Passage: The Dentist of Westminster. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at https://chroniclesofharriet.com/. He is author of eight novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika; a Fight Fiction, New Pulp novella, Fist of Afrika; the gritty, Urban Superhero series, A Single Link and Wrath of the Siafu; the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe and the “Choose-Your-Own-Destiny”-style Young Adult novel, The Keys. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis and co-author of the award winning screenplay, Ngolo. You can reach him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at www.tumblr.com/blog/blackspeculativefiction.

34 responses »

  1. Fujimoto says:

    …Oh yes. I have to admit, as much fun as a Rococoa story is it isn’t a time period I planned to write about regularly. But a superhero story, in a big city, with a black champion of justice? That’s something I’ve been itching to write for some time now! I definitely will have something to write for this collection! Thank you so much for this opportunity, Balogun!

  2. Are these submissions for novel style only or screenplays as well?

  3. Karoz says:

    Can’t wait! I have a story I want to submit.

  4. T.M. Vornes says:

    I’m so happy to see this. I have a story that explores the mental anguish of a hero coping with such power and a family that wants him to succeed. I will definitely be submitting.

  5. Hi, I am South African and I’d like to make a submission am I welcome to or is it only open to Americans?

  6. therisingtithes says:

    I have one question: does your story have to be set on Earth? If you have an idea for a story that is more galactic in scope, with a protagonist not born on Earth (but still Black), will it still work, or is that disqualifying?

  7. Christopher Williams says:

    This looks like an awesome concept. I have questions. 1. Do the artists retain the rights to the story? 2. Does the overall story have to be complete? 3. For example, I am writing a Tv script of a story set in ancient mythological Africa, I would like to share the first 3 episodes (to be under the 10,000 word limit) Is that ok? 4. Can I send it to you guys in TV script format? 5. Is there anything we should exclude? There are sex scenes and strong language in my script.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer and I hope I can share my stuff with you.

    • Balogun says:

      Thanks!
      1. Writers retain the rights to their stories
      2. Yes, the story must be complete.
      3. That is okay as long as the first 3 episodes tell a complete story.
      4. No, we only accept prose (short stories).
      5. No gratuitous sex or too much strong language (sparse profanity is okay).

      • Christopher WIlliams says:

        Aw man, that’s too bad. My stuff doesn’t fit this criteria. But I hope to see stuff in the future.

  8. Fujimoto says:

    Just to be sure, how do you define a knockoff of a licenced character?

    • Balogun says:

      The powers and / or origin are pretty much the same. Or the character’s life closely parallels a known character. For Example: Ivan Pietrovich eats an irradiated cockroach that died in his box of Sugar Smacks. He becomes The Roach after his poor cousin, Ken, who raised him, is murdered by a burglar. The same burglar Ivan refused to stop when he saw him climbing out of their next door neighbor’s house the night before.

      • Fujimoto says:

        Ha ha! Good example! OK, with so many superheroes out there this can get challenging because you might accidentally make a similar character, but it will be fun to find something truly original.

  9. Very excited about this opportunity. I have just completed a piece that I will be submitting.

    Very character driven. I really hope you all like it.

    LOK

  10. Fujimoto says:

    Do you want a title page like for the Rococoa submissions?

  11. […] to roll out the Ki Khanga sword and soul role-playing game at SOBSFic Con and I will edit/publish Black Power: The Superhero Anthology, which releases in December 2016. Besides that, all of my efforts are going into marketing the […]

  12. […] to roll out the Ki Khanga Sword and Soul role-playing game at SOBSFic Con and I will edit/publish Black Power: The Superhero Anthology, which releases in December 2016. Besides that, all of my efforts are going into marketing the […]

  13. Kirstie says:

    would a story with an Australian aboriginal be acceptable?

  14. James a. Staten says:

    My first real story, hope you like it when I’m done

  15. […] Guidelines Stories of superheroes in film and comic books capture essential truths about human nature. We relate to – and identify with – the characters and themes in these stories; we empathize with the dilemmas and problems that superheroes face, and we admire – and often mimic – their heroic acts. The definition of a hero is someone who rises above his or her fears and limitations to achieve something extraordinary. A hero embodies what we believe is best in ourselves. The clearest difference between a hero and what we tend to consider a superhero is that superheroes possess fantastic powers, fight their battles with advanced technology, or possess uncanny beauty, bravery, skill, or luck. No costume is necessary; but it is cool. We – Black / Afrikan adults AND youth – need our stories told; and WE need to tell them. We need to read about and see ourselves as superheroes from OUR perspective. We need and want this. What We Are Looking For When it comes to superheroes, we think of sweeping themes that deal with the central issues of heroism and, of course, superpowers. We welcome authors to subvert these tropes, to expand upon what “superhero” means, and to mash-up the superhero tropes with the tropes of other genres under the Speculative Fiction umbrella. We seek original stories with more depth than simple origin tales or superhero-versus-supervillain battles. Who are these people who have strange and wonderful powers and choose to use them to exact justice? What makes them tick? We must emphasize that your characters should be original creations. We will not consider work utilizing licensed characters or knockoffs of licensed characters unless your story is clearly a parody or spoof. […]

  16. […] we put out the call for submissions for Black Power: The Superhero Anthology, we expected a good response. However, we were NOT expecting to receive over 50 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s