Call to Arms – call for more!

by anthology editor Heloise Mezen

I’m delighted to say that I have received from their authors the first two stories of the Call to Arms anthology; the stories have been accepted and sent back to the authors with editing suggestions, and I’m eagerly awaiting them back again to send out to the proof-reader.

‘Proof-reader?’ I hear you saying. ‘When the deadline isn’t until May?’ Which is true, of course, but I am sure you’ll understand that nobody wants to deal with a spate of stories all at once;  a gentle flow is far more manageable!

So, if you have an idea for Call to Arms, stand not upon the order of its writing, but write now! Send it soon! I really am happy to receive stories whenever before the deadline they may happen to arrive.

Or, do you want to write a story, but are so far without an idea? I have read a fair amount round World War 2, so perhaps I may make an observation here: it really was a world war, and stories from all round the world could form part of the collection. For those of us in the UK it’s easy to think of it as a Western European struggle, and to forget that the Balkans (again) and Russia (again) were involved: civilians and fighters from Africa, Australia, Burma, the Caribbean, China, India, Japan … many places to choose from, and many sorts of people, whether refugees, evacuees, soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, prisoners of war or simply people trying to live their lives in unimaginable circumstances.

And here, just because I can, is a story.

I was with my father about a month ago, driving round North Norfolk looking for a World War One training camp (a long story, to do with my job) and Dad started reminiscing. Not about 1939-1945, when he was an evacuee (his mother with Civil Defence and his father with the Army), but about his National Service in the 1950s, when he was posted to Catterick on the North York Moors (which has been a military base since the Romans called it Cataractonium, and later when it may have been where the British called Catraeth). He and his platoon were out fire-fighting, because the moors are peat moors, and Dad remembered rather enjoying himself in the sunshine. Then he asked what my WWI trainee served as, and when I said “RAMC” he chuckled.

‘What’s so funny?’ I asked.

‘The RAMC had a little caravan up here, and they ran a brothel from it.’

I didn’t ask him whether he’d taken advantage …

Have you a story for Call to Arms? Or do you have an idea, and want to know if it’s suitable? See the call for submissions – and do feel free to contact heloise@manifoldpress.co.uk and talk it over.

New anthology CALL TO ARMS open for submissions!

Keep it Up - CALL TO ARMSCALL TO ARMS
Modern LGBTQIA fiction
of the Second World War

As a companion volume to A PRIDE OF POPPIES, Manifold Press is seeking stories set during the Second World War (1939-1945) featuring LGBTQIA people as the main characters. What were their experiences during this war? In what ways were those experiences the same as or different from those of other people?

Stories may be set in the war zone or on the home front, in any of the countries affected by the Second World War. The characters may be of any nationality, serving in the armed forces or on home duty such as fire-watching or civil defence. They may be prisoners of war, doctors, nurses, land girls, factory workers, conscientious objectors, or simply members of the public caught up in events over which they had no control. Stories may deal (but must do so respectfully) with people on all sides of the conflict or none. The individual characters and their lives will be the main focus.

Romances and sexual encounters are welcome subject matter, but should be kept to a ‘mild R’ rating with an adult mainstream audience in mind. All characters involved in sexual situations must be consenting adults. Similarly, violence and the results thereof should be handled with both realism and restraint.

In acknowledgement of the time in which the stories are set, all proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to an appropriate charity (to be confirmed).

  • Editor: Heloise Mezen
  • All stories need to stand alone, whether or not they relate to any existing work.
  • Story length: In general, up to 10,000 words; longer stories will be considered on individual merit.
  • Submission deadline: 31 May 2017
  • Planned publication date: 1 Nov 2017
  • Enquiries and submissions to: Heloise Mezen heloise@manifoldpress.co.uk
  • Click here for a PDF version of this page.

Please note: All efforts will be donated to the project, with no financial return. Authors will not be paid either a fee or royalties. Manifold Press will cover direct expenses. All proceeds will be donated to charity.

Image: “Keep it Up – Buy Three Percent Defence Bonds”. WW2 poster, designer unknown, issued by the National Savings Committee. In the Imperial War Museum collection and obtained via Wikimedia Commons.