• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

World War I Collection - Call for Stories


The End is Nigh / Eat at Joe's Cafe
Published by SLP
Information on the upcoming World War One collection is duplicated here so it may be read by those who have not yet signed up to the forum. To express an interest to submit a story, either send a personal message to our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/sealionpress/ or sign up and post in this thread below.

Dear all authors,

Are you interested in the First World War?

Do you like writing short stories?

Do you want to combine these two interests?

Sea Lion Press, the home of Alternate History Publishing hereby announces an upcoming anthology of short stories about the First World War.

Thank you to David Flin (author of the many excellent WW1 articles on the SLP blog) for writing the guide below for prospective authors:

OK, it’s fairly self-explanatory. AH stories revolving around the Great War.
What follows is a guide rather than fixed rules.

I’m aiming for a total word count of around 50-70K, and around 10 stories. That doesn’t mean stories of around 5-7K; I expect some to be significantly longer, and some significantly shorter. The story should be as long as it needs to be.

I don’t want the Great War theme to become diluted. This is Alternate History, so clearly it will not be OTL, but it needs to be recognisably an Alternate Great War. Early start, delayed start, different line-up, not a problem. Unexpected locales, not a problem. Political level stuff, fine. One might have a Britain that applied the suggestion made by Flashman in Mr American, of not getting involved in the ground fighting in Europe, but using the Navy to “do things”. There are thousands of options.

That’s not to say that something that’s a bit of a stretch to include as a *Great War story won’t be acceptable, but such a story would need to be exceptionally good and the connection to the Great War should be made apparent within the story.

The second guideline is that I envisage the collection being “Hard” AH. By that I mean that it should pass the “It might have been” test. It might be a very unlikely turn of events; it might be something where the likelihood can be debated. It does, however, need to be something that one could plausibly read as a true story in a world where different events happened.

That means that dragons and time-travel and Titanic being used to bridge No-Man’s Land and so on are out. I don’t have a problem with ghost stories here, but I do have a problem with Vampires. The focus is on the Great War.

Now, there is a place for a Supernatural Great War, where there are Forces of Darkness, and so on. But not in this collection. If in doubt, ask me.

The guideline is: “Could the Great War have been like this?”

Home Front, Western Front, War at Sea, war avoided, Revolutions within the War, other Fronts, overview of a Grand Scheme of Things, very low-level face in the crowd, war in the Air, different technologies, whatever feels right for your story. I'll look closely at things like steampunk - it's a matter of keeping the premise of the collection clear and simple. The emphasis is to be on the Great War, and not on the steampunk chrome. Humour, romance, fine if you can manage it.

If I want to summarise it in a nutshell: Hard AH, Great War.

The 'no supernatural stuff' rule should be considered somewhat flexible, it depends on what the focus of the story is (but that's harder to define in words - just ask if unsure).

If you want an idea of what this collection will look like, why not check out SLP's three existing published collection of short stories - the one most similar to this will be "Fight Them On The Beaches", stories about the planned German invasion of Britain in WW2 (Operation Sea Lion, from which SLP takes its name!)

SLP story collections jpg.jpg

10 Leaders Britain Never Had
Remain Means Remain and Other Stories
Fight Them On The Beaches: Short Stories of Operation Sea Lion

One other point: this collection will be headlined by the story "N'Oublions Jamais", by @Doctor What and myself, which was originally published in the Martinus Publishing collection Altered Europa and reached the shortlist of 4 for the 2018 Sidewise Award for Alternate History Fiction (Short Form). In the end we lost out to Harry Turtledove himself, so no shame there. Martinus has kindly given us permission to reprint it here on SLP as the lead story for this collection.

If you wish to express an interest in submitting a story, as a first point of contact please send a personal message here on AH.com to me (Thande) and we will work out a better way of doing it from then on.

Last edited:


The End is Nigh / Eat at Joe's Cafe
Published by SLP
What's the closing date on submissions? I have an idea for this, but it suffers a crucial flaw right now in that it's just an idea.
I can't commit to a hard deadline because it depends on factors outside my control, but I'm asking authors to aim for December 31st as a soft deadline.

Bear in mind we've had a LOT of submissions (albeit many just at the idea stage) so if we get lots of publishable ones, I may propose we split this and do two anthologies on this topic.