Call for pitches: Cranky Ladies of History

Tsaritsa Sophia Alekseyevna of Russia
Tsaritsa Sophia Alekseyevna of Russia, who inspired the cranky ladies…


In 2014, FableCroft will publish an anthology of historical short fiction inspired by cranky ladies of history. Co-editors Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely are immediately seeking expressions of writerly interest in submitting to the anthology.

Authors are invited to submit a story pitch detailing story idea/historical personage. We are aiming for a diverse range of backgrounds, nationalities, time periods and reasons for notoriety in the book, and are particularly interested in stories that are firmly grounded in historical fact. We welcome stories that utilise elements known about the lives of the characters, but are not averse to artistic license either.

Some fabulous cranky women of history include (but definitely are not limited to):

Ada Lovelace, Ahhotep I, Amelia Bloomer, Amelia Earhart, Anne Bonney, Annie Oakley, Artemisia I of Caria, Bina Das, Boudicca, Caroline Chisholm, Caterina Sforza, Catherine de’ Medici, Catherine The Great, Daisy May Bates, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Elizabeth Kenny, Fu Hao, Fulvia, George Sand, Grace O’Malley, Gudit, Harriet Tubman, Isabella of Spain, Joan of Arc, Katharine Susannah Prichard, Livia, Lucrezia Borgia, Mary MacKillop, Mary Queen of Scots, Nancy Bird Walton, Nancy Wake, Nellie Melba, the Pankhursts, Rosa Parks, Sarala Devi Chaudhurani, Susan B. Anthony, Tamar of Georgia, Trieu Thi Trinh, the Trung Sisters, Tsaritsa Sophia Alekseyevna of Russia, Vida Goldstein, Vivian Bullwinkel, Zenobia…

From the list, you may note that our definition of “cranky” is rather broad, and stems somewhat more from a tendency to buck societal standards of the era than a true inherent crankiness. Though that’s good too!


Please email to a story outline of no more than one typed page that clearly identifies your cranky lady of history and your proposal. In your cover email please use the subject heading CRANKY WOMEN PITCH [your chosen historical figure] and in the body include your own details and a short writing resume.

We will be regularly updating this page with historical women already spoken for, so please check back frequently, and get your pitches in as early as possible.

We are not specifically seeking young adult fiction, but we do want the book to be suitable for a high school audience, which will restrict explicit sex and graphic violence elements.

Open to authors worldwide.

Word count: fairly flexible.

Payment: 1 cent per word, capped at AUD$75.00 + contributor copy of print and ebook. Further royalties will apply for e-book revenue – information about royalties will be provided in contract negotiations with successful authors and is dependent on final book details.

Approximate timeline to publication

October 21, 2013 – December 31, 2013: open to pitches

January 2014: finalise pitch acceptances.

June 2014: deadline for stories to be submitted.

We are particularly looking for original work, but please query to if you think you have a suitable reprint story.

FableCroft thanks Liz Barr for her inadvertent prompting of this project idea.


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