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THEME 1.04: Crying In Utopia

Growing up, I would always run away from my birthday party—the attention, the playground politics, the pressure to maximize happiness in a short window—it was a lot.

But, as the song goes, wasn't I supposed to be happy?


Utopias mirror our deepest desires and fears. Yet, why is "perfect" so hard to achieve and sustain? When we grasp it, why does it never feel enough or come with too much pressure? Even joy can become a burden or, even, a trap.


From utopias cracking at the seams and unsavory secrets in polite society to wedding day jitters, we crave the cognitive dissonance of feeling wrong when everything else looks right.


Stories that disturb the shiny waters of perfection

to reveal the raw emotions beneath

—the bloody ear by the white picket fence.

Current Deadline: August 31st 2024

Send Your Submissions


A line of girls with changing faces

Past Themes

THEME 1.03: All Flowers Keep The Light

In our world, nature and artifice blur, balancing us between oblivion and salvation.


🌐 Virtual habitats. 🌱 Immortal pets. 🌳 Bionic babies. 🤖 Unwind as an insect in the Metaverse 👨‍💻 Or sow microchips like flowers. 🌺 AI. Cloning. Genetic engineering.

🌸 Nature has many new faces. 🌸

Plant stories that embrace nature's paradox; poems and music that dance between artifice and authenticity. Show us how our existence is intertwined with nature's complexities in this

bold new world.

Closed Deadline: Jun 30th 2024
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