Call for Submissions: Ursula K. Le Guin tribute poetry anthology

Update, OCTOBER 15th: I am EXTENDING the deadline till December 15th, 2018, 11:59PM Central. Please send me your work! 

I am seeking submissions for an anthology of poetry in tribute to the life and works of Ursula K. Le Guin. The anthology is tentatively titled CLIMBING LIGHTLY THROUGH FORESTS, and it will be published by Aqueduct Press sometime in 2019.

Ursula K. Le Guin was perhaps most known for her SFF fiction, but she was a prolific poet, with a dozen poetry collections in print (her last poetry book is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press this Fall).

Unlike her big-idea SF, her poetry was often more personal in scope, engaging closely with land and landscape of the Pacific Northwest; much of her poetry is not speculative at all. Le Guin was a complex, prolific creator whose work influenced and touched so many of us.

For this anthology, I am seeking poetry that engages with Ursula K. Le Guin’s life and work broadly construed – including her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. I will be looking for a variety of voices, themes, treatments, and approaches. Both critical and celebratory approaches are welcome, as is anything in-between.

You are welcome to engage with specific books and/or stories, or take it in other directions. Your poems do not have to be speculative, although a speculative element is always welcome. There are no length or style limitations. Very short and very long works are welcome. Experimental forms are welcome. Prose poetry is welcome. Rhymed and formal poetry is welcome. I truly welcome poetry of any kind. Please do not send me short stories or nonfiction, however.

As always, I am hoping to receive poetry from people from a variety of backgrounds. Everybody is welcome to submit! I welcome work from people who belong to marginalized/underrepresented groups and communities,  including from Black people, Indigenous people, and/or people of color, from migrants, from non-Western and non-Anglophone people, from disabled and neurodiverse people, from LGBTQIA+ people, from people of all genders. You do not need to be marginalized to submit. I welcome submissions from new and established voices, seasoned poets and people who never wrote poetry before. Please don’t self-reject!

Where to submit: Please submit up to 3 (THREE) poems to

If you are sending a reprint, please indicate where and when it was first published. Your submissions should be titled LE GUIN SUBMISSION: Your last name

Please do not submit more than 3 poems total for this call (you can send them together or separately). Simultaneous submissions are not accepted.

Editorial form of address: since people ask me about this! “Dear Editor” is great.”Dear Rose” or “Dear R.” is also fine. Please don’t call me either Ms, Mr, or Mrs.

Payment: The tribute anthology is a paid opportunity: we are paying $20 per original poem. While I am primarily looking for original poetry, I will consider reprints as well (payrate for reprints TBD).

An important note on rejections: Ursula K. Le Guin’s work and life was important to many of us. It can be heartbreaking to receive a rejection for work that deeply matters to us. Unfortunately, I will only be able to fit a limited amount of poems, and I foresee some difficult decisions to come. Whatever the outcome of your submission will be, please rest assured that I will review it with utmost care, and that a rejection is not a reflection on yourself, your craft, or your personal connection to Ursula K. Le Guin’s work – but simply the reality of publishing.

Submissions period: the anthology is open to submissions (as of July 3rd, 2018), and it will be open to submissions till October 15th, 11:59 Central. Update: I am EXTENDING the deadline till December 15th, 11:59PM Central. I will let you know within 90 days of submission whether your work is accepted, rejected, or held for further consideration.

I’m looking forward to reading your work!

Story and Poem sale

My science fiction short story “These Are The Attributes By Which You Shall Know God” (about aliens and Spinoza and architecture) will appear in Glittership: An LGBTQ Science Fiction & Fantasy podcast, edited by Keffy M. Kehrli.

My poem “core/debris/core” will appear in Disabled People Destroy SF (via Uncanny Magazine). Poetry for DPDSF is edited by S. Qiouyi Lu.

I’m really happy with both of these pieces!


Catching up on various publishing news

I’m behind on pretty much everything, including my publishing news – some of which are rapidly becoming “olds!” Sorry about that. But – better late than never.

My SF short story “How to Remember to Forget to Remember the Old War” (originally published in Lightspeed’s Queers Destroy Science Fiction) will be reprinted in the Sunspot Jungle anthology, Vol.1 from Rosarium Press. This has an absolutely brilliant lineup – I am thrilled.

My first-ever officially published piece of art, “Canada Goose,” appeared in the Temz Review. I loved working with the Temz editorial team – they are wonderful people, and the magazine is well worth checking out.

As an aside, I have not marketed my art specifically before, but I might start doing this if I find a minute to spare. You can find my artwork on Patreon!

Speaking of Patreon, I have published a new Birdverse short story as a stretch goal. Titled “The Book of Seed and the Abyss,” this is a Birdverse Kabbalah story with an all-queer and trans cast (as usual in BV), about the mystical power of language and letters. It features a golem and a book thief. You can access this story for a $1 pledge.

I will have a bunch of additional cool news about short stories and poetry soon.

Ursula K. Le Guin tribute anthology

It is official – I will be editing an anthology of speculative poetry in tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin’s life and work, for Aqueduct Press. I will also be contributing a retrospective essay on Le Guin’s poetry; she was a prolific and wonderful poet, and I feel her poetic work is not celebrated enough in SFF. I am planning to open to submissions in May. I am working on a call to subs, and will post it here when I have it. The easiest way to get updates on this project is to follow me on Twitter at @roselemberg


Award Eligibility Post 2017

Updated  and expanded Jan 30.

Dear friends,

This award season, I would like you to consider only one piece  for awards – the Birdverse novella A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power  in Beneath Ceaseless Skies  (Part I, Part II), and you can also listen to an absolutely epic podcast/audiobook by C.S.E. Cooney.

“Portrait” is eligible as a Novella for Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Award.

The trans/bigender narrator, the powerful but very tired Old Royal, meets their match in a dangerous stranger traveling through the sands.

This piece is unabashedly queer, kinky, and non-binary. CWs for power exchange, pain play, advanced discussions of consent, discussions of past abuse and trauma.

Portrait is one of the best things I have ever written. It is the most ambitious thing I’ve published to date, and by far the most nuanced. This novella means a lot to me. I would appreciate your reading and, if you think it is worth noticing, your votes.

It is on multiple award recommendation lists this year:

It is on the SFWA recommended reading list (Novellas)

2018 Nerds of a Feather Hugo Award Longlist

An Incomplete List of Great Reads from Others – Fran Wilde (lists Portrait under Novellas)

Aliette de Bodard’s Awards Consideration/Recommendation Post

Aimee Ogden’s 2017 Reading list (Novellas)

Jason Sanford’s Recommended Reading List (Novellas)

Nin Harris’s Recommendations for 2017

Charles Payseur’s 2017 Recommended Reading list at Quick Sip Reviews).

Maria Haskins’ 2017 Suggested Reading list (Novellas)


What others say:

“One of the best novellas of 2017 is “A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power” by Rose Lemberg in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. An intricate masterpiece which I will be nominating for the Hugo and Nebula Awards.” – Jason Sanford

“a gorgeous and poetic novella of fallen stars and magic, exploring power, consent, desire, and pain.” A.C. Wise’s My Favorite Novels and Novellas of 2017

“I would recommend Rose Lemberg’s amazing novella, “A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies), a masterpiece of worldbuilding that brings together two very different characters with vastly different histories, and tracks the consequences of their meeting–effortlessly rich and romantic, laden with worldbuilding that both feels familiar and strange, this definitely stuck with me long after I’d read it.” – Aliette de Bodard, Book Smugglers

“I have followed Lemberg’s Birdverse series of stories for several years now. I think this is the best one yet. A rich, strange novella of falling stars, millennia-old star-guardians, shapeshifters, lions, and flying carpets.” Vanessa Fogg, It’s a Jumble

“This summer Beneath Ceaseless Skies published [Lemberg’s] story “A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power” … I highly recommend it.”  – Ann Leckie

“I may not be able to give this more than five stars on Goodreads … but, in my heart, Rose Lemberg gets all the damn stars in the sky.” – Avery/Book Deviant

“Stunning… this novella is one of my favorite reads…” (Charles Payseur; full review at Quick Sip Reviews)

“This non-binary centered novella has supermages and spies and ghosts and I adore the ways those things are interwoven into a narrative that is so much about consent and kink and trauma.  This is my favorite book that has come out in 2017, the one closest to my heart. I love it dearly. It means the world to me. “-  Xan West

“Lemberg’s prose is spellbinding… Love, transformation, magic, lust, longing, pain and desire – so many threads are woven together in this tale. Breathtaking storytelling.” – Maria Haskins

Thank you very much for considering this piece.


As I mentioned on Twitter, I have been hiding. I was in a fairly bad car accident three weeks ago, and am recovering from a concussion. I don’t know why a concussion (and as a result, losing my car) ultimately cheered me up – but I concluded that I do rather enjoy being alive, I’m grateful to be alive, and hope to continue being alive.

During my recovery period, I finished posting “The Splendid Goat Adventure” on my Patreon, and I want to tell you about it.

Marvushi e Garazd, an advanced and rather feisty student at the University on the Tiles, is sick and tired of archival research. When a course assignment on magical animals presents them with an opportunity for travel, Marvushi sets out in search of mysterious goats that have built (perhaps even tossed) a magical wall. This is a humorous adventure story told in correspondence between Marvushi and their dear friend T., whom Marvushi is forever promising to visit (but not really).

Goats! Academics! Bondage jokes! Magical tests! GOATS! And even more goaty bits!

Thanks to the generosity of my Patrons, you can have all this for $1 of your monthly Patreon support – and much more besides. This is Patreon exclusive 🙂 I hope you give it a try.

Poetry news

My poem “Pollen,” about pollen cosmonauts and my childhood years in Vorkuta, is out in Mithila Review. This issue of Mithila is fantastic, with so many wonderful voices – I hope you check it out.

My poem “The Repository” has been accepted for publication in the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

I have fallen behind on updates, but hope to catch up soon.

Work in Uncanny and Daily Science Fiction

While I was moving house and waiting for my internet to be reconnected, multiple works of mine came out! I’m trying to catch up now.

First, my short poem “Domovoi” came out in Uncanny Magazine Issue 17, with a wonderful podcast by Amal El-Mohtar (hurray!!)

My poem is in wonderful company: this issue features work by Seanan McGuire, Kat Howard, Maurice Broaddus, Mary Robinette Kowal, Cassandra Khaw, T. Kingfisher, Aliette de Bodard, Sarah Gailey, Dimas Ilaw, Sam J. Miller, Alasdair Stuart,  Joyce Chng, Shevta Thakrar, Cleto, and Chloe N. Clark; the cover is by Kirbi Fagan! I hope you check this issue out.

Uncanny Magazine is running a Kickstarter to fund their fourth year, which will include a special double issue of Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction. I am offering a Birdverse reward, a bespoke story/vignette for $250. It will involve an autistic protagonist, perhaps even Dedéi Brentann from Geometries of Belonging. I hope you check out the Uncanny/DPDSF kickstarter!

Finally, my surrealist unclassifiable RETRYING came out in Daily Science Fiction. It is very short and very strange. I’d love to hear what you think.

Happy August!

Birdverse novella “Portrait…” is out

While I was away from the computer for a rather dramatic and unpleasant move, my Birdverse novella A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power became available for free at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

Part 1:

Part 2:

A 5-hour long EPIC audiobook/podcast narrated by the indomitable CSE Cooney:

This is one of the best things I have ever written, and it is a difficult story; content warnings for kink/edgeplay, past trauma,  in-depth discussions of consent and living with the aftermath of trauma, some violence.

…this novella is a must-read – it delves deep into the history, spirituality, and mythology of that world. Love, transformation, magic, lust, longing, pain and desire – so many threads are woven together in this tale. Breathtaking storytelling.Maria Haskins

I will do a reviews roundup a bit later. Meanwhile, if you read this piece and enjoyed it, please consider leaving a Goodreads review, and/or leaving a comment at the Beneath Ceaseless Skies website.

With gratitude to Corey Alexander, without whom this piece would probably not have been finished; and thanks as always to Bogi Takács, Charles Payseur, Ada Hoffmann, Scott Andrews, and CSE Cooney, as well as my Patreon supporters past and present, who keep me going when the going gets hard(er).

Poem sale

I’m very pleased to announce that my short poem “Domovoi” will appear in a future issue of Uncanny Magazine.

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R.B. Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their work has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Unlikely Story, Uncanny, and other venues, and has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, and other awards.

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