Steampunk inspiration and resources

Steampunk Writers, I WANT YOU! The Submission Window Opens NOW

Oh man, oh man, oh man! I am ecstatic to announce an exciting new opportunity for anybody who loves Steampunk and story-telling. I’ve been going back and forth about what sort of project I wanted to do to celebrate the anniversary of Steampunk, and once I discovered the Collaborative Writing Challenge I knew I’d found a match made in heaven.

(Please note: I am still interested in creating a collection of short stories in 2017 as well as this collaborative novel. Read more about it here)


The CWC runs projects to bring authors together to create a collaborative novel. I just had my submission accepted for their 6th Project, a fantasy called Esyld’s Awakening, and I was so impressed with the organization and the whole idea of collaborative fiction that I signed up to coordinate Project 7. I love the idea of pulling together several voices to celebrate Steampunk together, and I hope you will join me!

You can get all the details on the CWC website, but here’s the quick explanation for how it all works.

  • Writers submit a potential first chapter by Dec. 2 and the CWC staff chooses the three they think has the most potential to grow into a full novel. Anyone who signs up (see below) gets a chance to vote on which first chapter they think is the strongest.
  • Starting now, writers sign up to be a part of the collaboration and soon will be asked to sign up for chapters they’d be interested to write based on the schedule (first chance starts the week of Dec. 30). There are usually 4-5 people trying for each chapter, but lots of people sign up for more than one as well.
  • When it is their turn, each participant gets to read the first chapter, as well as the one the is right before the one they signed up for, and they get 5 days to attempt to write the next one. Everyone has access to chapter summaries, character profiles, and notes about places and objects to help them along.
  • At each step, I’ll choose my favorite chapter and handle the first round of editing for continuity to make sure the voice and flow of the narration all works together.
  • And eventually you’ve got a 30 chapter book written by dozens of people! You don’t have to be experienced, just eager to join in on the adventure 🙂

Pinmart artI absolutely encourage anyone who enjoys the genre to give it a shot. It’s simple to sign up here, and you’ll be contacted soon about the schedule (which goes from Dec-Aug) and which chapters you’d like to try. Anyone who attempts a chapter, even if it is not chosen, gets a free e-copy of the completed book and a chance to buy 2 copies at cost. As a bonus, I am going to send one of my spiffy United We Steampunk, Divided we Fall pins to anyone who has their chapter chosen.

If you’d like to try submitting the first chapter, the submission window is open now! (See details in the graphic below) Remember, it will need to read like the opening chapter of a novel, not a standalone short story. So feel free to hint at things even if you don’t know all the details yourself to give your fellow writers different directions to go in. As we all know, Steampunk is a very wide genre, so don’t feel constricted by the Victorian era, the British Empire, or specific trappings of the aesthetic.


Feel free to connect with me on my Facebook author page or on Twitter (@GearTurns), or leave me comments and questions below.

Looking forward to building something great together!

16 responses

  1. I don’t see where you submit or what the guidelines are for submission (word count, format, acceptable content, etc) for this first chapter. Or am I missing something?


    September 12, 2016 at 9:54 am

  2. Commenting again because I forgot to check the little box to be notified of your reply … (oops)


    September 12, 2016 at 9:55 am

  3. Hello, I wish to enter this game of the mind and pen. What must I do first, write the first chapter of… Our own story? Am I reading that right?

    Liked by 1 person

    September 13, 2016 at 6:32 am

    • You can make an attempt at a first chapter of a brand new story and email it, and/or you can sign up through the CWC and you’ll get a chance to choose between other chapters later in the story. For instance, they have a project going on right now and I signed up to try for Ch 6 and Ch 17, which are 11 weeks apart. Those are the dates that worked best with my schedule 🙂


      September 13, 2016 at 7:01 am

      • Thank you for getting back to me so fast!

        I think I will write the first chapter, so question time. what do I include in my email? Do I include a summery with the first chapter? What do I put down for the subject? Do I include short character bios? My steampunk world includes magic, is that ok? Are my shoes to big? Is there subject matters I should avoid?

        Thanks for your time by the way, I am rather looking forward to working on the first chapter!


        September 13, 2016 at 7:13 am

      • You don’t need to include any of the summaries or character bios. If you chapter is chosen by the voters then the coordinator (me 🙂 ) will take care of that stuff for you. You can put “Chapter 1 for Project 7” in the subject line. There aren’t any restrictions, magic is fair game. But, if you already have a world and/or characters you write about, I would recommend starting from scratch rather than trying to use them. Just because you won’t have any control over what direction the story goes, it might take your world in a direction that isn’t consistent with your own vision. That is my biggest problem right now, is that I already have half a dozen ideas for Steampunk stories but I know *I* want to write them so I’m trying to come up with something new. Good luck!

        Liked by 2 people

        September 13, 2016 at 7:41 am

      • Sounds like a plan then, I’ll do my best at getting the first chapter done then. I don’t mind not having control actually, I want to see what people will do with a beginning in a world where Rome never fell because Magic and Steam ushered in a industrial revolution 500 years ago (their time).

        Liked by 1 person

        September 13, 2016 at 8:00 am

      • A very interesting premise 🙂 My husband is a Roman historian so I know there is a lot there to play with!


        September 13, 2016 at 8:07 am

      • Why thank you! I’ll have the first chapter done in no time. Thanks for your help and I can’t wait to enter!


        September 13, 2016 at 8:18 am

      • Happy to help 🙂


        September 13, 2016 at 9:09 am

  4. Love this idea and I’m interested in seeing where it goes 🙂
    Think I will wait until another project starts as I’d like to be a little better at writing before I try to submit something.
    Good luck to anyone who is sending in a chapter 🙂


    November 6, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    • The project will run for almost all of 2017, so even if you don’t think you’re ready to try a starter chapter, you could still sign up for and try for later chapters as late August 21 if you wanted. 🙂 About 1/2 of the slots are still open!


      November 7, 2016 at 10:31 am

      • Ok 🙂 Thank you very much for the information.
        I think I might apply to see if I can write one of the later chapters then 🙂 I appreciate your help 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        November 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      • Any time 🙂


        November 8, 2016 at 7:27 am

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