• Submissions Call: Robots, AI and Digital Conscience
• General Submissions Policy

Submissions Call: Robots, AI and Digital Conscience


The next title in Sidekick’s Headbooks series of interactive, collaborative anthologies will be No, Robot, No, for release in July 2018. It’s intended as a visual and lyrical exploration of robots and AI, in terms of their status and meaning in pop culture as well as in the real world, present and future. The call for proposals is now closed and we are currently reviewing submissions. The information below is for reference only.

What we’re looking for

• One or more proposals for a single piece, sequence or series of pieces that would take up between 3 and 5 pages. The dimensions of the book are the same as the previous two titles in series, Aquanauts and Bad Kid Catullus, with portrait pages measuring 130 x 184mm, allowing for a gutter of about 12mm.

• Your proposal should have a thematic or structural coherence to it (ie. not just 3-5 disparate pieces) and should in some way explore an element of robots, robotics, AI or digital conscience. You could take as your cue robots in pop culture, the social and political implications of advances in robotics, the hard science, or the relationship between AI and literature, for example.

• In terms of style and content, we are particularly keen to publish pieces that combine the visual and the lyrical in innovative and enticing ways: concrete poetry, calligrams, collages, typographic art. Collaboration with designers and illustrators is encouraged, as is working with pre-existing texts.

• We are also keen to publish pieces that include an interactive element, eg. game poems, instructional poems, invitations to the reader to write on the page or add things to the book.

• Additionally, we are looking to take on pieces that fuse the poetic with the informational. Charts, tables, timelines, glossaries. These need not be strictly factual – they might simply borrow a visual data format while following a poetic or imaginative agenda.

For Inspiration has a large collection of scanned out-of-copyright texts, and Wikimedia Commons is a good source of free images that may be reworked.

Cover art for The Field Guide to Typography

Page 3 of A Humament (1984 version) by Tom Phillips

from Information is Beautiful by David McCandless

from Dog Ear by Erica Baum

One final stipulation

We do ask that you have previously purchased at least one of our titles, or have been previously published in one of our titles. It need not be a title in the Headbooks series, but we recommend one of these if you’re new to Sidekick. The reason we’ve added this is that we think of our books as collaborative projects. We want to work generously with other writers and their own ideas, styles and aesthetics, but we also ask that you be somewhat familiar with our own approach as a small press publisher. All you need to do is indicate on the submissions form which book/s you’ve bought or been published in and where you picked them up (this also helps us develop a picture of where people are finding out about us).

If you have any further questions, please feel free to email us at submissions [at]

General Submissions Policy

We periodically issue calls for proposals and submissions linked to our themed, collaborative anthologies, which we are ever evolving into a platform for a plethora of styles and approaches. You can keep up to date with our submissions calls via our blog, Twitter and Facebook feeds, so follow us there in the first instance. You can also sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of the page. Calls are open to anyone and everyone across the world, and we particularly welcome submissions from BAME, LGBTQIA+ and disabled writers.

Unfortunately, we do not consider unsolicited manuscripts or book proposals. As these requests are increasing in frequency and we’re only a two-person team, we no longer have time to reply to such enquiries. Check out the detailed list of publishers provided by the Poetry Book Fair to find a good fit for your work.


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