bm anthology

August, 2016. It’s that time again when we shake off the dust from last year’s burn to prepare for this year’s burn! Shawn and I will be roaming the playa with a few gift stickers for storytellers we meet. If you don’t find us hanging around BMIR, Media Mecca, or the trash fence, wait there. We’ll be right back. 


We are Soup Dumplings Unlimited and we’re in the midst of curating a literary anthology of short stories set (in part or in full) at Burning Man or an affiliate burn recognized by the BORG. The collection is slated for 2017 publication.  Although our open submissions period has closed, please do contact us if you have an exceptional story you’d like to share with us. Here’s what we’re looking for…   

4000 max word count (no minimum) of well-crafted fiction, non-fiction, flash fiction, essay or short story form. We want stories you might hear around the burn barrel, specific moments when the light dawned, when something about you or your life suddenly changed for better or worse, stories that surprise us with their depth and complexity and honor burner culture even if the story ends in disaster.

Tell us about when you couldn’t bring yourself to enter the Temple with your father’s ashes because you weren’t ready to say goodbye; when you first laid eyes on El Pulpo Mecanico and you decided right then to quit your day job; when when you stepped out of the porta-potty to a surprise red carpet and the applause of a spontaneous crowd; when you were lost, or found, in a dust storm; when you decided to get sober; when you decided to get fucked up; when you realized you were Home, or realized you weren’t. 

Assume your readers are burners. Jump right in, hit the dust running. If you don’t kill us on page one, we won’t read on.

We prefer:

  • Deeply personal stories that take risks, that tell the untellable
  • High stakes
  • Well-crafted stories told as if we’re old friends standing around a burn barrel
  • Scenes that immerse us in your world
  • Sensual details – touch, taste, scent to help us experience the story with you
  • Meaningful exposition: Why was it important? What impact did it have?
  • Insights from burners who build and tear down BRC
  • Burner slang

Not preferred:

  • Explanations of what Burning Man is
  • Why it was better at Baker Beach   
  • Clever prose that upstages your story
  • Gratuitous sex, drugs, and alcohol; we want stories that are deeper (in the non-orifice sense) than fucking at ATTOL; yay for orgies, tripping, and alcohol sipped from dildo fountains, but we want the story underneath the story.
  • Over-use of attributes and/or adverbs in dialogue (e.g., “Oh, but these feathers don’t come off!” she stupidly exclaimed. “Would you like to try the Human Carcass Wash?” he asked creepily. A plain old he said/she said works just fine for us – “Fuck your burn,” she said. See?)

The collection, edited by Shannon Brazil and Shawn Levy, is slated for a 2017 release.   Contributing writers will receive a copy of the anthology and a thank you stipend.   

Submission Period: April 15 – June 30 

Submission Guidelines:

Questions?  Email to