This month, I’m the host for February’s Carnival of Aces. From the Asexual Agenda: “A Carnival of Aces is a monthly blogging carnival centered on the asexual spectrum (asexuals, gray-As, demisexuals, etc.). Anyone can participate, but responses should deal with asexuality or the asexual spectrum, and they should relate to the month’s theme (which is announced each month by the host). Responses should postdate the call for submissions. Alternate forms of media besides blogs are also welcome as long as they deal with the prompt.”
Previous carnival themes have addressed media representation to some extent, but the majority are several years old (from 2012-2017), and the two more recent ones are from September 2019 (“Telling Our Stories”) and December 2019 (“Literature, Academia, and Storytelling.”) This means there’s been time for the media landscape to change – in nonfiction for example, the number of books about asexuality (that I’ve been able to discover) has jumped from 4 to 9 since the end of 2019, with two more officially releasing later this month and another in March – as well as room for a focus more specifically on fiction in terms of unique carnival prompts.
So that’s the topic: Representation in Fiction. Some prompt ideas:
- How important is aspec representation in fiction to you? Does it matter much to you personally, or do you prefer other media?
- If you consume written media (by fiction I mean novels, short stories, fanfiction, graphic novels if you want…), did or does it have an impact on you when you find an aspec character, or conversely if you don’t see aspec representation? How so?
- How do you feel about the current amount of representation? Have you had success finding the representation you want in the genres and such that you prefer to read? (For example, I’m aroace, and I think I have yet to read a contemporary ace story because a lot of them seem to be about navigating romance as an ace person, and I don’t want romance any more than I want sex scenes.)
- What would you like to see more of in fiction in relation to aspec stuff? This could be anything from “just more aspec characters in general” to specific things like disabled autistic trans aces, queerplatonic relationships, more characters who are both ace and aro, characters who use specific microlabels, etc.
- Or any other relevant thoughts really; the prompts are just ideas to get you started.
Submissions are due by midnight (ish – I’m not staying up until 3 am, so honestly just get them to me before I get up the next morning, lol) central time on the 28th. You can comment on this post with the link to your submission, or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t have a blog but want to submit something anyway, you can email it to me and I can post it for you.
(Edit/note: Based on reader feedback, I altered this post slightly after first publishing it, if you saw the original and are confused if you remembered it wrong.)
Looking forward to reading everyone’s submissions!
12 thoughts on “Call for Submissions: February Carnival of Aces”
Hi Mia. Just because I think you would find it useful, are you familiar with Coyote’s post “Ace Media Analysis & Meta-commentary”?: https://theacetheist.wordpress.com/2021/10/24/ace-media-analysis-metacommentary/
Also, I wrote a post not long ago about the issue of representation that you might find pertinent: https://acefilmreviews.wordpress.com/2021/11/17/viewing-aceness-canons-headcanons-and-icons/
Partly because of the reasons I give in that post, I’m unlikely to write a submission this month about an explicit representation of asexuality. If I do end up writing something, it will more likely be about ace interpretation or ace resonances.
Ooh, those look useful, thanks!
Hey! I thought I’d jump in early with my submission for this month. It’s about how I want to see more media that casually bucks amatonormative and allonormative social norms rather than relying on explicit labels for representation.
Thanks for hosting!
I have some concerns about how this call for submissions is framed. Prioritizing just one for the moment, though: From what you’ve said here, it almost sounds like the carnival is doubling as a way to collect submissions for your thesis. This would strike me as a highly atypical method to be approved by your thesis advisor, and it’s also not really in the spirit of the carnival as a whole. If being quoted academically is presented as more opt-out then opt-in, that could preemptively discourage people from participating. Have you thought about creating a survey instead? There’s also a lot of existing material on this subject, and if you’re having trouble finding things, I can give you some reading recs. In the call’s current form, I’m concerned that this approach is not the most conducive to your research, while at the same time may risk curtailing submissions.
Yeah, that makes sense where you’re coming from. I did worry a little about doing this, but AUREA did the same thing in the Carnival of Aros for their book not too long ago, and my thesis advisor was totally on board, so it looked like an acceptable social script to use and I figured it was just my persistent anxiety about whether I’m doing things right getting in the way like it does for every post I publish :P.
I think I’ll just drop the thesis connection then – that sounds like the easiest way to fix it. Thanks for letting me know!
Thanks for hosting~ I plan on writing a post for this.
The November 2021 carnival topic was “Inside the frame, outside the frame” which was also about asexuality in fiction- you might be interested in that 🙂 https://www.pillowfort.social/posts/2464328
Ooh, thanks :).
Here is my post – Totally Baffled, in an Asexual Way (or, my review of “Let’s Talk About Love”) https://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/2023/02/lets-talk-about-love.html
Thanks for hosting!
Here’s my submission: https://sildarmillionsays.wordpress.com/2023/02/22/the-trouble-with-ace-representation/
I don’t have too much experience with novels, but I drew from film and TV.
Hi Mia. Here’s my submission: https://acefilmreviews.wordpress.com/2023/02/26/do-ace-stories-contribute-to-compulsory-sexuality/