Wednesday, January 2, 2013

February 2013: Balkanizing Up is Hard to Do

The people have spoken and we at The Update have listened. The writing contest for the month of February will be "balkanize me", the famous trope where alternate historians take a united nation and break it into pieces.

The name for the trope derives from the geopolitical term "balkanization" used to describe the process of fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller regions or states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with each other, and it is considered pejorative.  Although the term originally referred to the break-up of Ottoman Europe, it came into widespread use after the break-up of Austria-Hungary and Russia following World War I.  Alternate historians generally use the term balkanization when they are breaking up an OTL state into smaller components.

Although balkanized Americas are the most popular, any country can be balkanized, including China:
The "United" Kingdom:
Heck, even Belgium:
Here are the rules:
  • Submissions should be between 500 to 2000 words. We are open to accepting submissions over 2000 depending on their quality, but they may be split into separate parts if possible.
  • We are accepting reviews, essays and original fiction based on the trope.
  • Submissions period begins today and posting will begin Feb 1st. The submissions period ends on Feb 27th.
  • All submissions must be sent by email with something either in the subject or body of email stating this is for February 2013's theme.
  • All submissions must meet the theme for the contest but we will not stop accepting articles for the month of February 2013 that do not meet the theme. We reserve the right, however, to postpone publication if we receive articles for the theme.
  • All other rules regarding contributing to AH Weekly Update remain in effect.
To encourage you all to submit articles for this contest, the person who generates the most page views will receive a blu-ray copy of Iron Sky...because who more wants to fracture the world than Moon Nazis?

WARNING: Any suspected cheating will immediately disqualify the contributor and there will be no appeals.  You are encouraged to promote your work through social media, but if I see that someone has clicked a link to an article 100 times in a minute I am going to suspect foul play.

If you any questions email me at ahwupdate at gmail dot com. Don't forget our January contest is still open for submissions and I will be posting the first entry tomorrow.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger on Amazing Stories and a volunteer editor for Alt Hist magazine. His fiction can be found at Echelon PressJake's Monthly and The Were-Traveler. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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