Issue 18

Route 57 is the University of Sheffield’s creative writing journal. 2022 will see the publication of our 18th issue. We’re inviting submissions to a special themed issue: THE BOOK OF WATER

The issue will explore human, non-human, and more-than-human connections with water, alongside what it means to be surrounded by polluted and dynamic water, water that breaks the patterns of normalcy for those relying on it, living in it, and also using it for sport. We will think about water rights, and how monopolies of water, fishing rights, and the sea bed, are affecting those communities who need it most.

The theme has been triggered by water crises around the world, from flooded regions to areas that have become arid due to changes in temperature and rainfall. The balanced distribution of water on, above, and under the Earth’s surface is of paramount importance to the wellbeing of all life.

We invite broad responses to the theme of water that could take the form of poems, plays, short fiction and/or creative non-fiction reflecting on:

  • Oceanic extinction
  • Water folklore and mythology
  • Strandings
  • Sea exploration
  • Water as purification in religious texts
  • Aquatic pollution and trash vortexes (i.e. The Great Pacific garbage patch)
  • Ocean and waterways clean-up initiatives
  • Deep sea mining and ocean spills
  • Hydropower
  • Controlled water: dams, canals, irrigation systems, and ways of preventing evaporation
  • Wild water: tsunamis, floods, tidal waves, freak tides, and rogues waves
  • Wild swimming and other water sports
  • Absent water: drought and dried up bodies of water
  • Waterscapes: new horizons created by increased water transport and off-shore wind farms
  • Ocean tourism and the era of giant cruise ships
  • Ocean warfare and military drills
  • Ancient and historic water (i.e. the role of water in colonisation)
  • Water on stage (the role of water in performance and art)

Additionally, we encourage critical, nonfictional, hybrid, and theoretical responses that consider the role of water in a warming world and how our comportment towards bodies of water lies at the basis of tackling the climate crisis.

For an idea of what we do, take a look at our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, @routefiftyseven as well as our website

This special issue will be co-edited by Vera Fibisan and Adam Piette. The journal is divided into sections, each of which has a staff editor and postgraduate editors.

We are looking for submissions by Friday, the 29th of April.

We aim to publish in late May 2022.

Short fiction

For all short prose submissions (complete short stories or extracts from longer works, of no more than 5,000 words), please submit to Ashley Bullen-Cutting (


Bold and imaginative prose and theory writing to Rosanne van der Voet ( Submissions might be in the form of experimental non-fiction, essays, memoirs, opinion pieces, theory work, reviews or something stranger, in the interstices between these genres.


Submit your poems (prose poems, poetic prose, essay poems, experimental, hybrid work or extract from a longer sequence…etc welcome) of no more than (circa) 200-300 lines to Ágnes Lehóczky (


Plays, scripts, sketches or performance pieces of all kinds to Carmen Levick (

Extracts from longer works are also accepted. If your work is accepted, you may like to arrange a reading performance: we can help you find actors and technical support.


Photography, illustrations, drawings and other visual material, to Adam Piette and Vera Fibisan (general editors,;

The work will be collected into a special issue of Route 57 called THE BOOK OF WATER.

Warm wishes,

Route 57