LONTAR is the world’s only biannual literary journal focusing on Southeast Asian speculative fiction. It was founded in 2012, in order to spread awareness of this literature to readers who might not normally be exposed to it, and to celebrate its existence and diversity within the region.
“Lontar” is the Bahasa Indonesia word for a bound palm-leaf manuscript, which is among the oldest forms of written media, dating as far back as the fifth century BCE and possibly earlier. They were used to record Buddhist sutras, law texts, epic mythic narratives, and treatises on a host of subjects such as astronomy, astrology, architecture, law, medicine and music. As such, this ancient form of writing is the perfect symbol for the curation of Southeast Asian speculative fiction: it is an early technology that revolutionised the dissemination of knowledge (it no longer had to be handed down exclusively in oral form), and it was used predominantly in India, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.
LONTAR is open to unsolicited submissions on a rolling basis.
The editors of LONTAR are looking for quality literary writing with elements of the fantastic, which is in some way connected with the cultures, traditions, mythologies, folk religions, and/or daily life in Southeast Asia. While we are happy to look at works by writers outside of the region, we want to actively encourage Southeast Asian writers to submit your work. Please do not send submissions for consideration via email, as they will be deleted unread.
It’s a good idea to read an issue or two of LONTAR before submitting to see exactly the type of writing we are looking for. Full guidelines can be found at the link below.