Guidelines

Those Who Make Us

Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories

Edited by Kelsi Morris and Kaitlin Tremblay

The Exile Book of Anthology Series Number Twelve

The stories surrounding monsters, creatures, and myths play an integral role in the formation of a cultural and individual identity. For our forthcoming anthology, Those Who Make Us, we will gather together a unique body of speculative fiction with a focus on creatures, myths, and monsters set in a real or imagined Canada that highlight these diverse identities. We welcome stories about classic Canadian monsters, but Those Who Make Us will also explore how monsters from other cultures affect and are affected by Canadian landscapes. The cultural stories that shape our understandings of ourselves and our place in Canada are dynamic and Those Who Make Us will reflect the complexities of these interactions.

The stories submitted to Those Who Make Us may have their foundation in traditional forms of fairy tales, folktales, mythology, legends, and fables – but we will look for contemporary storytelling that goes beyond their foundations so that they represent personal or group identities, social commentary, evolving cultural norms, and history/future history. Those Who Make Us will challenge the idea of the Canadian identity.

What Are Canadian Monsters, Creatures, and Myths?

Some classic examples are Ogopogo, Wendigos, shapeshifters, selkies, etc. These can be taken from urban myth, rural folktales, tribal/ancestral stories, cultural tradition, and heritage or completely original creations. We do not want direct retellings of traditional stories, but rather speculative storytelling (personal, imagined, historical in reference, myth-based to one’s culture, contemporary) that embody a distinct Canadian past/present/contemporary/future psyche and place. Make them your own. Or even make up your own. There is a great deal to engage with in today’s world, as well.

We are loosely defining “monsters, creatures, and myth personas” as non-normative beings that reflect back some aspect of ourselves. Consider: What are we as humans and how do monsters help us understand what we are? Creatures, mythic personae, and monsters contain the capacity to reflect the best, worst, and undiscovered aspects of our humanity. Given that, we do NOT want any serial killer stories or humans acting monstrously. We are of the mind that the monsters do not necessarily have to be the villain, either (think of the classic children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are).

We are really looking to do something new. We will not be taking any zombie stories. Overdone monsters and creatures, like vampires and werewolves, will be a hard sell. Do not limit yourself to modern-era urban fantasy — there is much to explore in Canadian history: What if the gold miners in the Yukon Gold Rush found dragon eggs? What if there is truth behind the sightings of monsters in Lake Ontario? How could different world mythologies interact with the current immigrant experience in Canada? How would we react if a kaiju showed up in Vancouver today? What type of creatures and myths could come out of the current technology in Canada?

Try something new. Try something unconventional.

What Are We Looking For?

Stories must be set in a Canadian landscape — this can be a fictional or reimagined Canada, or fantastical places inspired by Canadian settings, historical, futuristic, or contemporary.

We are hoping to include a wide range of diverse voices and interpretations, including writers of colour and of Native heritage, Francophone writers, writers with disabilities, LGBTQIA writers, and new generation writers (aged 18-30). We encourage writers to reflect on the ways that some experiences, stories, histories, and voices are either neglected or influenced by the dominant narrative in Canada. We understand that the multicultural image of Canada has many layers to it, and we want our writers to feel free to explore these layers however they see fit.

Your submission can be in any genre that suits the theme of your story.

Submission Details

Length: 2000 to 7000 words. Under 5000 is preferred.

Payment: 5 cents/word (CAD) for original fiction, and a contributor’s copy.

All writers must be Canadian citizens (living in Canada and/or paying taxes in Canada) and permanent residents of Canada.

No poetry, plays, or novel excerpts.

No simultaneous submissions. The only exception is for stories submitted for the $15,000 Vanderbilt / Exile Short Story Competition sponsored by Exile Quarterly / Exile Editions.

No multiple submissions. If you received a rejection before the deadline, you may submit a new work.

Submit stories in standard manuscript format as a .doc, .docx, or RTF with indented paragraphs, italics in in italics, and bold in bold. Include full contact information and word count on the first page. Include a cover letter (name, story title, and word count, contact information, previous publications) in the body of the email.

Submissions in English only, although stories translated into English are also acceptable.

Rights purchased: First English-Language Rights & Non-exclusive Anthology Rights (Print and eBook).

Deadline: Monday, November 2, 2015, 11:59pm EST

Reading period: July 15, 2015 to November 30, 2015. All acceptances or rejections will be sent by December 20, 2015.

The book is expected to be published between August and December of 2016.

Submit via submittable at https://exilepublishing.submittable.com/submit

If you have any questions or would like to send us a query, please contact us at thosewhomakeus@gmail.com.

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