Monsters & Mormons: Call for Submissions

A Motley Vision and Peculiar Pages are pleased to announce a call for submissions for the Monsters & Mormons anthology. Theric and William are very excited about this project and look forward to working with you all. We’ve tried to be as thorough as possible in this call for submissions, but if you have questions, leave them in the comments section below or e-mail monsters@motleyvision.org.

PURPOSE

As Terryl Givens documents in The Viper on the Hearth, from Zane Grey to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mormons served as stock villains in the early days of genre fiction (both pre-pulp and pulp heyday). We propose to recast, reclaim and simply mess with that tradition by making Mormon characters, settings and ideas the protagonists of genre-oriented stories to appear in an anthology simply titled Monsters & Mormons. This is, then, a project of cultural reappropriation. But even more than that, we just want us all to have fun with the concept.

SUBMISSIONS

Fiction from 5 words up to 17,500 (novelette length)

Poetry from 3 lines up to 120

Plays and Dramatic Monologues of One Act

Illustration and Photography suitable for display on a standard book page

Graphic Novel (grayscale) of 1 to 20 pages (submit 2-4 completed pages + full script)

Text should be submitted in .rtf or .doc format (No WordPerfect or .docx please — any word processor you use should be able to output in Rich Text Format [.rtf]). Images should be submitted as a .jpg or .png file (make sure you have a high-res file available should we accept the work).

Submit to: monsters@motleyvision.org.

Include in the body of the e-mail: your full name; the title of the work/works submitted; and, if available, a link to a blog, website, online resume/works published page — anything that will provide some context to your work. Pseudonyms are discouraged, but we’ll allow for special circumstances — please include that consideration in your e-mail if you would like it.

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR

Content: Should be broadly-appropriate. In the tradition of modern Mormon mores, greater graphic-ness will be allowed to violence than sexuality although, in general, the boundaries of the original pulp fictions should be the goal. We will make some allowances depending on the genre and the particular story (for example, a bit more grit in urban fantasy). The use of humor, irony, camp and satire is highly encouraged; however, all such uses should show a love for both Mormonism and genre fiction. Plain old mocking is boring.

Mormons: Conceptually, any story that invokes an aspect of Mormonism that can create some recognizable way in for a Mormon reader is cool with us. Yes, you can be clever about it, but we also want straight-up interpretations of the theme e.g. flesh-and-blood Mormons encountering flesh-and-blood/ichor/electronics/whatever monsters. Although preference will be given to Latter-day Saints, we are willing to consider works that feature “Mormons” or “Saints” of any dispensation of mankind, including those in a Book of Mormon setting. Stories that don’t feature Mormon characters or settings, but show a strong, interesting, fairly apparent connection to the Mormon world view will also be considered. In addition, we don’t want writers to worry too much about the metaphysical implications of mixing Mormons and monsters. You don’t need to have doctrinal reasons behind the existence of the monsters nor do you need to offer up stereotypically Mormon solutions to the problems the monsters pose (although such won’t be disallowed unless they’re too flaky or lame). Finally, we’re not automatically saying no don’t do it (because there’s always an exception if the story is right), but too many Cain or Satan-and-his-host-spirit-possession stories will make us very picky and possibly a bit cranky.

Monsters: We are happy for this to be rather broadly interpreted. Monsters need not be purely non-human life forms. Human monsters, supernatural monsters, technological monsters and psychological monsters are all allowed. That said, we highly encourage engagement with the classical monster tropes: werewolves, mummies, vampires (but see warning below), swamp monsters, multi-tentacled cosmic beings of supreme terror, Jack the Ripper, chupacabras, automatons, sentient simians, aliens, etc.

Vampire Warning: Yes, we will accept stories about Mormons and vampires. If you are going to write such a story, though, you should have read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight trilogy and Eugene Woodbury’s Angel Falling Softly and be able to bring something new to the trope. Also note that we’ll likely give more leeway to illustrations/photography featuring vampires.

Genres: Horror, science fiction, mystery, suspense, action/adventure, thriller, romance and their sub-genres (especially: steam punk, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, post-apocalyptic sci-fi and alternate history). High fantasy is out — there has to be something that ties metaphysically or realistically in to the world of Mormonism. Hybridization of genres is very much encouraged. Elements borrowed from literary fiction are totally cool with us, but we aren’t going to dismiss standard interpretations of the classic styles and genres. In fact, we totally want to pulp it up.

Models: H.G. Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord Dunsany, Robert Howard, Raymond Chandler, Dashell Hammett, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.P. Lovecraft, Mervyn Peake, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, etc.

PUBLISHING DETAILS

Copyright: First right of print and electronic (including downloadable e-books) publication; reprinting of previously published stories that the author holds the rights to will be considered (please include the piece’s publication history). First-time rights to be held exclusively for six months after publication. Publications rights to be held in perpetuity but not exclusivity. Should the publisher desire to reprint the stories in a subsequent anthology, author has right of refusal.

Sales and Incentives: Philosophically, we want the proceeds from the sales to go to the contributors as a reward for their hard work. At minimum, all contributors will receive a free print and e-book version of the anthology. We have no idea what kind of sales we’re going to get so what we are planning is a system that rewards contributors if we hit certain profit levels with the anthology and sales of related merchandise. More details to follow.

Timeline:

Please note that all dates are approximate and subject to change, but we’re trying to be generous here both to authors and to give us enough time to get things done in order to hit our publication deadline.

April 15, 2010: Submissions open

July 31 at the earliest, Oct. 1 at the latest: Announce early admits (we’re going to accept some work on a rolling basis — if we have some very strong pieces that come in early, we’re going to accept them and publicly announce them).

October 1, 2010: Submissions close

October 31, 2010: Final answers on submissions; public announcement of admittances so far; requests for rewrites e-mailed out to potential contributors; and a public call for entries with specific attributes to fill gaps in the anthology.

January 31, 2011: Deadline for any rewrites and any gap-filler entries. Announcement of which of those make it into the anthology will be posted as soon as Theric and William can get through them.

February – September 2011: Editing and production

October 1, 2011: Publication!

18 thoughts on “Monsters & Mormons: Call for Submissions”

  1. How do you feel about multiple submissions?

    I amnot going to submit multiple stories but how about a story and a poem?

    Just wondering.

    And any idea how big you might want to make this? 100K?

  2. Multiple submissions are fine. Theric will have a better idea on page count limit for the anthology, but I do know that we want to make this as jam-packed and varied as possible while keeping things within quality, workload and final price parameters.

  3. Marny:

    I believe we do, but it’s still great to know that you are interested. Plans do sometimes change. So thanks.

    Angie:

    Why don’t you include a summary of your novella in your submission e-mail. I can’t make any promises, but I’m (almost) always willing to take a look.

    Scott:

    Dude, you know I’d love to include something from you. You were already on my list of people to contact directly.

    And hey — what about Out of the Deep or do you still have that shopped out somewhere? I do have a very minor claim to that story anyway…

  4. I’m going to have try this, and even if I don’t make it in I’ll have to buy the book because it already sounds incredibly awesome.

  5. Super idea!

    I have some questions:
    1) Do you mind stories submitted as a collaboration between two writers?
    2) Will you accept multiple story submissions?
    3) What is the reasoning behind the discouraging pseudonyms?

    Thanks!

  6. 1. Not at all — go for it.

    2. Absolutely. There is also a slight possibility of us even including more than one story by the same author, especially if the two stories are paired or are completely different in tone and length and fit the slots we want to fill.

    3. Because of personal preference, because of the politics of the Mormon cultural sphere (in particular, I’m not interested in publishing a story by someone who is actively anti-Mormon who then is going to crow about having punked us — which is not to discourage the ex-Mo crowd — if the story works within the constraints of the anthology and is awesome, then it works and it’s awesome), and because of the prevalence of internet handles in the space in which we’re publicizing the anthology.

    But as we mention, we’re willing to make exceptions, especially if they are the classic situations in which authors use pseudonyms: for established or semi-established authors who are worried about brand/fan confusion/reaction or newer authors who intend to establish themselves in a particular genre with their pseudonym. But in all cases, Theric and I will need to know the “real” person behind the pseudonym, and we will guarantee privacy*. I work in higher ed public relations (and have been running this blog for 6 years) — I know how to keep a secret. In fact, there several people out there who could vouch for my discretion, but I’m not going to ask them to, because of my reputation for discretion {wink}.

    *except in the unlikely circumstance of being forced legally to divulge that information and in such a case it wouldn’t be because of our actions — we’re keeping things as clean and above the board as we know how to.

    edited to replace disappearing wink because I used the wrong tags for it

  7. .

    As for pseudonyms, I might as well mention that I’ll be credited as Theric Jepson which I suppose technically meets the definition of pseudonym. Technically.

  8. Those who are looking forward to reading this collection (even if not submitting a story) may be interested to read Dan Wells’ series of posts describing the short story he’s planning to submit. The first post is here.

  9. I would like to submit my book, Earth Sink, for consideration in your monsters and mormons program. The book is an epic, and in one part of the story, I have extensively described a formidable species of creature that should be of interest to your readers. I can send a free copy for you to keep. Please tell me the address where I should send it. Thanks.
    Ilyan Kei Lavanway

    Wm: Edited to delete personal info that should never be posted on the internet

  10. Please note that we have since decided to go with the obvious and publish the anthology on Oct. 31, 2011.

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