Monsters & Mormons: submissions are now closed!

Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, fellow writers and poets: submissions to the Monsters & Mormons anthology are now closed. Many thanks! And stay tuned.

UPDATE at 7 a.m. CDT, Oct. 2: If you sent something in, you should have received e-mail acknowledgement by now. Thanks again for your submission. We don’t plan on sitting on these for a super long time, but it will take a while for us to wade (a happy wade, though — think children frolicking at the beach) through all of them. Stay tuned. You will receive official word on the status of your particular submission via e-mail from

Monsters & Mormons: housecreeping, err, keeping

So as we approach the deadline a few notes that may be of interest…

Updated Timetable

So much depends on how much comes in at the last minute, how quickly Theric and I can read submissions, and how long it takes us to decide. So although we said in the original timetable that we’ll announce all admits by Oct. 31, we very well may do this in stages with another admit class in mid October, one in late October, and then perhaps a few more admits in early to mid-November. I will say that we’ve read much of what we have received so far and are confident that we have enough to make a pretty good anthology, but we’re also very much looking forward to more coming in here at the deadline. Beyond that, my lips are sealed. Continue reading “Monsters & Mormons: housecreeping, err, keeping”

Monsters & Mormons: I got something to say

I have something to say: I’m already blown away.

You know, this started as a joke on Twitter. Me and some others making up bastardized Mo-lit and LDS-fic titles, riffing off of that whole Pride and Prejudice and Zombies phenomenon. And then I got a notion. And Theric responded. And he and I talked, and it became a real idea, with a solid theoretical foundation buoying up one heckuva cool concept.

With the way some of the early submissions poured in so early, it was clear that some of you had already stories that fit the concept. Stories that you maybe had even shopped around, but that clearly, up till now, were still in the drawer. So maybe we were just tapping in to the Zeitgeist.

And some of you simply embraced the idea and ran with it and told us you were going to write something and were true to your word.

We’re still expecting some more good stuff to come in. And, yeah, we’ll be rejecting some of the submission we have received so far. That’s the way anthologies work. But I am humbled and proud and a little bit awed by what has been unleashed. You all are pushing my Mormonism mingled with genre with sometimes a dash of literary buttons, and the idea that we’re going to be able to give voice to some of these stories and put them all together in one mighty roar of talent and ethno-religious pride (unabashed, but also not entirely un-complicated) — some thrill rides; some laugh riots; some chills; some deep ponderings — is just way too sweet. And so much fun.

Yeah, we have reason to hype this thing so take what I say with a grain of salt. And I can only speak for my reactions. But speaking selfishly, reading the submissions ranks up with watching New York Doll with a bunch of Mormons and punks in San Francisco in terms of hitting my sweet spot; hitting me right in the center of so much of what I love in this mortal life. I expect it’ll rank even higher when this is all done.

So thanks. I look forward to more (9 days left). And sorry to be such a tease, but I had to say it. It’s been building for a couple of months now. And at this particular moment it just couldn’t be contained.

Monsters & Mormons: two weeks to deadline

Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters — you have 15 days. Submissons for Monsters & Mormons are due no later than midnight (PDT) Friday, Oct. 1,  to Please remember to go over the submissions guidelines one more time to make sure everything is in place before you submit.

If you have already submitted: awesome. Thanks so much.

If you are in process: best of luck finishing things up, and we very much look forward to reading whatever it is you’ve come up with.

If you haven’t even started yet: you know, it’s actually not too late. It’s entirely possible to write a short story in one evening. Now a better method would be to draft it this weekend, get a quick turnaround on some reader comments and revise it a couple of times the following weekend. But whatever path you take, decide to make the journey now.  And get started. You just may surprise yourself (and, hopefully, us as well). But even if your story is terrible, well, what a marvelous learning experience for you!

Preannouncement: The Monsters & Mormons Anthology

UPDATE: Call for Submissions

As Terryl Givens documents in The Viper on the Hearth (Amazon), 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.

A formal call for submissions will be posted in early April, but we wanted to pre-announce the project now in order to get the creative juices flowing and test if this is of any interest at all to AMV’s readers (and anyone else who gets wind of it).

Three things that I will note now:

  1. Theric Jepson and I will serve as co-principals on the project. It will be published by Peculiar Pages. We don’t have all the details hammered out, but we’re fairly far along, and I’m confident you will own a copy of this book by the end of next year.
  2. We will provide more specific direction in the call to submissions, but we intend for the concept (Monsters & Mormons) to be interpreted across a wide range of genres and art forms and high/low/middle-browness-es.
  3. However, we also envision the project as very much coming out of the key pulp authors and riffing on, building upon, paying homage to and perhaps even satirizing their work. Which doesn’t mean that we are abandoning the literary, either. We hope to build a hybridized anthology with a pulpy core.

Any thoughts? I don’t know that Theric and I will be able to answer all of your questions (assuming ya’ll even have any), but if you have strong desires, radical middle ideas, or simply yeas or nays, cheers or hisses, make them known.

Finally: Yes, this is a project of cultural re-appropriation. I could go on at length about all the reasons I dig the conceptual underpinnings of this concept. But I won’t (and I’ll try to keep things brief in the call for submissions). Because it really doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that we all have fun, and that’s the primary reason I decided to take this project on — it’s time for us to cut loose in the world of Mormon letters.

Best of Mormonism 2009 (in brief)

I was pleased to receive a copy of Best of Mormonism 2009 (edited by Stephen Carter) by virtue of my Irreantum subscription. That was a nice bonus. I mostly endorse Theric’s review and recommendations. But to be brief and positive:

My Favorite Work: Neil Aitken’s poem “Traveling through the Prairies, I think of My Father’s Voice”

The One I’ve Been Thinking About: Lisa Torcasso Downing’s short story “Clothing Esther”

Prose I Most Admire: there’s some very good writers here, but the one that really got me in the flow of the language is Joshua Foster’s essay “God Damned the Land But Lifted the People; Or, A Redemption in Three Levitations”

Best Use Of Humor: To be honest a bit disappointing overall, but this sentence from Lynda Mackey Wilson’s essay “We Who Owe Everything to a Name” cracked me up — (talking about a book about she received from her agnostic parents called The Origins of Life) “There were dramatic pictures of lightning flashing over moody ammonia seas.” (152)

Favorite Sentences/Lines: I’m going to pick two. From Aitken’s poem — “…Here, the wind sounds the same/ blown from any direction, full of dust, pollen, the deep toll of church bells/ rung for mass, weddings, deaths. …” (1)

And from Lance Larsen’s essay “A Feeling in Your Head”  (which is about him as a young boy with an uncle fighting in Vietnam and the fragile hope for his return) — “On winter Sundays, we entered the church for sacrament and sermons in afternoon light, then exited in darkness, as if our praying brought on the gloom, our singing caused it to lick at the chapel windows, our amens led it to press down on the station wagon my father maneuvered through the streets like an elegant hearse.” (115)

The Best of Mormonism 2009: An interview with its editor


When I first heard of this anthology, I did not know it was intended to be a yearly series. So when I noticed the 2009 on the cover I was thrilled.

The anthology includes work from Irreantum to The Iowa Review and points inbetween. A goodly percentage of it is from LDSy publications, but not at all all — just over 50% (I redid my math after the interview, but I’ve put the full contents and their original sources up at The Mormon Arts Wiki if you want to know more.)

The anthology is solid. Not entirely representative of my own taste, but why should it be? I interviewed the book’s editor (Stephen Carter, also the head editor of Sunstone) about this exciting new addition to Mormon letters — one I hope lasts a long, long time.

Someday I hope to have a full shelf of these babies in all different colors. Continue reading “The Best of Mormonism 2009: An interview with its editor”