We’ve all heard the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, the Princess and the Pea, and other faithful classics. We’re sure that more than a few are familiar with the mythology of ancient Greece, Egypt, and others.
Great! That’s NOT what we’re looking for, with a few exceptions.
We’re looking for folklore, mythology, or fairy tales from other places, and fantasy stories that invoke these. Have a story about Baba Yaga? Toss it over here. One about Raw Head and Blood Bones? Sure, would love to see it! We want tales that have been lost to time, but we want you to twist it into being your own story. Give us something new and imaginative!
What we DO NOT want:
Explicit Gore – You’ll have a much better shot at being selected if we can make it through your story without feeling physically ill. Horror without explicit gore is more than fine.
Explicit Sex/Erotica – Not that kind of anthology. Romance or alluded intimacy among characters is fine, but nothing that would require us to use a brown paper covering. The intended audience for this is 14+, so if you wouldn’t feel comfortable with a 14-year-old reading the story, don’t send it in.
“Zipperbacks” (meaning characters that are animal-people, and the fact that they are part animal has no significance to the story) – Some examples of what you can do to avoid having “zipperbacks”: if your story has wolves in it and they don’t engage in canine behavior (the occasional scratching, boundless energy, a fixation on scents, etc), then they might be an issue. If you have a cat character, maybe sometimes it grooms itself when it’s bored during a conversation. If you have an otter, maybe it has an affinity for water and is extremely athletic. Animal-people may have different social customs (like they worry about shedding in fancy places), or their clothing might be unique to their species and has to be hand-made. Please make your fuzzy animals do fuzzy animal things so we know that they’re not just humans playing at being animals.
Thor, Loki, Odin, Horus, Osiris, Anubis, Zeus, Hades, Apollo, etc. We know these guys are a big part of culture, but their mythology is over-represented. We’re not completely against Greek/Roman, Egyptian, or Norse stories, but just not these guys, and they need to be stories that aren’t all over western pop culture. There are some lovely myths and fairy tales from these cultures that are often overshadowed, and we want to bring them to the front.
Any Disney princess ala Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel or etc., with a few notable exceptions, are also over-represented and are not what we’re looking for.
Dull, listless characters – Our editors both really prefer stories that feature unforgettable characters that make us love or hate to love them. If there’s nothing memorable about your character or their exploits, chances are there won’t be anything memorable about your story.
What we DO want:
First and foremost, we want fantasy and fantastical elements. We want a sense of wonder, enchantment, and thrill at being immersed in the world that you’ve created. Please find the stories that need to be told and submit them. We love seeing diverse characters in diverse settings, so keep that in mind too.
One of the biggest goals with this anthology is to bring the stories from other cultures to the forefront. If you have a specific question, think, does this celebrate/give a voice to a nonwhite culture/a marginalized group of people? If it does, there’s a good chance that some of these story guidelines may bend (such as, we may consider an original story written in the style of a fairy tale/folklore).
Like we said, we want stories that feature folklore, fantasy, and mythology, but not just a rehashing of the original tale (unless it’s a retelling of story totally unknown to western culture, and then we MIGHT be willing to take it. For example, we would be willing to take a “Vasilisa the Beautiful” retelling, especially if it features a location that isn’t a derivative of western civilization, versus a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”.) We’re especially fond of fairy tales or folklore that have twists within them. Good surprises and memorable characters are quick sells with us. If you have questions about what this all means, please use our query form (https://www.goalpublications.com/submissions-and-inquiries.html) with the subject “submissions” and mention this anthology. Our editors will give you their thoughts.
Anything with wonder, amazement, mystery, intrigue, or the fantastical.
Submission Requirements and Formatting:
Submit your story using the form at the bottom of this page. Make sure that all submissions follow our submission guidelines (https://www.goalpublications.com/submissions-guidelines.html) for formatting. In the “How does your story fit the anthology theme?” field, please include the fairy tale, myth, or folklore story that you were inspired by in the body of the email (We may want to look it up for future reading). Failure to follow these submission guidelines may result in your story not even being read.
Submission Period: November 1, 2019 – February 16, 2020 (midnight PST) (Do NOT send your stories to us before or after the submission period)
Word Count: 1,000 – 8,000 words. This is a fairly hard limit, and stories outside of this limit will have a very low chance of being accepted. If your story goes off the rails and ends up over 10k words, we have a separate, standalone market (https://www.goalpublications.com/submissions-guidelines.html) for that. Don’t submit that to this anthology, as it won’t get read.
Editors: KC Alpinus and Sean Gerace
Payment: $0.04 per word (maximum of $100 for a story) for original stories, or $0.01 per word (maximum of $25 for a story) for a reprint. You will also receive a copy of the finished book.
Rights: We are asking for first rights on all original stories, exclusive for six months from the publication date, and then non-exclusive after that as long as the anthology remains for sale. For reprints, non-exclusive rights as long as the anthology remains for sale.
Multiple Submissions : Maximum two submitted stories per author. We will only be accepting a maximum of one story per author.
Response Time: Initial responses will be sent out by Sean within 48 hours of submission (please note that if you don’t receive a response in this time frame that your response may either be in your junk mail box, or your email has blocked our reply, so get in touch with @goalpublication on Twitter). Final responses should be sent out within eight weeks of the submission closing, by KC Alpinus.
Expected Release : Late-summer or fall. More details to come!
Having trouble finding a myth or folklore to use as inspiration? Check out the following resources below.
The Myths & Legends Podcast (https://www.mythpodcast.com/) – General Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Folklore
Lore Podcast (https://www.lorepodcast.com/) – Horror and Supernatural Elements (some are based on true stories)