Call for submissions: The Symbol of a Nation, a new anthology edited by Fred Patten.
by Patch O'Furr
Goal Publications is announcing its first original short story anthology.
Title: The Symbol of a Nation. Theme: national animals. Deadline: December 1st, 2016.
Wanted: original short stories (no reprints) of 2,000 to 15,000 words, featuring furries that are the national animals of countries, such as Afghanistan’s snow leopard, Algeria’s fennec, Australia’s red kangaroo, Bangladesh’s tiger, Canada’s beaver, Denmark’s swan, Eritrea’s camel, France’s rooster (fighting cock), Germany’s black eagle, Honduras’ white-tailed deer, Italy’s wolf, the U.S.’s bald eagle … There are over 200 countries and most of them have a national animal.
For this anthology, we are extending the theme to the official animals of provinces and states. There are several animals such as the koala (Queensland) and platypus (New South Wales) of Australia, or the giant squirrel (Maharashtra) and red panda (Sikkim) of India, or the coyote (South Dakota) and raccoon (Tennessee) of North America that are not national animals, but are the official animals of provinces or states.
But: this is limited to the officially adopted animals (including birds) of national or sub-national entities only. No sports team mascots, corporate mascots like the NBC peacock, political party mascots, or breakfast cereal mascots. No fictional official animals or countries like Transylvania and vampire bats. However, some countries have both a national animal and a national bird, such as Chile – its animal is the huemal, an Andean deer, and its bird is the Andean condor. We will accept stories featuring either or both.
Please make sure that they are official. There are many animals that are often associated with countries, such as the eagle & snake on the Mexican flag, or Mexico’s Chihuahua, but they are not official animals. (Mexico’s official animal is the xoloitzcuintli. Don’t know what that is? Look it up.)
If you would like to submit a story, write to the managing editor (Fred Patten) first to find out if that animal or country is already claimed. If you would like to use an animal or country but don’t know what to pair it with, ask the editor or look it up. Stories sent to the editor without checking first may be wasted effort.
The rules are more complex than for most furry anthologies. (1) There must be a connection between the animal and the country. If you feature a tapir, the national animal of Belize, make sure that there is something about Belize in the story. (2) No funny animal stories where the characters could just as easily be humans. Make your characters feel like uplifted or evolved animals. Most animals with fur don’t sweat. (3) Try to match the animals to their environments. If they have thick fur, don’t have them wearing thick clothing in humid tropical lands. (Or justify the discrepancy.)
Stories may be humorous or serious. There may be humans in the story as secondary characters, but the main character(s) should be furry.
On sale at Fur the More 2017, in Baltimore on April 28-30, as a trade paperback. Payment: 1¢ per word upon publication, plus a contributor’s copy of the book. Contributors may buy additional copies at a 30% discount.
Goal Publications is looking for First Rights on stories, as well as exclusive sales rights to digital and print versions of accepted stories for six months following publication.
If you have any questions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.