The Association of Mormon Letters announced the winners of the Irreantum Fiction Contest and the Charlotte and Eugene England Personal Essay Contest. Among the honorees are James Goldberg whose work appears in Out of the Mount and Eric W Jepson, coeditor of The Fob Bible and Monsters & Mormons. Goldberg won third place in the fiction contest and second in the essay; Jepson received an honorable mention for fiction. Congratulations, gentlemen!
Yesterday on A Motley Vision, William Morris announced the first four stories that we have accepted into Monsters & Mormons:
- Steven L. Peck’s novella Let the Mountains Tremble for Adoniha has Fallen, a grandly epic look at feudal Mormons on Mars. It’s too grand for a blurb, I’m afraid. I’ve tried and failed to explain it to my wife. Let’s just say I’ve never been so thrilled by the combination of swords and spaceships and leave it at that.
- Jaleta Clegg’s short story “Charity Never Faileth” is, to date, the most hilarious of the funny stories we’ve been given. Like all pulp, you have to experience it to believe this story could possibly work. But it does, oh, it does. The most delightfully violent Enrichment meeting ever.
- Nathan Shumate’s short story “Other Duties” — The moment I read this, I knew we had exactly what I had been waiting for. When William proposed this collection to me, this is the story I was waiting for. A bishop on special assignment, and a nightmare in a barn.
- Kate Woodbury’s short story “First Estate” is a melodic space-set retelling of an Old Testament tale that, curiously, was not covered in The Fob Bible. (Thanks, Kate!)
Peculiar Pages and A Motley Vision 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, in the more vigorous comments section at Motley Vision, or e-mail email@example.com.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.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.
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!
Next month we will be opening submissions for a new anthology. Theric Jepson and William Morris will be co-editing this pulpy take on Mormons.
You can get a sense of what the anthology will be about by reading Morris’s preannouncement at A Motley Vision.