Cryptids Emerging: Tales of Dark Cheer
Cryptids: they're sea monsters and jackalopes and bigfoot. Cultures worldwide have stories of their own, from Puerto Rico's chupacabras, Scotland's Nessie to the Congo's Mokele-mbembe, cryptids are creatures from folklore, they're rumours, or in the case of this anthology…real.
That's what our call for submissions is for: contemporary supernatural or historical fantasy about cryptids living with humans, or just at the edge of our vision, stories of what the world would look like if cryptids were real.
What We Want
Pick a cryptid from legend or make one up, we want a strange, spooky, sweet, sexy, and/or funny story of emerging. Whether that's your cryptid coming out of hiding, a human being true to themselves, or a cryptid/human pairing falling in love, the heart of your tale is about rising, changing, growing. We'd especially love LGBTQIA+, disabled, Black, Asian, neurodiverse, and other minority characters, as well as Own Voices, so if you're Latinx, for example, we'd adore a story set in Latin America.
What We Don't Want
Violence, horror, and pain. Yes there can be a whiff and whisper of those in your tale, but we don't want that front-and-center. We want just what the title says, dark cheer, which means creepy but kind, eerie but elegant, spooky but sexy, it means generally-positive stories of weird beings coming into their own. So we don't get four stories about Nessie, look at the links below for something diverse, or check with us (no werewolf or vampire stories please, there are plenty elsewhere).
We pay five cents American per word (three cents for reprints) for stories up to 5,000 words, and the deadline is 1 May 2021, 5pm PDT. Please send your story (up to three total) in Times New Roman, 12-point, 1.5 spacing.
Here are a few links to get you going, but don't worry if your cryptid isn't found on Wikipedia's cryptids page or their legendary creatures, urban legends, and cryptozoology pages, or this musing on why cryptids.
For any questions or to submit your story to Atlin Merrick, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.