BIPOC FairyTales Anthology Submission Guidelines: round 2

Thank you everyone who submitted in 2021 to the BIPOC Fairytale anthology! With Lauren Davila and Jo Wu co-editing together, we are opening up to a second round of submissions! We are so appreciative and in awe of the beautiful stories we are seeing. More than half of the anthology is filled up, and for this second submission round there are certain writers of different BIPOC groups that we would LOVE to see more of in our inbox.

NOTE: We already have plenty of stories from Southeast Asian groups, including Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Filipino. While SEA authors are still welcome to submit, please keep in mind that because we want fair representation across all BIPOC groups, we are prioritizing stories from the groups below:

  • Indigenous and Pacific Islanders
    • Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Chamorros, Fijians, Palauans, Tongans, Tahitians
    • Any and all native members (America, Australia, Canada, etc.)
  • East Asian (we have an overwhelming number of submissions from Chinese-identifying authors and want to see other groups represented):
    • Korean, Japanese, Tibetan, Mongolian, Hmong
  • South Asian (we also have an overwhelming number of submissions from Indian-identifying authors):
    • Afghan, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bhutanese, Nepalese
  • Middle Eastern
    • Egyptian, Iranian, Turkish, Saudi Arabian
  • African and/or Black 
  • Latinx/e and Afro-Latinx/e 

Even if you don’t fall under these categories, feel free to submit as we would love to consider your story.

As far as fairy tales go, we are no longer accepting the following retellings (we have so many options for us to choose from!)

  • Cinderella
  • Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • Red Riding Hood
  • The Red Shoes
  • East of the Sun, West of the Moon
  • Persephone and Hades
  • Stories that involve tigers

We are open to retellings of non-Western fairy tales, and our wishlists are not exhaustive! Below are some specific #MSWL for Jo and Lauren:

Jo’s wishlist:

  • Fairy Tales I’d like to see retellings of (and only if you can give them HEA):
    • Donkeyskin
    • The Juniper Tree 
    • Hansel and Gretel
    • The Matchstick Girl
    • The Steadfast Tin Soldier 
    • Snow White and Red Rose
    • The Silver Saucer and the Transparent Apple
  • Indigenous writers, please please please send me stories uplifting your beautiful cultures! One of my favorite picture books growing up was the Algonquin Cinderella story “The Rough-Face Girl,” and I’d love to see more stories in this vein (though something more creative than another Cinderella retelling).
  • Korean fairy tales, or Western fairy tales with a Korean spin! Give me your gumiho (something beyond just the evil twisted female feasting on men’s livers and lifeforce), and dokkaebi!
  • Stories that showcase the beauty and empowerment of voodoo magic
  • Romani fairy tales (Esmeralda from Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame was my huge girl crush growing up).
  • Latinx/e stories that make me feel mesmerized the way Pixar’s Coco did (it’s my favorite Pixar movie, and I like comping it to Spirited Away x Corpse Bride)
  • Pacific Islander writers
  • Mongolian writers
  • Secondary fantasy worlds that feel immersive, enchanting, and hopeful. 
  • If you need comps for writing style and voice, please reference:
    • Fairy tale picture books (your local library’s children section should be a great resource for research!)
    • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine 
    • Anything (such as Spin the Dawn and Six Crimson Cranes) by Elizabeth Lim
    • Deathless by Catherynne M Valente
    • Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
  • Above all, a successful combination of immersive world-building, relatable characters, engaging plot, and happy endings.

Lauren’s wishlist:

  • NOTE: If you’ve been published in another of Lauren’s anthologies, please DM Lauren first for further information. We’d love to see fresh talent too!
  • Fairytales I would want specific retellings of:
    • Peter Pan 
    • Hansel and Gretel 
    • Jack and the Beanstalk
    • The Frog Prince 
    • The Pied Piper 
    • Princess and the Pea 
    • The Ugly Duckling
  • Anything in the vein of Once Upon A Time (I need some interconnected family drama!!) 
  • Enemies to lovers reimaginings of any fairytale pairing. I want it angsty and filled with longing but ultimately (you guessed it) ending with an HEA/HFN
  • Would love some exploration of brujeria!!! Give me ALLLLLLL the culturally specific witches
  • I second Jo’s call for stories like Coco and am also adding in anything that feels like Encanto (make your story SING). Bright and vibrant and looking at generational trauma through a magical lense
  • If anyone could make it somehow fit a HEA, I would love something related to Santa Muerte! Feel free to DM me to chat about it!!
  • I’d love to consider some retellings and reimaginings that have the fairytale atmosphere and worldbuilding but in our world! I’d love a lush modern take on your fairytale story set in New York or Los Angeles!! 
  • Anything and everything ballet! 
    • The Nutcracker 
    • The Firebird 
    • Coppelia 
    • La Bayadere 
    • The Dying Swan 
    • La Sylphide 
  • Some of my favorite retellings for voice or comps
    • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale 
    • Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George 
    • Fairest by Gail Carson Levine 
    • The Cursebreakers series by Brigid Kemmerer
    • Anything from the “Once Upon A Time” imprint through Simon Pulse 

What we don’t want to see:

  • Sad endings. We welcome dark stories (especially when they delight Jo’s little black goth heart), and we are seeing many submissions with gorgeous writing, but leave us without that hint of a HEA. We envision this as an anthology that uplifts BIPOC magic and joy. Please refer to guidelines from the first round of submissions.
  • Contemporary settings that feel more urban fantasy than fairy tales. We are looking for a sense of escapism in the vein of traditional storybook fairy tales.
  • Stories that throw BIPOC men under the bus by portraying them in a completely negative light. You can still have POC male villains! But historically, POC men often occupy a “villain” narrative. We’d like to see men, women, and NB characters across the board being fully three-dimensional and fleshed out. Feel free to DM one of us if you have questions about this!
  • Stories that harm or bash any marginalized group (LGBTQIA+, disabled, neurodiverse, etc.)
  • Stories that go beyond the word count
  • Anyone claiming to be BIPOC when they aren’t. Even if you are an ally, have a POC significant other, have mixed-race children, etc, please respect that this is a space to showcase BIPOC writers.

These original guidelines from the first round of submissions still remain at the forefront for us:

  • Classic fairytale retellings with a cultural twist inspired by (but not limited to):
    • Disney princess narratives
    • Grimms Brothers
    • Hans Christian Anderson
    • Classic ballet/opera
  • Cozy stories with a whimsical charm, similar to the feel of a Studio Ghibli movie
  • Light-hearted stories with a happy ending
  • Stories that weave in elements of your culture’s mythology or religion (would love to see different gods and goddesses)
  • Stories with fantastical creatures like fairies, mermaids, or witches
  • Stories that include an emphasis of your culture’s food, traditions, and celebrations
  • LGBTQ+, disabled, and neurodiverse narratives are strongly welcomed if they fit within the anthology’s fairytale theme
  • Dark, gothic-romantic fairy tales that are balanced out with whimsical elements

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

Please send your fairytale pitch, a brief bio, and a 3-5 page sample of your story to bipocfairytales@gmail.com by March 31. After evaluating your concept, we will contact you for the full sample of your story if we wish to move forward. We aim to find out of the box, unique fairy tales that showcase who you are and highlight your whimsical storytelling. All stories must fall in the Young Adult age category and maximum 3500 words. For this round, we are seeking shorter stories. 

If you have previously submitted and had your story passed on, you are welcome to send in a new pitch. If you never received a response, please email us and let us know! We want to make sure everyone who submits gets a response. 

All Entrants must be over 18 years of age to submit an entry and all submissions must be the original work of the Entrant. If you are going to be 18 by the end of June 2022 when we aim to finalize edits for all stories for submission to publishers, please contact the BIPOC Fairytale Anthology team directly via email.

If you have any questions, feel free to email our anthology team: bipocfairytales@gmail.com, or DM @kiana_krystle and @Sammi_Elyse on Twitter (though @Jo_Wu_Author and @laurengilmore03 are also happy to answer any questions that are specifically directed to them!). Feel free to share snippets or aesthetics of your story using the hashtag: #BIPOCfairytales. 

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