Last month, I was inappropriately excited to tell you about Ashland Creek Press’ call for submissions for their animal-focused anthology. With fiction being my personal favorite genre to read — and a closeted favorite of mine to write (shhh…) — it’s about dang time that publishers picked up on this largely untapped territory. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing greater than getting lost in a novel or story in which the protagonist happens to be fighting for animal rights. (Perhaps that is why The Tourist Trail, by John Yunker, remains my very favorite read.)
As you can imagine, given my mental love affair with AR fiction, I was downright giddy to receive word that yet another anthology focused on animal rights fiction is in the works, and is seeking submissions.
Now, clearly, when you went to sit down and write your submission piece for Ashland Creek Press, you jotted down several story ideas worthy of a Pulitzer. And surely you’re on a roll now with your writing, so why stop now? And obviously you need creative projects in your back pocket — or how else will you apply for your spot at the writer’s retreat for those working on animal-related masterpieces? Am I right?
Well, sharpen your pencils, boys and girls, because Aimee Houser — the brilliant editor behind Dr. Melanie Joy‘s two books — is the force behind this upcoming anthology, which is precisely where your creative prowess comes in…
Here’s what I’m talking about:
After Coetzee: An Anthology of Animal Rights-Related Fiction
After Coetzee seeks fiction for a new anthology of activist fiction. We are interested in fiction that relates in some way to the subjugation of animals.
Many fiction writers know the apocryphal story: Nietzsche, influenced by a harrowing scene of violence against a sorrel in Crime and Punishment, threw himself between a horse and a man beating him. Dostoevsky risked the polemical, risked sentiment, and created a rich literature, one that moved Nietzsche to save a horse — or moved us to imagine Nietzsche saving a horse.
But that was the 19th century. Before J.M. Coetzee’s The Lives of Animals, the worst criticism that could be leveled at a contemporary writer is that she is moralistic, that she has an agenda. Points are for essays, we have been told, not for fiction.
In particular, the invisibility of animal suffering in our cities and rural places has been matched by an invisibility of that suffering in fiction. But if realism wants to get real, then fiction must make space for that suffering to come forward.
That’s exactly what After Coetzee intends to do. We are looking for brave literary fiction of all stripes, from realist to the fantastic. We are sorry that we cannot offer payment at this time.
Please send submissions to Aimee at aftercoetzee [at] gmail [dot] com. The deadline is April 1, 2013.
About us: Aimee is best known as the editor of Dr. Melanie Joy’s Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction and Strategic Action for Animals. Aimee is also a poet and prose writer who has written an educational book or two.
Aimee, who sure sounds like a darling (and a brilliant one at that), is currently shopping around the anthology, and feels optimistic about getting a publisher.
PHOTOS: The featured images used in this blog entry are thanks to the brilliant Chris Taylor from Wild Love Photography.