Call for Submissions: Alternative Alamat

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On April - 19 - 2010

[EDIT: "Alternative Alamat" has already been published. We are no longer accepting submissions.]

[Note: If you want to head straight to the story guidelines, head here. If you'd like a bit of a background as to why I'm looking for this particular type of story, read on.]

The Philippines is blessed with a multitude of mythologies and legends, yet too few of these tales are known and read today. While it is understandable that the modern reader might find it difficult to relate to ancient oral tradition, we’ve all seen how the gods/goddesses and heroes/heroines of other cultures have remained relevant (or at least well-known) because of writers who incorporate the old myths and legends in modern tales. (See: The Percy Jackson series, or the many re-imaginings of the King Arthur myth.)

mythology_class_1(Image from Komiklopedia)

My first encounter with our mythic heritage, outside of school (which tends to suck the joy out of many a topic), was one such re-imagining: Arnold Arre’s “The Mythology Class” (the original four issue version, not the collected graphic novel).  I loved that story to pieces (it was the first time a local work ever moved me to indulge in fan art and fan fic) and it remains dear to me as an example of how a well told story in the present can lead to an appreciation–even a hunger–for the foundational tales of our ancestors. A more recent example is Rochita Loenen-Ruiz’s Hi Bugan yi Hi Kinggawan over at Fantasy Magazine.

I think we need more Filipino tales in that vein–and with that in mind, I’d like to announce a call for submissions for Rocket Kapre’s first commercial anthology: Alternative Alamat.


But Mr. Editor, you say, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I don’t know many of our myths and legends. I’ve anticipated this, dear writer–after all, I wouldn’t be trying to raise awareness about our mythic heritage if I felt it was already common knowledge–so what I’ve done is I’ve gone through my collection of books and done a bit of research online and in libraries, and I’ll be putting up the resulting list of myths and legends sometime this week. Somewhere down the line, I’ll also put up a similar list of Philippine deities.

So I’ll be doing my part, and I hope you’ll do yours. Submission guidelines are after the cut.

EDIT: Deadline extended to September 15, 2010.

Story Guidelines:

I’m looking for stories which have the following characteristics:

  • The story should make use of characters, events, and/or artifacts from Philippine myths or legends
  • The element taken from myth/legend must be integral to the story.  Even if your protagonist owns Bantugan’s sword, if he/she never uses it, then that doesn’t count.
  • The myth/legend from which the element is taken must be integral to the story.  Even if your protagonist wields Bantugan’s sword, if that history doesn’t come into play (in other words, if you just treat it as a generic magic sword), then that doesn’t count.
  • While we’re drawing from myth/legend, I want stories written with a modern sensibility. Note I don’t mean the stories need to be set in modern times–what I mean is that I want stories that the modern reader can relate to and enjoy.
  • Because part of the mission of this anthology is to raise the reader’s awareness of our myths and legends, you need to be able to point me to your source material: the name of the myth/legend, the book/site where you found it etc. If it’s simply part of the oral tradition of your area, let me know and we’ll see if we can transcribe it and put it online somewhere, because it’s important that readers have the opportunity to read the source material.

What I’m Not Looking For:

  • Stories that involve generic creatures of folklore like aswangs, tiyanaks, dwende, mananggal etc. By generic, I mean that using a fairy in your story doesn’t make it eligible per se, but if you’re using the specific fairy, say the one from the legend of The Boy Who Became a Wild Hog (and that history plays a part in the story, as I mentioned above), that’s an eligible story.
  • Stories that are straight re-tellings of myths and legends.
  • Stories with illustrations, fancy fonts, hyperlinking, or fancy formatting. Stories with those elements can be awesome and cutting-edge, but I want to try distributing the anthology as widely as possible, and that means minimizing formatting issues from the get-go.
  • Stories which use elements from urban/modern legends – stick with the pre-hispanic tales, or stuff like the metrical romances of the Spanish Era like Bernardo Carpio.

Genre: Speculative Fiction. The speculative elements must be evident.

Length: 3,000 – 7,000 words.

Language: English.

Who May Submit: Filipino authors, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad. Age is immaterial, but if you’re a minor you’ll need parental consent for the contract.

Reading Period: June 1, 2010 – August 30, 2010 September 15, 2010. Plenty of time to hit the books and find that perfect, obscure myth just begging to be put back in the limelight.

Rights: We ask for first world English electronic rights (text and audio), and first print anthology rights.

Reprints: Not accepted, unless solicited.

Multiple Submissions: Not accepted, unless we’ve already rejected a prior story and have asked for another.

Simultaneous Submissions: Not accepted.

Compensation: PHP600.00 + a copy of the anthology when we release the book the first time, either as an ebook or as print. If /when release it a second time (as an ebook if it was initially print, or vice versa), we’ll add another PHP400.00 and a copy of the new version of the anthology.


Electronic submissions only, attached to an email. Send an email with a subject that reads “Alternative Alamat: [Title of Your Story]” to rocketkapre[at]g m a i l . c o m

Submissions must be in Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Doc (.doc) format and attached to the email.

Please include a brief, 300 word-or-less, bio.

12 Responses to “Call for Submissions: Alternative Alamat”

  1. John Omo says:

    Just to clarify things, the last day of submission now is on Aug. 30, right? :)

  2. John Omo says:

    I hope you don’t mind but I have another query. Which target audience should the stories be aimed at? Like is there a specific demographic age that the stories should apply to, like young adults to adults? Thanks again…

  3. [...] Rocket Kapre has a Call for Submissions out. I encourage you guys to submit. Full details on their Site. Here’s the Guidelines from Paolo [...]

  4. Tailc Tiongson says:

    Hi there! I’m a writer who’s planning to submit to this anthology, and I have a question. Can I go over the 7,000 word limit? My story’s got this good plot, but it doesn’t exactly fit 7,000 words. I’m scared that the story might suffer from a lack of quality if I cut it down to size. I promise to just extend by another thousand words or so. Will you still accept it if it’s that long? Please reply ASAP, and thanks. :)

    • Paolo Chikiamco says:

      Hi Tailc,

      Sorry, 7,000 is about as high as I’m willing to go. Any longer and it’s not quite a short story any more, so if it doesn’t seem to be something you can cut down, maybe it’d be better off as a stand alone than as a part of the anthology? Some ideas/plots are just too big for a short story, although even if you don’t end up submitting it here, I do hope you finish it. ^_^

  5. [...] the deadline for the Alternative Alamat anthology until September 15th. Please click on this link for the background and guidelines. Submissions are welcome from Filipinos back home and [...]

  6. MartinTC says:

    sana magbukas ulit ito. marami pa naman akong ideas! hehehe!

  7. [...] anthology “Alternative Alamat: Stories Inspired by Philippine Mythology”. It’s been a long road, but I’ve enjoyed every step of the way. The book will be digital-only for now, and will be [...]

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About Me

Rocket Kapre is an imprint of Eight Ray Sun Publishing Inc. (a new Philippine-based publisher), dedicated to bringing the very best of Philippine Speculative Fiction in English to a worldwide audience by means of digital distribution. More info can be found at our About section at the top of the page.