Call For Submissions: Horror: Fantastic Filipino Fiction For Young Adults

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On November - 23 - 2011

Dean Alfar and Kenneth Yu, the publishers (respectively) of the Philippine Speculative Fiction Anthology and Philippine Genre Stories Online, are teaming up for a new anthology series featuring speculative fiction for young adults. The first anthology will feature horror stories, and you can find the submission guidelines below, or here.

Editors Dean Francis Alfar (publisher of the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthologies) and Kenneth Yu (publisher of Philippine Genre Stories) announce an open call for short fiction submissions for HORROR: Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults.

The Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults is a new annual anthology series, with the first volume focusing on horror, and launching in mid-2012.

Submissions must be:

1. in the horror genre or contain strong horror elements

2. written with the Young Adult reader in mind (from 10 – 18 years old) and feature a young adult character (or characters)

3. cognizant of the themes and concerns of Young Adult fiction (coming of age, identity, belonging, a sense of wonder, a love for adventure, angst, concerns over school, challenges of youth, family issues, relationships to authority figures, sexuality, experimentation, peer pressure, bullying, among many others) – without being didactic and/or boring.

4. written in English

5. authored by Filipinos or those of Philippine ancestry

Submissions are preferred to be:

1. original and unpublished

2. no shorter than 1,000 words and no longer than 7,500

In the case of previously-published work—if accepted, the author will be expected to secure permission to reprint, if necessary, from the original publishing entity, and to provide relevant publication information.

Submission details:

1. No multiple or simultaneous submissions—i.e., submit only one story, and do not submit that story to any other market until you have received a letter of regret from us.

2. All submissions should be in Rich Text Format (saved under the file extension ‘.rtf’), and emailed to dean(at)kestrelddm(dot)com with the subject line ‘FFFH: title (word count)’, where ‘title’ is the title of your submission and ‘(word count)’ is the number of words the submission comes up to, rounded up to the nearest hundred (use the “tools” function of your word processor to find out.

3. Do not use fancy formatting.

4. Include a brief bio and publishing history (if applicable).

5. The deadline for submissions is midnight, Manila time, March 15, 2012. Letters of acceptance or regret will be sent out no later than one month after the deadline.

6. First-time authors are more than welcome to submit; good stories trump literary credentials any time.

Compensation will be Php500 for selected stories. We are still deciding whether to go digital or print (or even both). In the event that we publish a print version, each author will be provided with a contributor’s copy of the book. If the anthology is published in digital form, each author will be given a formatted e-copy of the anthology.

Thanks,

Dean Francis Alfar & Kenneth Yu

Editors

HORROR: Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults

Alternative Alamat: Table of Contents

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On October - 13 - 2011

It gives me great pleasure to finally be able to announce the table of contents of our first commercial 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 published in cooperation with Flipside Digital before the end of the year. I’ll be releasing more information about the anthology in the coming weeks.

“Ana’s Little Pawnshop on Makiling St.” by Eliza Victoria

“Harinuo’s Love Song” by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

“The Last Full Show” by Budjette Tan

“The Alipin’s Tale” by Raymond G. Falgui

“Keeper of My Sky” by Timothy James Dimacali

“Conquering Makiling” by Mo Francisco

“The Sorceress Queen” by Raissa Rivera Falgui

“Beneath The Acacia” by Celestine Trinidad

“Offerings to Aman Sinaya” by Andrei Tupaz

“Balat, Buwan, Ngalan” by David Hontiveros

“A Door Opens:  The Beginning of the Fall of the Ispancialo-in-Hinirang” by Dean Alfar

Appendix A: A Few Notable Philippine Deities

Appendix B: Interview with Professor Herminia Meñez Coben

Appendix C: Interview with Professor Fernando N. Zialcita

Appendix D: On Researching Philippine Mythology

Cover and interior artwork by Mervin Malonzo

All of the pieces for the third set of stories at PGS Online, co-edited by Kenneth Yu and Dean Alfar, have been uploaded to the site. If you haven’t read them yet, here they are (click on the image to go to the story):

PGS Online: “Fragrant Blood” by Elyss Punsalan

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On August - 18 - 2011

The third set of stories for PGS Online, this batch co-edited by Dean Alfar, has begun to roll out, kicking off with “Fragrant Blood” by Elyss Punsalan of Pakinggan Pilipinas. Expect stories from Alexander Osias, Vincent Simbulan, and Dean himself in the coming weeks.

PSF6 Launch Photos

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 29 - 2011

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The launch for the sixth volume of Philippine Speculative Fiction took place last Saturday, with the inimitable Dean Alfar once again serving as master of ceremonies and all-around entertainer–the PSF launches usually turn into roasts for the editors and contributors (and being absent is no defense) and a grand time was had by all. I’ll have videos from the launch and the earlier launch of the crime issue of Philippine Genre Stories later this week, but first here are some photographs from the event.

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In spite of the rains, (and some *ahem* premature storm warnings), the UView Theater of Fully Booked was jam packed–this photo is from early in the proceedings, and by midway people were lining the walls, in spite of the addition of the monobloc cavalry. The downside to that is the volume sold out minutes after the launch was over–if you want another print run, make sure you make your voices heard!

Read the rest of this entry »

Nikki Alfar and Kate Aton-Osias Talk PSF6

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On May - 26 - 2011

The latest installment of the Philippine Speculative Fiction series will be launched on Saturday (5PM at the UView Theater, Fully Booked at Bonifacio High Street, for those interested–it’s also the launch of the PGS Crime issue). Volume 6 is the first to be edited by two women, Nikki Alfar and Kate Aton-Osias, and they graciously agreed to a short interview leading up to the launch. We spoke about how the series has evolved through the years, the difference between being an editor and a contributor, and what makes this volume special.


For those unfamiliar with the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology, could you explain briefly what the series is?

Nikki Alfar: Philippine Speculative Fiction is the annual end result of our yearly semi-open call for submissions of horror, fantasy, science fiction, and related sub- and cross-genre short stories.

We say ‘semi-open’ because contributors must be of Filipino ethnicity and/or nationality; by soliciting and consistently publishing their work, our goal is not just to provide a medium for these authors to reach a reading public, but also to chart and, hopefully, nurture the ongoing evolution of speculative fiction in the Philippines.

Philippine Speculative Fiction is published by leading Philippine specfic advocate Dean Francis Alfar, through his company Kestrel DDM.

 

Kate, you’ve been a contributor to the anthology before, but this is your first time in the editor’s chair. What was the experience like from the other side, so to speak? Is the grass really greener?

Kate Aton-Osias: Editing has its own challenges, different from writing. The most difficult part for me was in being able to articulate acceptance and rejection letters well. I believe in being transparent; I also believe that authors deserve to know what made their stories work, and why it did not. But the sheer physical limitations of an email, as well as constraints of time and language (People have varying degrees of literary vocabulary; I, for one, know less of the formal terms used for literary criticism than I would like) makes it difficult to convey how we, as editors, felt about a work of fiction. Though I only wrote 3-5 sentences per story, it was still a struggle to get those 3-5 sentences out, especially when rejecting a story that had solid technicals, but was ultimately turned down because of our poetics (see below for definition of ‘Poetics’).

That being said, the process has been extremely helpful (My own submission letters will never be the same again!), illuminating, and of course, satisfying. It was good to hear from the authors – whether or not they were accepted – that they appreciated our comments and compliments.

 

Nikki, you’ve been involved with PSF from the very beginning, and have been both a contributor and an editor. How has the anthology changed from volume one to the present?

Nikki: I’ve actually been copy-editing (meaning checking for typos and grammatical errors) the series since volume 1, though I didn’t start content-editing (working with authors on a story level, as well as actually selecting the stories) until Dean formally asked me to co-edit, on volume 3. (Yes, I’m married to our publisher, which never helped get me published, but which did help him get me to copy-edit, haha!) So I’ve read nearly all the submissions, published and unpublished.

As I mentioned earlier, part of the goal of the SpecFic series is to chart the development of Philippine specfic writing, and if you look back at the previous volumes of the antho from the beginning, you can see that themes seem to emerge every year. Early on, our authorship seemed to be primarily concerned about romantic love, but as you go forward through succeeding volumes, you can see that the contributors and their concerns are maturing, with later themes more focused on subjects like loss, family, identity, and so on.

Thankfully, as well, there’s been a marked reduction in stories which are basically “I will write a fanfic based on my favorite anime, just change the names, and submit that.” We used to get a huge chunk of those in the first few years—and I’m sure these texts have their market, but it is not Philippine Speculative Fiction; we are simply not interested in stories that explore someone else’s already-well-developed milieu—but nowadays it’s down to just a few.

So, in sum, I’d say the anthology has progressed as the field seems to be progressing; there’s significant improvement, year after year—not just in terms of what Filipino specfic practitioners are writing about, but in the quality and experimental nature of how we are writing it.

 

Is there anything about this volume that makes it different from the others?

Nikki: We’ve been laughing for some time over this being the very first “two-chick SpecFic”! This is the second time that Dean has not been directly involved in the selection and editing process, the first having been last year’s volume 5, which I co-edited with Vincent Michael Simbulan.

As publisher, Dean has been changing up the mix of co-editors, because he doesn’t believe that Philippine speculative fiction (neither the antho nor the field) should be an exclusive reflection of one person’s (or two people’s, counting me) poetics. (A very simplified definition of ‘poetics’, in case anyone should be wondering, is ‘the kind of writing an individual prefers’.)

So 2010’s SpecFic was a reflection of Vin’s and my poetics—which are diametrically opposed in many aspects, by the way—whereas this one is Kate’s and mine, which tend to be more harmonious, but also (we found out!) startlingly different in various ways. With Dean and me having nailed down the foundations of the series’ style and substance in volumes 1 to 4, we feel that keeping the editorial mix fresh will continue to keep the anthology fresh and exciting.

Speaking of which—there’s going to be a possibly surprising announcement at the volume 6 launch, so don’t miss it! ;)

 

We have a lot of science fiction, fantasy and horror readers in the Philippines, but few are familiar with the works of local spec fic authors. Speaking to this typical reader for a moment, why should he/she check out PSF6?

Nikki: I doubt that many people know this, but Philippine speculative fiction (again, both antho and field) is getting a lot of positive attention from speculative fiction writers and editors around the world. Many stories from several of the volumes of SpecFic have been cited and/or published by some of the most respected names in the field, and members of the international writing community are actually quicker than our local audience to tell us that the next volume is taking too darn long!

In this upcoming volume alone, we’ve got stories about a basketball-playing kapre, a Muslim artificer (shout-out to you, Paolo!), and a therapist to aswangs and diwatas. These are just the most obvious examples of why Filipino specfic is special—it’s been (frequently!) recognized to be on par with global standards in terms of quality, yet with a fresh perspective, a fresh approach; and it’s all ours.

Storyweavers at the next Dialogues @ Starbucks

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 24 - 2011

There’s an interesting event taking place this Tuesday (January 25, 7pm) at the Starbucks Drive Through (on 32nd and 7th streets) at Bonifacio Global City Taguig: a discussion with “Storyweavers” such as award winning novelist Criselda Yabes, a visiting foreign publishing executive Nick Wallwork, and–of most interest to Rocket Kapre readers I’m sure–none other than Dean Alfar.

Here’s the entire blurb/invite from Facebook:

We’ve been on break for a while but we’re back. We’re bringing more Dialogues at several more Starbucks cafes this year and we’re starting with a celebration of some of the best sort of people to have over for a cup of coffee: storytellers.

So if you’ve always wanted to know what sort of life the passionate for the written word lead, come with your own tumbler for Starbucks brewed coffee and conversation with award winning novelist Criselda Yabes, playwright and ten time Palanca awardee Dean Francis Alfar and visiting Wiley Publishing executive Nick Wallwork when they come over for coffee on January 25, 7PM at the Starbucks Drive Through on 32nd and 7th streets and Bonifacio Global City Taguig.

We’ll be posting more details on this next Dialogues @ Starbucks in the coming days; including detailed bios on our Dialogues leaders Criselda Yabes, Dean Francis Alfar and Nick Wallwork as well as more info on our friends at Writer’s Block Philippines who’ve fueled this conversation forward.

See you on Tuesday!

Review of Dean Alfar’s “Salamanca” by Jay Lake

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 20 - 2011

There’s a new review online for Dean Alfar’s award-winning spec fic novel “Salamanca”, this time by speculative fiction author Jay Lake (author of books such as Mainspring and Green). He seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the book, so give the review–and Salamanca of course–a read if you can. Congrats to Dean as well for another positive review.

Free Ebook Sampler: Circuit

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On January - 7 - 2011

The thing about using a broad term like “speculative fiction” is that it can be a bit tricky figuring out what does or does not fall under that umbrella (especially with something more poetry than prose)… but I’m pretty sure that a book of blurbs about itself (the book of blurbs) qualifies, especially with contributions from familiar spec fic names such as Dean Alfar, Mia Tijam, Adam David, Andrew Drilon, Josel Nicolas,  Khavn, and Budjette Tan. Curator Angelo Suarez has thrown up a PDF sampler which you can find here, and I’ll let him explain the project in his own words:

This book was assembled in 2009 as something that was titled “The Blurb Project”— admittedly an unimaginatively unimaginative tentative name—intended for release w/in the same year. The procedure: Ask writers to blurb for a book whose content would solely be the blurbs to be collected from them, a critico-creative exercise in closed-circuit self-reference that could function as a collaborative epic poem of modular components. The material gathered was hence largely speculative: the book would talk about itself even before the book was complete, the collaborators either working blindly or else w/ what few blurbs were already available for their use.

Bewildering Stories’ Mariner Awards 2010

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On December - 30 - 2010

Bewildering Stories just held their Annual Review and released the list of Mariner Award winners for 2010, which includes stories by our very own Filipino authors Dean Alfar (“In the Dim Plane“), Nikki Alfar (“Adrift on the Street Formerly Known as Buendia“), and Elyss Punsalan (“Pursuit of the Litaniera“). Check out their stories if you haven’t already, as well as those of the other award winners. Congratulations to Dean, Nikki and Elyss!

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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.

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