Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The First Post

August 30, 2006

Manila, Philippines

We are looking for a few good stories.

Ones that catch a reader’s attention and captivate them so much that they lose sense of time and place in the real world because you, the writer, have drawn them to other times and places, ones of your own creation.

We are a small publishing firm based in Manila, Philippines, and we hope to receive well-written, quality stories. Set them anywhere: in the Philippines, in another country (real or imagined), on the moon, under the sea, in outer space, anywhere. Populate them with characters of your own creation. And tell the story you want to tell!

This does not mean we will only accept contributions from Filipino writers, by the by. We are looking for good stories. Well-written ones, in fact. As far as we know, good stories can be told by anyone no matter who you are.

Another thing.

We are looking for genre stories. Fantasy, science-fiction, speculative, crime, mystery, detective, horror, suspense. You can write and submit a very commercial, action-packed, plot-driven story, or a light, funny, and humorous one, or a very moody, artsy tale packed with lyrical prose and a lot of characterization, symbolism, irony, and what have you. Just make sure your story will fall into any of the above genres. And make them good and well-written. We can’t say that enough.

To be more specific, here are three titles that have been staples of serious English lit classes both for the high-school and college-levels that are good and well-written: The Most Dangerous Game, The Monkey's Paw, and The Rocking-Horse Winner. The first is a suspense story, the other two are horror stories that border on the supernatural. For crime, detective, and mystery, and if we can use T.V. shows as a comparison, C.S.I. and Law and Order are good examples of what we're looking for. The classic work of Edgar Allan Poe is another. As for sci-fi and fantasy, well, the scope of what that can be is pretty large. Unless you have something new and original to your work, we are not looking for Harry Potter or Lord Of The Rings clones, or Conan-the-Barbarian hack-and-slash types. Star Trek during the William Shatner era was exciting for its time, but today would seem dated, so be more original if you go space opera. Sci-fi can mean so many other things besides space opera, just as fantasy can mean so much more than warriors with weapons or wizards with wands. The key is to keep your story fresh, creative, and original.

Keep the gore, profanity, sex and other touchy stuff to a tolerable level. We know tolerance can be relative, so we have some advice. Pretend you have a teenaged kid. Now pretend you’re taking him or her to a movie. You know he doesn’t like to watch cutesy, kiddie movies anymore, and you know you don’t want him to watch bloody beheadings or barenaked butts and boobies. So you scan the movie list and look for a good film, thinking “Rated PG”, not “Rated R” or “Rated GP”. There. There’s one. You find the right film and that’s the one you watch. You and your teenager are happy. Write a story that falls under that.

We are committed to finding really good and well-written stories (See? We mentioned it again), but we admit that we are just a small publishing firm with an idea (and a hope and a prayer) to grow the readership for Philippine genre stories. So we can’t pay much. A mere pittance, really. Just the contributor’s copy and eight centavos a word. That’s eight centavos, not cents, so the conversion goes to Philippine pesos, not dollars, okay? It’s not much, we know, but we are willing to try out this venture anyway, and we hope that you are writing not just for the money but also for the joy of writing (and seeing your name in the byline). Who knows? If this idea works and the collections sell well, we may be able to pay you more for your stories in future releases. Hope is a good thing.

Some other details: there’s a 6,000 word ceiling but don’t go below 2,500 words. You have to be open to any advice or editing from us. Hopefully, we can come to an agreement to the direction your story will take if any issues come up.

Send files only in Rich Text Format, so we can avoid spreading those nasty viruses that plague our world wide web; double-space your work; check out the last sentence on this post for the manuscript format we prefer.

Don’t forget the cover letter: describe your story briefly, and describe yourself briefly too (but don’t give us your whole life, okay?). Let us know your contact information (any two of the following will do: email address, cellphone number, landline, address).

As of now we can only accept submissions in English. Maybe that will change in the future and we can take in work written in Filipino, but as of now, only stories in English, please. We also can’t acknowledge, reply, or critique what you send in because there are only so many hours in a day and we’re going to use those hours to get these story collections out as fast and as well-printed as we can, but rest assured that if you meet our guidelines, your work will be read and treated as objectively as possible. If your story is chosen for publication, we’ll be getting in touch with you, surely!

We are planning to release the best of the stories we receive in short collections sometime before New Year’s Day, 2007 (for this timeline, we’re keeping our fingers crossed, and so should you, because this will depend on the quality of what gets sent to us). To give time for printing, the deadline for submissions for the first issue is November 3, 2006.

(*Edit: PGS is now open for submissions with no set deadline, except in special cases, or when otherwise stipulated. Please send your stories in at any time!)

Thanks very much for taking the time to read this. We’re looking forward to reading your work.

If you’re sending in a fantasy or science-fiction story, send it to:

If you’re sending in a crime or mystery story, send it to:

If you’re sending in a horror or suspense story, send it to:

Summary of Submission Guidelines
Stories must be in English (for now; we hope to accept submissions in Filipino in the future)
2,500 to 6,000 words
Rich Text Format (RTF) files only
Cover letter (brief description of your story and yourself)
Your contact details (email address, landline, cellphone number, address)
Use only a non-proportional font (like Courier) in 12 pts.
Double space your work
No simultaneous submissions. Multiple submissions are accepted.

For the ideal manuscript format we prefer to receive from our contributors, check out this link or this link.