Submission Guidelines

Important Note: The reading period starting from 30 JANUARY 2017 for the special #ownvoices African Continent & Diaspora issue, guest-edited by Khaalidah Mohammad Ali and Troy L. Wiggins is NOW OPEN.

Truancy 4 Guidelines

  1. Truancy 4 is a special #ownvoices issue, designed to highlight the revised, retold and remixed folklore and myths from authors of the African Continent & Diaspora, no matter where they may be in the world.
  2. The reading period will run from January 30 2017 to March 5 2017, or until we reach 300 submissions, whichever comes first.
  3. The editors for this issue are Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, Co-Editor of Podcastle, and Troy. L Wiggins, Executive Editor of Fiyah.
  4. All of the following General Truancy Guidelines are also applicable, please read through for the secret “word” as well as the new submissions email address for this reading period.
  5. For Truancy 4, submissions will only be open for Original Fiction, and not for reprints.

General Truancy Guidelines

1. Short fiction, up to 3000 words (this is an updated word limit and all stories accepted for Issues 1-3 of Truancy are exempted). Starting from 2017, we will be paying authors the semipro rates of of USD0.01 cents per word and our SFWA-standards compliant contracts will reflect this new payment. Note: No simultaneous submissions or multiple submissions, please (unless solicited for multiple submissions).
2. Poetic prose, stream-of-consciousness and experimental prose are all welcome in this venue.
3. There may occasionally be themed issues and guest editors. When this happens, specific sets of guidelines will be released.
4. The emphasis remains on marginalised voices that are strong, bold, playful and experimental.
a. These marginalised voices include but are not necessarily limited to: WoC/PoC/QUILTBAG writers. This is also a disability-friendly venue. Lesser represented, non-Anglophone cultures are warmly welcomed, as this is a WoC-run venue. We will be happy with non-neurotypical/neurodiverse characters/writers. Non-binary writers are also most welcome.

NOTE: This does not mean that we are excluding all other writers but more that we are trying our utmost best to raise the visibility of writers who are still in the margins.

b. Although the stories accepted in this venue should be primarily written in English, we also accept Englishes, and excerpts and dialogues in other languages, so long as the meaning is self-explanatory (this is important because we don’t want your story to be clogged up with an overload of exposition. That will obscure the story AND your voice).
c. We want stories that shine with dialect, with pidgin, with improvision, with beat, and meter. Let’s shake things up here, let’s be truant. Let’s get rid of that misconception that folk and mythic narratives are for the twee, and that they’re no longer relevant. We need them for every age.

5. While the Aarne-Thompson-Uther (ATU) specifications were deployed for Volume One of Delinquent’s Spice, they are by no means the be-all and end-all for folktales.
a.Authors are encouraged to look deeper into the treasures of their respective cultures to find these stories. They may exist in children’s books or in a different language.
b. Do let us know in your cover letter about the folktale/myth that you’re referencing. If there’s no available translation in English, just give us the gist of the story! If you’re making it up as you go along but messing around with tropes, do let us know as well.

Policies and Formatting Guidelines

1. Truancy is dedicated to the exploration of lesser-known mythic and folktale types set within regions of the world which have not gained enough exposure in both literature and the arts.

2. While this endeavor is aimed at exploring lesser-known folk traditions from lesser-represented regions of the world, we require authors to be ethical in their revisions in relation to positioning their narratives within what may be cultures that are different to their own.

3. We do not encourage or condone “literary tourism” and must be made to feel that the story rings with that common kernel of humanity which suffuses the best tales. Know your folktales and be respectful of the areas you are writing about.

a. Truancy encourages diversity, hybridity and ambiguity in the texts that we solicit. In answer to the question about whether or not you can write about other cultures or cultures from which you’re only partially descended — my answer is yes. But it’s the nature of how you do it that will be interrogated. Apply good sense, respect and consideration, and ask questions if you’re lacking in knowledge. This article by Nisi Shawl is an excellent place to start, if you aren’t sure.

b. For example, do not give us stories in which your subject is exoticised, or any race, culture or minority is demonised in order to cast your protagonist in a more favourable light. Just to make it clear, this publication frowns on misogyny, ableism and homophobia

4. Truancy is an inclusive market and will have a special place in its heart for minority and Othered writers (whether of culture, gender, sex, (dis)ability, social inequality or orientation). We encourage writers around the globe, whether established or struggling, to send us stories. You don’t need an impressive resume to get published on DS. You just need to write strong stories that grab my attention.

5. It is important that these guidelines be read. To prove to me that you have read all of the guidelines, do include the Mystery Word in your submission header (pssst: The new Mystery Word lives at #9!).

Here is an example:

TRUANCY SUBMISSION: “Your title here” (Your Name Here)(Mystery Word)

6. General formatting standards apply. Please attach your .rtf, .doc or .docx documents formatted like this.

7. ARTWORK: If you’re interested in featuring your artwork in Truancy, do send us an email. Starting from 2017, the rates for cover art reprints are USD50 per artwork. Separate rates will be negotiated for black and white illustrations if applicable.


8. REPRINTS: We will, from time to time solicit reprints for Truancy. If you have written something that you think I might be interested in, feel free to query me by email, I’d really like to be more inclusive of non-traditionally published diverse folk, fairytale and mythic revisions! Starting from 2017, reprints are a flat rate of USD20.


9. The new mystery word for Truancy 4: JOLLOF.

9a. If you have days in which you’d prefer not to receive rejections (birthdays, anniversaries both positive/negative, religious holidays, weekends), please add a small note in your cover letter and we’ll schedule a rejection for the next day (if it’s a rejection!)

10. Thank you for reading all the way to #10. Are you all set? Great! See you in our inbox!

truancysubs AT gmail DOTcom (insert appropriate symbols/punctuation mark).

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