Open Call for Submissions for 2023

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Philippine Genre Stories (PGS), a small and independent publisher in Manila, sent out its first call for submissions to the digest on August 30 2006. Opening then its publication for aspiring and practicing writers to explore the genres of Fantasy, Science fiction, Speculative, Crime, Mystery, Detective, Horror, and Suspense. PGS has published many contributors who have become accomplished creators through the years. Recently it has been publishing stories from students under the editorial guidance of the anthologized and acclaimed writer, fellow, lawyer, and teacher Christine V. Lao.

In 2023, PGS will be digitally publishing once more via Philippinegenrestories.com at least one previously unpublished story in English every month that experiments with the genres. With Mia Tijam—one of its published writers who herself has risen to acclaim, author of the anthology “Flowers for Thursday”, and one of the acknowledged editors who have advanced Philippine speculative fiction and its writers— serving as its guest-editor. Please email your submissions to philippinegenrestories(at)gmail(dot)com:

  • Use subject line: Last name_First key words of the work.
  • In the email body, you may tell us a little bit of yourself, contact details, and your submitted work.
  • Submit story as DOCx attachment with file name format: Last name_First key words of the work
  • Follow the story format of minimum 2,000 to maximum 6,000 words; font type Times New Roman/Arial/Calibri; font size 11 or 12; double-spaced; 1” margin all sides.
  • Include your maximum 100-word author’s bio (and optional photo) in italics at the bottom of the last page of your story.
  • Deadline for submissions is on December 31, 2022.

Each story considered for publication may receive developmental edits. Authors of chosen stories for publication will be contacted via email. Published stories will be compensated with a most humble fee.  All, especially students and unpublished writers from the provinces, are welcome to submit.

We are excited to receive and share your stories!

What We Leave Behind

by Mika Soria

If my mother’s dog could take Everwake, if he could just take one pill, he would be enjoying this walk through the park instead of moving in slow, languishing motions. I tug the leash gently, the way my mother used to do, and Colo reluctantly takes the lead. His joints are stiff from age, and he is apprehensive of anyone who isn’t me. When Everwake-powered athletes jog briskly past us, he freezes for half a second.

“You got a weird-looking dog, lady.” 

A boy and his Golden Retriever cross our path.  The boy holds an Everwake soft drink in his freckled hand. He takes a step closer to Colo, tapping the side of his temple once until a faint blue light begins to glow from his right iris. “Huh,” he says, reading what his smartlens has pulled up on Colo. He frowns.

“What’s his job?” The boy taps again and the light fades. “I don’t see a tag.”

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Taste

by Joan Mary Flordeliz L. Rayos

Jiko was climbing down his bunk bed when he saw a human-sized rabbit, all curled up in Mael’s bed.

It was unmistakably a rabbit—Jiko would know; he was a hunter patrolling the border of Arcadia, where animals roamed in the wild, free from direct human contact—before he worked at the abattoir. Its soft brown fur enveloped its body; long ears protruded upright from its head. Its teeth were bucked, and whiskers stuck out near its pink nose. It even had a cotton-like ball of fluff for a tail, stuck to its behind. He reached out to touch it.

“What are you doing?” The creature shrunk back from his touch, irritation scratching the surface of its groggy voice. Its eyelids parted, revealing a pair of red—no, white—eyes that were, again, undoubtedly that of a rabbit. But its voice—its speaking voice—was not.

“Well?” the rabbit said impatiently.

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The Operation

by Andrea Mae Camacho

Today, Seven has two arms, two legs, six fingers, and seven toes. Her fingers are mismatched. The thumbs are her own, but her remaining fingers—most of which she received yesterday as her share of Ma’s profits—are not. Seven cannot decide if she misses her two pinkie toes, and the ring toe Ma ordered her to surrender at the bakery in exchange for the family’s monthly bread ration. Out of habit, she runs her fingers through her thinning hair. The cold magnet of her scalp now feels familiar. With her tongue, she traces the gaps between her teeth and tastes metal. She sighs, purses her lips, and clenches her fists.

“Are you okay, Seven?”

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(LIMITED) CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

“Once upon a time…”

…is a pretty nice way to start a post about genre stories, don’t you think?

Once upon a time–I think it was about a dozen years ago, more or less–Philippine Genre Stories started, first as a print publication (with a blog at philippinegenrestories.blogspot.com), evolving later on into digital here on this website, though it had to stop due to the ravages of time (or rather, the lack of time to be ravaged).

I have to thank Celestine Trinidad, who reminded me via a tweet of a PGS story published in 2012, “Last Stand at Ayala Center” by EK Gonzales. The quote goes:

“And then the virus came, then the martial law order to stay indoors, the lock-down and the quarantine. The virus came, and like a vacuum it sucked up the future. Suddenly there was no time, not even to dream, not even to live.”

How apt and prescient, yes?

Locked up at home, do we have more time? Maybe, depending on your work-from-home situation. Are we running out of time? To dream? To live? Maybe also…

I posted about this quote just earlier this evening on my personal Facebook account, and then friends and former contributors Ian Rosales Casocot and F.H. Bataccan commented about how nice it would be if PGS could come back, and that a pandemic issue would be good, and suddenly the comments section of that post started getting populated, Dean Francis Alfar got tagged and so on and so forth until, well, here we are.

Here’s the meat of this post: This is a limited call for submissions for a digital pandemic segment for the Philippine Genre Stories website. I, as publisher and editor of PGS, am opening up for submissions, in any genre or mix of genres, submissions of stories about the Covid-19 pandemic. This call is open only to former writers and contributors who have been published in PGS.

Why am I limiting the call to former writers and contributors? Well, time is still short, for one thing, so I want to work with writers with whom I had already worked with before, who already know what PGS is about, and who I know can produce. You all know who you are, and I do want to give you all a chance again at getting a genre story out there via PGS. Just like old times, don’t you think? 😉

It is also limited because I do not see PGS moving on as an ongoing concern. Time, once more, is the opponent. I think I will have enough wherewithal to run and manage this for a limited period, for stories about the pandemic, and after that, PGS may need to “rest” again until such time as the ways and means come about for it to steadily continue again. How many stories will come out of this? I don’t know. I have the commitment of Dean, Ian, and Ichi, and that is something I value and am grateful for. I have tagged Celestine and EK here, so I hope they agree, too.

I am inviting all former writers who were published in PGS to send in your work. I won’t tag you all, but I do hope you see this, and I do want you to tell all those you know who have been in PGS to ask them if they will be willing to contribute a story. Please? 🙂 If you know any of them, please let them know.

Whether this runs just with Dean’s, Ian’s, and Ichi’s tales and be done, or if it gets to run on for just a bit longer with more former PGS writers sending in their work, I will be grateful. Whether this runs for just the very short period of a couple of months, or if it runs for longer, I will be grateful. But as F.H. Batacan said, it would be good to set these stories down as a record of these tough and challenging times in the form of genre stories. And maybe it will help relieve us of some of the stress of dealing with these times.

And, as usual, and paramount for me, it will give people a chance to read the work of Pinoy genre writers.

I will set the last day for submissions on October 31, 2020, but feel free to start sending in as soon as, say, August 15, 2020? And let’s see if I can start publishing online not long after that. The schedule will be flexible, but I will do my best to keep some steady flow of work going on Philippinegenrestories.com. You can email your submissions to pdofsf@yahoo.com. And it would be great to be in touch with all of you again, after all this time. 🙂 Cheers to you all, I hope you are all doing well, and are safe and healthy.