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Taking Submissions: Feisty Felines and Other Fantastical Familiar

October 15, 2023

Deadline: October 15th, 2023
Payment: 6 cents per word
Theme: Fun and thought-provoking stories about magical animal familiars and their humans.

A collection of fun and thought-provoking stories about magical animal familiars and their humans. Familiars can be feisty felines or other imaginative animals.

This is the fifth anthology put together by the Publishing masters degree students at Western Colorado University, taught by bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson and award-winning editor Allyson Longueira, funded by Draft2Digital. Previous anthologies include Monsters, Movies, and Mayhem; Unmasked; Gilded Glass; and the just-released Merciless Mermaids: Tails from the Deep. See the examples at http://wordfirepress.com/gpcw

Please read the Guidelines carefully.


We’re familiar with familiars … or are we? Gifted adventurers across time and space have traveled with an animal familiar—often a cat, but other fuzzy, scaly, or prickly creatures make appearances, too. These magical companions might lead their humans into mischief, help them out of a sticky situation, or provide opinionated commentary along the way.

But when the wizards are away, the familiars will play.

Feisty Felines and Other Fantastical Familiars is an original collection that shines the limelight on the sidekicks, the familiars. Familiars have lives of their own, a sense of humor, and a shadowy underbelly that we totally overlook.

Does the Siamese cat companion develop powers of telekinesis … maybe to knock deadly potions off the counter? What happens when a rat studies to become a familiar in a class full of cats? Is the circus leopard really the puppet master who makes her handler look good?

They don’t all have to be felines. What about unfamiliar familiars? A time-traveling elephant that never forgets a grudge against his warlock? A lowly earthworm horrified to find itself bonded for life to an ungrateful enchanter?

Now it’s time for these fantastical familiars to take the main stage. Make your stories humorous, dark, or heartwarming—so long as the familiar is the central figure in the story. We’re looking for writing with all the wit, mischief, and charmingly complex character of cats themselves.

Think outside the litter box and send us something unique that finally gives these familiars the fame and glory they deserve.

Genre:Original feline and or familiar stories and poetry in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, humor, and romance, appropriate for up to a “PG-13” audience. Felines and or familiars (of other types) must be central to the story. Diverse cultures and non-traditional legends and persons welcomed. NO animal abuse stories, no bestiality. No copyrighted characters. Original stories only that have never been published in any format.

Edited by Kevin J. Anderson and Allyson Longueira with an editorial team provided by Western Colorado University Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Publishing MA students. Anthology made possible by a generous contribution from Draft2Digital.


Length: up to 5000 words (firm limit)

Rate: 6¢/word on acceptance.

Rights: First Anthology Rights, print and ebook. Rights revert to author one month after publication; publisher retains non-exclusive right to include in the anthology as a whole.

Due: We are open to submissions from September 1 through October 15, 2023.  Final acceptances or rejections will be made by December 2023.

Submit: A Microsoft Word or RTF file in standard manuscript format to https://wordfirewestern.moksha.io/publication/feisty-felines-and-other-fantastical-familiars/submissions/submit  If you don’t know what standard manuscript format is, review (for example) Basic Manuscript Format. Submissions not in standard manuscript format may be rejected without being read.

One submission per person, please. And NO Simultaneous Submissions—that means, if you send a story to us, DO NOT send it to another publication at the same time.

AI Policy: AI offers tools that many writers find useful, but YOU MUST WRITE YOUR OWN STORY. Your work cannot contain an appreciable amount of AI-generated content and must be fully copyrightable, per the US Copyright Office. See www.copyright.gov for details. You will be required to attest to this in the submission process.

PLEASE READ THE GUIDELINES CAREFULLY. If you want to increase your chances and avoid mistakes, please read Slushpile Memories: How NOT to Get Rejected by Kevin J. Anderson

Via: Word Fire Western’s Moksha.