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Taking Submissions: Grumpy Old Gods Vol. 7: Trickster Gods

February 10, 2020

Deadline: February 10th, 2020

Payment: Royalties

Theme: Classic trickster trope: have them fearlessly playing pranks on the powerful – not picking on the weak.   If you get them in deep trouble, get them out before the end of the story.

It’s finally time!

We’ve been looking forward to this since the very first Grumpy Old Gods.  We’re inviting you to submit your trickster stories.

That’s right.

We’re gearing up for Grumpy Old Trickster Gods (to be released April 1st).

Send us your best tales of conniving tricksters that are past their glory days, tricksters that find their mojo again after being retired.   We want to see the classic trickster trope: have them fearlessly playing pranks on the powerful – not picking on the weak.   If you get them in deep trouble, get them out before the end of the story.

We want the readers to finish each story with a grin.

Trickster myths are all about the canny and clever winning.  We want stories where they defend the less powerful from those who are in power: have them take on the IRS, the local homeowners association, a diamond smuggling ring, or Zeus when he’s being rapey.

In many cultures, tricksters are generally male, but we’re equal-opportunity editors, so we’ll take tricksters in any form they come in, though we’d prefer most of the stories to keep the trickster in human form for at least part of the story, because it works better with the modern setting we’re asking for.

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Stories need to be 3000-4000 words and include a Grumpy Trickster God – preferably one that’s coming out of retirement, or planning to retire (though he’s not required to actually retire; the world needs the tricksters today more than ever).

We try to only use a god / goddess once per anthology, so please understand that if you choose to write about some of the better-known tricksters.  We expect a glut of Loki and Coyote.   Consider perhaps some of the other American Indian tales, or Anansi from African myths.   Use a less- well-known trickster like Prometheus (what would he be up to once he finally got down from that rock and recovered?) or someone like Pan who has a grand tradition of playing tricks on hapless mortals when they mess with his territory.

You could write a more playful, trickster take on some of the more morose gods: Hephaestus once trapped his unfaithful wife and her lover in what must be termed an epic prank…though I suspect Hermes might have been behind that plot.

In short, any god of any pantheon can be turned into a trickster.  All it takes is incorporating the classic ingredients for a trickster myth: those in power need to look foolish by the end of the tale, brains defeats brawn, and in this anthology, if the trickster has to pay for his naughtiness at the end of the story, do it in a way that leaves the reader feeling good.

Leave your reader grinning, or better yet, laughing.

As always, we love stories with a defined beginning / middle / end:  we want a twist at the end if possible.  Give us sparkling dialogue, fantastic characters, and stories we can really connect with.   Make us laugh.  And most of all – have fun writing it so your reader can have fun reading it.

The submission deadline is February 10th, 2020.

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Required: Must Have Grumpy Old Gods V7 in the Subject Line of your email. This helps us wade through the correspondence tsunami and spot G6 among the hundreds of emails.

So PLEASE be specific. Seriously. We’re begging you guys.

Must include a bio of the author (not that we’re going to judge anyone by their bio…it just makes putting the book together a lot easier if all the information is in the same place).  Include in Word doc.

No poetry. No plays. No matter how amazing your poems are (and some of them have been) we simply don’t have a payment structure in place for something that short. We might eventually have an unpaid poetry venue on the blog. As for screenplays/plays… we don’t have the marketing staff to branch out, and they obviously don’t work in an anthology.

Genre: Speculative Fiction.

Deadline: February 10th, 2020

Payment: Royalty Split

What is Speculative Fiction?

Well, Wikipedia says… “It encompasses the genres of science fiction, fantasy, science fantasy, horror, alternative history, and magic realism.” In our case, we want a mythological element, but feel free to pick and choose where you set your story. We’re as likely to pick out Grumpy Old Gods in Space as we are to enjoy a nice Viking battle set in a Steampunk Edwardian era that never was.

Most of all, for the love of little green dragons, have fun with it! These stories are meant to be fun for the reader, but it’s our belief that they can’t be for the reader if they aren’t fun for the writer. So, let that inner Muse out! Feed her pixie sticks, and see how much awesomeness she can cram into 4000 words.

(All Muses must be convinced to write in English since the Editors of this anthology do not speak Ancient Greek, Latin, Sumerian, Phoenician, or Egyptian.)

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Words: 3000-4000

Rating: PG13-PG17

Submission Format:

Word Doc RTF format or PDF
(No Google Docs please, but we’re willing to work with you if you need to submit in a different format, just contact us!)  All info including BIOs, social media posts and links should be submitted in a Word Doc RTF format, not in the body of the email.

We get a lot of emails. We will not search through emails for the required information. Please include it all in a Word RTF doc attached to the email. You can include more than one Word doc. Label the emails, explain the information you are sending and how your social media fits with photos if you send them.

What rights are we asking for?

We’re asking for the exclusive rights to print the stories for one year in the anthology, but the writers will retain everything else. We prefer first-run rights, but judge each story on its own merit.


All authors who participate in the collection will receive an equal portion of the profit, paid via PayPal per the contract. None of the startup costs for the book (book cover, formatting, etc…) will be deducted from the proceeds.

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Vanessa Wells, Juneta Key, and Vanessa Finaughty.

Submit to: [email protected]

Who we are:

Vanessa Wells: Self-professed short story junkie, writer, and editor of anthologies. Storyteller, responsible for the Magus series, the Area 52 short story series, and the Topeka, Tx Chronical cozy mysteries. Editor of three Grumpy Old Gods anthologies with more to come.

Juneta Key: You know her as one of the seven founders and a host of Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop, and one of the nine Admins of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. She is the author of several short stories and working on two paranormal series and a sci-fantasy space opera. The social media and website skills are strong with this one. Editor of three Grumpy Old Gods anthologies with more to come.

Vanessa Finaughty: A talented editor and fantasy author joining the Stormdance team on July 2019. She has written or edited for magazines, national newspapers in South Africa, Oxford University Press Southern Africa and the International Trade Centre in Geneva, Switzerland, among others. Plus two Grumpy Old Gods anthologies with more to come.

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  • Must be your original work. You own all copyrights.
  • You can create your own god. Made up welcomed. Must be your original work.
  • Made up Myths welcomed.
  • A character must interact with a grumpy god(s) in some fashion according to the anthology volume call, outlined. An immortal character will probably work best, but if you can make it work in the scenario where grumpy god is involved we will consider it. It must fit the theme and tone of the anthology. Read what we are looking for above, if still unsure, email us.)
  • Any pantheon is okay as long as it is not in violation of any copyright laws. e.g. copyright has expired considered part of the public domain. We would especially be happy to see some stories for the Egyptian pantheon.
  • We prefer first-run rights, but we will consider reprints if the story is really good and fits the anthology theme.
  • No dual submissions. If you have submitted your piece to someone else do not submit to us.
  • If you have an idea you think fits the theme but is not outlined or a question about it email us at [email protected]

Via: Storm Dance Books


February 10, 2020