Open Call: Hunting Anthology

The idea has been batted around for a year now: an anthology of hunting tales. 

Objections have been raised. Hunting stories are, by their very nature, meant to be performative. Alcohol is frequently involved. Fiction is at the edges of all of them, intended or not. Since they are usually spoken, they run short – often very short. And of course, there’s the objection: “I’m not running another anthology!”

Illustration from Jim Kjelgaard’s Big Red

I grew up learning to hunt, fish, and trap. I have fond memories dating back to my earliest years of reading the Fur Fish Game magazine, with the articles being part of that, but mostly I read it for the funny stories. Pat McManus and Lewis Grizzard were as much a part of my childhood reading as L Frank Baum and Edgar Rice Burroughs were. I come from a family who told hunting stories, and I sat there with my little blond braid and soaked it up.

Illustration from Ellsworth Jaeger’s Wildwood Wisdom

I want to capture some of that joyful nostalgia between the pages of a book. You can send me your stories – more than one, if you’d like – and I’m not worried about the length. No, I’m not saying that you can make them short as you like – some of you will take that as a challenge! – but unlike a purely fiction endeavour, this doesn’t have to have a lower limit. I’m hoping to have enough volume to fill a slender paperback, at the least. And, to sweeten the deal? I’ll illustrate it, along the lines of the examples in this post. Line art of creatures and hunters, good dogs and terrible cold rivers… that ought to flesh it out, and should remind you, as it does me, of the reading material when the world was younger and more eager to be outdoors. 

Flyleaf illustration from Man-eaters of Kumaon

Hunters share a reverence for the creatures who die that we may sustain ourselves on them, and an irreverence for the dignity of the humans enjoying that sport. Laughter rings in the camp at night when the moose are bedded down and the mosquitoes are the ones out for blood. The sheer glee of being alive when you know that fall could have been your last? The giddy joy of having been hunted yourself and having survived to enjoy one more day. That’s what I want to see in your tales. We all need to be reminded not to take ourselves so seriously. And we could use a little reminder of where our food comes from  – and that’s not the turkey in the frozen section, ‘cause some granny’s going to cap you if you carry your shotgun in there!

Illustrations from Wildwood Wisdom

To be brief: I want to see (mostly) non-fiction stories of hunting, fishing, trapping, and wilderness shenanigans.  Standard manuscript format of single-spaced, using indents for the first line of each paragraph, not tabs, and a readable font at 12pt size, please. Files should be doc, docx, or rtf. Include your name and the title as a header in the file. Send these to the reconstructed email address of: cedarlila at cedarlili dot art by June 30, 2022. Publication date is tentatively September 28, 2022. It will be a one year exclusive contract, and previously published stories (i.e. from a blog or such is fine) will be considered with a note in the body of the email explaining where the story first appeared. Pay will be royalty shares, managed through PubShare.

Illustration from The American Boys Handy Book
Illustration by Cedar Sanderson from The Ratel Saga

12 thoughts on “Open Call: Hunting Anthology

    1. Thank you! There will be a volume 2 of the PTSD anthology, with an emphasis on the complex traumas of abuse and exposure to repeated secondary trauma (EMS, Law Enforcement, CPS). I won’t be announcing that formally until after we get the house situation ironed out, though.

  1. I may have one for you – it’s not mine, but from an uncle of my wife’s. I’ll need to contact him to see if he’d want to submit it. It’s humorous.

    1. Here’s what I posted to our writers’ group online pages:

      Open Call: Hunting Anthology

      My author/publisher friend announced she’s putting together a hunting anthology. Details in the link.

      We country folk have participated in or heard about true or mostly true little stories that still make us laugh or shake our heads in wonder that the teller is/was still alive. Please share, and if accepted, you’ll be able to rightly state you are an author.

      Please share with other writers. It’s literally an open call for stories.

  2. Hi I have a hunting story for your consideration. How do I send it to you? I’m a friend of Regan Smith – and Rodney…..

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