I won’t even pretend that this anthology wasn’t originally inspired by a commercial. It totally was. I watched this commercial for Marks and Spencer:
…and, after I stopped crying (every. single. time.) I started thinking about Mrs. Claus.
Mrs. Claus is often in the background of Santa Claus stories, or playing a supporting role, but it’s not very often that–like in the M&S commercial–she gets to the be star. As a middle-aged woman in a world where middle-aged women are often somewhat invisible that really spoke to me. I really, really wanted to edit an anthology that let Mrs. Claus step into the spotlight.
And on a related note, seriously what IS her first name? I mean, I’d be pretty pissed if the only way people knew me was through my relationship with my husband. “Oh, that’s Mrs. Parrish!” “What’s her first name?” “I don’t know? Mrs.?” Nahhh….
Some submissions have been trickling in but I wanted to share a wee bit of a wishlist for what I’d like to see before I started reading them. Since I haven’t started reading submissions yet (I will after posting this) I don’t know what’s in there. If you’ve already sent me a story that nails something on this list yay! If you’re stuck for an idea maybe some of these thoughts will kick something loose in your brain 🙂
Wishlist for Mrs. Claus
- I’ve got nothing against younger versions of Mrs. Claus, and if she stars in a kick-ass story I will accept stories that feature a younger version of her, but mostly I’m focusing on middle-aged and older women for this anthology. I’d also really like to see women of colour represented in the anthology so please don’t feel constrained to white versions of Mrs. Claus.
- One word: lightsaber
- As always if you give me a well-imagined story set during the Great War you’re going to check a box on my wishlist.
- *cough* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce *cough*
- For me to consider this anthology successful I need to include stories set on Christmas Eve, but also stories set on other days of the year.
- Mrs. Claus in space? Yes, please!
- *punk. Solarpunk. Dieselpunk. Steampunk (c’mon a steam-powered sleigh? Victorian North Pole?!). Anything that fits into any one of those categories would be brilliant.
- I like reindeer. They like games. I’m just sayin’…
- Mrs. Claus as a ninja? Why not? Someone needs to be in charge of security at the North Pole! You can’t just leave all that magical stuff laying around unprotected…
- Mrs. Claus as a pirate? Why not? Something might need to be stolen in order to save Christmas… or sustain the North Pole… or just because it’s shiny.
- I’m game for a good “Something happens to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus saves the day!” story–just so long as it doesn’t feel contrived and Mrs. Claus doesn’t go from being in the shadows, to being in the spotlight, to deciding she wants to go back to the shadows. Because no.
- Mrs. Claus in the wild west.
- Claus Noir.
- This anthology isn’t only about empowerment, but it’s also about empowerment, so show me that.
- I want stories set at the North Pole, but I also want them set in other places; tropical places, fictional places, underwater places, ancient places, future places. All. The. Places.
- Have fun with it! Christmas is about a lot of things, but one of them is fun. My favourite Christmas movies are always the cheeseball ones that make me cry and the magical, colourful ones where people re-imagine the North Pole.
There… just a few wee hints in case you’re stuck. As always, though, the best story is one I could never have imagined by myself. I hope you’ll write one and send it my way!
Mrs. Claus Call for Submissions
For a long, long time Santa Claus has hogged the spotlight relegating his wife to the shadows, but no longer. Now it’s Mrs. Claus’ turn to shine!
We’re looking for stories that let Mrs. Claus (or is it Ms. Claus?) take centre stage. Whether she more closely resembles Michelle Obama, Betty White, Shohreh Aghdashlooor or Maggie Smith, Mrs. Claus must be a developed, independent character and not simply an extension of her husband. She can help and support him—of course she can—but there needs to be more to her than only that.
What’s her role on Christmas Eve? What about the other days of the year? Is she into sleek red snowmobiles or is she more of an old-fashioned magic sleigh kinda gal? Does she prefer baking cookies or kickboxing? Betting on the Reindeer Games or Avon parties with the elves?
And what is her first name, anyway?
Stories are encouraged to re-imagine the North Pole in new and interesting ways (steampunk? alien? magically relocated to the equator?) and to explore a variety of other settings as well. They can also take place in time frames both real and imagined—Christmas in 1940 Poland, Mars in 2050 or a rediscovered Atlantis in 2017 would all be welcome in this anthology.
Note: This anthology is intended for an adult audience, please don’t submit children’s stories.
Rights and compensation: Payment: $10 and a paperback copy of the anthology from World Weaver Press. We are looking for previously unpublished works in English. Seeking first world rights in English and nonexclusive right to continue to publish for the life of the anthology.
Open submission period: April 1, 2017 – May 31, 2017
Length: Under 10,000 words
Submission method: Upload story as .doc or .rtf to niteblade.submittable.com/submit
Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.
Expected Publication Date: Winter 2017