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The Third [adjective][species] Poetry Collection

Welcome to The Third [adjective][species] Poetry Collection! Each year, for the past few years, we have collected some poetry from those within the fandom centered around a loose theme. This year’s theme was **comunity and belonging**. Below are the submissions we received in no particular order (other than the fact that the first made Makyo cry on the plane).

The furry subculture is full of unbelievable talent, and it is our pleasure to showcase poetry from those who make up the fandom.

“Quigley Napoleon Underfoot” by Jazmine Bellamy

That little wet nose with the short legs & the crooked tail didn’t know
How broken the family he was becoming a part of was

All he knew was he was leaving yet another place behind
Another car ride to another place

Old Maggie finally had the chance & sat on him
Big Red & Bigger Jed were thrilled to see him go

He noticed off the bat
Just how quiet & sad his new mommy was

How much his new daddy didn’t seem to care
Past saying that getting him was a mistake

A year or many dog years later
He was back in that house they’d picked him up from

Big Red wasn’t there anymore
Old Maggie was older still

But a new friend was exciting
A Bassedor

So ungraceful
His new sister Grace

His mommy loved on them both so much
She was still sad

Some days more than others
But they all sat in the sun in the yard for hours

The years rolled by
Mommy was up and down and all around

One day
Mommy was gone

A whole week gone she was
Daddy and his other girly stayed though

When mommy came home she was still scared but not as sad it seemed
Suddenly they were packing again

Everything in boxes and garbage bags
A new bed

Just the three of them
Yet the family wasn’t broken anymore

He was starting to feel old
As the years slowly shuffled past

Mommy brought home someone new
Patient & calm & kind

Who rubbed his ears just right
Scratched his back so good

His new daddy loved all of them
The family grew again

New daddy bought them all a bigger bed
But he still wanted to sleep right between them at night

This was the forever family he signed up for
When he left that foster home way back when.

“Fuzzed Gallery” by Z. Tanner

Sometimes people can only see
myself as a monstrosity
They spare no thought nor sympathy
no quarter given unto me
in spite of all this tragedy
that I have found a family!
Inside of the menagerie
They accept all identities
Genders and sexualities
with the words of simply be
Beauty paired with simplicity
of implicit animality
a strike against the world’s cruelty
Have I found such camaraderie
And this is where I becomes we.
So come join me and he and she,
Lots of room in this gallery
So with a kind heart and some glee
Welcome to our community.

“Color Fur Power” by Shining River

Color Fur Power is
The power in the fibers
And those fibers come together.
In our superfurry bodies,
Our paws, arms, and faces.

Put on your head!
Yeah, put on your head!
Join our dancing mass of colors
In more than a parade,
More than a masquerade.
‘Cuz this time it’s for real.

Color Fur Power
Is our fierce furful love,
Our fierce furful hope,
Our fierce furful joy
Will shake the earth.
We shake the earth.
Until a stubborn monument falls,
And an ancient flag of black and white and red

Is
No
More.

We write for justice,
Speak for freedom.
Solidarity
For the fur family.
To dance around the flagpole
And the stubborn monument
And sing a freedom song.
We shake the earth.

With the blessing of the Sun,
And the blessing of the Moon,
Color Fur Power flows within us
Color Fur Power flows from us.
And the stubborn monument gives way.
The flagpole falls and the flag
Of black and white and red tears loose.
It’s away,
away,
away down.
On to the ashes
of history.

“Call to Change” by Z. Tanner

This is our community
It belongs to you and me
We can make this place great
If we can just stomp out hate.

Cannot block this silent roar
The Poisoned hounds have taken root.
But we can heal this open sore.
If we can give them all the boot

Is not the time to tolerate
Nor is the time to anticipate
Now’s the time to stand and act
That’s not opinion that is fact

So Fuzzed friends and family
Which side is it gonna be?

“Thoughts From a Ewe in Late Autumn” by Jazmine Bellamy

“How strange”
She thought
As she watched the imperfect v’s overhead
This time headed south

“They should just find a place and be happy”
She shook her wooly head and lowered it
Back to the hay left out by the farmer

“My own sisters and I enjoy all that is here”
She mused as the shepherd dog lazed nearby
Eyeing all of his flock peaceful on the ground

“Even the Collie is one of us anymore”
She munched happily at the realization
Sure he wouldn’t appreciate it as much but still be amused

“Progress and Change” by Z. Tanner

We stand tall on
those that came before.
Refining our flaws
Carried to these shores

Breaking down these
Zoo walls bars and cages.
Reaching up to the stars
We be thoughtful sages.

Learn from our history
and one another
These animals we be
Are welcome as brother

And march on from
the dark of our past
Beasts who have learned
To make all this Last

United Together
Us Animals be
I’m glad to be here
With you and with me.

Continue with me,
In our diversity.

“Otters of the Northwest” by Jazmine Bellamy

The surface of the water breaks
A spray of droplets
Followed by happy chuffing
Another dive
Fur sleek
Spirals and rolls
The chill of the underwater world barely noticed
Dancing
Elegant and free at the same time
Pure ecstasy
Clown princesses and princes of their aquatic realms
Trickster darlings
But that beautiful dance
Oh to be able to move like they do
Dancing in beams of light that break between the currents
Precious moments of ephemeral grace

“Place called Fandom” by Z. Tanner

This place called fandom
is where I have found me
Yeah this place called fandom
is where I found me.
It gave me a place to explore
and room to be free

It’s such a wild place to be
friends encourage growth and change
Such a wild place to be
my friends help me grow and change
With radical inclusive love
The world we will rearrange

I am glad that I am here
with all expression to just be.
Oh so glad that I am here
And free to express all that be.

I am grateful that you are here,
We together make furry.

“Midnight or so” by Tyler Parsons

The winds awaken from their dead sleep,
on one of those nights around midnight or so.
It’s right about that time of night,
that I find myself wandering alone.

“You’d think by now I’d have learned to cope,”
I sigh to nobody passing by,
as I pull my coat in closer,
cuddling a ghost with all my might.

I remember saying something like
“You are the only one who understands me,”
but the gentle breeze upon my face
is my only hope for a reply.

Eventually, when my pilgrimage
has laid time to rest
and my skin feels just a bit too tight,
I come across wherever I was headed all this time:

this desolate freeway overpass
between the suburbs and the forest,
where balls of light dart
towards the endless darkness.

Then, I felt the wind pick up
and force me against the railing,
like the world had stopped moving
but the air continued past.

The trees bowed, the clouds scattered,
a golden moon blazed down from a clear sky,
and somewhere deep down inside,
something was aching to come out.

AROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I cover my mouth as I stumble into the road
struggling to steady myself
watching the world roll around inside my head.
what on earth had come over me?

As the wind begins to clear
and the world shifts back into place,
I start to hear a familiar sound
coming somewhere from the town.

It started slow, a faint murmur
from the depths of the earth, rising
up to the rooftops, past the trees
into the swirling sky

From all over the city, the choir sings,
surrounding me with their music.
A howl—a million howls
ringing out through the sky;

and I with my silence,
begging to be released,
and the last of my will
floating away in the night…

So I did the only thing
I could ever do:
I let myself howl
and cared not who or what heard.

I have found them.
They have found me.

“Forgiveness” by Z. Tanner

I was once called to serve among you
Proud as a lion I stood.
Tried to hear complaints all through,
Trying so hard to be good.

But yet like many I’ve stumbled
in fear I made a call
From that I didn’t fumble,
What I did was fall.

Felt like I was a broken cat
to far gone to redeem,
You all told me it’s not like that
That it wasn’t what it seems

I now still walk among you
As we are all friends true.

“Meaning and Self” by Makyo

There’s some duality between sources of meaning,
Between the types of stories we use to back identity.
It’s not quite good & bad or light & dark,
Though I’m not yet sure just how to define it.

Dad used to punish the dogs
by locking then in the basement.
If he was really mad,
he’d toss then down there by the scruff.

Mom moved me & her dogs to a new house —
moved us three days early during the divorce.
Her dog punched my ex stepdad in the crotch the night before,
the nut-shot to end all nut-shots, & our time there.

Few things make me feel as deeply about life as parenthood,
even if it’s just me caring for my dogs.
Some reminders of that are intense enough to be raw, painful,
salt in the wounds of mortality, maybe, or the ache of maternal love.

The meaning behind the story of me & my dogs
comes with a story of its own, or maybe several.
It’s bound up in stories to come,
& these stories nest infinitely deep.

Remembering that & shaping that,
It’s a part of making the meaning in my life.
This isn’t better against worse,
it’s not mom against dad.

It’s not a dichotomy at all, really,
now that I think about it.
It’s something subtler, comfortably complex, a topic of its own.
I guess it’s just meaning & self.

“A Rhyme” by Z. Tanner

Birds of a feather
all chant together
cats in our clowders
come on now get louder
you ferrets in business
Ya’ll already got this
Dogs in your packs
we’ve all got your backs
Through this diversity
we all achieve unity
Join us and come in
There’s warmth here within.

Editorial: On Words (repost)

You’ll have to forgive your self-indulgent author, today. Every year, around this time, I get very maudlin. Part of it is the big change in my life around work that happened a while back, part of it is that lasting sense of “this is when the school year begins”, and part of it is grief.

In my Kaddish article these many years ago, I talk about the Mourner’s Kaddish, a prayer said after the death of one’s parents. It’s spoken daily for eleven months, and then yearly on the anniversary of the death. It’s said in order to ease the burden of grief over time so that it does not remain an overwhelming force in life.

Would that I had the faith to let go. Still, no harm in trying.

So, in that vein, on this anniversary, yit’gadal v’yit’kadash sh’mei raba…

Five years ago, on September 6th, a friend of mine passed away.

I’d not really had all that much exposure to death before that, if I’m honest. My step-adoptive-grandfather died when I was fairly young, and all I really remember out of that was the funeral, and inheriting a small medal he’d won from Colorado State University, something about soil science and geology. After that, I had dream after dream about what winning that medal must’ve been like, walking through some grand oaken hall to receive a pewter medal on a velvet pillow. That I later attended CSU, and that CSU had no oaken halls as in my dreams, always left me vaguely disappointed.

Other than that, my brush with mortality was limited to my grandmother, who passed some time later. The unfortunate part of her passing was that, for years before, she had been deep in a mire of dementia that left her a pallid shadow of her former self. From her, I remember that a lot of our final interactions were beset by confusion, frustration, and tears. “You’re [my mom]’s son, right?” she asked in the airport. She repeated the question seven or eight times, being sure, each time, to comfort herself that the person pushing her wheelchair was someone known to her.

My mom and I had flown out to see her as she got settled into a final stage of her life in Charlotte, North Carolina. My mom flew out to see her one more time before she died, but, after a long talk, it was decided that I would stay home. “I can’t handle it. I can’t be in that role again,” I pleaded, and my mom let me stay with my dad while she flew out of town.

Continue reading Editorial: On Words (repost)

Call for Submissions: The Third [adjective][species] Poetry Collection

We are proud to announce the Third [adjective][species] Poetry Collection! We have run two such collections before, one in 2015 and one in 2016, and are looking to continue the tradition of featuring some of the fandom’s poets here on the site.

As with last year, we are looking to feature poems with a specific focus. This year’s theme will be community and belonging. Poems can be about furry itself, or about animals (anthro and otherwise), but must include at least some mention of animals or furry. There are many excellent poets out there in the subculture, and we’d love to showcase their work here!

 

The fine print on what to send:

Continue reading Call for Submissions: The Third [adjective][species] Poetry Collection

Furry Migration, The Furry Writers’ Guild, and [a][s]

Howwwwwwdy!

This year, August 25-27, Furry Migration will be taking place in Minneapolis, MN! The guests of honor include voice actor and comedian Malcom Ray, artist Talenshi, and *drumroll* The Furry Writers’ Guild! The Guild’s mission is to support, inform, elevate, and promote quality anthropomorphic fiction and its creators.

I’m posting this here for two and one third reasons.

Continue reading Furry Migration, The Furry Writers’ Guild, and [a][s]

Species, Gender, and Data

One of the neat things about identity is the fact that a shared identity can lead to a community.

This is the way furry works, after all. A bunch of folks all around the world started identifying with this thing. Maybe they identify as folks who see themselves as something other than human. Or maybe they identify as someone who really likes art of anthropomorphic animals. There’s a lot of different ways to approach the topic of anthropomorphics.

Getting a bunch of folks together with a shared identity takes a lot of organization. That is, unless you’ve got the internet.

Suddenly, we start to see a community cohere out of shared identity. It’s a strange attractor of sorts: folks who are outside furry but share that identity are drawn in, making the sense of community more appealing to those outside, yet still have the shared identity.

Similar things happen within the LGBT community. Parties, gay clubs, and pride parades are some of the most visible aspects of this, of course. Still, much the same happens with trans folk. There are whole houses and communities of trans people in the embodied world, and online, the community becomes even grander. We talk of the gender cascade or the transplosion, the idea of “the act of seeing in others that portion of identity we find within ourselves that lends the greatest validation to our membership”. Seeing others live happily embracing their identity makes it easier to embrace our own identity.

Now, come with me on a short diversion through furry fiction.

Continue reading Species, Gender, and Data

Engagement

*tap tap* This thing on?

Oh, yes, hi! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

A long while.

The last post of substance was by Howl back in January. My last post was…oh gosh. September 7th, last year. Ten months was an awful long time ago.

In that time, I’ve received several emails about the state of [a][s]. One of them dubbed this period “The Quiet”, which I feel is pretty accurate, even if it makes me feel a little sad.

Those emails have sat in my inbox. I’ve read them all. Each has three or four drafts prepared for it, none of which I’ve had the wherewithal to send. They’re just there, staring me right in the eye every day – I have four active email accounts, which are tiled neatly in a pinned browser tab, and [a][s] was bottom-left. It was there. Just a big, accusatory Draft.

There are even a few emails stuck in there with more in-depth questions: queries, of sorts, for the publication of articles. Each of those has been ticked with a star, GMail’s nifty way of saying, “this is important, you should probably get to it, soon.”

Sigh.

Oh, and then there’s the furry poll.

Ah jeez.

So, I owe everyone a serious, serious apology. I’ve let a lot of folks down, not least of which myself. [adjective][species] is a labor of love for me, as it is and was for so many others, and letting it fall apart like this does everyone a disservice.

Let’s sit down and see what happened, and figure out ways to fix it. Makyo’s good at a lot of things, and talking something to death is definitely one of them.

Continue reading Engagement

Participants needed for a new survey!

As in the past, we’ve worked with the International Anthropomorphic Research Project, and we occasionally receive news of a survey or study they or related researchers are conducting.

The following comes from Moses Simpson

I’m a Masters student from the University of Waikato and I’m doing research into the mental health and protective factors of the furry community.

This research draws from work done by the IARP and adds an investigation into how being within the furry community can be a predictor factor for or protective factor against mental health issues.

The survey is well-designed and understanding of the basics of the furry subculture and of mental health. And, hey, you could win an Amazon voucher for taking the survey! Sweet.

Take the survey here.

The Beauty of Small Cons

Guest post by Thurston Howl. Thurston is the editor-in-chief of Thurston Howl Publications. The author of several novels, short stories, and poems, he prides himself in the Ursa Major Award winning essay collection he edited, Furries Among Us. He received his BA in English at Vanderbilt University and his MA in English at Middle Tennessee State University. Aside from running a publishing house, he teaches English at a local college, plays piano, dances, and is actively training to be a coffee connoisseur.

Ed. note: I got so overwhelmed with other stuff that I forgot to post this! My apologies to Thurston and to his readers!

All year long, furries see it all over the social media: “3 days till AC!” “Can’t believe I’m on my way to MFF!” Or, my personal favorite, “Suffering post-con depression after that big con.” Yet, we never hear enough about the less famous small cons. Wikifur has published a list of conventions by attendee participation. It shows 55 furry cons, ranging from 58 participants to over 7,000. The arithmetic mean (average) of the participants for a con was 1,027. Yet, cons that average around that number are generally called “small cons.” I have been to more small cons than large ones. So, here I shall provide five reasons for why small cons are better—or at least, as good as—large cons.

Continue reading The Beauty of Small Cons

October 2016 is Furry Book Month

This October, we’re raising the profile of anthropomorphic literature and bringing furry stories to a wider audience.

The Furry Writers’ Guild has joined forces with some of our fandom’s great authors and publishers to offer special deals during the month, from free shipping and discount codes to free books.

If you don’t read furry fiction, take advantage of the special offers and try a furry book in October.

Already a reader? Give a book to a friend, try a new author, or write a book review. Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads needn’t be long, and really help authors. Got lots to say? Submit a review to [a][s]Flayrah, Dogpatch Press, or Claw & Quill.

What will you do this Furry Book Month? Spread the word on social media using #FurryBookMonth!

Visit furrywritersguild.com/furry-book-month/ for the list of offers.Furry Book Month logo

Furry Book Month logo by Ultrafox

Furry Writing – Fall / Winter 2016

Guest post by Thurston Howl. Thurston is the editor-in-chief of Thurston Howl Publications. The author of several novels, short stories, and poems, he prides himself in the Ursa Major Award winning essay collection he edited, Furries Among Us. He received his BA in English at Vanderbilt University and his MA in English at Middle Tennessee State University. Aside from running a publishing house, he teaches English at a local college, plays piano, dances, and is actively training to be a coffee connoisseur.

The past several years, a growing trend has entered the furry publishing market: the anthology. While anthologies became a most popular form of literature, particularly in genre fiction in the mid-twentieth century, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the furry anthology became a popular form of furry literature (explicitly marketed to the furry community). By now, however, almost every furry publishing house has their own signature annual anthology. FurPlanet has its Bad Dog Books anthologies, FANG and ROAR (both having just published their seventh volume). SofaWolf has the mostly erotic collection, HEAT (now with thirteen volumes), and New Fables. Rabbit Valley Press publishes the annual Tales from the Guild, featuring writers from the Furry Writers Guild. Thurston Howl Publications recently started its series, SPECIES, in which each volume centers on a different furry species. Note that most, if not all, of these houses publish many other anthologies every year, with Altered States; Inhuman Acts; and Gods with Fur coming to mind immediately. These types of furry anthologies have been the recipients of many awards, including the Ursa Major Award and the Coyotl Award.

Perhaps, it is no wonder that the genre has reached such popularity. Anthologies, especially in the furry fandom, have a myriad of strengths:

  1. They allow multiple authors a simultaneous chance at publication, drawing in a clientele for publishing houses.
  2. They allow readers diversity when they buy the books.
  3. They are easier ways for authors to build their writing credits; easier than a full-on novel contract.
  4. They are much easier to market as fifteen authors are sharing with friends and family, rather than just one.
  5. Having an annual anthology series builds a repeating fanbase, with fans who want Volume 2, Volume 3, etc.

Plus, the anthologies give incredibly unique flavor to the personas of each publishing house. Fred Patten has written numerous articles on the various differences between the houses, and many of these differences are reflected in their anthologies. While one favors sci fi and fantasy, another favors more erotic elements.

In essence, furry anthologies are great for the publishers, the writers, and the readers: a win-win-win scenario.

With the end of the year fast approaching and with the rise of new smaller houses, such as Thurston Howl Publications and Weasel Press, it is often a challenge for writers to either find the right calls-for-submissions (CFS) or keep up with the constant barrage of deadlines. Here is a link for a general schedule of CFS until the end of the year. This schedule provides all links to the submission guidelines as well as provides the same basic information listed below.

Below are some details for the upcoming anthologies:

Civilized Beasts – Poetry — October 1

  • Publisher: Weasel Press
  • Payment: Print copy
  • Editors: Dwale and Munchkin
  • Theme: This is a not-for-profit poetry anthology about animals with the following sub-theme in mind: “outside observation of animals, in the mind of animals, symbolism of animals.”

The Dogs of War — October 1

  • Reprints allowed: no
  • Word count: 4,000-20,000
  • Editor: Fred Patten
  • Payments $0.005/wd and print copy; future discount on print copies
  • Publisher: FurPlanet
  • Theme: “These can range from actual warfare to peacetime training-camp scenarios (which may be humorous) to recruiting; from large division operations to small commando actions. They can range from funny-animal multispecies armies to armies of one species versus another; from fighting in animal civilizations to uplifted animal soldiers fighting in human wars. The emphasis should be on military action, not politics; but as Clausewitz defined war as “the continuation of politics by other means”, a story may be heavily political as long as military action is at least threatened. Despite the title, which is a Shakespeare reference (to Julius Caesar), we want stories with a variety of anthropomorphic animals; not just dogs.”

Zoomorphic Anthology of Oceanic Life – Fiction and Nonfiction — October 10

  • Multiple subs: no
  • Word count: 500-3,000
  • Publisher: Zoomorphic
  • Theme: This will be ZOAC’s first printed anthology and centers around marine life.

Seven Deadly Sins: Furry Confessions — November 1

  • Word count: 2,500-8,000
  • Payment: Print copy
  • Reprints: acceptable
  • Multiple subs: up to three
  • Editor: Thurston Howl
  • Publisher: Thurston Howl Publications
  • Theme: Seven Deadly Sins has been a literary trope for centuries, popularized by Italian poet Dante. They are as follows: pride, greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth. This collection will be divided respectively into the seven parts. We want to see anthro-animal characters at their darkest and weakest moments: at the whorehouse, at the chopping block, in the morgue, in the dining room with the candlestick. It is perfectly fine but not required if submissions are NSFW. We are honestly expecting a fair amount of horror—especially in Wrath—and erotica—especially in Lust. However, again, adult stories are by no means required for acceptance. All story submissions must be “furry” in nature.

Purrfect Tails — November 1

  • Editor: Tarl Hoch
  • Word count: 3,000-10,000
  • Payment: $0.005/wd
  • Simultaneous subs: no
  • Multiple subs: yes
  • Theme: Nekos: A neko is a female or male character with cat traits, such as cat ears, a cat tail, or other feline characteristics on an otherwise human body. These can range from just having the ears and tail, to having a light downy fur, slitted eyes, retractable claws, pointed teeth, etc. What we are NOT looking for is anthropomorphic feline characters. (ala: Furries) Neko girls and boys have been a staple in manga and anime for as long as those have been a thing. Ranging from saucy sex kittens to innocent pet characters, these nekos have been engaging readers, pulling them into fascinating stories of all types. This anthology is centered on engaging erotic stories that are about these feline beings. The story MUST have a neko character (boy or girl) who is either the main character or a major character. The neko character MUST be involved in the sex, and the sex has to be hot, explicit and needed to move the plot and story forward. The erotic content can be straight, bi, gay, or some combination thereof. The erotic content does not need to be vulgar or super graphic, but if that style fits the story then go for it. We are looking for erotica, not porn. Romance is welcome but not a requirement for the erotica. Ideally, we are looking for positive ending stories. This does not mean you cannot have a sad ending, just that there won’t be as many of those stories accepted into the anthology.

Equus — November 30

  • Payment: $10.00; print copy
  • Reprints: no
  • Simultaneous subs: acceptable
  • Multiple subs: no
  • Word length: under 7,500
  • Publisher: World Weaver Press
  • Theme: “Horses are represented in mythology and folklore from Paleolithic right up to modern times. What is it about these magnificent creatures that fascinates us and captures our hearts? Is it their intelligence, their power, their beauty or something else that draw us to them? That is just one of the questions we’re going to explore in Equus. I will be looking for stories about every kind of horse from the earthly to the mythological and though I’ll be placing a special emphasis on horses, unicorns and Pegasus, every kind of magical equine is welcome (and really, aren’t they all magical?). Stories with a strong sense of place will have an advantage, as will those which explore the connection (for better or for worse) between equines and humans.”

The Symbol of a Nation — December 1

  • Publisher: GOAL Publications
  • Editor: Fred Patten
  • Word count: 2,000-15,000
  • Reprints: no
  • Payments $0.01/wd; print copy
  • Note: email editor before starting story
  • Theme: “Furries that are the national animals of countries, such as Afghanistan’s snow leopard, Algeria’s fennec, Bangladesh’s tiger, Canada’s beaver, Denmark’s mute swan, Estonia’s barn swallow, France’s rooster (fighting cock), Gambia’s hyena, Honduras’ white-tailed deer, Italy’s wolf, the U.S.’s bald eagle … There are over 200 countries and most of them have a national animal or bird. For this anthology, we are extending the theme to the official animals of provinces and states. There are several animals such as the koala (Queensland) and platypus (New South Wales) of Australia, or the giant squirrel (Maharashtra) and red panda (Sikkim) of India, or the coyote (South Dakota) and raccoon (Tennessee) of North America that are not national animals, but are the official animals of provinces or states. But: this is limited to the officially adopted animals (including birds) of national or sub-national entities only. No sports team mascots, corporate mascots like the NBC peacock, political party mascots, or breakfast cereal mascots. No fictional official animals or countries like Transylvania and vampire bats. However, some countries have both a national animal and a national bird, such as Chile – its animal is the huemal, an Andean deer, and its bird is the Andean condor. We will accept stories featuring either or both. Please make sure that they are official. There are many animals that are often associated with countries, such as the eagle & snake on the Mexican flag, or Mexico’s Chihuahua, but they are not official animals. (Mexico’s official animal is the xoloitzcuintli. Don’t know what that is? Look it up.) If you would like to submit a story, write to the managing editor (Fred Patten) first to find out if that animal or country is already claimed. If you would like to use an animal or country but don’t know what to pair it with, ask the editor or look it up. Stories sent to the editor without checking first may be wasted effort. The rules are more complex than for most furry anthologies. (1) There must be a connection between the animal and the country. If you feature a tapir, the national animal of Belize, make sure that there is something about Belize in the story. (2) No funny animal stories where the characters could just as easily be humans. Make your characters feel like uplifted or evolved animals. Most animals with fur don’t sweat. (3) Try to match the animals to their environments. If they have thick fur, don’t have them wearing thick clothing in humid tropical lands. (Or justify the discrepancy.) Stories may be humorous or serious. There may be humans in the story as secondary characters, but the main character(s) should be furry.”

If you are considering submitting to any anthology, always remember to look closely at the guidelines to make sure you send the proper file format to the right editor. Hell hath no fury like an editor’s scorn at seeing their pet peeves. If ever you have questions / concerns, you can generally feel free to email an editor to seek advice on a particular concern. Plus, seeing your willingness to open a line of communication only speaks praise of your ability to communicate effectively if they do accept your work.