Not literally, please. I’m sure they’re lovely and all, but I’d much rather appreciate bugs from a distance, say through the lens of a camera, or through the medium of fiction, than getting up close and personal. Speaking of insect-related fiction brings me to the purpose of this post. There’s just under a month left to send your stories to the Journal of Unlikely Entomology for consideration for Issue #5, which will be published in May. After April 1, we’ll start reading for Issue #6, which is due out in November. Or, if bugs aren’t your thing, we’re still looking for a few more stories for our special one-off Architecture Issue, which we hope to publish in August.
Want to know the secret, surefire way to get us to publish you? Well, there isn’t one. But I can tell you some things I’d personally love to see more of in our slush pile:
Stories from international writers, and stories with non-Western perspectives. We only publish work in English, but we’re more than happy to consider translated pieces.
Stories with a historical setting and stories with a secondary world setting. We don’t get as many of those.
Stories written by and featuring traditionally under-represented individuals, POC, QUILTBAG, neuro-atypical, etc. We want to represent the full spectrum of human experience as it intersects with the insect world.
And while we’re on the subject of diversity, I’d love to see more diversity in the arthropods and insects people write about. We get a lot of stories about bees, ants, spiders, cockroaches, and flies. Send us stories about seventeen year cicadas. Send us stories about treehoppers. Any kind of treehoppers. Brazalian treehoppers. Waxtail hoppers. Seriously, those things are weird looking. See?
Left: Waxtail Hopper by flickr user ggallice, whose photostream is full of lovely insect photos and well worth checking out. Right: Treehopper Nymph by flickr user cotinis whose photostream is also full of lovely insect photos and is also worth your time.
Send us a story about a caddisfly jeweler. Send us a story about a secret society of giant earthworms in Australia. Let your imaginations run wild!
There are probably other things I would love to see in the slush pile that I haven’t thought of yet, so write it, send it, and make me realize what I’m missing. Send us your best, send us something well-written, send us something we can’t refuse.