Would the contents of your bookshelf get you burned as a witch in the past? Throughout history, women accused of being witches and put to death by burning, stoning, hanging, or drowning were women who were smart, educated, healers, single, widowed, old, overly social, confident, too beautiful, too ugly, sexual, subversive, and deviant. Witches have been most often portrayed as evil, living solitary lives in the forest, eating children, and communing with the devil. But in recent years, women have been reclaiming the word “witch” to symbolize female empowerment. This excites us very much and makes us wonder what stories about witches and the Canadian Prairies could be told!

Surely witches have lived, could live, and still live in the Canadian Prairies, but we don’t have stories about them that are easy to find. Hence, this call for submissions to the new Prairie Witch anthology.

The vision for this anthology is to create a collection of scary and supernatural horror stories featuring witches living in the Canadian Prairies. But we do not want to read stereotypical witches. We are looking for witch stories with a strong prairie setting, that combine the power of witches with the uniqueness that is the prairies, and explores Canadian prairie culture, either past or present(not the future), along with deep dives into a variety of women’s issues. We want stories exploring the magic and danger of prairie plants and prairie geology and prairie seasons and prairie weather. We want stories exploring witches fighting against the patriarchy and suppression and marginalization. We want strong women dealing with the horrors of being women. Of course, not all aspects of being a woman are horrifying. There are wonderful things about being a woman, but there are horrifying aspects and those things deserve to be explored.

This anthology will be restricted to female authors, women or people who identify as women, and must be Canadian residents of the Canadian Prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). We would love to see stories from BIPOC, LGBTTQQIAAP, disabled, chronically ill, and neurodiverse women. We also want to see submissions from older women because ageism is a thing and ageism is a thing to smash alongside sexism and misogyny.

Stories should be a minimum of 2000 and a maximum of 6000 words. Please submit a Word attachment only in Times New Roman 12 pt font, double spaced and one-inch margins. Submissions sent in other formats or fonts will be deleted unread. Please include your author bio and social media tags in the body of your submission email along with a one or two line story pitch.

Submissions open July 1st and close August 31st. Authors of accepted stories will be notified by October 15, 2021. Tentative publication date will be October 2022. Payment is a flat fee of $100.00.

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