“Once upon a time…”
…is a pretty nice way to start a post about genre stories, don’t you think?
Once upon a time–I think it was about a dozen years ago, more or less–Philippine Genre Stories started, first as a print publication (with a blog at philippinegenrestories.blogspot.com), evolving later on into digital here on this website, though it had to stop due to the ravages of time (or rather, the lack of time to be ravaged).
I have to thank Celestine Trinidad, who reminded me via a tweet of a PGS story published in 2012, “Last Stand at Ayala Center” by EK Gonzales. The quote goes:
“And then the virus came, then the martial law order to stay indoors, the lock-down and the quarantine. The virus came, and like a vacuum it sucked up the future. Suddenly there was no time, not even to dream, not even to live.”
How apt and prescient, yes?
Locked up at home, do we have more time? Maybe, depending on your work-from-home situation. Are we running out of time? To dream? To live? Maybe also…
I posted about this quote just earlier this evening on my personal Facebook account, and then friends and former contributors Ian Rosales Casocot and F.H. Bataccan commented about how nice it would be if PGS could come back, and that a pandemic issue would be good, and suddenly the comments section of that post started getting populated, Dean Francis Alfar got tagged and so on and so forth until, well, here we are.
Here’s the meat of this post: This is a limited call for submissions for a digital pandemic segment for the Philippine Genre Stories website. I, as publisher and editor of PGS, am opening up for submissions, in any genre or mix of genres, submissions of stories about the Covid-19 pandemic. This call is open only to former writers and contributors who have been published in PGS.
Why am I limiting the call to former writers and contributors? Well, time is still short, for one thing, so I want to work with writers with whom I had already worked with before, who already know what PGS is about, and who I know can produce. You all know who you are, and I do want to give you all a chance again at getting a genre story out there via PGS. Just like old times, don’t you think?
It is also limited because I do not see PGS moving on as an ongoing concern. Time, once more, is the opponent. I think I will have enough wherewithal to run and manage this for a limited period, for stories about the pandemic, and after that, PGS may need to “rest” again until such time as the ways and means come about for it to steadily continue again. How many stories will come out of this? I don’t know. I have the commitment of Dean, Ian, and Ichi, and that is something I value and am grateful for. I have tagged Celestine and EK here, so I hope they agree, too.
I am inviting all former writers who were published in PGS to send in your work. I won’t tag you all, but I do hope you see this, and I do want you to tell all those you know who have been in PGS to ask them if they will be willing to contribute a story. Please? If you know any of them, please let them know.
Whether this runs just with Dean’s, Ian’s, and Ichi’s tales and be done, or if it gets to run on for just a bit longer with more former PGS writers sending in their work, I will be grateful. Whether this runs for just the very short period of a couple of months, or if it runs for longer, I will be grateful. But as F.H. Batacan said, it would be good to set these stories down as a record of these tough and challenging times in the form of genre stories. And maybe it will help relieve us of some of the stress of dealing with these times.
And, as usual, and paramount for me, it will give people a chance to read the work of Pinoy genre writers.
I will set the last day for submissions on October 31, 2020, but feel free to start sending in as soon as, say, August 15, 2020? And let’s see if I can start publishing online not long after that. The schedule will be flexible, but I will do my best to keep some steady flow of work going on Philippinegenrestories.com. You can email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. And it would be great to be in touch with all of you again, after all this time. Cheers to you all, I hope you are all doing well, and are safe and healthy.