Since 2008 the dynamic female duo behind The Book Smugglers have been reviewing speculative fiction. Now they’re taking the leap into publishing, announcing an open submissions call for subversive fairy tale retellings.
Founders Ana Grilo and Thea James met in 2007 in an online forum for fans of the TV show Lost. When asked if they ever look back and are amazed that this collaboration grew out of an online fan site, Ana says, “We find it really cool! The fact that we met in an online Lost forum is a badge of honour for us. We cannot express enough how much we both loved that show as well as the community around it and we have nothing but fond memories of the time we spent at that forum. It was, after all, the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
For Book Smugglers Publishing 2014 open submissions call, the emphasis is on diversity. they want subversive fairy tale retelling, not just the well-known favorites, but examples across cultures and traditions; stories that reflect different settings and underrepresented perspectives. Ana says that “hopefully we will be adding even more voices to an already existing, diverse market that is growing and changing every day. We also hope to be able to have a stronger YA and Middle Grade presence, since there is a lot of awesome SFF being written in these categories.”
Even though Ana and Thea live on two different continents (Ana’s in the UK and Thea’s in the US), the team doesn’t see that as an issue for the publishing endeavor. “We have a lot of experience working together in those terms. Ana confirms: “We’ve been running The Book Smugglers blog (which has been nominated for a Hugo Award this year) — where we post daily reviews, interviews, and commentary on SFF and YA — for almost 7 years now without a hitch.”