Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Furry Frolics

Thurston Howl Publications is now accepting submissions for its furry anthology, Furry Frolics (tentative title); Fred Patten, editor.
Deadline: October 1, 2017
Word count: 2,500-8,000; a little above and a little below will be acceptable

Humor has been a rarity in furry fiction. We aim to change that! Furry Frolics will friz your fur and tickle your tail. We want your funniest fiction.

There have been stories with anthro animals mixing with humans in our civilization: what would it REALLY be like for a furry in our world? Having to wear clothing on top of thick fur? The ever-popular “tails and doors don’t mix”? Or having tails and wearing pants at all; or tails and chairs with no tail-holes? Being in a stinky crowd with an animal’s enhanced scent? Or: being the manager of a hotel that caters to all sentient animals, predators and prey, of all sizes? (Think Zootopia.)

Funny-animal stories will be accepted, but try to make it a genuine anthro-animal story, not one that would work just as well if the characters were all humans. Also remember that “funny” is not the same thing as “silly”, although if you can make it both, go ahead. (What is the anthro equivalent of a pie in the face? Remember that most mammals besides humans and horses don’t sweat.)

We will NOT accept:
Racism, sexism, or discrimination presented in a positive light.
Pedophilia or sex with characters under the age of 18 presented in a positive light.
Rape, torture, dubious consent, forced seduction presented in a positive light.
Snuff or Necrophilia presented in a positive light.
Bestiality presented in a positive light.
If you are in doubt, ASK. Better to ask then to get an outright rejection!

You can submit up to three stories, but we will only accept one per author (if any).
Reprints are fine, but you have to own full permission of the work in order for us to consider it.
We will not accept simultaneous submissions.
Payment: Authors will receive a free copy of the print book.
Send submissions in .doc or .docx format to fredpatten@earthlink.net .
We will inform all authors regarding decisions within a week or two after the deadline.
Tentative publication date: January 2018.

This looks cool! And it gives a long time for people to plan what they are gonna write!

Furry Frolics has just expanded to two volumes, by popular demand; a G and PG-rated one, and an adult one. Satire that may be too topical and may become quickly dated (think of the line in the 1943 Warner Bros. cartoon, “Well, it ain’t Wendell Willkie!” – who remembers Wendell Willkie today?) may go into into the adult volume II.

Other guidelines remain the same. If anyone has questions, e-mail me or Thurston Howl.

I have a lot of projects on my plate before I could get to this, but this could be fun. A lot of humor ends up in my writing, but I don’t think I’ve ever set out to write a humor piece on purpose.

Adds another one to the “to submit to” spreadsheet.

I always try to add a little humor to all my stories, but I rarely have tried a story were humor is the main goal. I’m fairly eager to try.

Hmm this is gonna take more brainstorming than usual. I typically write doom and gloom ending on a redemptive note. I do love me some Douglas Adams-like satire though…I’ll see what I can come up with.

There’s nothing I like more than a funny story, but they are TOUGH to write.

Oh, I expect it to be challenging. But for instance, it could be really fun to try to write a furry Jeeves & Wooster.




A novel has already been written with two furry Jeeveses, but no Bertie Wooster. More exactly, a furry Heckle and Jeckle, for those who remember the old Terrytoons animated cartoon pranksters.

Pongo and Jeeves, by R. N. Varhaug.
Philadelphia, PA, Xlibris Corporation, May 2000, trade paperback $20.99 (168 pages), e-book $8.00.

The DNA of chimpanzees and humans are 98.5% identical. A mutation in only a few genes can give a chimpanzee a human-sized brain. Such a mutation would have little effect in the wild but if chance puts two such chimpanzees in a primate research center where they learn sign language and see educational TV…
What would you do if you were a chimpanzee with a human brain? A really smart human brain? Pongo and Jeeves accepted that chance had played a joke on them and they laughed right along with it. Not everybody joined in. The pompous and similar degraded specimens found that their encounters with the chimpanzees usually proved more entertaining to bystanders than to themselves…
Making the best of things, Pongo and Jeeves led full lives that included visiting Roswell as aliens, producing syndicated columns and even writing speeches for a presidential candidate. Along the way, they were able to thwart bad guys and generally do good. All told, lives well spent and justly rewarded.
Join Pongo and Jeeves. You’ll enjoy their company.

Pongo and Jeeves are two exceptionally intelligent experimental-lab chimpanzees at a Primate Research Center, who secretly observe their observers. They let themselves out of their cages at night to play jokes on their human unsuspecting captors.

Pongo and Jeeves is essentially a Heckle and Jeckle novel with two chimpanzees instead of magpies. The main differences are that they live in a realistic human world instead of a cartoon funny-animal one. They are two British-accented Jeckles instead of one British twit and a Brooklyn heckler; and they only play pranks on bullies, thieves, the haughty, and other deserving targets instead of everyone unlucky enough to cross their paths.

All furry novels require the reader to accept some realistic implausibilities. Varhaug does a better job than do many furry writers in knowing where to anthropomorphize and where not to. Pongo and Jeeves cannot speak, no matter how intelligent they may be, because chimpanzees do not have human larynxs. Instead they communicate at first by sign language. Later they get a pair of those electronic voice boxes made for people who lose their vocal chords. This enables them to operate over the telephone and plan hoaxes involving Mysterious Voices. Here they are discussing a practical joke involving chimp poop they have just played on the Research Center’s pompous Dr. Randolph Sidonberry:

“I must say, Jeeves, that the results of our little jest greatly exceeded my most sanguine expectations.”
“Indeed they did, my boy. You don’t think it might have been a trifle juvenile, do you?”
“Well, perhaps just a trifle,” signed Pongo, “but the effect was most gratifying.”
“Yes, indeed. Most gratifying, but shouldn’t we stop picking on our Randolph?”
“Oh, I don’t know. You have a kind heart, Jeeves, and it does you credit. But our Randolph brings it on himself. He makes himself such a large and inviting balloon that I can’t help reaching for a pin. When it comes to resisting temptation,” Pongo’s voice took on a melancholy tone, “I’m not strong, you know.”
“Yes, I’ve noticed,” answered Jeeves, “We couldn’t be expected to be strong. After all, as our Randolph so often says, we’re only animals.”
(pgs. 18-19)

‘Our Randolph’ stops being so funny when he notices that the two chimps show wildly varying indications of intelligence (they occasionally overdo playing stupid) and wants to have them killed and their brains autopsied. Pongo and Jeeves take the risk of revealing their intelligence to a couple of the lab’s employees who are more friendly and sympathetic to animal rights, Patricia and Thor. The latter agree to smuggle the chimps out and allow them to hide in their apartment.

Although Pongo and Jeeves try to behave themselves, two chimpanzees shut in a small urban apartment all day will quickly get cabin fever and have to do something to relieve the boredom. They surreptitiously study the apartment building’s other tenants, who soon find themselves the recipients of mysterious curses or blessings depending upon whether they have been naughty or nice.

Soon Pat and Thor get married and move to a ranch inherited from Thor’s parents. The wide open spaces, and the drive across America to get there, give the two chimps opportunities for many new adventures: impersonating a couple of Roswell-type aliens with their obviously non-human bodies, being captured and escaping from a roadside zoo, having to care for a young baby whose grandmother is felled by a stroke, and more. At the ranch, they start several successful businesses by Internet, including writing doctoral theses and political speeches. They also undertake some public-service projects for their own amusement such as exposing phony charities.

Some of the episodes do not really require non-human characters, but there are plenty where Pongo and Jeeves take full advantage of their animal natures and abilities. Varhaug throws in many little touches of plausibility. For example, when Thor invites the chimps to join him and Pat in their cross-country drive, he gets a couple of top-quality human masks from a friend in the movie FX business that will enable the chimps to pass as humans from a distance while riding in a car. A couple of the setups do stretch plausibility a bit, but since this is a fantasy-comedy it feels boorish to nitpick it too far. Varhaug tells a good, low-key story (Pongo and Jeeves actually abort a couple of their pranks when they realize that things are getting out of hand and someone could get hurt), and he brings it to a graceful conclusion when it has rambled on for long enough.

Varhaug obviously paid Xlibris its minimum fee to have Pongo and Jeeves published. The cover is bare typesetting on a white background with narrow brown & ochre strips at the top and bottom; and there are many sentences that begin with lower-case letters, indicating a lack of proofreading.

I kinda want to write a take on the Animaniacs ‘Pinky and the Brain’

And I kinda want to see it. Please go ahead.

Several fan authors have written “My Little Pony” stories or “Lion King” stories (or “Star Trek” stories), and then changed the names enough to avoid copyright violations; but it’s obvious what the inspirations have been. Several established s-f authors today got their starts writing “Star Trek” fan fiction.

Furry Frolics Update.

Furry Frolics is coming along nicely. To answer a question: yes, we will accept poetry. Longer poetry than is in Civilized Beasts is fine, but please make sure that the animals are anthropomorphic. Either rhyming or blank verse is acceptable; anything else, such as limericks, surprise us!

We didn’t say earlier, but please use American rather than British spelling. Gray, not grey. Catalog, not catalogue. And sentences should be separated by one space, not two. (That’s a modernization that I have to get used to. I was taught the two-space rule. Well, that was long before computers and word processors.)

If you have any questions, please ask.

Goat yoga! It’s catching on in California.

Does this give anybody an idea for a story in Furry Frolics? There’s just two more months until the October 1st deadline.

Cow yoga is a thing, too.


There is just one more month to contribute to Furry Frolics. Send those stories in!

Just half a month left for Furry Frolics until its deadline. If you are working on a submission, now is the time to finish it and send it in.

Draft done! And with enough time to run it through my critique group before submitting it!

Good! I’ve received two good submittals this week, and Furry Frolics is filling up fast. Thurston Howl Publications is not publishing as large anthologies as FurPlanet Productions does, and Howl says that once I’ve reached 120,000 words, that’s it!

Are you accepting submissions as they come in? Is there an advantage to submitting early? Cause I’d like to run my story through my critique group, but if there’s a chance the anthology will fill up before the deadline, I’d be able to submit a full week earlier if I skip getting it critiqued.