Chatto & Windus have acquired BOG PEOPLE: A Working-Class Anthology of Folk Horror by Hollie Starling, with rights sold from Joanna Swainson. BOG PEOPLE will be published in autumn 2025, with Starling editing and introducing the anthology as well as writing one of the stories.

Announced on The Bookseller, Starling said: “With Bog People we assert a reclamation of this status – the great unwashed – as one deserving of reification. In its pages we’ll recognise the countless dead unnamed by the chronicles of history. Stories of reaping and sowing, stories as sharp as a guillotine blade, stories that stand for all time.”

Chatto & Windus have partnered with Starling on a competition for an unpublished working class writer to have their fiction featured in the folk horror anthology. There will be ten stories in total, nine of which will be written by established working class authors. The winning writer will be paid and published as the tenth story in the anthology.

The judges for the prize are Starling, Chatto & Windus editorial director Rose Tomaszewska and Chatto & Windus assistant and co-chair of the Colourfull network, Asia Choudhry.

The shortlist will be announced on 15th July 2024 and the winner will be announced on 12th August 2024.

Tomaszewska said: “Starling’s vision for Bog People caught my imagination immediately and her online following shows that folk horror fascinates and compels swathes of readers. We’re excited to publish this alternative anthology for next Halloween and Christmas.”

Applicants – who must identify as working class or from a working class background – are asked to submit 500 words outlining the story they’d like to write, and a 3,000-6,000-word sample of their fiction writing, such as a short story. Three shortlisted writers will be asked to write their full story. Two runners up will receive an edit from Rose Tomaszewska, Editorial Director at Chatto. The chosen winner will be paid and published in the anthology alongside other working-class authors.

Full details of the competition can be found here.