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Posts Tagged ‘anthologies’

Pole to Pole Publishing http://poletopolepublishing.com just opened submissions for their next themed, speculative anthology, Dark Luminous Wings. And yes, I’m one of the editors again.

Editing a themed anthology is both challenging and rewarding. As an editor, you have the opportunity to read hundreds of stories – each trying to address the theme in an unique manner. But their “unique” story isn’t as unique as many authors believe it to be.

Pole to Pole Publishing’s 2016 anthology, In a Cat’s Eye, featured darkly speculative stories about cats. Kelly Harmon and I read hundreds of stories, and wanted to have one (and only one) story representing “expected” speculative cat roles, plus a few “out of the box” tales as well.

Therefore, only one cat as witch’s familiar, Egyptian cat, transformation into a cat, cat god, and robot cat story were accepted. There were several good stories in each of these cat-egories (pun intended), but we were committed to a mix of stories, so once a “slot” was filled, we didn’t accept a similar tale. So those writers who discarded their first, second, and maybe even third story idea, and came up with something very different had a better chance of serious consideration – like steampunk cats, zombie cats, mutate space cats, and clockwork world cats. To see the results, you can purchase In a Cat’s Eye here: http://poletopolepublishing.com/books/in-a-cats-eye

We approached Pole to Pole Publishing’s 2015 speculative anthology, Hides the Dark Tower in a similar manner. Once we had a Rapunzel, castle-fortress, sea witch, shot, water, and signal tower story, we didn’t accept a second story which repeated the theme or storyline. We looked for tales which were “different,” like towering circus signs or smoke stacks. To read those tales we did publish, you can check out Hides the Dark Tower here: http://poletopolepublishing.com/books/hides-the-dark-tower

I hope a few of my readers will write and submit a “dark luminous wings” story for the latest Pole to Pole Publishing anthology. What do we mean by the theme? I can’t tell you! As the stories come in, a book will form. It will be a dark, magical, imaginative, winged journey for both the editors and our readers. So think “out of the box” and send us your best story! http://poletopolepublishing.com/submissions

 

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I love anthologies! I enjoy reading them because I get to sample the writing of lots of different writers. Usually, I find a new voice or two which appeal to me as a reader – then, I go looking for more of that writer’s work.

As a writer, I enjoy discovering anthologies that are looking for work, and writing a story (or poem) which fits the theme. Whether I complete the piece of writing in time to make the deadline is not important. Often, the themes aren’t subjects I’d have chosen on my own to write about, so I’m “stretched” as a writer. I “win” whether the piece makes it into the anthology or not.

A few times, I’ve been actually asked for a submission to an anthology. This is both cool and challenging. You don’t want to let down an editor who has requested your work.

Plus, I’ve been involved in editing several anthologies. Currently, I’m finishing up my editorial duties on Pole to Pole Publishing’s speculative short story anthology, Hides the Dark Tower. (And by the way, really proud of the quality of stories Kelly A. Harmon and I were able to put together for this collection).

As the editor (or co-editor), you have the opportunity to read lots of stories which hopefully fit the theme of the anthology, and select the best group of stories. Notice, I said: 1- fit the theme (writers take pay attention, if it doesn’t fit the theme, it won’t be accepted into the antho) 2- best group of stories (yes, when putting together an anthology, you need not only to think of which stories are best — but which stories fit together to create the best group of tales). Of course, there’s all the bad grammar, typos, and sloppy writing that can mar even the best story. Then, it’s up to the editor/editors to decide if they’re willing to fight their way through the manuscript and deal with all the corrections. (Most times, the answer is, “No.”)

Editor Gil Bavel posted a link to an interesting article on Eight Ways to Kill an Anthology by Geoff Brown. What do you think?

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I enjoy short stories – I love to write and read them. Which is why I’ve published 2 collections of short fiction: Owl Light and The Greener Forest, and why I’m delighted to be editing an anthology (along with my marvelous co-editor), called Hides the Dark Tower for Pole to Pole Publishing.

I know many readers prefer novels, and I enjoy reading novels, too. That said, I encourage readers to pick up a short fiction collection and discover reading short stories is like having a bowl of candy – it’s hard to eat (or read) just one!

As for writers, short fiction is both fun to write and an excellent writing exercise. The length restrictions force a writer to be selective in his words, number of characters, complexity of storyline, etc.

I found an interesting article on short fiction in the online magazine Cracked Eye.

How about you? Do you read short fiction?

Here are the links for those who want to know more about Pole to Pole Publishing or Hides the Dark Tower.

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In my mind’s eye and according to several dictionaries, Bards were traveling poets and minstrels who wrote and sang (or recited) tales of historical and legendary events. Sages were wise men and women who were calm, far-seeing, and prudent. And therefore, sages were often sought out as counselors or revered as philosophers. So it’s a great name for a speculative fiction magazine.

 Bards and Sages Quarterly lives up to the billing. It was with pleasure that I opened the April 2012 issue (which features one of my paintings on the cover), and discovered some delightful tales inside. Reading the stories printed in this issue made me want to sit down and write a piece of fiction worthy of acceptance by the editor of Bards and Sages.

As a writer, this isn’t the only time I’ve found reading a collection of stories inspired me to create a new tale. Fiction writers should be reading current fiction. Yes, the Classics are time-honored material, but in order to appeal to today’s readers – a writer needs to understand which books and stories are “hot” at the moment.

Plus, I recommend finding anthologies looking for submissions, and write a story (or poem or article) that would fit the theme. Even if you don’t manage to make the deadline or have a piece of writing accepted for that antho, it’s a challenge to write about a specific subject that’s perhaps outside your comfort zone. The worst that can happen is you have a completed story to submit elsewhere. One source for anthology markets is www.ralan.com

Tonight, I’ll be working on a tale for a themed anthology I saw listed on Ralan. Maybe, you’ll be doing the same. Or maybe, you’d like to see the full painting of Daughter of the Ocean for the Bards and Sages April 2012 cover at my website’s art gallery: www.vonniewinslowcrist.com/art_gallery You can also check out another painting, Garden Skull, on the wrap-around cover page of the gallery, that has been accepted for the cover of one of the 2013 issues of Bards and Sages.

Whatever you’re doing this evening, may your night be calm and inspiring.

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