This year I have only two stories destined for anthologies. One is for a summer anthology, due out soon, another a children’s book scheduled for Christmas.
This is the lowest number of stories I have given for inclusion into collective tomes for several years.
I know some writers stay away from this form of publication. There are many reasons.
Some do not write short fiction, others focus on just one genre, some believe these books a waste of effort, while others only give licence if the book is a charitable or fundraising edition.
I appreciate everyone’s point of view on this matter.
To give a story away, even secured by a simple first serial rights licence, is a big thing. To take time out to write a specific tale for one is a commitment. Then, there is the fact of finding the extra time to write in the first instance.
If someone does not wish to commit to an anthology, so be it.
I, however, am a sucker for these books.
Partly, it is because I am a prolific writer of short stories and flash fiction. I always have some unpublished works on hand which need a good home. Another reason is, I enjoy writing from simple, given prompts. I belong to some writer’s groups, such as ‘500 – Iron writer’s spin-off‘ who regularly exercise their quills by doing just so.
I find scribbling a short tale a fantastic writing exercise, as I do with poetry and blog writing, even this post you are reading now is teaching me something about my trade as a wordsmith.
It is called, gaining experience.
I believe we can and should always strive to become better writers and, like modern athletes and sportsmen, we should ‘cross-train’. That may mean writing poetry and short stories, trying our hand with a genre we have never approached before, writing non-fiction too. Whatever it takes, we should often step outside of our comfort zone, we should do it to improve ourselves.
For me, committing to someone as a guest blogger, or agreeing to contribute a piece to an anthology, encompasses that training; it allows me to be creative, to try something ‘new to me’, or come at a subject from an alternative perspective. It also allows me to get my work in front of readers who may not have found me otherwise.
It is not something I do for a direct reward. I have, where there have been shared royalties, had my allocation directed to charity.
Which brings me nicely to this point.
Many collections of short stories are put together as fundraisers, or for creating awareness for worthwhile causes. ‘Looking into the Abyss: Saving the Rhinoceros one story at a time’ an anthology designed to spread the word about the Rhino’s fight for survival, and ‘Sticks & Stones and Words that Hurt Me’ which supports anti-domestic violence, along with ‘Storybook, Individually together, Vo 1‘ (no longer available) are three charitable books I have close association with.
However, not all anthologies have to be for charitable causes.
The ‘Awethors’, a group of like-minded indie authors from across the globe, together we created three anthologies crammed with a wealth of wonderful tales. These books, The Awethology Dark, The Awethology Light and the December Awethology Dark & December Awethology Light, were produced for several reasons.
These books are to show what an alliance of indie authors, living in various countries around the world, can achieve when working in unison.
The Awethors collective produced not one, but Four great works, proving such co-operative action can be repeated and maintained.
These anthologies also bring the contributing authors closer together, it strengthens the collective and in some cases, creates new, long-lasting, genuine friendships.
If you have never contributed to an anthology before, I ask you to consider doing so. I am certain you will know at least one other writer who has a link with at least one. Do it for yourself, for a literary exercise, for learning, for betterment, but most of all do it for fun.
To finish, I quite fancy contributing to a Sci-Fi collection, (I don’t write Sci-Fi), or something from a female perspective perhaps?
Any offers, contact me.
Thank you once again for reading my Ramblings, Paul.
Looking for something different, a gift with thought? A treat for yourself?
7 thoughts on “A bit on Anthologies”
You have amazing energies, Paul! I love to read anthologies. I love to write for a given topic too, as long as it makes my mind tick. I recall with great pleasure such creative exercises that we had at English courses. A true joy for the restless spirit! I would love to be part of something like this.
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If I don’t find another one or two this year, I may organise one myself!
Paul, I commend your dedication! Also, am a bit jealous. But I tend to publish technical stuff now rather than the stuff I write for myself! I should get back to doing what I love! Thanks fro the inspiration!!!!
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I have read many of your posts, the more general ones I understand, the more technical go way over my luddite head!
But, as a writer, it is not the content as much as the style of the individual and you write well, concise and with clarity, in a well-paced informative but entertaining fashion.
I did write… that’s re-write… some technical manuals for an airline company in my long-lost past. It was boring, but even with something so dry I learned about precision and clarification.
If you bring your knowledge of writing tech (along with your personality) to fiction, I am have no doubt you will create something unique and well worth reading.
Reblogged this on Claire Plaisted – Indie Author and commented:
Perhaps it is nearly time for the Awethors to do another Anthology… 🙂
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Paul, fascinating piece. So far I have contributed to 10 anthologies, with two awaiting publication, as well as writing full length novels. I started off with Flash Fiction (which I love) and Short stories which make me really work hard. I am not keen on having a theme to work to, but I can if pushed. I’ve written in aid of 4 anthologies where all proceeds go to Charity, and they are still earning having come out in both paperback and e-books. It is a great thrill to see my work reach so many people and receive feedback from readers. I do have a publisher, but they don’t put short stories and anthologies out there so I am free to dabble elsewhere should I feel the need. We have appeared in at least one anthology together that I recall. I hope we shall do it again some time. Meanwhile much success and good luck.
Thanks for that Jane, some people (writers) view this sort of book as a second class publiction, but I love them, contributing and writing.
Npw, with the short story format once again gaining in popularity, I see them as a great outlet for showcasing talent.