Showing posts with label anthology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anthology. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Five Tips for Writing a Group Anthology


By Carolyn Wilhelm

Are you in a writing group or collecting stories for possible inclusion in an anthology? I have assembled collections from writing groups and have a few tips for such a process. This information is intended for self-publishing and sole owner of small publishers.
 
1.    First, I suggest the group or contest organizers decide whether or not to have a theme before any stories are considered. One group I worked with entitled their anthology “bits and pieces” and accepted a wide variety of writing pieces. The result was an eclectic collection of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. Another group decided to use the theme of adoption, and all the pieces were centered around the theme. Think to yourself which title might attract more readers, and why you think so.

2.    Decide on a single word processing program such as Word, Google Docs, or Scrivener for everyone to use. Unfortunately, when I said yes to one of these projects, I received stories in all three formats, which led to difficulties. Think about the fact most of the people will have different types of computers and different ages of software. There will be some challenges, even if everyone uses the same word processor. Try to minimize the problems in this area.

3.    Think about the format of the writing piece. Will both stories and poems be accepted? What are the guidelines? One well-known annual anthology contest held by Tales2Inspire®  requires submissions using a Word template. That way, stories have consistency throughout the book. What word count is suggested? Will pictures be needed or not?

4.    It is critical writers do not “help” by adding formatting to their submissions. I have spent hours removing tabs, page breaks, and other things authors thought was wanted. Be clear you want plain text with nothing more than a single space between words and a single line between paragraphs. The person who assembles the manuscript will create the styles, page numbering, margins, running headers, and final details.

5.    At the time of submission, it is best if authors send their bios and a headshot along with the writing piece. Gathering everything several times is difficult when working with a group of people. Final polished submissions only should be accepted.

The US Government Online Copyright Office is limiting claims to ten authors. A group may decide to include more, but be aware of these new copyright limitations. Amazon only lists ten authors. When groups set up a separate email for the book, it often gets overlooked once the book is published. Just keep using the Amazon and other online book sales accounts of the person who uploads the book. That person will be sure to follow up as they are using the online store anyway. Only one person or small publisher can “publish” and therefore needs to provide a bank account to receive payments, as well as a social security number. Group email may be used for communication regarding the book but is not recommended for financial information. If the person in charge needs help, perhaps that person is not the best one for such a position.

Probably the self-publisher or small publisher will be creating the front and back matter for the anthology. The title page may be extracted and sent to the Library of Congress (LOC) Cataloging in Publication (CIP) program. This should be done prior to the book release. The LOC does not need the entire manuscript, as they do not give copyrights.

Much satisfaction may be found in working on anthology projects. The final book will be a joy for many authors and their family members. Take care to be proactive and prevent issues by thinking carefully and planning. 


Carolyn Wilhelm is the curriculum writer and sole owner of The Wise Owl Factory site and blog. She has an MS in Gifted Education and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction K-12. As a retired teacher of 28 years, she now makes mostly free educational resources for teachers and parents. Her course about Self-Publishing from the Very, Very Beginning is available on UDEMY. 

 

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Using Anthologies to Study the Market

One piece of writing advice I hear a lot, and which I agree with, is that you must read.  But not everyone agrees on the particulars.

Some say you should read like a reader and others say you should read like an editor or a scientist, dissecting what you read to see what works.

Some say read, read, read your genre and then stop reading while you write, so you don't accidentally let whatever you're reading influence your own work too much.

Others say read, read, read all the time, in your genre and others.

I write short stories in a variety of genres, novels (fantasy and sci fi), travel essays, travel guides, and various other types of work.  But I have to admit that my reading habits are a bit more narrow.  I tend to mostly read novels instead of short stories.  I read travel guides to places I plan to travel, but don't read as much other travel writing as I should.  Part of this, of course, is due to limited time.

So, to make my reading of short work more efficient, I use the anthology approach.

Benefits of Reading Yearly Anthologies


Long-standing, well-respected anthologies are great because they collect some of the (subjectively) best fiction of the year from various magazines.  You don't waste time with mediocre stories.  You get a feel for what's current and what editors are throwing their support behind.  Go ahead and dissect these stories and learn from them.

Another valuable aspect of an anthology is that you see which magazine first published which story.  This is very useful for your own work.  You know the old advice about submitting to magazines:  read a few issues first to see if your work fits.  This is excellent advice.  Unfortunately, we don't always have time to read a few issues of every magazine.  Luckily, anthologies give you a shortcut.  Pick out the stories you like or that could be good matches to yours, then see which magazines they were published in.  Start submitting to those magazines. 

Some Good Anthologies:


The O. Henry Prize Stories, edited by Laura Furman.

The Pushcart Prize; Best of the Small Presses, edited by Bill Henderson.

The Best American Short Stories, edited by Heidi Pitlor and various yearly editors.  Obviously the yearly editor puts a slant on things, so some years may be more "best" than others.

The Best American series has other genre-specific anthologies, such as The Best American Essays, The Best American Travel Writing, The Best American Mystery Short Stories, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, etcLook for your target genre to see if they have one that matches.

The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Rich Horton.  Also in the series, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, edited by Paula Guran.

The Best Horror of the Year, edited by Ellen Datlow.


Many of these can be found at your local library as well as at online and brick-and-mortar bookstores.



You can read (and listen to) Melinda Brasher's most recent short story sale at Pseudopod.  It's a tale of a man who doesn't believe in superstition...until he has to.  You can also find her fiction in Ember, Timeless Tales, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and others. If you're dreaming about traveling to Alaska this summer, check out her guide book, Cruising Alaska on a Budget; a Cruise and Port Guide. Visit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com








Monday, November 14, 2011

Writers on the Move’s Authors’ Books for the Holiday Season

Ring-a-Ding. Ring-a-Ding.

Yup, the holiday season is just about upon us and many, who think ahead and have already started their shopping, are now looking for great holiday gifts for the adults and children in their lives.

Since Writers on the Move has very talented authors who offer everything from poetry to children’s books to mysteries to anthologies to historical fiction to non-fiction how-to books available as amazing gifts for just about anyone and any age, we’ve put together a list of MUST HAVE BOOKS to give you some ideas.

So, please scroll down to the bottom of the list and be sure to click on the links to find out more about each book.

Off we go.

Writers on the Move’s Authors’ Books for Holiday Season Gifts

Walking Through Walls
Children’s middle-grade/young adult fantasy adventure
Amazon Link 
Book Info Link: http://walkingthroughwalls-kcioffi.blogspot.com

Day’s End Lullaby
Children’s bedtime picture book with sheet music to lullaby included
Amazon Link
Book Info Link: http://daysendlullaby.blogspot.com

Karen Cioffi
http://karencioffi.com 
http://karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com

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Dancing With The Pen
A collection of today's best youth writing -- this groundbreaking anthology features stories, poems and essays by more than 65 kids and teenagers from all around the world. For each copy sold, a new book will be donated to a disadvantaged child through Write On! For Literacy. http://www.writeonbooks.org

3 a.m.
Award-winning collection of short stories has been featured on the PBS book talk show "Between the Lines" and has been acclaimed by both teenagers and adults.
Amazon Link

Dallas Woodburn, award winning author
http://dallaswoodburn.blogspot.com

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State of Wilderness
Book 1 of 50 in the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series
Amazon

Ma America, The Travelin' Maven (Elysabeth Eldering)
http://jgdsseries.blogspot.com

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The Cancer Prayer Book
Self-Help: A wonderful and meaningful gift for a loved one or friend going through the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It has chapters on Diagnosis and Waiting, Family, Self Image, Healing, Seeking Wisdom, Keeping the Faith, and more.
http://dreamwordspublishing.com
ISBN: 978-1-4507-2599-6

Terri Forehand RN, author
http://thecancerprayerbook.blogspot.com
http://terri-forehand.blogspot.com

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Leap…Laugh…Plop
Kick…Catch…Buzzzz
Guess…Giggle…Wiggle
Children's picture books: These wonderful books keep children laughing and learning with each turn of the page.


Martha Swirzinski, M.A.
 http://www.MovementPlus.com

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Blooming Red: Christmas Poetry for the Rational
 By Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball
Cover watercolor by Vicki Thomas
http://www.budurl.com/BloomingRed
"This volume is full of delight." ~ Margaret Fieland, author
Discounted in quantities of 25 or more (for use as holiday greeting cards):
http://howtodoitfrugally.com/more_on_blooming_red.htm/

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Instructor for nearly a decade at the renowned UCLA Extension Writers' Program
The Frugal Book Promoter ( http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo ) :
Web site: http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com

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Repulsion Thrust
Poetry: "Wonderful. The work covers a lot of ground while keeping a poetic sensibility, which is hard to do. We need more singularity-aware art." Ray Kurzweil
Buy it at Amazon

Sleep Before Evening
Literary fiction: Marianne is teetering at the edge of reason. “Buy this book. And relish every moment of it.”
Buy it at Amazon

Magdalena Ball
http://www.compulsivereader.com/html
http://www.magdalenaball.com

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The Golden Pathway
The struggle against slavery with no regard to one's safety - age 8-12
http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/pathway.htm



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The Women of Camp Sobingo
Historical fiction, WWII era

The Unexplored Heart
Victorian era, Historical romance/adventure

Forces of Nature
Suspense, Natural Disaster

Once a Brat, Always a Brat
Memoir with contributions from other Military Brats

Marilyn Celeste Morris, Author
Buy Link: http://www.vanillaheartbooksandauthors.com/Marilyn_Morris.html
http://mcmauthor.wordpress.com/ 

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Trouble on Earth Day
Children's picture book by Kathy Stemke
Purchase at http://shshshletthebabysleep.blogspot.com

More info on this author and Free monthly newsletter sign up: http://educationtipster.blogspot.com

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Cowgirl Dreams
Western historical fiction: Nettie Brady bucks 1920s convention with dreams of becoming a rodeo star. Based on the author’s grandmother, a real Montana cowgirl
http://www.trebleheartbooks.com/SDHeidithomas.html
B&N Nook Edition

Follow the Dream
Sequel to Cowgirl Dreams: Life during the Great Depression brings unrelenting hardships and challenges to Nettie’s family and lifelong rodeo dreams.
http://www.trebleheartbooks.com/SDHeidithomas.html
Kindle edition 

Heidi M. Thomas
http://heidiwriter.wordpress.com  
http://www.heidimthomas.com/books.html

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We're sure you'll find something from the books above that will be the perfect gift for this holiday season!

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Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Editor, Inbound Marketing Instructor

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