Saturday, 20 February 2010

A bit of do, and a bit of a proposal


As promised, here are the photos from the Monday get together:

It was fantastic to meet everyone last week, and goes to show that this is one imprint where there is a definite sense of community and shared experience. There are one or two conversations during the afternoon that I’ll develop later into blog entries, such as expectations of publishing from a debut’s point of view and on the growing recession in publishing and how it’s affecting us all, but for the time being, I’d like to mention a conversation I didn’t have…

In a twittered exchange between myself and Ms Whiteley, we agreed that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to publish an anthology of Macmillan New Writers based on the fact that many of us congregating here write the short form as well as the long. I was going to approach everyone on Monday with this suggestion but forgot, so I’m doing so now.

The brief is simple: any short story, any length, any subject… as long as were not infringing copyrights (i.e. already sold to another magazine/publisher), and unless there’s anyone here with a burning desire to take on the editing of the collection, then all the short stories must be edited by the writers themselves – their responsibility. I will then approach an e-book publisher after having a chat with our e-book guru, Neil Ayres, and the aim will be to e-publish the collection for free via somewhere like Stanza. So there will be no payments here, folks. It will, in effect, be a sampler to publicise our books/works (each short story will be prefaced by an author biog and short paragraph on the writer’s thoughts on being published under Macmillan New Writing and the community, including a mug-shot if you want). You can also submit two short stories if you wish – after all we’re talking e-books here, so there are no constraints on length or overheads due to the number of pages being printed.

So what do you think? Is this do-able?
What timescales should we look at if it is?
And who here would submit some fiction?

16 comments:

Alis said...

Wow, photos where I look neither demented nor 100!! Thanks for posting these, Matt. It was a great day and if an anthology comes out of it, so much the better. But I think you'd possibly want to count me out - my idea of short fiction is 60 000 words!!

Eliza Graham said...

Lovely photos! We all look as relaxed as we (or certainly I) felt at lunch.

Frances Garrood said...

Thanks for those, Matt. Really good photos.

Aliya Whiteley said...

You know you can count me in!

Tim Stretton said...

I'm no great shakes at short fiction - but I'll give it a go!

Len Tyler said...

Great photos - thanks, Matt. And thanks again, Frances, for getting us all organised.

Faye L. Booth said...

Great idea - when exactly are you planning on publishing? I want to participate, but I don't have any ideas for a short story at present, so I'll have to try and come up with one before the deadline.

Matt Curran said...

No problem guys - my pleasure.

As for the collection, I was looking at perhaps the back end of the year - enough time I think to get one or two short stories written? Still don't have a title for it but was thinking of using a title from one of the short stories perhaps if it was relevant to the collection - or someone here could come up with one.

Faye L. Booth said...

Rightho, will see what I can come up with.

Ann Weisgarber said...

Matt, thanks for the pictures. I'm enjoying comparing author photos to the gang sitting at the table.

Writing a short story might be fun, but I'm like Alis. I'll start with 60,000 words and then do major surgery.

Brian McGilloway said...

Hi Matt - it looks like a lovely day. I was sorry I couldn't get over for it. The collection sounds like a good plan. Count me in. I wonder if next April might be an idea for pub date - it'll be the 5th anniversary of the imprint after all and might be a neat fit.

Len Tyler said...

Thinking about the title: "New Writing - New Danger"? (OK, not so good for readers too young to remember the 1997 General Election and probably completely meaningless to those in the US, but it may at least spark some other ideas!)

Matt Curran said...

Brian, next April sounds like a good idea. If we have a deadline for December for short stories and then a publishing date for April, this should give everyone enough time to fit the short stories around their usual writing and me enough time to find a decent e-publisher.
As you say the 5th anniversary couldn't be better.

Len
I like the title of the book, though it does make it sound like a 1960-70's kitsch TV thriller (I'm thinking Dangerman crossed with the Persuaders here!).

Matt Curran said...

Ann/Alis

I guess 60,000 words is a mite too long, but you know, a novella might not be such a bad idea...

Frances Garrood said...

Matt, can we do poems, too? Next April is a great idea. And we can have a party!

Deborah Swift said...

I'll try and produce something - possibly a poem or short story. What great pictures!