Friday, 1 July 2011

"All Paths Lead (to New Wharf Road)"

I guess this blog post is timely considering the recent news of Will's departure from Macmillan, but it's something I was threatening to do last year and something I want to get rolling now in order to get it all published before Christmas. 

If you might remember last year, I mooted a Macmillan New Writers' anthology, noting that there are a fair few of us who are short story writers.  My initial thoughts were to publish a themed anthology, but I'm eschewing this for more of a showcase format, in effect to show off the writers here and the different genres covered.  Then the unifying theme across the anthology will be our link with Macmillan New Writing.

This is how I think it will work:

Each writer wishing to submit a story will also submit an approx. 200 word brief on how they got here (i.e. published by Macmillan New Writing) and what genre they are writing in and why.  This will accompany their short story (which has no word limit, but preferably below novella size) and their writer's biog with a publicity photo. The short story can be in any genre, any topic, and it can be previously published as long as you have permission to publish it in this anthology.

The deadline for the short stories will be 1st November.  I'm offering this not just to the Macmillan New Writers here, but past writers too (I'll be getting in touch with Roger Morris and Michael Stephen Fuchs to see if they want to join in - if there are any others I've missed please tell me or contact them direct).  The anthology has a working title of "All Paths Lead (to New Wharf Road)" and will be offered for free on Amazon through a e-publisher I'll set-up called "Thirst-e-ditions".  If I get the chance, I'll build a website to advertise the book too. 

I'll then bring together the stories, the briefs, the biogs and photos and create the anthology in a Kindle format (and later a format for iBooks and Epub).  I'll also get the cover sorted out unless anyone wants to volunteer. 

What I would really like as well as the stories, are two volunteer editors, to make sure it all hangs together.  Are there any takers?

This might be a fair sized book at the end of the day, if everyone contributes.  Like I've said above, the stories can be about anything, and in fact the more varied the better.  I want it to appeal to everyone, something all readers can dip into, and if it costs nothing then that's all the better.  I'll drum up some publicity through various sites I have contacts with, to ensure it gets a few reviews, and then it's just a case of self-promotion when you're able.  The only down-side is that we cannot use Macmillan New Writing in the publicity.  This is our anthology, and will be advertised as a new writers collection (without the Macmillan).  We can mention the publisher in the biogs and briefs, and I will mention them in the "forward" for the collection, but that's about it.  But I'd like to show that we are all still indebted to Macmillan New Writing for getting us on this road in the first place (as well as a big thank you to the likes of Will and Mike who put so much into that venture).

So… Anyone interested?


Unknown said...

Me me me!

Eliza Graham said...

Happy to help with perhaps the proofing stage--autumn is busy for me but I could do this.

Len Tyler said...

This is a great idea. Very happy to submit a story.

Tim Stretton said...

Happy to try my hand at a short story although this is a new departure for me.

I've also got some editorial experience from my Vance Integral Edition days so will do what I can to help out.

If we are doing an e-book it's almost no extra work to make a POD version as well for those readers who just won't go electronic - and helpful for review copies too! Web Admin said...

Excellent guys thanks. Thats 2 stories so far (or 3 including one I might throw in). Eliza, please do proof read it when we're done. Any level of quality control is welcome on self-pub ventures.
Aliya, could your involvement extend to co-editing too? You've got a fair bit if experience of this - I reckon it would be invaluable. Web Admin said...

Hi Tim
We posted this at the same time. Brilliant - now four stories, and would love you to come on board as co-editor (along with Aliya?).
Quite excited by this - our first new writing anthology..!

Unknown said...

Can do! Would be delighted to, in fact.

Frances Garrood said...

Lovely idea, Matt. Count me in for a story!

Deborah Swift said...

I'll have a go, but it might need stern editing!!