Kristine Kathryn Rusch & Dean Wesley Smith hold an Anthology workshop that I’ve been very curious about since I first heard of it, because it’s as practical as a genre writing class by Dave Farland (Wolverton) or Brandon Sanderson… instead of a giant critique group, it’s run by a panel of editors, one of whom is actually looking for stories for an anthology, and will buy from the stories written that week.
So the writers get a chance to watch multiple editors go over submissions, and watch the sausage being made. They also have to write six short stories in a week, on themes the editors specify (for their anthologies.)
The next best thing to being there? Well, okay, no there aren’t videos you can watch (sadly), but the next best thing to that is not just a writeup by not one, but two of the people there, from vastly different perspectives.
Monalisa Foster wrote a series of blog posts on the experience as a newcomer – I’m linking the first one here, because it has links to all the others and lets you follow through the whole series.
And Kris Rusch wrote a reflection on the workshop, and other musings, here:
And to answer the inevitable “why would I submit for magazines or anthologies when I’m indie?” Well, because
1. You like writing short stories – and if you can get paid for first publication rights, then republish later for long-term royalties, why not? (Like every other publishing contract, make sure you read the contract carefully to make sure what rights you’re licensing, and when and how those rights revert!)
2. Advertising in magazines costs a lot of money. But if you can get them to publish your story, then they’re paying you to run an ad – because the readers who are well-trained to ignore ads will actually be looking for the stories, and if they really like it, may seek you out. Which is the entire purpose of an advertisement! And while some readers really don’t like snippets because they want the whole story – they may enjoy a short, complete story.
3. Similarly, in an anthology, many people pick up the collection because of one or two names they recognize and like – but if they like your story, there’s a chance they’ll seek you out.
4. Why not? If you’re looking for something to stretch your boundaries, going from long form to short is not unlike a painter switching to sculpture. It requires learning a lot of new and different techniques for a different form. More tools in your toolbox can really help you grow as a writer.
As for where to send short stories? Here’s a staring point:
And for something really cool? The final book in the Grey Man series by Jim Curtis went live this morning!