I'm sure by now you've heard that Found: Short Stories by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, is a finalist in the 2017 Colorado Book Awards from Colorado Humanities.
And hopefully you've also heard that I have an essay in a new anthology called Still Me ... After All These Years: 24 Writers Reflect on Aging.
Those two facts triggered this blog post designed to encourage all writers to think seriously about submitting your work to every legitimate anthology opportunity that comes your way. I came up with five good reasons to take on these extra projects even if you generally write only novel-length fiction.
1. Increases name recognition
The more often readers see your name, the more likely they are to remember and recognize it when they're browsing bookstores, online, and at the library
2. More people see your bio
That bio can include your most recent publications, the urls for your website and social media, and some tidbit of information to remember you by. For ebooks, the links are often clickable for speedy friending and following.
3. Many anthologies are entered into book award competitions
Found is a good example. Submissions were solicited from RMFW members only.
A second anthology on the finalist list, Sunrise Summits: A Poetry Anthology, was edited by Dean K. Miller and contains poetry by member of Northern Colorado Writers. The call for submissions went out to NCW members via the website, newsletter, and Facebook page.
4. Submitting to anthologies is good practice
If you have any hope of getting your work accepted for publication, it's important to learn to follow all submission rules and requirements. That includes tie-in to theme or topic, sticking to the correct genre, quality writing with no grammar errors or typos, proper formatting and style according to instructions, submitting only if you qualify (for member-only publications, submit only if you're a member).
5. New individual or group promotion opportunities lead back to that number one reason: increase name recognition.
With the release of anthologies, you may participate in book signings, blog book tours, social media promotions on Facebook or Twitter, book giveaways as part of the tours or separately on Goodreads.
Examples include the signing and book sale at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Writers Conference in Denver in September for the authors of the RMFW anthology Found; the book sale and signing opportunities at the Northern Colorado Writers Conference May 5-6 for the poets in Sunrise Summits.
MC Book Tours handled the blog book tour for Still Me ... After All These Years which included this post on my own blog: "What? Me Aging?" And I'm giving away three copies of this anthology of personal essays on Goodreads as part of the promotion. The giveaway ends April 5th, so if you're interested, click here to get to the widget on my blog.
Anthologies That Want Your Submissions
Rocky Mountain Fictions Writers is seeking submissions from RMFW members only for the 2018 anthology: False Faces: Tales of Fakes, Frauds, and Facades. Find more information and the guidelines on the RMFW website. Submissions are open now and close on June 30th, 2017.
Tulip Tree Publishing has issued a call for submissions for the next Stories That Need to be Told. The 2016 issue of this anthology series is also a finalist in the anthology category of the Colorado Book Awards. The submission guidelines and award information are available on the Tulip Tree Publishing website. The deadline is September 6, 2017.
The top publisher of personal essays is, of course, Chicken Soup for the Soul. That publisher always has a list of potential and planned projects so periodically checking their list is a great idea. Here's that link.
And one more for good measure: Ploughshares Emerging Writer's Contest recognizes work by an emerging writer (no published work, traditional or indie) in each of three genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. One winner in each genre per year will receive $1,000 and publication in the literary journal. More information can be found at the Ploughshares at Emerson College site. This competition closes on May 15, 2017.
Pay attention to the bloggers you follow, the writerly folks on Facebook and Twitter, and the organizations you've joined. Any of those places can be a source of information for anthology editors seeking submission.
Now it's up to you. Will you polish a short story and submit to False Faces, find the perfect topic at Chicken Soup for the Soul, or perhaps submit a story to the Tulip Tree anthology? Do you know of another great anthology that is open to submissions? Have you recently had a piece published in an anthology? Let us know in the comments below.