Monday, July 11, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

As long as mixed grills and combination salads are popular, anthologies will undoubtedly continue in favor. - Elizabeth Janeway

The next time you hear me make rumbling sounds about “doing a book”, will someone kindly remind me I am nuts! I don’t think I have had such a brain drain since I was in college…well, maybe it was since MAP testing entered the public schools! But reading and planning for Storm Country has been such a job! However, I keep telling myself it will be worth it in the end every time a child picks up a good book in the school libraries of Joplin.

credit to John Hacker
Submissions are heavy. Everyone seems to want to help by donating their writing work. The publisher is donating time, other publications are donating ad space and promotions, and a photographer is donating one of his lightning strike photos for a cover to the book. Take a look at John Hacker’s work. Isn’t this a beauty full of the splendor and magnificent power of weather?

I have learned so much from this anthology project already, and I have come to really feel what editors go through. I am seeing this whole writing experience from the other side and have new appreciation for the work contest editors, anthology editors, and publishers like Lou Turner go through on a daily basis.

A few things I learned for next time (did I really say “next time”???) are:
Maybe only online submissions should be accepted since snail mail eventually has to be put into a doc. form anyway.

Always have the title of the story put in the subject line of an email. (Ah, do you know hard it is to go back to a story when over 200 emails that say Joplin Writers’ Anthology submission in the subject line?)

Be sure to hold to the guidelines. Refuse to read size 8 print with a magnifier.

Don’t feel guilty about rejecting a love poem when the guidelines clearly specified the topic to be entered…and it was NOT love poetry…or when the word limit is 1500 and a submission is Chapter One of someone’s novel at 6500 words.

Always ask for pages to be numbered.

The bio at the bottom of the submission is handier than on a separate document if possible.

Despite the work involved, the Storm Country project is so worthwhile. There will be no profits taken by the writing guilds involved. It all goes to the Tornado Relief of Joplin schools. Friday the submissions will close, and I admit I will be glad to stop reading stories about devastation and loss that the weather stories hold. However, I feel good knowing that so many writers are willing to give their work away so others may benefit. While not every submission can or will be used, all writers’ efforts are deeply appreciated.

My aim is to put down what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way I can tell it. - Ernest Hemingway

We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.- Somerset Maugham


BECKY said...

Amen, Sister! I wouldn't want to take on an anthology, either!...(although I did consider it a couple of years green and naive I was!) You deserve a huge round of applause and a big group hug for all your hard work...and no, I'm not trying to butter you up! LOL. Go have a cold glass of delicious iced tea, in a COOL room!!

BECKY said...

P.S. Our followers have returned! Yay!

Linda O'Connell said...

Claudia, It is an honorable thing you are doing, even though it sounds very taxing. In the end you will be very proud and can relax.

Susan said...

Hello Dear Claudia...Oh my goodness. What a huge project that must be but it will be a terrfic book. Thank you for doing all that work. You are an amazing person. Susan

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

You've bitten off quite a bit. God bless you for doing it. Wishing you much success with the project.

Bookie said...

Thank you all for the support. Keep telling me I can do it because I keep having feelings of drowing! :)

And yes, my Followers have returned! I feel like Mary who found her lost lambs.

irishoma said...

Hi Claudia,
I LOVE, LOVE the cover for the anthology. It is so um, what's the right word? Striking!
And God bless you for all you are doing on the anthology. I know you are doing a wondeful job!

Rebecca said...

I've been "out of the loop"....didn't realize what you had taken on!!! The lessons you are learning ought to be worth MUCH to someone. Maybe you can submit an article for $$$ based on them.

Martha said...

It should be wonderful when finished -- but oh, what a task!

Betty Craker Henderson said...

This is such a great project and you are so very very brave. I just wish I had the time to contribute and I know you have some very wonderful stuff going into the book. Congratulation. (Even though I didn't have time to write something I will certainly buy a little bit of good anyway!!!)