Thursday, 14 April 2011

Writing for Anthologies: A Guide to Placing Your Story (Sure Thing Guaranteed)

Fear not fellow intrepid writers, the story you wrote for *that* anthology, you know the one that only wanted stories about possessed moustaches, that was rejected because there wasn't enough room or it was about demonic beards instead or was crap, well here is a guide for you.

How to get it into a print anthology even if the editor said no…

First off, you must purchase a copy of the anthology. Done that? Right, let's get started. For this task, you will need the anthology, paper, pen, scissors and tape or glue.

Type up your story, making sure the font matches the one used in the book, and that the margins and page size are reasonably similar. DO NOT USE WILLIAM SHUNN'S GUIDELINES--they work just fine for your submission but look out of place in the actual book. Finished? Now, print out your work. Good, you're almost there.

The next part is tricky and requires sharp implements and glue. DO NOT USE SUPER GLUE. This is not about getting pieces of you into the anthology, it's about getting your story in. Place your typed sheets at the back of the book directly after the last story and before the contributor guidelines. Glue or sellotape into place. You can sew it into place if you are adept at needlework, but if you aren't, don't.

Done that? Well, you're almost there.

Now, go to the front of the book and add your name and story title to the bottom of the page. Write neatly, unless the editor has used comic sans or another *unusual* font. Then return to the back of the book and place a sticky label at the bottom of the contributors page (or if there's no space, place it over another contributor's name) and add your bio. Do not use sparkly inks or windings because editors tend not to.

Guess what? You are now in the anthology and you can show it to family and friends. Go you.

WARNING: If anyone expresses an interest in buying the book from say, Amazon, you must intervene and tell them you get a discount from the publisher and will get a copy for them. Don't forget to repeat the above process for each book or you'll look like a prat.

NOTE: It is not advisable to add your story to a collection by Stephen King, Neil Gaiman or other prominent authors. Yes, you could put a sticky label at the beginning of the book from Steven King or Nial Gaiman claiming they thought your story was so marvellous that they added it to their collection, but I don't think even your family are that daft.

*No books were harmed in the making of this post
**This post was triggered by the author's consumption of chocolate
***The author has not tried this at home, although she'd quite like to write a story about a possessed moustache.

18 comments:

Amanda C. Davis said...

Stachepunk?

Rhonda said...

Stachepunk iz for win!

Cate Gardner said...

Amanda, you're a genius ;)

Tony said...

Sweet! *The Best Horror of the Year* here I come!

Cate Gardner said...

I bagsy Best Fantasy of the Year, Tony ;)

DeAnna said...

I should have known! I feel so Rickrolled.

Cate Gardner said...

I am evil, DeAnna. EVIL!!!

K.C. Shaw said...

If the editor has used Comic Sans for the TOC, it probably wasn't an anthology I wanted to be in anyway. :)

Excellent advice. And it's so widely applicable to all anthologies!

Deborah Walker said...

Anthology surgery as therapy, nice.

Aaron Polson said...

Yes! We all win!

(I'm feeling a tad Rick-Rolled, too)

Beth said...

Splendid.

Natalie L. Sin said...

; )

Simon Kewin said...

Brilliant! I can't think why that hasn't occurred to me before.

Sophie Playle said...

Haha! Great advice ;)

Cate Gardner said...

I think Comic Sans has an unfair reputation, Kate

Thanks guys, I hope you follow the guidelines to the letter.

Simon said...

This is where I've been going wrong all these years! Steve Jones anthologies here I come! :D :D :D

Milo James Fowler said...

Just the laugh I needed today. =]

Cate Gardner said...

Don't cut yourself, Simon.

:D Milo