We’ve got nine days left and counting before submissions close! And this post marks the first in that ‘flurry’ of updates that I hinted about earlier.
Ready? Here’s what we’ve been up to:
Reading, reading and more reading!
As of this moment (4:38 am, Central Time), we have 199 total submissions. This is In. Sane. (And I mean that in the most wonderful of ways!) Next week we’ll have another batch of decisions rolling out, and then we ask that you give us just a couple more months to sort through everything and then we’ll get the ball rolling with some fun things that we hope you’ll all enjoy as we start spreading the word about this awesome anthology!
I know it’s been a long time to wait, and we all sincerely appreciate your patience. As a small team, we’ve had to come up with a process that lets us give every story the attention it deserves while still letting us make measurable progress with getting through all of the submissions. If you’re curious, here’s what that looks like:
- Plagiarism check – before we ever read any submission, we run it through a plagiarism checker just to be on the safe side. This is to protect you, our authors, as well as ourselves. I am thrilled to report that not a single, solitary submission has ever failed this check, which means we roll right on into step 2:
- Guidelines check – this is a very quick read-through to be sure that people have complied with our guidelines for submitting to the anthology. Roughly 99% of submissions sail right through this process as well (have I mentioned you guys are great?) and then we move on to step 3:
- First read – everyone does a first read-through of the story and we post our initial thoughts, what we like, what we might want to know more about, etc. Stories get categorized and then we have…
- Second (Third, Fourth, Fifth…) read – this time we’re reading for more detail, insight, how this story makes us feel overall. Is it a good fit? Is it a great fit? There’s a lot of back and forth here, of course, and it’s so difficult because there are a -lot- of amazing stories that have come through. As you can imagine, this is the part of the process that takes the longest, and why some of you have been waiting for months to hear back. We haven’t forgotten about you! Quite the opposite, we’re obsessing. But once we’ve got consensus, we move on to…
- Decision! We are always so excited to accept a new story and it’s it’s been amazing getting to ‘chat’ a bit with the authors we’ve brought on so far (albeit via email). If you don’t get accepted this time, please don’t let it discourage you. There are many more opportunities planned.
New(?!) Associate Editor Announcement
This process could not have been established or maintained without the constant help and support of one person who has been on our ‘team’ from the beginning. And she’s truly been a life-saver for me in particular, as Bernard has had a plethora of work-life-killer-squirrel issues that have taken up his time these past few months. And I’ve got to be real with you here: there is just no way I would have been able to do all this on my own. Nope. Nada.
So it is with a grateful heart and much applause that I officially announce our Associate Editor (who is no longer operating from the shadows), Alice K. Moxley. She’ll be adding her profile to the site soon, and expect that she’ll also chime in with updates and info as we start ramping things up around here.
Updates on where we go from here…
I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, about what the vision for this space was, and is becoming. I’ve also done a lot of brainstorming on how we can make this a welcoming space for our readers and authors. I’ll be giving more details in upcoming posts, but here’s what’s in the works:
- Changes in guidelines – going forward, some anthologies and submissions will have more specific requirements for authors and not just stories. We’re doing this in order to encourage more voices to be heard that would otherwise not get the attention that we want to give.
- Author interviews – guys, this is coming next month so if you’ve been accepted into the anthology be on the lookout for an email!
- Podcast – slated for mid-September, and we’ll be looking for input on topics soon.
- Quarterly e-zine – yup, we’re going to try to make this happen with rolling submissions and regular content for subscribers (free and paid). More details to come.
- Facebook groups – we’re going to have a couple of these rolling out. One for our accepted authors to help coordinate promotions and activities, and another for -everyone- to build a community of authors, artists, readers and editors. It’s our goal with this to help lift everyone up and to provide support (beta readers, anyone?) for people who need it.
- More contests/giveaways – not just for stories, but for art as well.
- Just for fun – I’m not sure when we’ll be starting this, but if you’re interested in collaborative storytelling I recommend heading over to this site and registering. A certain adventuresome editor may be putting together some fiction scenes in the coming months.