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Fiction For Anthologies
by Lee Masterson
One of the best ways to get your creative ideas flowing
is to search through calls for submissions into
anthologies. Anthologies are generally collections of
short stories based around a central theme.
While the pay rate for fiction published in anthologies
is generally not high, there are many advantages to
writing for these compilation markets.
You have a new published credit to add to
2. You can stimulate
your own creativity by reading through the submission
guidelines of anthologies that interest you
3. You have the
opportunity to break out of writers block by
writing something short on a topic created by someone
4. You can learn to
hone your writing skills by mastering the short story
5. You are able to
show a future novel editor that youre able to write
6. You get that
unique warm-fuzzy-proud feeling of being able to hold the
completed book in your hand once its published
7. You might actually
receive a check for a few extra dollars!
There are plenty more reasons why writing for anthologies
can be hugely beneficial for all writers, but these are
the main ones that came to mind. Now weve looked
into why writing and submitting short fiction to these
markets can be a good thing, what happens if the story
you write isnt accepted?
Potentially, any anthology editor is going to receive
several hundred submissions for a book that can only hold
20 or 25 stories. How can you increase your chances of
getting your story accepted?
Lets look into some things you should remember when
youre dealing with anthology editors.
The object of most anthology collections is to compile
several stories that revolve around a central theme or
genre. Most editors are very thorough about telling
writers exactly what kind of story they want to see. They
usually make a huge mention of the things they dont
like or things they wont accept too. Keep those
limitations in mind when it comes time to write.
When youre browsing through lists of anthology
markets, try to stick to themes or genres that you enjoy
or that you feel you could work for you.
As you read through each set of guidelines, youll
notice that some just wont appeal to you, however
there will be others that light a bit of a spark within
the creative part of your mind. Write down the first idea
that comes to you surrounding those particular guidelines
and then see if theres room to expand on that idea.
Outside the Box
Always keep in mind that the most obvious idea that pops
into your head is very likely to be the similar to every
other submission that editor will receive. Take a careful
look at your original idea and see where you can add a
unique twist or if you can approach the situation from a
The more unusual or unexpected your story line is, the
more chance you have of making your tale stick in the
Most anthology listings have a clear deadline by which
your submission needs to reach the editors desk.
Many writers tend to leave their submissions until the
last possible moment. If you imagine several hundred
submissions landing on that editors desk within a
couple of days, how focused do you think that poor editor
is going to be after reading through them all?
If you can get your story submitted early then you have a
much bigger chance of the editor reading it with fresh
eyes without the distraction of all those other
Its surprising how many writers create beautiful
stories and then cant find the courage to submit
them to a market. Be brave and send your story out the
There are plenty of sites offering anthology listings.
One of the biggest genre anthology listings is www.ralan.com/antho/index.htm . Do a simple
search on any search engine and youll be sure to
find plenty of places offering submission guidelines for
these under-rated markets.
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