Hey all, I've got a great opportunity for you here if you have a few short stories lying around. Matt Sinclair runs a small press called Elephants Bookshelf that is looking for short stories for their latest anthology. This is a helpful way to get some publishing credits under your belt for those query letters and let you work with an editor. I had two stories in their anthologies and there are a couple of big named authors there too. Take it away Matt:
First I want to thank Michelle for inviting me to write a post for her blog. In all honesty, it’s one of the few blogs I still check regularly, even as others fade in my thoughts. From her contests and interviews to general posts about things of interest to writers, her blog always has something I’m interested in reading.
That’s refreshing, as my interests have changed as I’ve become more involved in the publishing side of the industry and, unfortunately, found less time for my own fiction writing. Although sometimes my knees buckle at the curveballs that life throws my way, I’ve come to realize that change is good. It keeps my brain invigorated and my perspective open to new possibilities. And that keeps my mind creative, which helps my writing. I think it’s something more writers like us can – and should – do.
Since I’m not exactly a household name in too many households, let me share a tiny bit about me and Elephant’s Bookshelf Press, the publishing company I started more than four years ago. It may be hard to believe, but back in 2011 and 2012, the epublishing revolution was very much in its infancy. It was exciting to think about reaching a vast sea of readers and sharing the work of lots of writers they probably didn’t know. Our goals with EBP included helping talented authors gain some experience with the publishing process – and credits – while they continued to seek representation or developing and expanding their audience.
We started with an anthology, Spring Fevers (take a look as a sample of our work via Smashwords or Amazon), and that anthology led to the next, The Fall (Smashwords or Amazon). Soon, we were mapping out the “seasons series,” (which included a couple stories from Michelle) of anthologies with a variety of themes.
Ten books later, we’ve launched our latest request for submissions. This time, it’s a collection of Urban Fantasy stories. While I have long enjoyed urban fantasy as a reader, I’ve not written it too much. But again, that’s one of the joys of this brave new world of publishing: we don’t have to pigeon-hole our writing completely into one genre. Even if an author writes YA, there’s no reason she can’t experiment with horror or science fiction. Heck, although literary fiction is a very difficult genre to break into for unknown authors, there’s still a large readership for a well told story.
In our most recent anthology, Horrors: Real, Imagined, and Deadly (Smashwords or Amazon), one of the writers, who had submitted stories to us in the past that were not published, told me she’d never written in the horror genre before. Her story was delightfully chilling. Voila! Her first EBP story.
When is the last time you experimented? It’s possible you do it often. Perhaps your work typically includes a character unlike you’ve ever written before. Or maybe your settings or story structure vary from piece to piece. Great! Perhaps you experiment with length from piece to piece. I love both short stories and novels and work in both forms. I’m working on an urban fantasy piece right now that’s very different from stories I’ve written in the past. If you’re looking to experiment, we’d love to consider your story or stories for the Urban Fantasy anthology; the deadline to submit is July 11. Feel free to ask me any questions you have.
But whether you submit a story for EBP or not, I hope you continue to experiment with your writing. Even if you’re a devotee of a specific genre, it can only help liven up your writing!