It's almost Christmas and here's some good news for you.
When I publish an anthology, I am very aware that I cannot pay money to each writer whose work is accepted - so I developed a competition, which has been running for almost two years now, in which those whose stories or poems are voted as 'best in the book' by readers are given the opportunity to publish their own collection - upon which royalties are paid.
This means that there is a pathway laid out for writers: though their work is unpaid in an initial anthology, if their story is of sufficient quality as judged by readers, they get a chance to develop a paid career.
So far, three such collections have been published: Unfettered by R.A. Goli, Dust and Glitter by Elizabeth Montague, and The Magic of Deben Market by David Bowmore. Other collections have been completed and are awaiting editing as I write this.
Now TEMPEST: The Inner Circle Writers' Group Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology 2019, POETICA: The Inner Circle Writers' Group Poetry Anthology 2019, and GLEAM: The Inner Circle Writers' Group Second Flash Fiction Anthology 2019 all have winners, all of whom have accepted the chance to publish a paid collection with Clarendon House in the future!
For TEMPEST, the winner was Mel Lee Newmin, whose story 'Scorched Earth' proved to be enormously popular with readers.
For POETICA, the winner was Sharon Frame Gay, whose poem 'Winter at Yellowstone' touched many readers' hearts.
For GLEAM, the winner was Jill Kiesow, whose story 'Saving Grace' made an impression on many.
Congratulations to all three, and merry Christmas! :)
Many thanks again to everyone who voted, AND to everyone who submitted and whose work was accepted - the contest was tight in each of the books. I never cease to be astounded by the amount and quality of talent that is out there, and there are many, many writers who narrowly missed out on winning this time, but from whom I would like to hear much more in the future.
To the winners, 2020 looks that much brighter. I will work tirelessly to support them in putting together collections, and getting them to readers.
And I will continue to work tirelessly to provide as many opportunities as I can to the many writers out there whose work deserves to be read.
Merry Christmas to one and all and please keep writing!