I wanted to remind you — or inform you if you didn’t already know — of the routes to professional author status offered by Clarendon House Publications.
Route One: The Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine
Firstly, there’s the Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine, which is always open for submissions of fiction, artwork, articles and other items and which is now well into its second year with a reputation as the world’s most exciting e-magazine for writers. Though the magazine doesn’t pay at the moment, it gets you seen by a select audience of avid readers, many of whom have contacts in the publishing industry — and, as subscriptions grow, there is a scheme in place to offer payment to contributors in the future.
Route Two: Clarendon House Anthologies
Secondly, though, is the main pathway to publication with can result in you becoming an author with a collection of stories out there in the world with your name on it, being sold online internationally.
It begins with Clarendon House anthologies. These started publication in 2018, and soon offered a competition: the author with the most popular story, as voted for by readers of the anthology, would be offered a book contract.
So far, sixteen authors have won these contests and five have had collections of their own work professionally published by Clarendon House, with many more in the pipeline.
First came R. A. Goli with Unfettered, featuring a bird succubus that comes in a storm; a bed-and-breakfast from Hell; secret histories from before fairy tales and myths; an asylum from beyond your darkest nightmares, and including the award-winning story from the Flashpoint flash fiction anthology, ‘A Flicker of Time’.
This was followed in 2019 by Elizabeth Montague’s Dust and Glitter, including the contest-winning story ‘The Little Girl Who Stole The Wind’ from the children’s stories anthology, Window. Dust and Glitter contains a wide rage of fiction, in which we discover what life would really be like in an artificial body, where atheists write to God and receive replies, where a lifelong scar marks you for having taken a life, where clowns and demons abide, and much more, stretching from real psychological drama to the edge of imagination.
Soon afterwards, David Bowmore’s The Magic of Deben Market appeared, a short story collection of haunting power consisting of interwoven characters in the imaginary town of Deben Market on Britain's east coast, written with such skill that many readers immediately find themselves wanting to read these stories again and again. It’s a kind of quasi-novel, layered, soul-stirring, utterly gripping.
Earlier this year saw the publication of P. A. O’Neil’s collection Witness testimony and Other Tales, containing stories with powerful golden threads of charm or warmth or humanity and characters like Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes and more, as well as far-flung places like Venice, Vancouver Island and Faerie.
This was soon followed by Gabriella Balcom’s collection On the Wings of Ideas, which includes a range of tales so wide and a scope so varied that it’s difficult to ‘pin them down’ in a few words: science fiction, fantasy, children’s literature, literary fiction, poetry, horror, humour, romance and more can be found within, including the award-winning ‘Mouses and Rats Cot Reel Cheep!’ and the story ‘Nun or Not?’ featured in Clarendon House Publications’ special Gold anthology which presented the best short stories of 2017/2018.
Many more such collections are currently in the editing stage.
Route Three: Independent Publication
But there’s a third way too.
Since 2018, Clarendon House has recognised authors of real talent and published their works independently of any contest.
These include five books by the prodigious and prolific Steve Carr:
Sand, containing eerie horror, human tragedy, biting science fiction, unearthly fantasy, realistic human drama and quirky surrealism, all gripping for readers.
Rain, embracing tales of the sorrow of heartbreak, broken relationships, mysterious disappearances, alien visitations, the strangeness of the open badlands and the magic of lands that never were, stories of ethereal beauty and gothic horror. Steve Carr has the ability to paint entire scenes in just a few words and to develop a grip on your soul within the first few sentences.
The Tales of Talker Knock, with a protagonist unlike any other, sent out to restore order and vanquish foes in realms as far apart as Atlantis and Australia, El Dorado and the land of dinosaurs, Mt. Everest and the Sahara, travelling by galleon, sled, biplane, hot air balloon, on the back of an eagle, and on a winged horse, accompanied by his spyglass, his sword and a satchel that contains a compass, sextant, pocket knife and clean socks.
The Very Best of Steve Carr, as the title suggests, selects the cream of the crop and presents them in a deluxe hardback volume.
Clarendon House also published Steve’s handy little volume, Getting Your Short Stories Published: A Guidebook, which gives writers practical advice on the ins and outs of getting a short story published, revealing Steve’s organising system and his methodology for approaching publishers. It’s full of top tips to get your work in print and is a must-have for any aspiring short story writer.
Then along came Gary Bonn, whose talents are indescribable. Clarendon House has published two of his collections so far: Through Another’s Eyes, containing tales which play tricks with your mind, leading you through doorways you never knew were there to ways of looking at things you would never have dreamed of; and The Tethered Goat, with stories designed to make you laugh, cry, feel and think, often all at the same time. Bonn is an exceptional writer whose writing style makes it difficult at times to breathe because you’re so entranced you forget to.
2018 also saw the publication of Justin Wiggins’ autobiographical account, Surprised by Agape, a personal story of redemption which seeks to engage the reader by touching on universal themes. Tracing the influence of C. S. Lewis and George MacDonald's writings, as well as the music of Switchfoot, Wiggins shares his sometimes painful journey back to the light.
Clarendon House has also now published three books by the talented New Mexico-based author Carmen Baca: Cuentos del Cañón, a series of a dozen stories set in or near the same canyon that is home to her first novel El Hermano; Viajes con Fantasmas, the long-awaited sequel to Las Mujeres Misteriosas, about a twisted evil spirit in a unique world based on the special folklore of New Mexico, where benevolent ghosts battle with venomous dark spirits in a life and death, winner-take-all contest that could result in a whole family going to Hell; and La Quniceañera, about a series of gifts come with peculiar gifts of their own which alter their new owners in particular ways. Two strangers and an unseen threat drawing its power from an ancient lost world mean that all is not what it seems, and immortal souls are at risk.
In 2019, Giuseppina Marino Leyland’s exceptional book Pezzi Pazzi|Crazy Pieces was published, a mixed genre collection of creative writing, including short stories and fragments of poetry, with a mini novella as the centrepiece. Spilling over from believable tales about rounded, warm characters into wisdom about the human condition itself, the overarching theme of the anthology is ‘crazy life’—the world is crazy and we are all a little crazy in it.
Then came Samantha Hamilton's acclaimed Welcome to Blekeleigh Court. Nestled in the mythical countryside of England between the Wars, Blekeleigh Court is a setting in which P.G. Wodehouse would feel right at Stately Home. Here the sons and daughters of the Jazz Age face off against Crusty Uncles, Dotty Aunts, and Superhuman Butlers—and unexpected complications abound. A comic masterpiece.
Clarendon House has published dozens of books over the last four years, many of them laying the groundwork for others to come — and yours may be amongst them. Submit tales to the magazine, send stories in to anthologies when they open, and contact me if you feel that you have a work of real quality.
All authors of individual collections are offered generous royalties through professional contracts; there are no fees or costs involved.
Professional authordom awaits.