You may not realise it, but 2018 was a big year for writers.
Since February, Clarendon House Publications has launched twelve anthologies and about half a million words of other materials specifically designed to create a route by which writers, new and established, can build themselves a career doing what they love. You can read all about this in earlier blog posts and on the website, and I don’t especially want to rehash here what I’ve talked about before. What I wanted to say - as I have hinted at before - is that all of this was just the beginning…
Those twelve anthologies represent something like a million words published which may or may not have been published elsewhere in that same time period, if the anthologies had never been offered. They are evidence of a highly interesting discovery I made late last year, which was composed of three factors:
• the fiction marketplace is not one in which all the talented writers have already been snapped up by existing publishers (as someone who only casually looked at it might think)
• the marketplace of unpublished work is not, therefore, awash with unreadable or unpublishable second rate fiction, as one might assume - yes, there is a lot of dross out there, but there is also an ocean of high quality unpublished writing
• this ocean of writing talent has not, for one reason or another, found an outlet.
I came into this business with a couple of assumptions which were soon smashed to bits. One was that the great majority of unpublished writers were probably not very good at the job and needed help in learning the basics of the craft of writing so that they could get published and make a living from that writing. Attached to that assumption was the corollary that, in view of a deficit of ability, those writers would immediately leap at anything which promised them a sure-fire way of writing better stories.
What I found instead was that there was a tremendous amount of already existing talent out there. What was missing was not knowledge of how to write - though that was a factor for some. What was missing was sufficient means to get that talent out there in a form that was available to readers.
In other words, there were a great many great writers out there and not enough people publishing them.
Instead of training writers to write better - which was still needed and I still do - the primary yearning was for publication.
Hence all the anthologies.
They have included two flash fiction anthologies, a science fiction and a fantasy collection, a literary anthology, a collection of children’s stories, a comedy anthology and a poetry anthology, not to mention individual collections by Steve Carr, Gary Bonn and R. A. Goli (so far). You can view (and purchase!) them here.
There are loads more in the pipeline for the rest of 2018, including a romance anthology, a collection of crime thrillers, an anthology of Christian stories, plus a special anthology using the methodology described in my book How Stories Really Work - and then there are various collections underway from all those authors who have received the opportunity from Clarendon House Publications to publish their own paid books.
All of this will keep everyone occupied, I think, for the rest of 2018 - although there are still some amazing surprises left in this year.
What I wanted to give you a glimpse of is what is being planned for next year, 2019.
Far from just being a repeat of 2018, next year is going to be on a whole new scale, which is why this is just the first of three important announcements. But a significant part of what will happen will be the publication of another set of anthologies to which you will all be invited to submit.
These will include the following working titles:
Blaze: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Flash Fiction Anthology 2019
Tempest: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology 2019
Maelstrom: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Literary Anthology 2019
Portal: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Children’s Anthology 2019
Poetica: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Poetry Anthology 2019
Gleam: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Second Flash Fiction Anthology 2019
Glamour: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Romance Anthology 2019
Paradox: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Crime/Mystery/Thriller Anthology 2019
Lantern: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group Christian Stories Anthology 2019
As I say, these are working titles at the moment. They may change. It’s a distinct possibility that more will be added.
Due dates will be announced in the near future.
Submission guidelines for all of these will be expanded upon based on the experience the last few months, and will be published on the website before too long, but I wanted to give you some idea - and some hope, in fact - of channels for your work which will be opening up soon.
At this writing, many of you may be waiting to hear back on the remaining anthologies for 2018, but rest assured that each one is being worked on as you read this. I now have a small team of experts assisting me in various ways.
I think it would be fair to say that I have provided many of you with opportunities over the last few months which you may not have obtained elsewhere. I know that many of you have written to me saying that what Clarendon House has given you has been not only the chance to get published but a tremendous boost in confidence and self-esteem as writers. I hope to continue to do this in the following months - and much more.
And there are other announcements coming too - announcements which will throw the doors open even wider in terms of submission opportunities for you and which will expand significantly upon the ways in which you will be able to make money from your writing.
There is also something coming which will help you get organised as writers - because I suspect that many of you might be thinking right now something like ‘Oh my goodness, all these chances for me to get work published! I need help getting my writing done! I need assistance getting stories finished, getting time to write them, getting confidence that I can write in all these different genres…!’
That help is very much on its way.
All you have to do is keep in creating, and be patient.
Bookmark the website.
Join the Inner Circle Writers' Group on Facebook and on MeWe if you haven't already.
Feel free to write to me if you have any questions.
And stay tuned for the other huge announcements that are intended to make your life easier and more pleasurable as a writer in the near and far future.