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Cashing In On The Anthology Craze
by Jennifer Brown Banks
Everybody’s got a story in them. And if you’d like yours
to get national exposure and gain great perks, you should consider anthologies!
Take a visit to your local bookstore and you’ll be amazed at the
selection and the popularity of these titles.
An anthology is simply a collection of assembled short stories, essays,
or poetry by various artists, usually reflecting a particular theme or
focus. Some of the most popular are Chicken Soup for the Soul,
Chocolate for a Woman’s Heart series, and God Allows
For writers of all levels, anthologies provide promotional opportunities,
pay, and endless networking events. And I should know! I just got notification
a few days ago that my short story submission had been accepted for publication
in an upcoming project. This will be my eighth piece to be chosen, which
includes four that previously appeared in books by industry giant Simon
Here’s how I increased the odds in my favor, and how you can too!
7 Secrets to Success:
- Follow the submission guidelines to the letter! This may seem like
a given, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook this
very obvious criteria and are eliminated early in the game.
- Start with a killer opening. Anthologies are typically very competitive,
and you may only have a matter of minutes in which to pull the editor
in and escape the circular file.
- Strike a chord of emotion. Make the reader laugh, cry, or empathize
and you’re half way there.
- Take an uncommon approach to common issues. Popular themes include
marriage, parenting, work woes, overcoming obstacles, dealing with death,
being overweight and aging.
- Purchase and review a copy of one of the previous volumes of the
series in which you are submitting your work. Observe the style, length,
titles, and topics of stories included.
- Give readers some type of take-away value. What can they learn from
what you’ve shared? How can it improve their lives or enhance
their way of thinking?
- Write tight! Eliminate any unnecessary phrases or long winded explanations.
Avoid typos and awkward sentences.
For the cash conscious, many anthologies can be purchased from local
thrift stores for a buck or less. Libraries are another excellent source
for sample copies.
These are some of the anthology markets seeking submissions:
© Copyright 2006, Jennifer Brown Banks
Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com
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