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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 U-turns.

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 and Schuster!

Here’s how I increased the odds in my favor, and how you can too!

7 Secrets to Success:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Strike a chord of emotion. Make the reader laugh, cry, or empathize and you’re half way there.
  4. Take an uncommon approach to common issues. Popular themes include marriage, parenting, work woes, overcoming obstacles, dealing with death, being overweight and aging.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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

Other articles by Jennifer Brown Banks :

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