So I had this plan, where I was going to let Repressed sit and work on The Journals of Bob Drifter 2nd Edition. I was even going to start revising 1,200, mostly because it has just been sitting in my digital file cabinet for years.
Then I had this idea. That idea was like a hungry 4-year-old. Write me. Write me. Write me now.
That idea hit me two weeks ago, and I typed the words “The End” earlier today.
The story is called “The Worth of Words.” Set in a future version of an alternate (Earth-style) planet. They’ve limited speech so strictly that anyone over the age of 7 must wear a collar similar to those that shock a dog when it barks. People have to pay for the right to speak at all. Excessive gestures and public displays are fined or even punished by death courtesy of the drones that fly around and monitor everything. The main character is a mother, and former monitor (police woman) who has assembled a team to take down the server that controls the entire system. It’s essentially a heist story.
If you were subscribed to my newsletter, you got a secret link to the first 2,000 words or so. (Basically the first chapter). I’d love to know what you thought if you read it.
The next problem that occurred to me was, “What do I do with it?”
Then I did what I always do (and that usually gets me in trouble). I had an idea.
I love anthologies. I’m excited about the Slush Brain anthology, but I want to try my hand at editing one of my own (because I clearly don’t know how to stop loading my metaphorical plate).
So I’m making this announcement:
I’m publishing an anthology. The title: The Power of Words: Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories Inspired by the First Amendment.
Any and all interested authors may submit a short story (20,000 words or less. That 20,000 word limit is hard and fast). It doesn’t matter to me if you’re a NYT best seller or someone who’s never been published. If you’d like to contribute, send me your short story inspired by the First Amendment OR (for those less interested in politically charged themes) the title.
I’ll read the entries and select the seven I like best. My intention (though I’m not 100% on how I’ll execute it) is to offer those seven 12% of the royalties for the digital and online sales as well as 100% of whatever they make selling physical editions. (Meaning if they order the book and sell it at a convention, they just keep what they make). Those who I don’t select can still do whatever they want with their work (I mean, it is there’s after all).
I’ll take care of the publishing, editing (PROOFREADING), and cover cost. I’ll also do an edit personally. Like any edits, they’re recommendations. Each author will retain ultimate say over what they create. Marketing and promotion will be on all the authors (PLEASE don’t rely on me for that stuff…I’m NOT good at it.)
I think those are some pretty fair terms myself. So, if you’re interested, feel free to send me your submissions. I’ll start accepting said submissions Nov. 1, and submissions will close Nov. 30. Please don’t send anything before or after those dates. I already have one book and two shorts to revise. Not to mention the rest of this trilogy I promised I’d have done by 2019.
I love anthologies. I love the First Amendment. I love writing prompts. So the combination of these things just seemed too right to do any other way. I’m honestly scared. I don’t know who will enter or how to pull this off. I’m a man of ambition and action though. I also tend to accomplish whatever I set my mind to. One must take chances. One must try. I hope to get several great stories. I hope to pull my hair out picking JUST seven more. Whatever happens, I already have one story I’m proud of. So, in a way, I’m playing with house money on that front. It’s possible this anthology might not happen. But it could also be great. I’ll keep you all updated though.
Anyone interested in this is still free to comment below, email me or contact me via social media. I’m excited by this project, and I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
Thanks for reading,