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  • LV Ditchkus

Why contribute to an anthology?

First off, what is an anthology? An anthology is a published collection of short stories or poems. It can be written by different authors or one author. Many are developed around a central theme—like Gothic horror short stories or poems about trees.

Chances are extremely good you’ll never get rich from having your short story in an anthology. But if you’re a new author, an anthology may be your ticket to publishing credits. You might also leverage your published short story for contests or use it as a lead magnet for your website. For those of you new to marketing lingo, a lead magnet is an enticement to attract potential buyers in exchange for their contact information. For example, an author gives away a short story in PDF format if someone agrees to sign up for her or his mailing list.

If you’re creating an anthology with an unsponsored group of authors (i.e., without an official editor), you’ll have other benefits. You may learn new techniques from the other contributors’ writing styles or hone your craft from editing advice given about your story. You’ll also hear about:

  • how to put together a captivating cover

  • chapter, text, and font format options

  • how to write an introduction, acknowledgments, and back cover text

  • publication legal aspects, like ISBNs, Library of Congress control numbers, and copyright

What’s the downside? The only negative aspect I can think of is—you’ll have to take the time away from writing your novel to craft a killer short story. But I think it’s worth the experience.

My short story “The Formidable Search for Seed” is a prequel for my next series, Chrom Y Chronicles and will appear in First Encounters—an anthology published by the Speculative Fiction Writers Group. To be released Fall 2020.

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