Writing is a fickle game, played by many, won by few, and it seems, the rules are always changing. It’s challenging enough to make headway in the game, thing like finding an agent, or a publisher, coming to grips with multiple non-acceptance emails, paying submission fees, and more. Still we play the reasons as varied as the players.
Every once in a while an opportunity comes along that calls to stretch our boundaries. When one happens my way, I tend to jump first and worry about landing second: on my feet, head, or hind end, whatever hits first.
When I read about Tulip Tree Publishing’s charity anthology program, I jumped. As co-founder of the Platte Rivers Chapter of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, a local veteran’s support group, my charity of choice was an easy pick. I sent Tulip Tree’s owner Jennifer Top an email and asked, “How do I do this?”
“Easy,” she replied. Create a plan, advertise for submissions, collect stories for your anthology, edit them, we’ll plan out the book, put your name as editor on the cover, and get it published.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a new challenge–as long as I can run far from it if need be. But this, well, I only saw an entrance. I didn’t see an exit. Suddenly I felt like I was in a slasher film running through the woods toward an abandoned cabin. Of course I go inside the darkened room because the door happens to be unlocked. It has to be safe, right?
That’s how The Water Holds No Scars: Fly Fishing Stories of Rivers & Rejuvenation was born. This experience taught me several lessons from the “dark side” of publishing. Okay, so maybe it’s not really the dark side, but to get the opposite view from that off a writer through the process of submissions, acceptances, rejections, contracts, releases, bios, and interviews; let’s say I’m not sure I’m any smarter, but I think I’m a bit wiser and also a bit more sympathetic to all parties involved in putting out a book, magazine, or other creative work of art.
After extending the deadline, I managed to collect enough quality submissions. During the reading/selecting/rejection process I received three of my own non-acceptance letters, so I knew exactly how those writers whose submissions we didn’t accept would feel. Those emails weren’t fun to write at all. A few writers receiving non-acceptance emails took the time to respond, a couple with pleasant words about submitting and the consideration we gave their work. That was a nice surprise and one habit I’m beginning to practice.
It’s a strange feeling to have so much control over a project. Who stays, who goes, suggesting story sequence, deciding on marketing, pricing, photos; everything has been in collaboration with Tulip Tree Publishing. With my name on the cover, I’m as nervous about this release as I was with my first book back in February or 2014. Certainly because I’m not only representing Tulip Tree Publishing and myself, but 15 other writers.
If all goes well, the anthology will be available tomorrow. Today is the last day to pre-order at the sale price. Visit http://www.tuliptreepub.com/waterholdsnoscars.html to save $7.00 off the cover price, but this special ends today. Or, leave a comment below by midnight Mountain Time Tuesday, December 1st, and Patricia will draw one name at random to receive a copy free! (US residents only.) The winner will be announced here on Wednesday.
Thanks Patricia, for having me on your blog today. And Poets, keep an ear to the ground. I’ll be scouting new poets/poetry for an anthology in 2016.