First: Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day! We hope everyone is wandering around clad in historically inaccurate garb while annoying friends and strangers with random, bizarre words that never existed except in Hollywood’s imagination.
If you don’t convince everyone your marbles left the planet some time ago, you’re doing it wrong. (Need help with fake-pirate lingo? Visit the handy-dandy English-to-Pirate dictionary.)
Now on to the legitimate stuff.
|Nice segue, huh?|
Since then, anthologies seem to have cropped up everywhere, and the trend appears to be gaining speed. PRP won’t lay claim to revitalizing a form once eschewed by the publishing industry, but we like to believe we’ve played a small role in reinvigorating the anthology as a medium offering significant benefits to both authors and readers.
For readers, short story collections represent an opportunity not only to find bite-sized pieces from their favorite scribes, but also to encounter work by writers with whom they’re unfamiliar. Often, one or two of the unfamiliar voices become new favorites. Most short stories can be digested in a single sitting, which makes anthologies perfect for slipping into a fantasy when time is limited.
A warning probably should be mentioned here. Anthologies and bags of potato chips share a common trait: Open either, and you’re liable to munch through the whole package before you realize what you've done.
At least with an anthology, you don’t need to feel guilty about overindulging.
Most authors develop a love-hate relationship with short stories. Not every author wants to or can write short. Those who embrace the format enjoy producing a complete, satisfying tale in weeks instead of hiding out in a dingy garret for the months or years novel writing requires. At the same time, it’s enormously challenging to create a complete, satisfying tale in very few words.
Writing short stories and novellas teaches authors a) to get to the point, and b) the true definition of “kill your darlings.” Characters acting up? Lynch the weasels. Plot bunnies hopping out of hats uninvited? Poisoned carrots work wonders. Extra words and phrases creeping in from nowhere? Send them on a scouting expedition with Custer.
All of that sounds very cruel, but trust me: In a last-man-standing situation, anyone or anything that gets in the way is just begging for the use of deadly force.
Now that I’ve gone all the way around the frying pan to get to the handle, let me accomplish what I set out to do with this post:
The submission deadline for Prairie Rose Publications’ two 2014 Christmas anthologies is Oct. 12.
If you have a Christmas story rambling around in your head, now’s the time to put it on digital paper and email the completed manuscript (attached as a Microsoft Word document) along with a query letter (in the body of the email) to Cheryl Pierson at email@example.com. Put the name of the anthology for which you are submitting in the email’s subject line.
Present for a CowboyGot a sweet/sensual holiday romance about a present for a special cowboy? That’s what we’re looking for to fill Present for a Cowboy. The present could be a material gift—or a gift of the heart. Put a hunky cowboy and a feisty heroine together during the holidays and see what you can come up with—but don’t forget that special gift!
When Christmas comes along and cold weather sets in, a cozy cabin, a warm fire, and some time alone together can heat up the Texas frontier. Turn your imagination loose and see what you come up with—but remember, it’s got to happen in Texas, where everything is bigger, better, and wilder! (No erotica, please.)