Eccentric Orbits is an anthology of speculative poetry by an international cast of poets. It was my pleasure to be the editor of this volume of poetry in 2021 and I hope to return in 2022 to edit another volume of this series. I will be posting calls for poets here on No Wasted Ink, at the SFPA, and via other general anthology submission groups on Facebook. If you write speculative poetry, I hope you will consider submitting your work.
Dimentionfold Publishing is a small press devoted to the support of speculative poetry. You can find a list of the speculative poets who are represented by Dimentionfold at https://dimensionold.com
Fabulous science fiction poetry and scifaiku by a talented international group of poets. There’s robots, there’s aliens, there’s intergalactic war, there’s the eternal quest for peace, and there’s love found and love lost. Underneath all, is the quest, the truth, and the realization of humanity.
Eccentric Orbits 2 is my debut as a poetry anthology editor. I am humbled by the quality and variety of poetry that was submitted for this volume. I am happy to have it available in time for National Poetry Month. The book is available in paperback via Amazon, or via paperback and pdf through the publisher, Dimensionfold Publishing.
For the last five years, I have participated in an anthology of science fiction short stories and poetry created by editor Jude-Marie Green. The writers all used to be part of a science fiction writing critique group in the Los Angeles area. While the critique group has dissolved, Jude-Marie continues to invite us to participate in the anthology. My fellow writers are WOTF award winners, clairon graduates, or people involved in the sciences. I’m honored to be included in the project.
In previous years, Quantum Visions was printed and stapled by hand chapbook style. Each year, the annual would be launched at LosCon in Los Angeles, CA. Many of the attendees look forward to purchasing and having all the authors sign the book at the convention.
I have sold these chapbook issues at various book tables for the last few years. This year, our editor has decided to place the anthology on Amazon, both as an ebook and as a paperback. It looks quite professional and the stories this year are the best we’ve offered to date. At last Quantum Visions is available to all my readers.
This year’s edition features my flash fiction, We Can Rebuild Him, and five of my illustrated scifaiku poems.
Could you, should you, dare you, put together an anthology for your writers’ group?
In this age of Internet and computers, we all know how easy it is to publish online. Just hit “send.” However, putting together an anthology (ebook and/or paper) for your writers’ group may take a bit more effort.
For me, a love of learning led me to take classes from Dean Wesley Smith http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/online-workshops, in how to create a book cover and how to format a book interior. Easy Peasy? Hmmm. Well, there are many You Tubes that teach you how to do formatting and design, so yes, with a little determination and time you can do it.
Although the how to’s is something that almost anyone can do, coming up with material—that’s where having a pool of creative people is vital.
The first anthology I put together was inspired by our local community garden, along with two stories about gardens from writers I knew. I’ve been involved in SF, Fantasy and Horror workshops since the early 90’s, both on-line and in real life and so would read many, many stories a year to give crit. In return I also got my stories reviewed.
Once the idea to put together an anthology came to me, I asked of the writers in my circle if they had any stories about gardens, gardeners or gardening. I pulled together six stories. Not a lot of material, but I was thinking this could be a promotional item. I included excerpts of material from the writers. Six stories transformed into twelve! I’d seen samplers from all sorts of publishing houses.
Besides years of critting, I was an editor for Damnation Press. This rewarding work allowed me to get to know an even larger circle of writers than from my writing groups.
My second anthology was again inspired by events in my life. Cronehood isn’t for the fainthearted. This time I had ten stories to go together. Instead of photoshopping a cover all by myself, I enlisted the work of Dirk Strangely. I have long been a fan of his Tim Burtonesque style, and I figured why not splurge and send some money his way? I’ve used his artwork for four of my covers.
We all know that a cover can make or break a book. Of course, what’s between the covers matters a great deal, but it’s the cover that lures the reader in to crack open the book or read an on-line sample.
Wonderful cover art, great stories, a formatter, and an editor. That’s it. For ebooks, Smashwords is extremely user friendly. Createspace’s customer service is great (though I always fight with them about the spine—that’s for another blog).
I haven’t mentioned publicity, maybe because that’s my least favorite bit. Word of mouth, blog hops, reviews, all of this needs to be done both leading up to release and after publication. Since this is being done not to get rich, but to promote your writing group, that you really need to have group support in getting the word out that your anthology is a must-read among a sea of other self-published works.
Another thing needed is a theme. Most anthologies have one. So far the Hell’s series has focused on gardens, crones, pets, and music. All the stories are more dark fantasy and humor than horror and can appeal to a wide audience.
Recently I was fortunate enough to be co-editor of our local Horror Writers Association’s anthology, New York State of Fright. It’s at its publisher right now and should be out in 2018. I’m very excited to see that work of so many writers who I have known for years and greatly respect. The theme is centered on New York and it is a varied and exciting read!
I hope that this has gotten you thinking about your own writers’ group. Great stories and cover art are the biggest factors. If you have that, then you should consider this as a great project for the new year!
April Grey’s short stories are collected in The Fairy Cake Bakeshop and in I’ll Love You Forever. She is also the author of two urban fantasy novels: Chasing the Trickster and its sequel, St. Nick’s Favor.
She edited the anthologies: Hell’s Bells: Wicked Tunes, Mad Musicians and Cursed Instruments; Hell’s Garden: Mad, Bad and Ghostly Gardeners, Hell’s Grannies: Kickass Tales of the Crone and last year’s, Hell’s Kitties and Other Beastly Beasts.
She and her family live in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC in a building next to a bedeviled garden. Gremlins, sprites or pixies, something mischievous, lurks therein. Someday she’ll find out. Please visit www.aprilgrey.blogspot for her latest news. Follow her on Twitter and FaceBook