Anthology Update and Advice for Writers

What is currently happening with the Fifteen Minute Anthology, and some advice for writers
Posted by Douglas, Apr 20, 2008

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Anthology Update and Advice for Writers

Posted by Douglas, Apr 20, 2008
This post was written in 15 minutes.

What Has Happened So Far

As many of you know, the editors have been hard at work in the last month reviewing some of the more popular pieces of writing on the site for possible inclusion in the 2007 Anthology. At this point, we have tentatively approved 90 pieces of writing for the anthology.

If you haven't checked your anthology page (which you can find by clicking "My Page" and then "Anthology"), you should check there now, because it's possible there are some stories or poems you have written listed on that page. If you find something there, click on it to find out what steps you need to take.

If you don't find anything there, that doesn't mean you can't have any writing appear in this year's anthology.

What Happens Next

At this time, we are inviting all authors to look through their items written before March 10, 2008, and select up to three of your items (not including any that have already been selected by the editors) for us to review for possible inclusion in the anthology.

When you have selected the pieces you want us to look at, please post a message to my profile page listing by title the pieces you want us to look at. I'll send you a return notice to verify that I got your request, and your writing will be queued for the editors to review. Please do this by May 1st!

I'd like to give you some advice on choosing pieces for us to look at.

1. You can choose your favorites, but it might be wise to consider which of your writings others liked. Looking at your full list of writings by popularity might help with that.

2. At this point, shorter stories and poems are more likely to get into the anthology than long ones. In particular, if you have items like Haiku and Fibonacci poems, those are nice because they can be used to fill gaps at the bottom of pages.

3. From the beginning of the review process, I've asked the editors to be very hard on poetry, and especially two kinds. The first is love poems. In general, a love poem is of interest to only the person who wrote it and the person who it is written to, unless it is is exceptionally well written.

4. The second kind is religious poetry. Bear in mind that the anthology is not designed to be a "religious anthology" - although it already includes several stories and poems with religious themes. We have selected what we consider to be the "cream of the crop" of religious poetry - poetry which is written with such creativity that it would be of interest even to people who are not "religious."

This does not mean that long stories, religious poems, and love poems won't make the cut. But if you have a choice between a short story and a long one, and you like them equally well, submit the short one. Similarly, if you have a poem which is a love poem, and one which is not, unless you're convinced that the love poem is the better-written piece, opt for the other.

Advice For Writers

If, in the end, you don't get anything published in this year's anthology, don't get discouraged! There is always next year. And those who write regularly get better and better all the time. I would strongly encourage you to write the writing prompt or some other piece of writing every week.

Don't feel that you have to write long pieces - sometimes a very short piece is the very best, because a short piece lets you focus careful attention on every word you write. And, if you're thinking ahead to next year, don't forget that a well written short piece is far more likely to make the anthology cut than a moderately good long piece.

If you don't have time to write a lot, still write something! Here's an example of a very short piece I wrote this afternoon: Mixing Paint


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Posted by Douglas, Apr 20, 2008

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