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  1. It's Thanksgiving week in the USA, so we thought a perfect way to kick off the week would be to thank our Anthology Team for their hard work throughout the year! There is a lot of work that goes into producing the GA anthologies, from the behind-the-scenes technical support from @Myr, banner creation and general support from @Cia and @wildone, and the unsung heroes of the anthology - the Proof Team! The Proof Team works diligently to ensure anthology stories meet site standards and basic editing requirements. Proofreading stories takes time and skill, which the team members volunteer to share, sometimes without thanks. So, I am officially thanking them for their efforts and letting them know how much they are appreciated! @rec @Parker Owens As a small token of our gratitude, all Anthology Team members will receive the following badge on their profile:
  2. This anthology is a collection from a writers workshop in East London. As such is has been designed to showcase the writing coming out of this workshop, and so is a very mixed anthology. This isn’t just a collection of short stories only, or just poetry or only essays. This collection contains many different styles of writing. There are short stories here, but also poetry, essays and even drabbles (100 word stories). The strength here is this collection’s variety. If you don’t want to read poetry or an essay, then the next piece is something different. And there is a lot of variety here, there’s twenty-eight different pieces of writing in this collection. There are certainly highlights here. Belgin Durmush’s short story is a surreal satire on dysfunctional committees, while George Tsappis’s story finds the humanity in less than a glorious time for the British occupiers of 1940’s Cyprus. The poems here span many different styles. Frank Crocker’s poems are pithy and humorous, revolving around one subject or another. George Fuller’s poems paint lyrical pictures of different events and places. Dharma Paul’s poems engage the mind and emotions. But the standout poems here are Deborah Collins’s, both lyrically and memorably, captures the strange and disjointed world of East London during lockdown. And there are Paul Butler’s drabbles. He uses 100 words to tell his concise and sharply funny stories. This anthology is full of different and new writing, it is a chance to find some new authors from East London, and is read that can be dipped in and out of, or read in one or two sittings. Find something original here. Find it here on Amazon
  3. It's time for our next batch of stories for this year's anthology! Thanks to all who have read, commented, and reviewed our first releases. Let's show these authors our same support! Now start reading
  4. Ruth Rendell was known for her dark psychological thrillers, but she also wrote many short stories, throughout her career. This was her first collection of them, many of which had been previously published in different magazines. At her best, she always had a feel and understanding for character, especially people caught up in events greater than themselves. Here are several short stories that showcase that ability. She captures characters both on the edge of society and those who are bastions of it. These are also the best stories here, were Rendell writes about a character caught up in a situation, with tragic ends. Rendell uses the twist-in-the-tale format for some of these stories, unfortunately it only sometimes works, other times the twist is so obvious that it is a wonder she completed the story. This collection was originally published in 1976, with the stories all written before then, and many of the attitudes in these stories haven’t aged well. Attitudes to mental illness, child abduction and sexism depicted here do creek with age. The pleasure of this collection, though, is in Rendall’s understanding of character, and at its best it is fascinating. Find it here on Amazon
  5. My short story, Even a Monkey Can Fall from a Tree, can be read in this, new anthology, Showtime 2023, but there’s more to it than just that. Every year, Newham Writers Workshop publishes an anthology of its members work, and I’m member of them and this is the fourth anthology I’ve had work published in. But I’m also now part of the editorial team that published it. I had the easy job. My fellow writers, Belgin and Paula, had the hardest task. They proofread and edited all the submissions and they did a wonderful job of it. They captured those annoying repetitions, corrected those silly spelling mistakes we all make and helped the writer to clarify what they were writing. Editing is not my strong point and I’m so grateful for those who can do it well. My role was the formatting of the manuscript, uploading it to Amazon and promoting it online (Which this blog is the first stage of). I had to format it into eBook and paper back book formats. This wasn’t too difficult, except the writer who had their work in a strange format and screwed half the book’s formatting (!!). Martin, my partner, helped me with the cover. The cover picture is Alphabetti Spaghetti by Alex Chinneck. This is a series of sculptures, of post boxes tied into a knot, placed across the country. There is one just down the road from us, its also a piece of public art in the London borough of Newham, which is a theme we kind of fell into for our cover illustrations. The anthology is a showcase of our members work, hence the name, and it contains so much good writing, a chance I got to experience formatting it, and that writing is so varied. There is poetry, short stories, memoirs and a memorial essay. A lot of current poetry I find dense and difficult to understand, but I’m happy that I can’t say that for my fellow writers here. Many of the poems here are lyrical, painting wonderful images with their words, others use words to take an aim at their subjects. Beautiful-Words by Deborah Collins, Noise by Paul Butler, The Tankard’s Mahogany Bar by George Fuller and Resignation by Catherine Daniels are all fine examples of the poetry here. There is a richness of prose here too, and on such a diverse range of subjects, challenging subjects, not simply cosy and safe. Ros Allison gives us another short story about female friendship. Sarah Winslow, Nicola Catton, Dharma Paul and Belgin Durmush all have written short stories that use fantasy themes, ranging from light and whimsical, to dark and memorable. These stories include meeting your hero, strange events in a coffee shop, through meeting yourself and a very dark story about a house that suddenly appears on a hill. My own story, Even a Monkey Can Fall from a Tree, is about a young man who catches Monkey pox (Mpox). Through this infection he finds himself on the receiving end of a world of judgment and homophobia. The inspiration came from reading about different men’s experiences during the outbreak of Monkey Pox in the summer of 2022. As I read their experiences, I felt such an echo of the homophobia circling around HIV in the 1980s & 1990s. It was disturbing to hear all that homophobia resurfacing again. It shouted out to me to write about it, to explore the cost of it. There is also non-fiction in this anthology, personal essays that draw on universal experiences. Dave Chambers’s essay, Uncle Bob, is about how he moved away from and then left the Catholic Church through his relationship with his uncle. Frank Crocker’s essay is about loss, first experienced as a child and then much later as an adult. The last piece in the anthology is also one of the most poignant pieces here. It is a memorial essay about our former treasurer, Margaret Griffith. Margaret died suddenly and unexpectantly in August 2022. Her death had surprised and shocked us all, she had been our longest serving member. This essay, drawn from the eulogies at her funeral, is a way of us remembering such a prominent member of our workshop. This anthology is a showcase of the work coming out of our writers workshop, the original and different voices producing work in East London. You can get a copy of it here. Happy reading Drew
  6. Sorry all, I know that we missed out on the February discussion day for the current anthology. Before we get started, a quick reminder that the deadline to get your votes in for the April Fool's Short Story Contest is 2:00 PM EST TODAY. The themes for the Spring anthology are Jagged Edges and Unintended Consequences and the deadline to get your story to the Anthology Proof Team is April 30th. So, let's get this discussion started! Feel free to answer any of the questions, all of the questions, and/or ask your own! Are you planning on participating in the 2017 Spring Anthology? Which of the two themes are you thinking about using? Have you started writing your anthology? If so, how far along are you? If you haven't already started, do you have an idea of what you want to write? Do you have your anthology planned out? Do you work from an outline or just write as you go? If you've already started, would you like to share anything about your story? If you've already submitted your story, are you planning a second story?
  7. Many of you will probably know that outside of my writing here and the small pile of pseudo-educational jobs I do, I'm also a political activist and one-time candidate. This is not a blog post to go on and on about my politics, but simply to set the context for everything else. Five years ago I helped pass an anti-homophobia and anti-transphobia school board policy, and since then I've had the distinct pleasure of watching people become less worried about anti-LGBTQ discrimination in my hometown's schools. Since then, other school board and countries have moved towards greater legal acceptance of LGBTQ rights and freedoms, but many youth still feel like they can't come out for fear of or familial rejection. I'm working with some of my activist friends in the real world to help create an anthology, based on the Chicken Soup books, that would showcase the lived experiences of ordinary LGBTQ people coming out in all aspects of their lives and showing that things do get better. I'm looking to eventually have 101 stories, just like the series I'm using as my template, and different sections where the stories could be found, such as coming out to parents, to siblings, at work, to friends and a few other sections that could possibly make sense. I'm the first to admit that my circle of friends is not terribly diverse, and that we also come from very similar backgrounds as activists (which I fully admit are not the same as normal humans. Our lives are much less joyful.) which may not resonate with everyone else. I'd be honoured to have people submit their stories, or if this is something the community wants to do together and publish, we can find a way to make that happen. I want this to happen, so it will happen; I'd like it to happen with the people I've met here, all the writers and the people who know how to spin a good yarn and help potentially use our writing gifts to help out kids. Thanks for reading, and hopefully thanks for your support.
  8. I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the polls I posted last week about the number of themes and anthologies for next year. There was some interesting discussion, and I will be taking a close look at all the comments and the poll results this weekend and will open up further discussion in next week's anthology blog. This week, we have a guest blog post written by @CassieQ about her take on writing for themes. She's given us some great food for thought when it comes to writing for anthologies. So, you’re thinking about writing for the anthology. Awesome. They are a lot of fun, a great way to expand your skills and garner new readers. Go for it. The problem? The themes. I get it. Sometimes the themes are awesome and resonate with you and you can’t wait to get words on paper. Sometimes, they just don’t. That’s what I’m going to talk about. First point, please remember the anthologies are inclusive and not exclusive. If your story only kinda matches the theme, it’s fine. It doesn’t have to be a literal interpretation, unless that is what you like, in which case, go for it. You do you. Every year, we vote on themes, and every year, I look at them, sigh and think I can’t write for those. 18 anthologies later, here I am. Before I get into the brainstorming section of this, I want to note that these methods work for me when trying to come up with story ideas, and that they may not work for everyone, and there are many different ways to come up with ideas. Furthermore, I am very much a pantser when it comes to writing and abhor planning of any kind. Therefore, I would love to hear from other people about their brainstorming methods, and especially from plotters. So, you have the themes in front of you and you’re not crazy about them. First, decide between the two themes. You may not like either one of them, but there is usually one that is worse than the other. Get rid of that guy. (Unless you want to write for both, in which case, go for it. If you know a way to do so without feeling like your brain is melting, hit me up). Okay. So you have a “meh” kind of theme. I have 2 methods for coming up with ideas. The one I use the most often is the less exciting. I just toss it the in back of my mind and let it marinate there for a while. Think about it absently when doing other things…showering, driving, walking the dog, pretending to listen to your boss/teacher, stuff like that. After a few days, I’ll usually get an idea about a scene or character that I can start building from. You can outline from there, if you are an outliner, which I am not, so it’s usually just a messy jumble for me, but it’s something I can work with. I like that method because I’m lazy and it’s easy. There are some things I like to be hard, but this isn’t one of them. (Yes, I 100% meant that the way it sounded). If that method doesn’t work, then I go for the mind map. (I don’t know if my method is genuine mind map, but it looks close enough for me). So, I am going to describe the methods I used for coming up with an idea for a themed contest using a mind map. I busted out a large sheet of paper and some markers because it’s more fun that way. The theme was “Summer”, so I wrote that in the middle. I already knew I was going to look at summer vacation themes, so I wrote that down too. Then I drew fours lines branching off from the main theme, like the spokes of a wheel and labeled them. The labels were “camping” “road trip” “beach” and “meeting a summer fling”, all things that can happen during the summer. The camping idea died first. I’m not a fan of camping, nor of writing about it. Nothing wrong with camping, I’m sure it’s fun for some people, I am just not one of them. The “road trip” idea spun into an idea about fixing a troubled relationship and then into four more spokes about what might cause a troubled relationship. It was an interesting concept to explore but didn’t really excite me. That left “meeting a summer fling” and “beach”. I elaborated on both of them. The “beach” idea had another spoke that lead to “friendship into lovers”, then two more off from that idea: “near drowning” and “drunken escapades”. Sounds like fun. The “summer fling” idea had two lines branching off, one reading “fall in love” and another reading “solve a mystery?” (I guess I had reservations about it). From the “solve a mystery?” idea was another line, leading to an idea about a light house mystery. I ended up going with the lighthouse mystery as my main idea, but I liked the ones from the beach idea so much that I ended up including those (with the exception of drunken escapades, as my characters were teenagers). Those ideas developed into a novella called Geist, which is up in the Premium section. I used this a lot when I was staring out, but not often now. I typically utilize it when I am struggling to come up with idea. It’s fun, though, because it often yields ideas I wasn’t otherwise considering. At this point, some writers could start planning or outlining. If you’re me, it’s throwing words at the paper and hoping they make sense. So, if someone is struggling with the themes, I hope this helps you out. If not, then I just spent 20 minutes typing to myself, which is fun too. Also, please let me know your methods of brainstorming in the comments, I would love to hear from other writers!
  9. Wowsers, did you see the numbers of stories and comments posted in September? I bet a lot of that had to do with all the great stories posted by our Anniversary anthology authors, and all the amazing readers who took the time to read, react, and comment. So thank you to everyone! If you missed a story, or you just want a single shop stop to find links to every story in the Anthology, this Wrap Up is for you. to 2022 Anniversary Anthology Team for all their hard work making things happen this year!! Anthology Coordinator Valkyrie Tech Support Myr Cia Proof Team Rec Parker Owens Cia Anthology Banner Creation Cia
  10. Well, here it is, the last week of GA's Anniversary month and the last of our anthology entries. We've had some amazing entries, but we have more for you to read! Keep up the energy and don't forget to like, comment, and review these stories. We'll feature all the stories next week in one place for readers in case you missed one or you want to save the list to go back to your favorites! Authors, keep your eye on the Anthology Club soon for a chance to share your feedback on this year's anthology, your thoughts for next year's anthology(ies), and start thinking themes!! 😲 Happy Anniversary Reading!
  11. Who's ready for week 3 of the Anniversary Anthology story releases? Last week we celebrated GA's 20th Anniversary, and we're not done yet! We've had 2 weeks of great stories, and we have 2 more to go! It's been awesome to see the participation from our readers and authors, so thank you to everyone! I hope you will all continue to enjoy the stories shared by our great authors on the theme of "Anniversary".
  12. Welcome back to Week 2 of our special 2022 Anthology themed Anniversary! Thank you to all the authors who shared stories for us to post last week and all the readers who took the time to read, like, comment, and review. Of course we're back with even more variety for you to enjoy. Keep up the enthusiasm and show your appreciation for these takes on the theme of Anniversary!
  13. Well, on this 20th anniversary year of GA we wanted to get at least 20 Anniversary-themed stories to feature for our 2022 Anthology, and our authors pulled through and then some! We have short stories, long stories, poetry, and exploratory fiction. This month of September (which just so happens to my anniversary month on GA & in real life!) we have stories that will go live every single Thursday for readers to enjoy. Make sure you check here for links to each one! Enjoy these Anniversaries!
  14. Well my vacation draws to an end and I realize I got a lot but not everything I wanted done. However I did get to relax and didn't over do anything. I also got to enjoy the fair this year so really not a bad vacation at all. I have finished up one and half of the last three chapters of Accidents Happen. Tomorrow after one more look over I will send it to my editor and beta. That in and of itself is major for me. I have begun work on my next major story, the expansion of my summer Anthology piece. It will be out sometime next month and I'm titling it The Strange Life of Jonas Mark. I have a new person working with me on this and it has me really excited. So far my winter anthology piece has been thrown out three times. I have begun three different stories and just hit the point where I didn't like it and wouldn't finish it. So going to have to do some thinking and see what comes up again. You wouldn't think working off the idea of an aftermath would be hard. Sigh. Anyway, I'm sitting here typing this up on my phone. My power went out a half hour ago as I was about to go downstairs and put up my laundry. Guess I am getting up early in the morning now to do that. Anyway have a good one all.
  15. Who's ready for Week 2 of the Anthology postings? Some more great authors and stories this week, so be sure to check them all out! Thank you to all the authors and their teams for participating in the fall anthology! All stories posted are complete, so don't forget to leave the authors a story review after reading their offerings! Happy Reading!!!
  16. Upcoming Anthology Due: October 31st, 2021 Top Themes A Winding Path An Unconventional Gift Pot Luck Themes Pick Your Poison - Lockdown - Left Behind - Dire Monotony - Mutation is Progress - Blood Moon Birthday Presents - Falling for Fall - Elves or Elvis? - Life’s Past - The Woods Rings of Fire - Plateau Wolves - Rock - Men and Women - A Legend Retold Echoes - The Last Sentinel - Tomorrow - A Label - Surpassing - Twilight Falling There's your list of themes! You can check out the full list of rules and guidelines here:
  17. One of the common refrains that we hear from new authors on Gay Authors is that we are a bit cliquey here and that it is harder to get established. That's true to some extent. We have authors that have been here from the beginning and are still going strong, such as @Comicality and @Bill W. Reading is a leisure activity and for many people you have to overcome the familiarity bias. I would rather reread a story I know I enjoy than roll the dice on a new author in my natural state. It is only in those times that I purposely choose to expand my horizon by trying out new things, that I overcome that internal inertia. When those times swing around, checking out a well written short story is a great low cost (in time) commitment to trying something new. And at Gay Authors, the Anthologies are a great opportunity to put yourself out there as an author. We post and promote the anthologies heavily and readers take the gamble and check out new authors then. We started to have a theme anthology (at least one) in 2004. So we have 18 years worth of short-story anthologies in the archive for a total of 781 stories! https://gayauthors.org/stories/browse/category/109-fiction-gay-authors-anthologies/ We are having another anthology this year that is due September 1, 2022. The theme this year is "Anniversary" to celebrate Gay Author's 20th birthday. the full details are in the Anthology Forum of the Writer's Circle: So, jump in! Write an anthology entry this year with your take on Anniversary. Try a genre you don't usually try. Stretch your skills. We'll be promoting all the entries, so, it's you chance to be seen. Will we be seeing your entry? Click that link above for full details!
  18. Anthologies can be interesting reads and, in the past, have introduced me to writers I might not have found in other ways. If it’s by one author then it can be an interesting introduction to an author’s work or else it is a way to see how an author handles writing short stories, which are different form from novel writing. If it’s an anthology of different writers then there is a chance to discover new authors. Unfortunately, this anthology did not provide any of this. I found this anthology so frustrating because none of the stories developed any of their themes. None of the stories had any character development or even led anywhere. After finishing each story, I was left with the feeling, “Was that it?” None reached any sort of resolution. Now, short stories are not novels, I don’t expect complete character story arcs or resolution of big themes, but they are stories and stories do need to take the reader somewhere. All the stories here left me feeling frustrated because they didn’t go anywhere. Some of the stories had an interesting premise but did not follow through on that premise, ending too soon or just not exploring that premise. One story, which illustrates my frustration with this anthology, was about two work colleagues sharing a car to a team-building event. They bought coffees; they argued over what music to play in the car; the car got a flat tyre; they waited for the breakdown van to arrive; they restarted their journey and it started to rain, but they didn’t reach their team-building event. The characters didn’t share anything, they didn’t get to know each other, they didn’t contact in any way; they were just the same at the beginning as they were at the end of the story, nothing had changed or been challenged. What was the point of this story? It was just a catalogue of their morning. For an anthology to have one story as frustrating and pointless as this is one thing, but to have a whole collection of stories like that is another thing. It had to be a conscious decision by the editor, but why would someone collect together a group of stories that all left the reader feeling so disappointed? I don’t know. My advice is not to waste your time with this anthology, I wish I hadn’t. Find it here on Amazon
  19. Okay, so approximately two and half months ago my part of the world shut down. Public transport became empty, restaurants shut down, doctor offices closed, and life as we knew it came to a standstill. My job also closed but I was lucky, the pay kept rolling in. Then a month and a half in the company furloughed all part-timers and 20% of the full timers. However, once again I was lucky and the pay keeps coming in. They decided last week to reopen. We are paid for 36 hours and any hours we actually work we get an addition $2 an hour for. I am not complaining. After three years of health issues, I have been blessed not to catch this. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean everything has been great. Back in November my dad began to complain about his sense of smell. He was going to see his doctor and a lung specialist. He had been put on a nebulizer and figure that might be the issue. February rolls around and he heads to see the vein doctor and again is having issues and mentions it. The vein doctor suggests dad go see a nose, throat, and ear specialist. Enter Covid 19 and the close down. The second to last week of May, dad wakes me at one am. He is in deep pain, in his eyes. I call his eye doctor, who calls back before two am and has us meet her at her office. She states dad has an infection in his eyes, prescribes meds, is grateful that we listened and didn't take a chance to expose dad to covid by going to the hospital. Woman is a saint of a doctor. We feel things are looking up. The last week of May he finally gets to see the doctor for the nose. He finds my dad's nose has a lot of growths and has basically sealed the left nostril and part of the right. He doesn't do that surgery any more. He sends Dad for tests and an associate who works 30 minutes away, towards the city. The second Doctor sees the growths but also believes he spots a tumor and wants us to see a brain surgeon and go for better testing. The test was last Wednesday. There is a tumor growing behind the nasal passage, warping the bone between the nasal passage and the eye socket. However the brain surgeon is in Great Neck, minutes from NYC and has my dad panicked. He wrote the first doctor back begging him to do the surgery. He stated he doesn't handle that. He agreed to find him another doctor to handle the growths, not the tumor, and he is going to have them removed this Thursday. He wants to cancel the consultation with the brain surgeon on Friday. Meanwhile I am now stressed out, eating things I should not, and trying hard to just keep myself going. I was lucky to have two beautiful people help with a story I'd written for the Anthology but never managed to get fixed in time. I'll get it up when I can. Just didn't want things to crash and burn but they did. Wish me luck. At 81 my Dad is stubborn and a trip into NYC probably isn't going to happen.
  20. Just a reminder to authors... you have until Nov 15 to submit your Fall 2019 Anthologies! For this month, we will be doing 3 weeks of of Winter 2013 Anthologies. "Recipe for Disaster"
  21. October is upon us and it is time for another month of Flashbacks! But first, authors, please make sure you are working on the anthologies due November 15th! (see above) Without further ado, here is October 2019's Anthology Flashback. We are going back to Fall of 2014 with the them of Scars!
  22. We are bringing back our Anthology Thursday features! Each month, we'll do a flashback to a previous Anthology. During that month, we'll feature each of the stories from that theme. This month, we're jumping back to the Fall of 2013 and the theme of Pandora's Box. The final set of 5 stories:
  23. We are bringing back our Anthology Thursday features! Each month, we'll do a flashback to a previous Anthology. During that month, we'll feature each of the stories from that theme. This month, we're jumping back to the Fall of 2013 and the theme of Pandora's Box. The third set of 5 stories:
  24. We are bringing back our Anthology Thursday features! Each month, we'll do a flashback to a previous Anthology. During that month, we'll feature each of the stories from that theme. This month, we're jumping back to the Fall of 2013 and the theme of Pandora's Box. The second 5 stories:
  25. We are bringing back our Anthology Thursday features! Each month, we'll do a flashback to a previous Anthology. During that month, we'll feature each of the stories from that theme. This month, we're jumping back to the Fall of 2013 and the theme of Pandora's Box. The first 5 stories: Please help us out by reading and reviewing these stories.
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