An anthology is a collection of stories that usually adhere to a specific theme. Depending on the anthology, it could be genre-focused or free-range. Anthologies can be silly or strange or specific to a particular niche group. They can help you expand your horizons and have a good time doing it. I highly suggest everyone try at least one.
To put it plainly, anthologies sometimes have more flexibility with their plot and theme, which makes them fun, especially since they’re bitesizeable.
Anthologies can have one author or multiple. It really depends on what the collection of stories is going for. If you’re just starting out, I suggest working with multiple authors as this will make marketing easier and help you create a name for yourself because, hopefully, the anthology you’re part of has a few authors who are either established in the writing community or know how to market themselves, and thus can (hopefully) teach you, which is the best part about an anthology. To be an author means you need to learn to market yourself and it is so much easier to market yourself if you’re getting help.
The idea of an anthology with multiple authors is that, in a perfect world, readers pick up an anthology on the bookshelf (especially if there’s a familiar name on it), and then they’ll read all the stories, and fall in love with some new authors along the way. That’s why I highly suggest working in a multi-author anthology. It just makes things easier. But, of course, I said in a perfect world. Not every reader will digest every story, but there’s a chance they will, and that’s the chance you have to go on.
There are quite a few well-known authors who started out in anthologies. They took that step to success, and you can too. It may take a few times to get your writing voice down or to get accepted into a publication, but you just have to try because that’s what life is all about, right?
So, how do you publish in an anthology? Well, simply, write. Write a genre or topic that’s easily molded to several stories. Check submission guidelines, and submit both locally and internationally. There are hundreds of anthologies and collected works asking for submissions. If you don’t know where to go, check out social media groups, writing groups, and more. There are tons if you look.
Elizabeth Suggs is a writer, an editor, and a leader in the writing community. She obsessively writes each morning, lunch, and evening. When she’s not writing, she’s leading a group of writers through bi-weekly workshops on feedback and focused writing. She believes these meetings help writers understand themselves in the world and better prepare them for major publishers.
She will be published in three anthologies, two horrors, and this anthology, a podcast, as well as a poetry journal this year. She also helped an author publish his children’s book.
Outside of writing, Elizabeth devours literature through reading or listening. She tries any genre once, but she especially loves classics, horror, sci-fi, and psychology texts. Sometimes she even listens to audiobooks while playing games because she can stay productive that way.
She used to be a journalist, so many of her publications are nonfiction hard news and events, but she hopes to break the pattern and publish works of art in fiction and poetry, just like the authors she loves reading.
If you’d like to connect with her, please find her on Twitter