What’s all the hype around Anthologies

Kavitha Yarlagadda
4 min readSep 28, 2020

Being a writer I can understand when new writers are anxious to see and call themselves a published author, whether it’s a blog, a poem, an article or being part of an anthology. Maybe it’s the eagerness of writers to calling themselves as published authors that has seen a slew of ‘Call for Anthologies’. While early on even I was caught up in the eagerness to being called an author, but now after my experiences I tread carefully.

Writing is a creative tool which has the power to inspire, enlighten and entertain readers, a writer sits for long hours and writes for the passion and love towards writing, at the same time it is extremely time consuming and stressful to be a writer. For others it may seem that a writer’s job is easy and that they make a lot of money, but it is the other way around and writers make very measly amounts in spite of all the hard work they put in. So as a writer it’s our duty to see that our writings are valued and given the right amount of respect they deserve, I realized this the hard way.

So you all might be wondering what all this is about? So this is about the call for anthologies which I earlier mentioned, and this is what every writer’s timelines are flooded with. One word of caution though, to all the writers who experience a thrill on seeing such posts. Before entering into any anthology, please make sure you read all the guidelines and ensure that the writers have the copyright to their writings.

There are different types of anthologies which I further want to explain about.

Don’t Even Go Near Them

The first type of anthology seekers who I want to caution writers about staying away as far as possible from, are those asking for a fee to submit their short stories, poems (even if it’s only three line Haiku’s) and any fiction stories. And after paying the fee also, it’s not a guarantee that your writing will be published, these platforms select a few maybe fifty or hundred from the hundreds of entries received. We have to pay while registering and you’ll only know at a later point of time if your entry is selected or not. So we end up paying, in return for nothing, so please stay away from such platforms who are fleecing us of our money and give out cash prizes only for the first three places, eBooks and E-certificates for those selected to be published. There is no transparency about the book sales or anything for that matter, (I had learnt from experience after facing such a situation from a popular publisher who is well known for publishing anthologies) STAY AWAY from such publishers.

Go Ahead If you’re desperate to Publish

The second type of publishers are those who charge money for publishing our writings but confirm a place for our story in the anthology. They usually provide all the published authors with a certificate and the soft copy of the eBook and depending on the fee some may even give the writers a hard copy.

Publishers to Consider

Consider publishers who take submissions free of cost for an Anthology of short stories or poems and publish the eBook on Amazon. Mostly when the submission is free of cost the writers have to buy their own copy from the portal. The benefit to authors in this type of setup will be that they need not spend any money and they will be published authors. This is useful for newbie authors to get their name out there in the market and build their profile. This used to excite me earlier, but no longer, unless the publisher or the literary magazine is a popular name and looks great on my profile.

The most credible and the best anthologies which any aspiring writer trying to create a name for themselves may consider, are those which are free to enter and even pay the writers a royalty depending on the sale of books. These are the type of anthologies which currently catch my eye and not the regular run of the mill type, while I might still write for free if the publishing group means something to me. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the transparency of the publisher and the book sales and ensure that you own the copyright of your story.

So friends please tread carefully and avoid any paid anthologies who’s main intention is to make money from others creativity. Value your writings and share them with people or platforms who equally value them as they would do theirs.

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