by Jodie Renner, editor, author, and publisher
Do you write short stories or other fiction, especially stories with a young protagonist (6-14 years old)?
Would you like to help reduce child slavery and child labor in Asia?
Could you write a compelling short story with a third-world child as protagonist if you were provided background information?
Would you be willing to donate your story to be included in an anthology for sale, the proceeds of which would go to help rescue kids enslaved as factory workers, working long hours in poor conditions, often without pay?
If so, join us!
I'm organizing a high-quality anthology of well-written short stories loosely based on actual stories of young children freed from forced labor in Asia. 100% of the royalties from this proposed anthology will go to Save the Children, a highly respected charitable organization dedicated to helping needy children around the world. Since I'm an editor and a publisher, this project is well within my area of expertise and my comfort zone.
Who is Jodie Renner and how is she qualified to edit and publish this book?
A former middle-school teacher and school librarian with a master's degree, I'm now a respected editor, publisher, and award-winning author, with two websites, a blog, and a strong social media presence, including over 4,500 Facebook friends. As such, I'm in an excellent position to organize and provide editorial guidance for an professional-looking, high-quality anthology of short stories based on the lives of these unfortunate children. I will of course promote it to all my contacts on social media, locally, and in my email newsletter.
I have edited a lot of short stories and judged short stories for many contests and anthologies, including Writer's Digest, so I will lead the editorial committee, who will make the final choice on which stories will be accepted.
Since I have published five books to date through my publishing company, Cobalt Books, the plan at this point is to hire a professional cover designer to create a high-quality cover, then edit, format, and publish this anthology through Cobalt Books.
For more on me, Jodie Renner, with links to my websites and social media, please scroll to the bottom of this post.
How long should the stories be, and who is the target audience?
At this point, I'm aiming for about 10 to 12 short stories total, average length 2,000 to 3,000 words each, so the anthology would be roughly 20,000 to 36,000 words long in total.
The target readership is young people to adults, aged 11 and up, North Americans, Brits, Australians, and other people in developed countries. School librarians will love it.
As I expect to receive many stories for possible inclusion in this anthology, some submissions may not be accepted, similar to the process for any other reputable short story anthology. Your story will need to be compelling, written in the point of view of a fictional Asian child.
Later, you will need to go over your story several times to make sure it's of a high quality, with no typos, spelling errors, or grammatical errors (except of course in dialogue!). If the story is strong but just needs minor suggestions or a final polish to clean it up, our editorial committee will do that, and send it back to the author with the changes visible in Track Changes, and comments and suggestions in the margin.
Deadline for entries:
Please submit your story by August 31, 2015. This gives you two and a half months to write and polish a story.
How will the anthology be sold, and how will it benefit the children working in arduous conditions in factories in Asia?
We will sell the anthology in both e-book and trade paperback form, initially through Amazon and expand from there. It is expected that all contributors will promote the anthology on social media and in their communities and also hand-sell some copies locally.
All the writers and I (and possibly other editors, if needed) will donate our time and skills for free, so after paying the cover designer, printer, and distributor, 100% of the book royalties will go to a respected charitable organization. Specific details to be shared when you contact me.
For accountability, I will regularly forward to all contributors the book sales stats and the receipts for our donations from book sales.
If you are interested in helping this worthy cause by putting your skills at writing fiction or creative nonfiction to good use, or have further questions or suggestions, please contact me at info@JodieRenner.com or at j.renner.editing(at)Hotmail(dot)com. Use "Anthology for Kids" in your subject line.
How will it work for the writers?
For those interested, please contact me with your idea before starting your story, as I need to coordinate all stories.
You will of course have your name included as author of your story and will also have an opportunity to submit a short bio with links and photo for our "About the Authors" page. This is a great way to get a story of yours in print to add to your bio.
And of course we will all have the satisfaction of making a difference for kids in dire, inhumane situations.
Thank you for considering helping with this very worthy cause. We're also looking for suggestions for a title and for names of good cover designers to approach who aren't too expensive.
If this project works, we can consider other similar projects to help underprivileged children or to help end human trafficking and slavery. Please contact me with any ideas you may have for other projects like this.
Please share this with writers you know. Also, please leave any comments, questions, or suggestions you may have in the comment boxes below. Thanks!
Guidelines for Authors Submitting a Short Story for Anthology, "Stories for Kids"
(Title of anthology to be determined – suggestions welcome!)
_ Is your story realistic, rather than cartoon-like or with obviously make-believe characters and elements?
_ Is your story written from the point of view of an Asian child living in difficult circumstances?
_ Is your protagonist’s life handled in a sensitive manner, respecting the child’s resilience, strength, and determination?
_ Does your story have the potential to expand a North American child’s knowledge, vision, and understanding of conditions for children in underprivileged countries?
_ Will your story engage the interest and emotions of young readers and hopefully encourage them to try to do something to help others who are less fortunate?
_ Will your story interest and appeal to young people aged 11 and up, and maybe even to adults as well?
_ Does it contain an opening “hook” to incite reader curiosity?
_ Will it hold their attention to the end?
_ Does your story have enough tension and conflict to make readers worry about and care about the young people depicted?
_ Does your story end well for the young protagonist?
_ Do the narration and dialogue reflect the ages and situation of the children in the story?
_ Is your story between 1,500 and 5,000 words long?
_ Have you and others you know checked your story for:
- Overly long sentences
- Words young people may not be familiar with
- Unnecessary or meaningless words
- Spelling and grammatical errors
_ Submission requirements – formatting: Times New Roman font, 12-point, double-spaced, paragraphs indented, no extra space between paragraphs.