Anthology Envy

It’s probably not smart to admit, but I’m human and I’m fallible. And ladies and gentlemen, I have anthology envy. I think it probably started a couple of years ago with the Dublin Noir anthology. I was very happy to see so many of my friends in one anthology but I was jealous because I wanted to be part of the party too. And then there were the several Noir anthologies after that and the scattered theme anthologies here and there.

And then last week came the very cool news that Killer Year will have an anthology out next year. I’m very happy for all of the very talented authors of KY, but I can’t help but wonder when my anthology ship will come in. It seems like everybody I know in the blogosphere has been in an anthology somewhere but me. I know that’s not true but this is my blog so indulge me in a little drama please.

But when I think about it, I haven’t really been writing short stories very long. While I wrote several very bad short stories early on in my days as a writer, I hadn’t written a good, solid, crime story until 2004. Since then I’ve written nine more stories, most of which have been published elsewhere, and all of which so great improvement over the previous story. So I know I’m ready for the next level, but it might not be my time yet.

Many of the first timers in these anthologies have been cracking away at it far longer than I have. Sarah Weinman published her first story a year before I even started writing them again and Dave White published his first story in 2000. Many of these other writers have been at it even longer. So now there time has come.

This doesn’t mean I have to like it though. Most anthologies are certainly about the skill level of the writers involved but there’s also a heavy dose of who you know involved. And right now, I know many of the right people. I think that’s probably been the hardest part to accept about this. When James Patterson puts together an anthology and I’m not invited it doesn’t seem all that shocking. But when somebody else who I’ve shared a drink with or a late night conference conversation does it, it’s a bit harder to swallow.

I don’t want to appear in an anthology just because of who I know, but I think I’m ready and I know my time will come. If not, I hear PublishAmerica has some slots open.

7 thoughts on “Anthology Envy

  1. I hear you, Brian. Right after my book came out, I noticed a lot of friends were getting into anthologies. I got into one, but it nearly disappeared and has since been pushed back to next fall. (Ouch!)Of course, since the book, I’ve not focused on short stories very much, so I know why I’m not in any anthos right now. I’m focusing now on shorts until I figure out what I want to do with books next.

  2. Since I’m totally focused on short stories I would really like the opportunity to be included in one too.I guess it’s not one of those things where you can’t really beg though. And I wouldn’t want to be included unless my writing was up to the standards of the rest. Oh well, I’m certainly grateful for all the zine editors who have given me a chance. Thank you profusely.

  3. I felt the same way. And guess what, the envy does not go away, not completely. I still feel a twinge of it seeing cool anthologies without my name in the contents. It is envy mixed with genuine admiration, but it is still envy.But maybe a little jealousy is a good thing. Maybe it pushes us to try all that much harder.Keep punching those keys. You will get there. And it will not be because you know someone.

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