Author’s Voice: Participate in an anthology?

An Author’s Voice blooms suddenly, unbidden, active within the writer’s unconscious, until it clamours to be released.

Writing tips:  Should I place my writing in an anthology?

Carp Creative Writers’ Group published their 2019 Anthology in June, and copies will shortly be found on the shelves at the Carp Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. When novice writers ask why they should participate in an anthology, the discussion brings some very good reasons. The writer’s work will be edited on a new level. For writers new to publishing their work, it is the first time to see their work and their name in print, and on the shelf, and this experience feels like success realized. They often order multiple copies of the anthology to send out to relatives, friends, people who believe in their work. 

There is a cautionary note: if the submission is juried or judged or subject to an editor’s approval, and is subject to changes demanded by an editor, the submission is at risk of losing the author’s unique voice. This risk must be understood up front along with the invitation-to-submit details. The author then must decide if they want to participate in any publication that will dictate changes to their unique voice.

Most anthologies in which I have participated were celebrations of achievements of the individual writers. And that is what CCWG believes they should be.  

At CCWG, we offer the invitation to submit to the anthology so our writer can experience the pure joy of having their work recognized.

Excerpts from the Carp Creative Writers’ Group Anthology 2019

My Daughter’s Dog (excerpt) – by Philip O’Brien ©2019

Guinness’ decision to be my best friend came with many trials for him. His favourite drive is to the cottage. He sits up as we approach the outlying town and wags his tail searching through the car window for some memory of the place. A favourite activity of mine at the cottage is to wake early before anyone on the lake is up. Standing on the dock I stare at the mist rising above the water. Guinness sits, his small body nestled against my leg taking in the quiet, the clean smell and the freshness of the morning air. Slowly he looks up sensing my movement to the canoe and as I turn he leaps into the hull of the canoe. I stroke his head as he pushes his body next to mine with his head resting on the gunwale of the canoe. I push out slipping silently over the lake, dipping my paddle effortlessly on the calm water. Guinness with eyes closed, I sense he imagines he is floating on a cloud. I stroke forward passing the loon floating quietly. There is no need to disturb him as he is a fellow at rest. Ever so gently the mist rises and the lake comes alive. A small contingent of mergansers float behind their mother. The frantic fury of their paddling  feet is camouflaged by  the calm of their body.  In the distance I hear the pull of an oar as fishermen take their place in the calm. A few voices drift across the lake as they search for the best fishing spot. In a few minutes these voices are silenced and calm is restored.

Misery Whips and Corduroy Roads – by Philip O’Brien ©2019

The misery whip hangs rusting in my garage. This two handed cross cut saw has no purpose in a time of large chainsaws nor in an inner city yard with few chances to fell mighty trees and clear the land. Emptying his house my father wished I would keep the saw as it was the oldest implement from a farm long sold. A man who kept his stories to himself he held the large saw in his hands and there was a wisp of some reflection of a time long past. Approaching his eighties he still stood tall and strong with a  grip born from a youth spent in labour. 

Myungchul (excerpt) – by R. Boyd Blackwell ©2019

The rest of the night was a drunken black-out to the Korean. He was disturbed by dreams of pursuit by ghostly white hands that sought to strangle him. Agitated by a half-awake vision of the hands hanging in the air near a candelabra, he sought escape from his room.

Before Myungchul exited he glanced nervously at a plate of bread and cheese left near the candelabra. In accordance with the traditions of his ancestors, he remembered he had left the plate of food out for those hungry ghosts that had not been appeased by the worship of their living relatives. Myungchul did not tell anyone of this reversion to superstition in the face of his inexplicable and unusual circumstances. The offering of food was untouched.

The Korean wandered down the hall to the common room.  Myungchul turned to peer down the hall. Something white floated in the air near the door to his bedroom. As it slowly drifted down the hall towards him, Myungchul recognized it as a sodden mass of bread and cheese. He slammed the door shut, and lay expectantly in mortal fear upon the sofa for quite a few hours before again succumbing to sleep.

CCWG events

Anthology 2019: We anticipate there will be copies available to sign-out at the Carp Branch of the OPL as early as this summer. 

July through August, we are on hiatus from our weekly meeting commitments. 

Reading night: Our CCWG authors will be reading their works from our 2019 Anthology. Sept. 11, 2019 6:45 to 8 p.m. at Carp Branch of Ottawa Public Library

CCWG (Carp Creative Writers’ Group) meetings:  Wednesdays September – June 6:45 to 8 p.m., Carp Branch – Ottawa Public Library.   All writers invited. We look forward to becoming acquainted with you and your work.  Registration: Carp Branch plus an OPL card.

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