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A few months ago, I received a Facebook notification that one of the writing groups I was a member of was about to be deleted unless I would like to become an admin. It had no admin and only 32 members. That group was Creative Writers.
Normally I'd ignore such notifications. If I wanted to make a name for myself as a writer I couldn't afford to take on the responsibility. I had too much to do already between writing my Sci-Fi series, Hermes925, maintaining my author page/ blog, and looking for paid writing opportunities.
Perhaps it was because of the name. My favourite classes in school were the Creative Writing classes. To this day my best stories are written the way my teachers at St. James' Junior School taught me to write. You always need to know the beginning, the middle and the end before you even start the rough draft.
The fact that almost every writer's group I was in wouldn't let you post links to your stories was definitely a factor. I wanted to start my own group that encouraged open discussion of your work-in-progress. You'd only be labeled as a spammer if you posted links but never participated in the discussions.
So I did. I became the admin and made it a haven for writers that want to get help with their work, give others advice, and grow. I enlisted a little help from writer friends, and at this moment we've reached 6,308 members, and we're still growing!
One of the ways we're encouraging members to write and discuss their writing is by offering our members an opportunity. This was also inspired by the way that other Facebook groups, writing contests, and vanity press sites did things. I wanted a writing opportunity that I, as a writer myself, would be excited to participate in. So I did.
The Monolith Anthology would not charge a submission fee, or have any other hidden costs. It also wouldn't be like all the self-published, cheap, badly-written trash, either. Monolith would be as grand, epic and magnificent as its name implied, and would also be priced appropriately. Too many books devalue themselves. I want to be able to pay my writers well, and know that the book will sell anyway because people will be blown away by this book and recommend it to every other reader they know.
We've already begun receiving short-story submissions for the anthology and the quality of writing we're receiving is impressive. By the time submissions closes on August 31st, we could easily have a book at least 2 inches thick packed full of some of the best short stories you have ever read. We originally planned for a finished product by January 2018, but I think we can do much better than that. The sooner we get it out there, the sooner we can start work on volume 2!
This would work especially well if I can encourage enough pre-sales, sponsorship, crowdfunding and donations to be able to pay the admin crew enough to work on this full time. With the Creative Writers' shared passion for writing and my own background in business and marketing, it should be a challenge that we're more than capable of conquering.
The way I see this story ending is with over a hundred success stories from every author whose careers we've helped to launch, each with a range of books published by the Creative Writers' Press; writers that were all members and admins of the Creative Writers' community.