Press Update: Funding Anthologies and Paying for Submissions

Since we first started pulling Autonomous Press together, the idea has always been that we would start paying for submissions as soon as possible. This is important to us because so many markets for writing are not really markets at all, they are opportunities for writers to attempt to get their work seen that are at best comparable to unpaid internships–they help boost your resume, but they don’t pay the bills or really advance your career unless they lead to a paying gig pretty quickly.

At the same time, though, as an academic publisher, or a publisher of academic books among our other offerings, we do have to acknowledge that to some degree scholars publish without an expectation of direct compensation. Partly, this is because their professional model requires them to publish, and so their compensation is indirect, coming as it does from their academic affiliation. Partly, it is because many academic anthologies are at best small investments with small returns.

With this tension between writers whose labor is otherwise uncompensated and those for whom it is compensated through their other affiliations, we have split our anthologies into two groups. This allows us to fund the anthologies that need to pay their writers, to ensure that our contributors are paid for their labor and that they can continue to afford to work with us. It also allows us to identify anthologies that might be risky, or that have a niche audience, and to produce them according to a scholarly model, to ensure they reach their readership even when that readership might not be large enough to fund a major outlay for royalties.

You can read the full details here, but this is the highlight reel:

  • Funded anthologies pay. This money comes from previous anthologies we have put out, and the amount we can afford to pay is determined as late as possible in the process, so that we can offer as much as possible to our writers.
  • Funding will be determined before any acceptances or rejections are determined, to keep it fair.
  • The funds come from previous funded anthologies, as well as a few choice unfunded ones that have been selected to help expand our pool.
  • Basically, we set aside 15% of the cover price for each sale of a qualifying anthology and use it to pay for future submissions. How we pay (flat rate vs. per word) will be determined by how much money we have available on the last day we accept submissions.
  • Rates for each anthology will be announced on the blog as soon as they are determined.
  • The Spoon Knife Anthology will be funded. The sales from Typed Words, Loud Voices are making that happen.
  • Our goal is to offer competitive rates that reward professional writers, but we need to build up the capital to do that. This system gives us a sliding scale that remains sustainable as we grow.
  • Unfunded anthologies do not pay–or at least we do not pay for submissions. If the anthologies have external funding because they are being overseen by non-partners, this may change things a little.
  • Some unfunded anthologies will help to pay for our funded ones. Other unfunded anthologies might have other purposes, such as allowing us to raise funds for a cause or serving as an investment in a new area of development for the press.
  • Anthologies will be announced as either funded or unfunded from here on out.

Call for Submissions: The Spoon Knife Anthology

From Michael Scott Monje, Jr. (Autonomous Press) and N.I. Nicholson (Barking Sycamores):

We are happy to announce that we are seeking submissions of poetry, fiction, and memoir for an upcoming collection called The Spoon Knife Anthology. This book will be released as one of the kickoff projects for AutPress’s NeuroQueer Books line, which focuses on neurodivergence and disability as they intersect and interact with queer issues. This includes queering disability and neurodivergence, as well as discussing how it functions or fits with other aspects of a queer identity.

For this inaugural anthology, NeuroQueer Books seeks to feature works that focus on consent and compliance. We are particularly interested in depictions of the ways that expectations for compliance can be frustrated or subverted, including but not limited to work that explores the various ways that neurodivergent and disabled individuals are forced to use misdirection, manipulation, or deception to avoid having their personal autonomy and dignity compromised by social forces that seek to dictate the expression of their identity and/or limit their choices.

In plainer language, we want stories, poems, and memoir pieces that focus on compliance, defiance, resistance, consent, and/or the negotiations that surround these aspects of any relationship. We are especially interested in works that complicate this issue by including other aspects of identity, such as sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnic identity, class, and/or gender.

While we will consider any submissions that are on-topic and we do wish to solicit voices from a broad range of neurodivergent and disabled perspectives, preference will be given to authors who clearly identify as neuroqueer and whose work demonstrates a neuroqueer point-of-view.

Length and Format:

Fiction and Memoir: 10,000 words or less of fully polished prose, submitted in standard manuscript format (title page with contact info, double-spaced Times New Roman 12 point font, pages numbered with either title or author’s name in the header).

Poetry: Up to 5 pieces of any length and style, provided they use the prompt above as a touchstone.

All submissions need to be in a Word-compatible format (.doc, .docx, .odt).

Deadline and Terms:

Submissions are due by Tuesday, September 8, 2015. Authors will be notified of their acceptance or rejection no later than November 15, 2015. Please include a cover letter that makes it clear exactly how you are to be credited—we will reproduce this exactly, including punctuation. We will also need a 3-4 sentence bio for the contributors.

Submission email: michael@autpress.com

Please put “Spoon Knife Anthology” and the genre (poetry, fiction, or memoir) in the subject to help us distinguish between anthology submissions and book proposals. Thank you!

UPDATE: The Spoon Knife Anthology is a funded anthology. This means that we will be paying for accepted submissions, but due to our funding model, we will not be able to announce the exact rate until the final day for submissions, Sept. 8. This is due to the fact that the funding for paying writers is contingent on sales from our current anthology, Typed Words, Loud Voices. You can read more about our anthology funding model here.

Paperback Preorders are Live on Amazon

Autonomous Press’s debut wave of books is now available for preorder on Amazon.com (and possibly other retailers). We are still working on our on-site cart, but Amazon.com customers can follow the links below to preorder their books for our June 9 release. If you prefer to get the books firsthand, meet an author, or get some great SWAG like AutPress bookmarks, you can also join us at the Society for Disability Studies conference in Atlanta. Click on any of the covers below to go to Amazon’s product listing for the book.

Fading Scars Front Cover

Defiant Front Cover

The front cover of Typed Words, Loud Voices

 

Welcome to the Autonomous Press Blog

This is where we will be announcing upcoming titles & release dates, as well as readings, conference appearances, new partnerships, and more. Right now, we’re working on finishing the site construction, but stay tuned for more announcements.