The Spoon Knife Anthologies: Groundbreaking Neurodivergent, Queer, and Mad Lit

[Pictured above: the cover of Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber]

You might already know how integral the Spoon Knife anthology is to AutPress’ mission. More to the point, it offers writers an opportunity to explore themes that intersect with neurodivergence and queerness, or neuroqueer existence. From the annual series’ debut in Spring 2016 to the upcoming third volume, our goals include publishing authors writing radical transformative work, uplifting voices that are generally marginalized by the mainstream, and being one of the paying outlets for writers that values work and compensates its authors.

Thoughts on Compliance, Defiance, and Resistance

Released in Spring 2016, our first Spoon Knife volume featured poetry, fiction, and memoir from more than 25 neurodivergent authors. That first anthology, edited by Michael Scott Monje, Jr. and N.I. Nicholson, collected a body of work in which contributors spoke to how they navigated compliance, defiance, and consent and in many cases, formed their own strategies of resistance. It was also one of the first wave of titles on the NeuroQueer Books imprint, the beginning of books that focus on queer issues, queering, sexuality, gender, and the intersections of gender, neurodivergence, and other aspects of identity.

Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber

The second collection reached out to both new talent and established writers to push literary boundaries and reveal neuroqueer experiences from within. Edited by Dani Alexis Ryskamp and Sam Harvey, the Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber anthology asked contributors to consider a question: What happens when experience itself becomes a series of tests that must be successfully navigated? This volume gathered work from authors from many marginalized groups, resulting in a volume of stunning, innovative neurodivergent, Queer, and Mad literature.

Spoon Knife 3: Incursions

Coming this spring: the series’ third volume, Spoon Knife 3: Incursions. This edition was edited by Nick Walker and Andrew M. Reichart, the co-creators of the Weird Luck universe of novels and webcomics with interconnected stories about interdimensional travel, alternate realities, and improbabilities becoming probable. Stories from Weird Luck have appeared in both the first anthology and the second edition and will also feature in this third collection. Expect more weird fiction, memoir, poetry in Incursions, which asked authors to consider the myriads of possibilities when one reality intrudes into another.

In 2019: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime

The series continues in early 2019 with its fourth volume, Spoon Knife 4: A Neurodivergent Guide to Spacetime. N.I. Nicholson is editing this collection, so expect a full volume of neurodivergent spacetime weirdness. Its submissions call is pretty fresh, so you have plenty of time to submit your own work. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the first two volumes and stay tuned for Spoon Knife 3 later this spring.

AutPress: Where Writers Get Paid for Their Work

If you’ve ever searched for mainstream or indie publishers that are also paying outlets for writers, you already know how difficult it can be to receive fair compensation for the labor and creative efforts you’ve put into crafting your fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, memoir, or nonfiction pieces. At Autonomous Press, we’re not only changing the game by the books that we offer to our readership, but also by what we offer to our authors. With a business model that’s drastically different than other publishing houses, we set ourselves apart from the rest of the industry.

How Is AutPress Different From the Rest?

 There’s one major difference between AutPress and other indie publishers that we’d like to call attention to straightaway: One of our central focuses is on compensating writers. It’s part of our total plan to revolutionize publishing, which also includes uplifting marginalized voices that are underrepresented in mainstream media. We want work that pushes boundaries and ventures outside conventional genre norms. In short, we’re looking for unique, untold stories that demand an audience, along with storytellers willing to craft them into self-contained universes and receive royalties for doing so.

How’s that for a fancy way to say, “Get paid for writing fiction”?

Speaking of Writing Fiction….

 Fiction’s not the only type of work we want from aspiring writers seeking indie publishers, but you’re going to see a lot of it released by AutPress in the coming months. On deck for our extravaganza of deliciously weird fiction this autumn we’ve got Verity Reynolds’ sci-fi novel Nantais that’s packed with a rogue computer virus, a search for a missing child and an interstellar plaque that could wipe out an entire alien species. Coming up we’ve also got Hoshi and the Red City Circuit, a science fiction novel by Dora Raymaker, and Monsters in My Mind, a mind-bending collection of fiction and poetry by Ada Hoffman. Keep an eye out for these titles in the AutPress store.

Come Join Our Revolution, Comrades

You’ve now seen three reasons why we’re unlike any other indie publishers in existence. We not only center the voices or marginalized people but we also pay them for their work. Moreover, we love material that’s engaging, innovative, weird and just plain fun to read. That’s a major departure from many media and publishing companies, and we’re glad to be a standout from the pack.