Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones February 15, 2013 - 2:14pm

www.sparkanthology.org Submission window opens TODAY. Submissions during the window are FREE, and you might get PAID! Accepting everything, poetry, fiction, images (for future covers). No genre will be refused.

Brian Lewis's picture
Brian Lewis from Sacramento, California, now living in Riverton, Utah is reading hundreds of submissions to "Spark: A Creative Anthology" February 25, 2013 - 3:19pm

Thanks, Charles!

To be clear: if your work is accepted, you WILL get paid. There's no "might" about it; this is a semi-pro paying market.

Vonnegut Check's picture
Vonnegut Check from Baltimore February 27, 2013 - 6:15pm

Spark Editor:

What have the distribution/subscription numbers been so far for the first anthology? Or, what is the expected readership, audience size?

Thank you.

Brian Lewis's picture
Brian Lewis from Sacramento, California, now living in Riverton, Utah is reading hundreds of submissions to "Spark: A Creative Anthology" February 28, 2013 - 9:22am

Volume I is complete and launches April 2, 2013.

Based on pre-orders (through donations at http://SparkAnthology.org/support where a single volume or 1-year subscription was selected), previously expressed interest, and committed marketing plans, combined expected readership for print and eBook versions is between 2,000 and 5,000 within the first twelve months.

That does not include readership of any excerpts posted online, but does include about 100 copies I will purchase myself to fulfill existing promises of complimentary editions to established industry professionals, to staff at English departments of several universities, and to a few close friends.

Two thousand is a reasonable estimate. Five thousand in twelve months is ambitious, but attainable. More than that seems unrealistic at this point, considering that even with professional printing, marketing, and networking, combined with my own experience and contacts, the fact remains: we are as yet an unproven, unestablished publication.

If you haven't already read the Litreactor column by Brandon Tietz, go check out "Author Beware: New Lit Mags" to understand why this is risky.

Of course, I fully expect that Volume I will both prove and establish Spark: A Creative Anthology as a solid, professional market, but for the next few months, you're stuck taking my word for it.

— Brian Lewis

OtisTheBulldog's picture
OtisTheBulldog from Somerville, MA is reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz February 28, 2013 - 10:22am

I have a couple of stories in mind that I'm in the midst of editing that I'm considering submitting to Spark. I love the artwork on the first volume. Looks great. Sets a nice tone, too.

Brian Lewis's picture
Brian Lewis from Sacramento, California, now living in Riverton, Utah is reading hundreds of submissions to "Spark: A Creative Anthology" February 28, 2013 - 11:30am

Thanks, Otis!

The artwork was commissioned from Aaron John Gregory with the directive that I wanted something "evocative of classic literature." Since his specialty is sea creatures (modern and prehistoric), I gave the general guideline of an "ancient leviathan attacking a ship on the open sea."

I think I totally scored, don't you? I got everything I asked for and more.

(For anyone who hasn't seen the cover art, there's a thumbnail on the Volume I Contributors page. Click the thumbnail for a larger image.)

By the way, Charles will tell you the artwork for Volume II, the one mentioned in his announcement above, looks great, too. Each volume will have a very unique—and yet high-quality—cover from a different artist or photographer.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies February 28, 2013 - 6:26pm

Brian, Spark Editor,

I'm a little confused on the rates. You are paying one cent per word for fiction, up to $10 a story, a maximum of $100 per issue? And 1/5 cent for reprints, up to $5 a story, a maximum of $50 per issue? Did I get that right?

You also said you might negotiate with published authors for a higher rate, how does that work? And how high are you willing to go? 3 cents, 5 cents a word? Or is that a private conversation?

Thanks. Keep up the great work!

Peace,
Richard

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things February 28, 2013 - 7:22pm

The way I read it, the rate for a first-publication is one cent per word, OR ten dollars, whichever is higher, up to $100.

So you're at least going to make ten dollars, even if it's only a paragraph long. But you can't make more than $100 from any submission, even if it's over ten thousand words (12,000 looks to be the max).

Brian Lewis's picture
Brian Lewis from Sacramento, California, now living in Riverton, Utah is reading hundreds of submissions to "Spark: A Creative Anthology" February 28, 2013 - 8:43pm

Hi, Richard—

Nathan's got it right. You can't make less than $10 per story or poem ($5 for solicited reprints). Most poems, for example, are less than 100 words, but if they're accepted they still make $10. We haven't accepted any single-paragraph stories, but a couple of flash fiction pieces have been less than 1000 words, and they still are guaranteed a minimum of—you guessed it—$10.

Right now while we're in semi-pro land we've set a payment cap of $100 per work (the equivalent of 1¢ per word for 10,000 words, which no accepted work has exceeded anyway; the longest accepted piece was still just shy of 8,000 words). We'll change that limit when we switch over to pro rates for everyone, unofficially planned for the start of year two (Volume V, April 2014—you heard it here first).

In the meantime, the published authors who are offered higher rates are generally solicited for their contributions, and we've always offered a minimum of 5¢ per word—but we've been lucky enough to have those professionals offer to donate that payment back to us to ensure a firm footing as we establish our publication.

However, any writer who likes what we're doing and feels not only that they've got the perfect story for Spark: A Creative Anthology but the resume and name recognition to command 3¢, 5¢, 10¢ per word is delightfully welcome to contact me directly at editor@sparkanthology.org to work something out.

The only thing we won't do is negotiate with an author whose submission is accepted with an offer from us, knowing full well what our posted payment is, who then counters with a demand for a higher rate. We need to know who we're working with and what the expectations are from the start, so that it's fair to everyone.

— Brian

Brian Lewis's picture
Brian Lewis from Sacramento, California, now living in Riverton, Utah is reading hundreds of submissions to "Spark: A Creative Anthology" February 28, 2013 - 11:08pm

As a side note: in addition to the regular submission period which runs through May 1, There's still 24 hours left to enter the quarterly writing contest, which includes a Grand Prize package with $500 cash, publication in Volume II, and some great resources for writers—and features guest judges Kerry Cohen and Kirkus MacGowan.

Check out the full details at http://SparkAnthology.org/contests/one/.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies March 1, 2013 - 10:37am

Thanks for the clarity on this, Brian. Much appreciation.

Brian Lewis's picture
Brian Lewis from Sacramento, California, now living in Riverton, Utah is reading hundreds of submissions to "Spark: A Creative Anthology" March 1, 2013 - 7:29pm

The questions about rates caused me to ponder our current policy, and as a result, I've removed the maximum payment previously stated at http://sparkanthology.org/rights-and-rates/.

The practical maximum is already set by word count limits (for prose) and line count limits (for poetry), so there's really no need to bother specifying a maximum per story.

We're still keeping our minimums, though. A writer's gotta be paid, man.