Putting Together An Anthology

In this episode, Felicity Sidnell-Reid takes us behind the scenes of producing the Hill Spirits IV Anthology of literature and art, launching at the Festival in October.

Felicity has several volunteer roles in Spirit of the Hills Arts Association (SOTH). She chairs the Writers’ group and the Festival of the Arts. 

Blog Photo - SOTH - Felicity - ALONE

Somehow, she also finds the time to be a poet, author and radio host of a literary programme. Her book “Alone – A Winter in the Woods”, is available at Amazon and other booksellers locally and elsewhere.


On October 26th, we will launch the fourth volume of Hill Spirits, a series of anthologies of writing and art by SOTH members.

How do we put together an anthology to represent and showcase the best work of our members?

Blog Photo - SOTh Hill Spirits 1

Of course, we need a publisher and once again Shane Joseph at Blue Denim Press has agreed to take this role.

A committee of editors, Gwynn Scheltema, Susan Statham and I, invite all our writers to submit up to three items: poetry, prose or non-fiction. Our artists are asked to send photos or line drawings to illustrate the theme of the volume or a particular story in it.

Our aim is to showcase our association as a whole and to include as wide a representation of our members and their talents as possible.

Publication in the anthology is also a prize for the authors of the best poem and best short story in our writing contest. If you are a writer, don’t miss the deadline of May 31st!

Blog Photo - SOTH Hills Spirits 11

Guidelines for submission to this volume were sent out to SOTH members over the winter holidays. The deadline for submissions was March 31st.  We will send all pieces accepted for the volume back to their authors by May 31st and they will return the edited script by June 15th.

Then the book will be organized into chapters or sections, the editors’ introduction, table of contents, contributors’ biographies added and spaces left for illustrations which will be chosen in the first week of June.

Meanwhile, the manuscript will be sent to our copy editor, Chris Cameron, before being handed to our publisher at the end of July and then launched on the last night of the festival at a concert— with readings from the book.

Spirit 2018 (30 of 32)

As you can see, a team of people working together is needed to produce this kind of anthology, in approximately ten months.

Our anthology receives a great variety of submissions; short stories, non-fiction and poems which are different lengths. Because of book size constraints, we cannot publish all the items we receive and choosing the most fitting for the book is often difficult. However putting together the best anthology possible is a deeply satisfying activity.  We hope in the final manuscript these differences in length and content will keep the reader involved.  

We have a theme for the volume, which is “sharing”— the good and the bad, sharing secrets, sharing in the community, the family, society as a whole etc., but we know the responses to it will be very different.

Blog Photo - Hill Spirits III Book cover

One of the pleasures of reading anthologies is that they really do include a diversity of writing, art work and points of view and we hope to produce one which will appeal to a wide audience, including you!



2 Comments Add yours

  1. mikecroucher says:

    Very informative, Felicity.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ronaldmackay says:

    Thanks Felicity! A complex and demanding process that takes time, dedication and collaboration. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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