2008 Accentuate Anthology Contest Now Closed

I want to thank all of the people who entered in the contests in 2008. We are on the last stretch of the 2008 contests, but we’re not quite done yet. Tonight, I’ll announce it on the forum, and then tomorrow, on my blog, but we are going to have the announcement of the Accentuate Writers Poetry Content.

I’ll be putting filler poetry in the pages of the anthology, and we will be choosing anywhere from four to eight poems to showcase in this way. Stay tuned tomorrow for more information on that right here, or head to the writers forum for more info in about an hour or two.

Right now, I’m compiling the entries for the last contest of the year.

While we wait for the judges to decide who our finalists are – something I hope they will do by Monday of next week, but I make no promises – I wanted to laugh a bit with you guys about the history of the short story contest.

When the forum was in its infancy, back less than a year ago (can you believe we’ve only been around a few months short of a year?) Jeff Bevelheimer (aka: The bird), was one of our most enthusiastic posters. He shot off a lot of neat ideas, some of which I considered and some I did not.

He wanted me to start a publishing company and publish short stories and such from board members. I liked the idea, but quite frankly, the thought of editing the anthology, formatting the anthology, doing the cover for the anthology, paying for the printing of the anthology, keeping up with the entries, keeping up with the royalties – and for what? No one was going to pay me for it, and while I don’t mind doing it from the goodness of my heart, I don’t need to go sinking money into something with zero return for me. I’m all for helping people out, but I have to make a living too, you know?

Plus, without any quality standards, accepting anything and everything, was not going to do much for my reputation as an editor, now would it?

I considered myself too busy to do a book like this, but the thought of it still rattled in the back of my head. It was a good idea; it just didn’t work the way I had it in my head at first.

Then I got sick… went into the hospital, was miserable for awhile, and somewhere along the way of being miserable, I developed an addiction of sorts. I even wrote about the addiction here, or at least, what caused the addiction. I suppose of all the different addictions I could have, this one isn’t so bad, since I use WorldWinner and this addiction has actually made me nearly 1000 bucks since April while helping me control chronic, severe pain when it’s at its worst.

While in the hospital, I was not in any shape to be writing or editing for clients and doing any justice to the payments they’d make to me for the work, so I cut back drastically on outside work. Being the compulsive work-a-holic that I am, and feeling guilty for spending too much money playing video games, I decided to start a new project for myself.

So, out of that, was born the first Accentuate contest idea… all because I wanted to give a few folks a chance at a little success, make a few bucks to play my addiction, and because I was bored to tears not being able to work at my usual capacity.

I never imagined back then that it would grow into what it’s become.

In the meantime, I was working on a POD publishing company for a new project of mine. No, I’m not going to open an official publishing company, like so many other small or micro independent publishers… I won’t talk about the new venture in public yet, lest I give it away, but what I am doing did require me to print some books. Instead of paying fees to other agencies or having the cost to buy the book being too high (like Lulu does), I decided to go straight to the source and self publish these instructional manuals I needed for this venture.

And once I got the POD account set up… why not print the contest winners in a book?

And the rest, as you may know, is history.

We’re looking at about a 400 page anthology, filled with some amazing stories, that will be published by the biggest print on demand printer, with all the specs of a trade anthology. And if I do my job, it’ll end up in bookstores too. Pretty exciting stuff. I even have folks starting to make offers to sponsor the contests so I can offer even bigger prizes to the winners.

So when I tell you guys that with the Tao, everything in the universe has balance, I know whereof I speak. Everything happens for a reason. What sometimes doesn’t look ‘good’, leads to some of the very best things. I embrace it all, seemingly good and seemingly bad, because things really aren’t good or bad. As Ryan (Mr. Michy) says all the freaking time, “It is what it is.”

I love that man.

After all, if I’d never gone to the hospital, had I never been sick, had I never been in pain, I would have never sought out a means to relieve the pain, would have never decided to start a new project because I was too busy…

… such humble beginnings, eh?

All of this leads us to a 2009. Onward and upward…

In 2009, we will be holding monthly anthology contests. There will be four books compiled, one for each quarter. We are pushing the first anthology out very fast, because we want people to see this is real, legit, and get some interest rolling for future contests – some real, heavy competition.

We want people to be uber proud to be in these books, professional quality, competitive paid byline. They will be awesome. My vision for them is that if we start receiving enough entries, we will open the anthologies up to themes for each book and accept open submissions in contest format. I love the energy of the contests, so I’m hoping we’ll stick with that.

For now, we have four books planned for 2009… I’m really stoked about them. Hope you guys are too.

So there you have it… Michy’s truth about the beginnings of the Accentuate Writers Short Story Anthology Contest. I was just supposed to be a one-time thing done on a whim to have some fun, keep busy and play some video games.

Who knew it would go so far? (Anyone who knows me knew. I just hid it from myself. Michy can’t make anything simple!)

Congratulations to all who have won and will win, and a big congratulations to all those who entered for having the faith in yourself and your writing to invest in the time and the energy into submitting to the contest.

Good luck to everyone!