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Monday, November 26, 2012

An Anthology for a Cause: The Process

Dawn Colclasure graciously accepted my invitation to write a little on the process of putting together an anthology to fill in a bit while I take some time off. I believe her story is a good example of how we can make our efforts do good in the world and how important it is for us to remain flexible.


An Anthology for a Cause

By Dawn Colclasure

The first time I put together an anthology, it was a semi-anthology: A book that contained five essays from writing parents on how they find balance between writing and parenting mixed in with interviews I did with several other writing parents throughout the world. My latest book is pretty much the same thing, except that the writing I did for it is not interviews and my royalties will be donated to a charity.

But this particular book did not start out as an anthology. It was actually based on a blog series I ran in 2009 for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I had wanted to do a “charity book” for a long time–-a book in which proceeds from sales went to charity. When my publisher, Gypsy Shadow Publishing, started publishing such books, I jumped on that opportunity to finally make a “charity book” happen. But my book was still not yet an anthology.

It didn’t turn into an anthology until much later in the process. A friend and fellow writer wrote a story that had a character who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She knew I was working on a breast cancer book for charity, so she asked if I’d like to include her story. That was when I realized that perhaps this book was indeed an anthology. After all, other writers such as Carolyn Howard-Johnson had contributed to this project back when it was a blog series, and health professionals had taken the time to contribute press releases and assorted material related to breast cancer. Sure, I interviewed some people for this book, and some contributors had a contribution in the form of quotes, but it definitely seemed like this book was turning into an anthology after all.

Word of mouth is the one thing that transformed my book, Onthe Wings of Pink Angels: Triumph, Struggle and Courage Against Breast Cancer, into the anthology that was published in late October. I used Facebook and Twitter to let people know I welcomed their submissions related to breast cancer, and when I used Help A Reporter Out (often known by reporters and other writers who use it as HARO) for the Race for the Cure section of the book, I let everyone know this book is for charity. Many people loved the idea and were happy to be a part of something that would benefit grieving children. It was also a good chance for several people, breast cancer survivors, and people affected by breast cancer, to share their stories.

That’s the best part about putting together an anthology: Allowing people to share their stories, get their voices heard, and write touching tributes to those who lost their battle against breast cancer. This book was the chance for so many people to come together to spread awareness about the disease and give hope to those still trying to find their way.

My book did not turn out to be the way it originally started, but thanks to everyone who took the time to be involved in it, it has turned into something much better and even more inspiring that we can all offer to the world.

Author Biography:
Dawn Colclasure is a writer who lives in Oregon. Her articles, essays, poems and short stories have appeared in several newspapers, anthologies, magazines and E-zines. She is the author of nine books, among them Burning the Midnight Oil: How We Survive as Writing Parents (http://www.booklocker.com/books/1743.html ); 365 Tips for Writers: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat The Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity (http://filbertpublishing.com/our-titles/our-books/365-tips-for-writers/ ); Love is Like a Rainbow: Poems of Love and Devotion (http://www.gypsyshadow.com/DawnColclasure.html#LoveRainbow ); On the Wings of Pink Angels: Triumph, Struggle and Courage Against Breast Cancer (http://www.gypsyshadow.com/DawnColclasure.html#PinkAngels ); and the children’s book The Yellow Rose (http://www.gypsyshadow.com/DawnColclasure.html#YellowRose).

Her Web site is at http://dmcwriter.tripod.com/.

About On the Wings of Pink Angels:

"You have cancer." These are words people dread hearing. But when worse comes to worst, push comes to shove, something wonderful happens. More people come together for support and encouragement. More people participate in "Race for the Cure" events, and more people discover an inner strength within themselves that they never knew they had before. On the Wings of Pink Angels offers a gentle hand through this difficult time, sharing stories that inspire hope, strength, gratitude and courage during a time when someone must fight for his or her life against breast cancer.

Learn more about this e-book.

Note that 100% of the author's royalties from sales of this ebook will be donated to the charity Courageous Kids (http://www.courageouskidsoregon.org/ ), a nonprofit organization devoted to helping children cope with the loss of a loved one.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog: