Putting together an anthology with a group of writers is not easy. When you write a novel, it's all on you. When you put together a collection of stories, you have to rely on others. Deadlines, editing--all of that is crucial to getting your work in a coherent form everyone can agree on. If you are considering undertaking this kind of project, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Figure out your theme. This is tricky if you have writers who write in different genres. Come up with a common them and work with that. Otherwise, your stories may feel a little out of whack, something that can turn off a potential reader.
2. Have a word count goal and assign the number of stories each writer will undertake. The count and number of stories may grow or diminish depending on the project, but at least have a starting point.
3. Set deadlines. This is probably one of the more crucial pieces of advice! Deadlines help keep people motivated and provide an end goal. Of course, we're talking about writers. Sometimes life happens, and you have to change deadlines. Be flexible, but do your best to stick to them.
4. Read each other's work. This is a great time to make sure every story fits within the theme and to give constructive criticism. Once all stories have been critiqued, allow for revision time.
5. Hire an editor. I think this is the most important part of putting together an anthology. Good editing makes your work look polished and professional. An editor will catch all the technical stuff that's been overlooked and can guide you on the order of the stories.
Mary Ann Loesch is the moderator for All Things Writing. She has published several fiction novels, including Nephilim and Bayou Myth. An active blogger and ghostwriter for hire, Mary Ann also works as an elementary theatre arts teacher. Learn more about her at MARY ANN LOESCH.