A to Z Challenge

Interview with the Editors of “Unbound”

C is for Clarion Call.

I know I’ve been shouting it from the rooftops that my story “Black Moon” was published in the third Clarion Call Anthology “Unbound”. Here’s the bookblast. And now for an interview with the editors…

How did Agorist Writers Workshop and the Clarion Call come to be?

The Agorist Writers Workshop was developed at the 2014 annual Midwest agorists and libertarian meet up called Agorafest. Author and editor Jon Garett was invited to run a workshop on book publishing and promotion. One of the activities was to develop a writing project concept and work through the steps of production, editing, publishing and promotion. Jon and three of the attendees were so taken with the idea of an anthology of liberty-friendly fiction that they continued discussing it throughout the weekend. By the time they went their separate ways, the Agorist Writers Workshop (AWW) had been formed, and one year later, the first volume of the Clarion Call series was released at Agorafest 2015.

The name of the series comes from a fictional, anarchist newsletter in an unreleased, post-apocalyptic manuscript by some of the AWW members. It’s a real Easter Egg for our super fans.

How many volumes are there and where can they be found?

Three volumes have been released so far- Anarchy Rising, Echoes of Liberty, and Unbound. Our fourth volume is scheduled to be released this July, 2018. Print editions are available through Amazon, and E-Book editions are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the Apple Store, and Smashwords.

How do you choose your themes?

The first theme was inspired by a great weekend of comradery and knowledge sharing. We wanted to show the positive aspects of freedom and agorism so that others could share in the feeling we experience during our gatherings. It was an open-call for stories.

Since then we have had fun with the selection of theme/genre each year, one selected by the book release attendees and one by previous contributor survey.

What has the reception been to the latest edition “Unbound”?

The release of Unbound was amazing. It got major social media traction and great interaction from readers and contributors’ fans. The book has gotten great reviews, and it has been featured at writing group events, political conventions, local bookstores across the US, and at book fairs.

But maybe best has been the relationships that the volume has helped the AWW develop with many of the contributors to Unbound. The response and interest in working with us on our next volume has been truly inspirational. In fact, as a result, our editorial team expanded this year to include two new members who are both two-time contributing authors to past volumes: Heather Biedermann and Bokerah Brumley. These talented women join co-editors Jon, Genesis Mickel, and Richard Walsh.

Which Clarion Call is your favourite?

Well, the politick answer would be all of them, or maybe the one we are working on currently. But checking in with those editors and contributors hanging around the water cooler, the consensus seems to be Echoes of Liberty.

Echoes gets Jon’s vote because it contains his favorite Clarion Call story to date, though he declines to name it by title.

Richard and Bokerah picked it because they enjoyed writing for it the most of any volume (both authors have been featured in two volumes).

Heather voted for it after giving it some thought, then deciding, and then firmly deciding.

Genesis had three-fold reasons for selecting it: the genre itself, the excitement of the project growing in its second year to include international submissions, and because the title is amazing.

How many authors have contributed to the anthologies? (From different countries and backgrounds, etc.)

It’s amazing to see where our stories come from. We’ve featured around thirty different authors over the first three volumes, from full time writers to amateurs who write after coming home from a myriad of different careers. With each successive volume we see interest from more and more authors from a broader spectrum of backgrounds wanting to contribute. Nothing feels better.

It’s easy to lose track of the number of different countries and states we’ve received entries from. But we know that we’ve seen stories from 5 different continents. And we’re very confident that we can break through on that sixth, though we have reached a road block on how to reach that seventh. So anyone that has a contact in Antarctica, please email us.

Any authors who have been featured in more than one?

Several of our authors have returned to be featured in a second volume, while one sole contributor has been with us since the beginning and been included in all three. We love balancing these talented returning authors with the fresh voices we hear from in each edition.

What does the future hold for AWW and the Clarion Call anthologies?

Our judges are currently reviewing the submissions for our, as of yet, unnamed volume 4! Volume 4 will feature folklore, fables and fairy tales retold with a liberty-friendly theme. The response from authors has been off the charts and we are nearly overwhelmed with the number of submissions we’ve received. We are thrilled and can’t wait to release this volume around July 1st, which will be available through all of the usual channels. That said, maybe we need to change our collective votes on our favorite Clarion Call…? After that, we’ll be thinking of another fun way to determine volume 5’s theme or genre.

Alongside Clarion Call, we are planning to add a brand new sister series to Agorist Writers Workshop. It’s likely this will be a dedicated science fiction anthology, this being far-and-away the most popular genre among our audience of libertarian and liberty-loving readers and writers. We should have our first science fiction volume published in early December 2018, in time for the holidays. Beyond that, we’ll continue to grow and expand our reach, adding other projects and strengthening the community aspect of AWW.

Do you have any questions for the editors? Do you read anthologies? Have you participated in anthology competitions?

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