Collaboration, Craziness, and Completion: Steps to an Awesome Anthology




by Ellen Leventhal

Introducing Space City 6: Houston Stories from the Weird to the Wonderful

According to Merriam-Webster, to collaborate means to work together with another person or group in order to achieve or do something. People have asked me how I can stand such a solitary endeavor as writing. The answer is that writing, and more specifically the production of a book, is not always solitary. It’s often collaborative.

Collaboration in writing takes many forms. It can mean actually writing a piece with someone else, it can mean working with an illustrator, or it can even mean taking part in critique groups where members help each other hone their stories. I’ve done it all.

But wait, there’s more! (Cue announcer on late night infomercial.) My newest collaboration has been one of the most difficult, yet rewarding ones for me. As part of the Space City Scribes, I had the opportunity to work with five other women in order to achieve something of which we’d be proud. Although we wrote individually, it was still a team effort. Working towards producing the best anthology possible, we read, critiqued, and re-read each other’s pieces. We doled out advice that we felt would strengthen the stories without diluting the writer’s unique voice. We were each other’s cheerleaders, pushing towards a common goal. All summer long emails flew through cyberspace to places as varied as Texas, Vermont, and Vienna, Austria. Yes, it definitely got a little crazy. However, often the craziness of collaboration is the magic. People throwing out ideas, other people piggy backing on those ideas, and lots of discussion…that’s collaboration. After much revision, the stories were done. Whew. And then it got really hard. And crazier. It was time for us, as a writing collaborative, to decide on a cover, a title, and a way to sell the book. Every decision was made as a group. More emails, more discussion, more hard work, and ok, a little more crazy thrown in for good measure. But the good kind of crazy! The kind that makes you proud. The kind that you look back on and say, “We did it.”

So now here we are. We’ve reached the final C…COMPLETION. We are proud to announce that our collaborative effort, Space City 6: Houston Stories from the Weird to the Wonderful is now available on Amazon. We hope you check us out and let us know what you think. Feel free to do it alone or get a friend to look at it with you. After all, sometimes collaborations yield the best results.




2 thoughts on “Collaboration, Craziness, and Completion: Steps to an Awesome Anthology

  1. I got excited about the C for Completion part until I realized that we’ve still got the paperback to go! So all those flying emails? I don’t think our collective inboxes are going to quiet down until November or December. 🙂 But it’s been fun. A grand experiment!

    The best part about being an indie author is getting to strike out in any direction you choose. You’re free to try whatever you want. Some things will fail, others will succeed. But it all comes down to the time and energy you put into something. To see your product on virtual (or real) shelves is gratifying, to say the least.

    I’m very happy with our finished product. We all did a great job! it’s a cock-eyed collection of fantasy, sci-fi, urban fantasy, contemporary, and historical – which means it’s just as varied and unique as the city of Houston itself!

    • But you all forgot the 4th C– CRACKING the whip!

      I won’t say who but if it weren’t for our fearless leader with that whip cracking in my ear, I’d still have a half – finished short story on my computer. (-=

      Tally-hoo–it’s been fun and hard work. Looking for more– What’s our next anthology on?!

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