For four years, Avery has been publishing emerging authors alongside established ones; young writers alongside older; women alongside men; urban alongside rural. Every single page of our book is devoted to the unpublished short story, so we’ve been able to get over ninety short stories out into the world.
And yet, no matter how widely we cast the net, we’re always going to miss a few states, a few cities, a few voices. Sometimes a story’s voice is too good, too different, too true to fit into an issue.
We decided something had to be done.
The 25 Cities Project is our effort to offer readers even more variety, to encourage writers from more diverse backgrounds to throw their hats in the ring. The short story has been evolving for quite some time now, and through each phase we see changes in style, tone, mood. Above all else, though, we see and seek out changes in voice. So much depends upon who’s telling us the story, and from what vantage point they’re telling.
And so, we’re targeting some vantage points. Twenty-five geographic vantage points, in fact:
New York Los Angeles Chicago Phoenix Philadelphia San Diego Detroit San Francisco Jacksonville Indianapolis Austin Columbus Charlotte Memphis Boston Baltimore El Paso Seattle Denver Nashville Milwaukee Washington, D.C. Las Vegas Louisville Portland.
This list might seem familiar. It started as the top twenty-five most populated American cities, and grew into a mix of the top thirty. We were sad—but willing—to sacrifice some cities to include others, in an effort to add more regional diversity.
Each story in this collection will center around one of the aforementioned cities. The city must play an integral role in the development of the story. The writer need not have been born and bred there; in fact, they might have only ever just passed through. The same goes for the character(s). But no matter what the writers’ ties, they’ve got something to say about the city; or, perhaps, the city has got something to say about them. About you. About us.
In choosing twenty-five of the most populated cities, we aim to assemble twenty-five different and differing short stories. This collection might not reveal anything miraculous about contemporary short stories. It likely won’t give us a complete panoramic view. No collection can. But if funded, this collection will let us see how the literary landscape curves, bends, breaks. It’ll illustrate what’s not being said. And it’ll reveal that which still remains.
$3,000 will allow us to print 250 copies of the 25 Cities Project, including a color cover and twenty-five black-and-white city photographs inside. If your generosity moves us beyond that dollar amount, we can get even more ambitious with the project’s design: printing a square book; higher quality paper; full-color, full-page city photographs. And if backers’ enthusiasm and generosity proves even greater than that, we will be able to print more copies of our very beautiful, ambitious book.
Avery has thrived as a 501(c)(3) organization. We’re still around because the reading public wants to participate, to give, to make happen. Backing us on Kickstarter is no different: if our pledge goal is met, all backers will receive a receipt for their tax deductible charitable donation.
Please, join us.
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