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An anthology of the finest erotic science fiction/fantasy stories published by Circlet Press, plus fund our 2018 books, too.
216 backers pledged $10,471 to help bring this project to life.

Writing Is For Everyone, and Circlet Makes You Feel It

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Folks, we're nearing some milestones! We'll be reaching $5,500, the first stretch goal soon. We'll also soon be passing the 100-backer mark. How's this for an incentive? Tell your friends to hop in (for as low as $1!) and when we hit 100 backers we'll celebrate by giving you all something special! How about an audiobook download of Vinnie Tesla's The Ontological Engine? Meanwhile, here's today's essay, from writer K.J. Kabza!

Writing Is For Everyone, and Circlet Makes You Feel It

by KJ Kabza

In 2009, I worked up the courage to attend a Circlet Press room party at a con. It was a big step for me, since, like 90% of writers, I felt like I had 0% of a clue how to chat pleasantly with strangers. But I had sold a story to Circlet the year before, so perhaps I should go. And besides, I was at a con surrounded by other equally hopeless nerds, so how bad could it be?

Also, they had a giant table of porn in there.

I went to the party and, again, like 90% (okay, probably 100%) of writers, zeroed in on the books. I was surprised at both the diversity of the offerings and how casually everyone at the party reacted to them. Personally, I didn't think I was capable of pondering a collection of gay science fiction erotica while holding a breezy conversation about cats.

"There's a lot of good stuff there, huh?" a man asked me cheerfully. Despite my cave-man-like noises of self-consciousness, he led me graciously into a conversation. At some point, Cecilia Tan came over, and my acquaintance introduced me as a Circlet author, which I hadn't had the courage to mention to Cecilia myself. When she asked for the name of the story I'd written for them last year, and I mumbled the title and added that she probably wouldn't remember it, she looked at me straight on and said, "Oh yes. I remember."

Every Circlet party, retreat, and even private gathering in Cecilia's home is the same: incredibly welcoming. Circlet is committed to inclusivity, and their commitment to such extends beyond the already excellent, wide-ranging, imaginative content they offer. This spirit of inclusivity extends to their authors as emerging artists--people with creative promise who lack the confidence to believe that the genre community wants them there.

Writing, and the world of writing and publishing, is for everyone. You may be awkward or shy or inexperienced, or afraid that who or what you are is too different and weird (even among hopeless nerds), but Circlet will never make you feel that way. They might gently reject a story because your craft is not yet good enough, but they will never reject you for not being good enough. And in a field where many of us struggle with insecurity--within a larger world that's obsessed with what kinds of self-expression should be allowed--that can be a really big deal.

My many interactions with Circlet Press have been warm, respectful, and happy. The consistent feeling of welcome over the years has made a real difference in my confidence, and I can only imagine how many other authors Circlet has touched in a similar way.

Since that party 7 years ago, I have presented at cons, done readings, joined SFWA, attended the Viable Paradise writers' workshop, and gone on to write and sell over 50 stories (a few of them at Circlet), with various associated reprints, translations, and podcasts. My first print collection, THE RAMSHEAD ALGORITHM AND OTHER STORIES, comes out in January 2018. And I think I do belong here. Thanks, Circlet.

Bio: KJ Kabza has sold over 70 science fiction and fantasy stories to places such as F&SF, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, and more, with his work for Circlet Press appearing in LIKE HEAVEN AND HELL and LIKE A BREATH OF FLAME. His debut print collection, THE RAMSHEAD ALGORITHM AND OTHER STORIES, releases in January 2018 from Pink Narcissus Press and is available for pre-order now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

 

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