Common Bonds is an upcoming anthology of speculative short stories and poetry featuring aromantic characters. At the heart of this collection are the bonds that impact our lives from beginning to end: platonic relationships. Whether with family, mentors, friends, colleagues, or found family, these links pepper our lives and their importance is often overlooked. We seek to highlight the various ways platonic relationships can enrich us. Furthermore, we want to explore the way aromantic people often redefine the relative importance of these platonic bonds, centering them in their lives over romantic ones. The details of our call to submissions can be found here.
Common Bonds will be published February 2020.
We dream of sisters on a roadtrip through space, of queerplatonic partners hunting dragons, of an alchemy teacher changing the course of their student’s life, and of neighbours supporting each other through the apocalypse. Common Bonds aims to contain over a dozen such tales.
Because we wanted to center aromantic voices, we approached several aromantic writers for submissions before the open call. Below are two stories already accepted in Common Bonds.
Claudie Arseneault is an asexual and aromantic-spectrum writer hailing from Quebec City. Her love for sprawling casts invariably turns her novels into multi-storylined wonders. Her latest, Baker Thief, explores the way romance tropes can be reimagined for aromantic characters. Claudie has previously edited another anthology, Wings of Renewal: A Solarpunk Dragons Anthology. She is a founding member of The Kraken Collective, an alliance of indies publishing queer speculative fiction, and is well-known for her undying love of squids.
In the aromantic community, Claudie is best known for her database of aromantic and asexual characters and her analytical essays on aro and ace representation. This work provides her with a good overview of the current landscape of representation for these identities.
C. T. Callahan is a multi-racial author and editor with a passion for diverse stories. E has worked as an editor with two literary magazines and earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a focus in creative writing. Eir writing credits include a young adult novel (Plastic Wings), a short story collection (Are We Human?), a webcomic (James Wolfson the Little Queer Werewolf That Could), and contribution to the Behind the Sun, Above the Moon anthology (NineStar Press 2020). E works mostly from home, writing trade reviews (Foreword Reviews), providing sensitivity reads, and preparing art for eir next convention.
B. R. Sanders is an autistic award-winning genderqueer writer who lives and works in Denver, CO, with their family and two cats. B writes fantasy novels about queer elves and short fiction about dancing planets. They founded and serve as editor-in-chief of Vulture Bones, a quarterly speculative fiction magazine that publishes work by transgender and nonbinary creators. They love drinking coffee and sleeping. B tweets @b_r_sanders.
RoAnna Sylver writes unusually hopeful dystopian stories about marginalized heroes actually surviving, triumphing, and rocking really hard. You can find those in Chameleon Moon and its associated collection of short stories, Life Within Parole, or in the Portland-queer-vampire serial, Stake Sauce. RoAnna is also a singer, blogger, voice actor and artist who lives with family and probably spends too much time playing videogames. The next amazing adventure RoAnna would like is a nap in a pile of bunnies.
Almost all of the funds gathered through this kickstarter will go to paying our authors, printing and shipping the anthology. The rest is divided between Kickstarter fees, taxes, cover art, and miscellaneous spendings.
Stretch Goal #1 - $10,500 - Pay Authors More! (~$8,000 USD)
The base pay for our authors is 4¢ per word for prose, and $25 for a poem (in USD, both). Our first priority after funding the anthology is to increase that pay to 6¢ per word for prose, and $40 for a poem.
Stretch Goal #2 - $11,500 - Illustrations! (~$8,600 USD)
We'd love to include gorgeous pieces of art reflecting the themes of platonic relationships and aromanticism in our anthology. Should we reach this stretch goals, we'll open a call for submissions for illustrations and pay illustrators $75 USD.
Stretch Goal #3 - $13,000 - Pay The Editors! (~$9,800 USD)
You know who else deserves a pay for their hard work? Everyone on this team. If we reach this stretch goal, each of the four members of the team will receive $250 USD. This is a project led by aromantic editors, and we believe they should earn a minimum of revenues from this.
Stretch Goal #4 - $15,500 - MORE WORDS! (~$11,700 USD)
Holy macaroni, you all sure love this project! We'll be more than happy to make it a bigger, thicker anthology, with two extra poems and 4-5 new short stories!
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk with this project is completing it within the given timeline. We've given ourselves a buffer to account for unexpected issues, but delays both in editing the pieces or with the printer could occur. Thankfully, we're a solid team with experience with all the steps involved in creating an anthology and we're confident we can see this through.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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