About this project
An anthology of brand new fiction about fatherhood, featuring stories by: Toby Litt, Nikesh Shukla, Dan Rhodes, Courttia Newland, Nicholas Royle, Johnny Mains, Dan Powell, Rodge Glass, R.J. Price, Tim Sykes, Lander Hawes, Andrew McDonnell, Iain Robinson, Richard W. Strachan, Richard V. Hirst and Samuel Wright.
NOTE: The anthology is now fully funded, but let's keep going! This may be your last chance to preorder a copy, and to get your hands on our exclusive rewards. We still have beer mats, and Christmas cards, and that limited edition chapbook of microfiction. And every backer gets entered into the draw for Johnny Mains' original, handwritten draft of his story 'Breathing'. So keep ordering your copies - that way we can stay in touch with you about all the exciting events we have lined up. This is just the beginning...
"Let us be gentle when we question our fathers, wrote poet Anne Carson. In Being Dad, fathers and those who are fathered are gently and variously examined from angles tender, comic and disturbing. These stories beautifully evoke the joyousness, confusion and pain of family, the tangled threads that wrap around us from the past and fling us, with hope, into our future."
Tania Hershman, author of My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions
"Editor Dan Coxon has put together a mixture of the best short story writers in the UK and rising stars of the genre, all under the theme of fatherhood. I for one will be picking up a copy of Being Dad especially to be the first to read new work from the excellent Toby Litt, Nick Royle and Nikesh Shukla."
Paul McVeigh, author of The Good Son and co-founder of the London Short Story Festival
"I was thrilled with the quality of the stories... If this is a mere sample of the standard then I look forward to seeing the finished product."
Stuart Buck, reviewing Being Dad for Under The Fable
What is Being Dad?
Being Dad started as a project when I began meeting writers within the short story community. I came to realise that many of us are fathers, but that fatherhood is something we don't often talk about. I’d read many stories about mothers, and motherhood, and the bonds between child and mother… but where were the fathers in this equation? Fatherhood itself is starting to change and develop, as men become more involved and more active in bringing up their children, and society’s expectations shift. Wouldn’t it be interesting to ask these father-writers to explore their experience of fatherhood through fiction?
If you’ve seen the line-up of authors that we have, you’ll know why I’m so thrilled by the response. Several contributors wrote to me saying that they’d always wanted to write something about their life as a dad, but they hadn’t found anywhere that might be open to a story like that. Others had already written a fatherhood story, but had never actually done anything with it. It was clear that the topic was something we were all circling around. In Being Dad, we’ve finally given these wonderful stories a home.
The stories themselves deal with fatherhood from many different angles. I didn’t want to set any specific limitations, so each writer was free to explore the theme in any way they saw fit. We have tender stories about a father’s love and compassion, darker stories exploring feelings of protectiveness and sleep deprivation, and stories that look at the bond from the child’s perspective. What brings them all together is the urge to question what it means to be a dad.
Why Do We Need Funding?
The short stories have been selected for the project already. What we’re looking for is funding to pay for the cover design, interior design, layout, printing – and to pay the writers for their work. Short story anthologies have never been very commercial, and publishers tend to shy away from them. Anyone who’s read a great anthology, however, will tell you that they can be an intriguing kaleidoscope of voices and styles, and we truly believe that we have a fantastic book here (look at that line-up again, if you don’t believe me). If we can hit funding target, it’ll pay for the first print run of the book, and a small advance payment for each of the contributors. If you could see the wonderful manuscript sitting on my desk, believe me – you’d want to read this book too.
UPDATE: We now have a publisher! Bristol-based Tangent Books is on board to publish the anthology, as long as we meet our target!
Who Am I?
If you don’t already know me, you’re probably wondering who I am. You can find out more about me on my website, but in a nutshell I’m a freelance writer and editor living just outside London, as well as a full-time father of two. My travel memoir Ka Mate: Travels in New Zealand was used as background research for the ITV documentary River Deep, Mountain High. For just over a year I edited Litro Magazine, and I co-edited Hearing Voices: The Litro Anthology of New Fiction. I also write fiction, and my stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Unthology, Popshot, The Lonely Crowd, Gutter, Neon, The Portland Review and many others. Finally, if you want to find out a little more about me, my work and what it means to be a writer-dad, you can read my interview with The Good Men Project here.
Who Will the Book Appeal To?
Obviously the book appeals to fans of the short story, but we believe it also has a wider appeal. That’s why we’re looking to launch it in advance of Father’s Day 2016. If you want to show your dad – or your husband – that you appreciate him, and all the effort he’s put into being a dad, then this is a great way to do it. That’s why we’re giving away two copies of the book with the higher reward levels – one for you to read, and one for you to give to your dad.
I can honestly say that I don’t know of another book like Being Dad. Whether you’re thrilled by the chance to read new stories by the likes of Toby Litt, Dan Rhodes, Nikesh Shukla and Nicholas Royle, or you just want to give your father (or husband) something special for Father’s Day, this anthology is uniquely special. Please show us your love.
NOTE: Every single backer will be entered into a draw to win the signed, handwritten draft copy of Johnny Mains' story 'Breathing'! See Update #4 for full details.
Risks and challenges
The stories are already selected, and we're in the process of tidying and editing them for publication. All projects can be subject to delays, but at the very least we want to release this book in advance of Father's Day 2016. With the money raised, we'll be able to get started on design and cover art, and to pay the writers for their work. As long as we hit target, a publication release date will be inked in before the end of this year. Most likely release date is March 2016.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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