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£1,989
pledged of £3,500pledged of £3,500 goal
100
backers
34days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, October 25 2019 6:00 PM UTC +00:00.

Let Me Know When You're Home

Stories of female friendship by women writers, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry

Let Me Know When You're Home

Stories of female friendship by women writers, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry

£1,989
pledged of £3,500pledged of £3,500 goal
100
backers
34days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, October 25 2019 6:00 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Dear Damsels is Kickstarting Let Me Know When You’re Home – a collection of stories about female friendship. We will publish in February 2020 (perfectly timed for Galentine’s Day).

From growing up together to growing apart, from the oldest of friends to the fake ones, our relationships with other women can be our greatest loves, deepest heartbreaks and the steadying centres we spiral back to time and time again. Because female friendship and connection are central to what we do at Dear Damsels, we wanted to find a way to explore it in full, giving it the space it needs and deserves.

In Let Me Know When You’re Home, fifteen women writers will explore the subject in all its forms, in a collection of writing that is both a celebration of what women can achieve with the support of each other, as well as a frank exploration of the realities of these relationships.

Who are we?

Dear Damsels is a platform sharing the words and stories of women, co-founded by Abby Parsons and Bridie Wilkinson in January 2016. We’ve published over 200 female writers, hosted 4 sell-out events, opened over 40 monthly submission periods, and published 3 issues of the DD Annual, a yearly print publication bringing together some of our favourite pieces of writing by women published online throughout the year.

Abby and Bridie, aka Team DD

What are we planning to make?

We are crowdfunding for Dear Damsels’ first ever paperback publication. In August 2019, we held an open submissions period for pieces of original creative writing by women on the subject of female friendship, and were overwhelmed by the response. Let Me Know When You’re Home: Stories of Female Friendship is the result of that. A compelling collection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, we hope it will be a book passed between friends, treasured by women and returned to again and again.

The cover will be designed by Anna Woodbine (The Woodbine Workshop) and will look something like this:

Let Me Know When You're Home
Let Me Know When You're Home

The collection will be divided into five parts:

  • Growing Up
  • Growing Apart
  • Old Friends
  • Fake Friends
  • Women Supporting Women

Where did this project come from?

Out of all the topics discussed and explored in the writing we share on DD, we constantly receive submissions about the relationships between women – and it’s something we never tire of reading about. Maybe that’s because it’s the kind of quietly steadying force that doesn’t get enough attention: the accumulation of small moments, late nights, loud laughs and, always, a request to let me know when you’re home. 

It has long been our plan to expand the publishing strand of Dear Damsels; the three issues of the DD Annual (2017, 2018, 2019) have shown that we can successfully create, publish and market our own publications, in a way that puts female voices front and centre. We couldn’t think of a more perfect topic than female friendship for our first ever book.

What will it cost?

We’ve already published three print publications, so we know how to run a successful publishing campaign – but we want this publication to go further and reach more people than our previous projects have done, which is why we need your help.

Our target will cover the printing, design, editorial and distribution costs involved in publishing Let Me Know When You’re Home into a paperback edition. Importantly, this Kickstarter will also help us do something we haven’t been able to do so far with Dear Damsels, which is to pay our writers. Previously, our projects have been self-funded, or supported through money raised from DD events and DD Annual sales, but this doesn’t go as far as we’d like. Being published is such an important landmark for an emerging writer; we’d love to reflect this in payment for their work.

The total costs involved are as follows:

Breakdown of costs
  •  Payment of contributors: This Kickstarter will enable us to pay our writers for the first time, which is a big deal for us. We will also be paying freelance designers at a fair rate.
     
  •  Printing and distribution costs: We will be printing with Clays, one of the leading printers in the UK. In order to have Let Me Know When You’re Home stocked in bookshops and physical retailers, we think it’s important that the quality of the book is to a high standard, and printing with Clays will achieve this.
     
  •  Supporting Dear Damsels: All the work of the Dear Damsels team is carried out on a voluntary basis (i.e. we don’t pay ourselves) and all of the work going into the lengthy submission process, including sending feedback to all writers, is also something we will do in our spare time. We are passionate about sharing women's voices and DD is the very definition of a passion project. By supporting this Kickstarter, you’ll be helping us take our biggest step yet with DD, and helping us secure the future of this platform for women writers.

Timings

This will be our biggest project and print run yet. We plan to promote and distribute this book through our own channels, but also through bookshops, both online and offline. It is our hope that as well as giving our writers a wider reach and platform for their work, this will also introduce Dear Damsels to more women looking for a creative outlet, providing them with a platform for their voices to be heard. 

We’ve already designed a cover, and having held a six-week open submission period in July–August 2019, we’re now in the process of editing the collection. Though we couldn’t include all the submissions we received, it was our aim to curate a collection that represents the true variety and complexity of female friendships, from a diverse range of voices.

With sufficient funding, we will complete the editorial and design work from October–December. This includes copy-editing, typesetting and proofreading, before sending the book to print in January 2020.

We will publish in February to coincide with Galentine’s Day. 

Why we care – and why you should too

We know that it’s all too common for women to feel like their voices aren’t worth anything – and that by offering female writers a platform, we’re giving them a chance for their voice to be heard, and for their stories to be told. As writers ourselves, we also know that finding ways to share your writing can feel like shouting into the void. We always want to be able to offer new opportunities for women to share their words, and to receive feedback. If we can play even a small role in women writers’ journeys to publication, by providing them with support and a platform, then we will find a way to do so.

Female friendship and connection is central to what we do: at its heart, DD is a network of women, sharing each other’s work and listening to each other’s voices. Let Me Know When You’re Home is our way of celebrating that – we hope you’ll support us in bringing it to life.

If you're a retailer interested in becoming a stockist, you can support Let Me Know When You’re Home by pre-ordering copies wholesale through our Kickstarter, or get in touch by emailing contact@deardamsels.com to find out more.

Risks and challenges

Publishing a print book is expensive and time-consuming. We have already put in a lot of time and effort into this project – including hosting an open submissions period – but without the funding from this Kickstarter we are unlikely to be able to go to print. However, with almost four years of running the Dear Damsels collective behind us, we feel confident that we have a pre-existing audience who will help us achieve our goal.

We have published three print publications before, but this is also the first book Dear Damsels will have published, and undoubtedly a new challenge for us. Outside of running Dear Damsels, we have extensive book publishing experience behind us, and we will be utilising this in all aspects of the book production – so it's a challenge we feel well prepared to take on.

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    Let Me Know When You're Home ebook

    Pre-order your digital version of Let Me Know When You're Home (with your name in the back of the book as a special thank you).

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    Let Me Know When You're Home paperback

    Pre-order your paperback edition of Let Me Know When You're Home and get your name in the book as a special thank you.

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    The DD Bundle 2019

    As well as your pre-order of LMKWYH with your name in the back as a thank you, you'll also get a DD tote, a set of notecards featuring the LMKWYH design and a copy of our most recent collection of writing by women, the DD Annual 2019

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    • DD tote bag
    • DD Annual 2019
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    The Friendship bundle

    Pre-order a paperback copy for you and a friend in time for Galentine's, plus a set of notecards featuring the LMKWYH design for sending love notes to your besties AND a DD tote bag each. (Option to have both your names included in the book!)

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    Editorial feedback session with Team DD

    One for the writerly – pledge £50 and receive your copy of LMKWYH, your name in the book as a thank you, and an editorial feedback session on your WIP with the co-founders of DD, in person or over the phone. (Up to two hours, suitable date and time to be arranged.)

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    The Ultimate DD Bundle

    Get the ultimate collection of writing by women! As well as your pre-order of LMKWYH with your name in the back as a thank you, you'll also get a DD tote and a copy of the DD Annual 2019 and 2018 editions.

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