Bragging is frowned upon in polite society, but I’m going to do it anyway. The first anthology of Tri-Valley Writers, Voices of The Valley: First Press, is now in print. The club has dreamed of providing members an opportunity to experience being published, and like all big dreams it never seems quite real when it comes true.
The dream felt real enough in the middle of the process. The club decided to be as professional as possible about the anthology, which meant that members were asked to submit their work – then submit themselves to the review and revision process. The anthology committee collaborated with each submitter in an editor-client relationship. All thirty authors in the book, including the members of the committee, had a chance to experience seeing their words through another’s eyes. The back and forth, give and take of this type of revision proved beyond doubt the truth of the adage that the best writers are re-writers.
After revision, the committee had another opportunity to learn and grow: creating the manuscript. Assembling thirty voices expressing their unique truths in poetry, memoir, travel and short fiction opened our eyes to the way separate stories can be viewed as a whole. There is as much art in deciding where the pieces fit as in deciding what illustration goes on the cover.
Now comes the next step in publication – promotion. The well-bred lady my mother wants me to be must stand aside for the glad-hander, smiling as I swoop down on my friends and family announcing, “Look at this!” Still, when the product one is promoting is as wonderful as Voices of The Valley: First Press, bragging comes easy.