Normal Deviation: The Completed Weird Fiction Anthology
Normal Deviation: The Completed Weird Fiction Anthology

This project has already launched.

A short fiction anthology based on a throwaway tweet and one weird-ass pic.

We asked writers - established, new, young, old, white, black, human, lizard, and breadbox - to respond to one weird-ass pic (the main project image, not the one in the tweet, just to be awkward) with stories in whatever genre they wanted. We collected the best of them into a full-length anthology, and we're delivering that straight to you, reader and lover of weird and fantastic stories.

The stories include absurd aliens, philosophical questions about life and death, Death itself, befuddled activists, prophecies, and post-apocalyptic pigs.

Who are we? 

The authors: We gathered a wonderfully weird and twisted group of authors, including: Olivia Berrier, Josephine Bruni, Dan Cox, Josh Dygert, Sam Hirte-Runtsch, Jonathan Howard, L.G. Keltner, Chris LoudAmanda Marples, Charlie Wilson, Cath Barton, Jetse de Vries, Joanna Michal Hoyt, Dean Knight, Molly McLellan, Arathi Menon, Jesse Rodriguez, Nicola ThompsonEmma Venables, and Clare Weze.

The editors: Lyle Skains & DeAnn Bell. We're both published authors with PhDs in Creative Writing (for whatever that's worth).

Lyle is a Senior Lecturer in Writing at Bangor University, researching Creative Writing, Digital Fiction, and Digital Publishing. She's published short fiction and digital fiction (some of which you can even find on Amazon). She teaches workshops on indie and digital publishing, and was the Editor-in-Chief for the Blue Pencils and Media Medleyanthologies.

DeAnn teaches Creative Writing at Bangor University as well as workshops for area writing groups. Her writing has appeared in Sage WomanOpen Pen, and NAWE's Writing in Education. She specializes in Southern (USA) women's writing, speculative and Gothic fiction, multiculturalism, and writer identity and body.

What is the funding for? 

First and foremost, it's for the authors of these stories. As authors ourselves, we know how much writers get exploited. So much of what we write is "on spec" - writing in fits and starts around full-time jobs and families and responsibilities for just the hope that some editor somewhere might pay us a measly fee for the hours spent creating.

Our previous projects were on shoestring budgets (or none at all!), but we want to pay our authors at least semi-professional rates. That's a minimum of a penny a word (which works out to about £50 per short story). Our project goal allows us to pay our authors this minimum, plus a contributor copy.

If we exceed our funding goal, our stretch goals include higher rates for our authors.

Bully for them, but what about the backers?

Because we've offered a minimum payment (each author has already received £10 for their work) and this potential for professional payment, we know you're getting some amazing, professional stories from some fantastic authors. Don't make us liars, hey? Come through and pay these weird folks!

So by supporting #NormalDeviation, you're not only getting some great stories and helping some authors earn a paycheck, you've ensured the quality of the stories. Win-win, right?

Plus, we'll keep you updated on the process - things we're thinking about, what we're looking for, story themes we're seeing - all the behind-the-scenes publishing insights you can stand. We have an ongoing blog, and we'll give you backers some choice and backer-only tidbits as we go.

Take note - Strange Supporters and above get double the stories! A copy of Blue Pencils will be included in your rewards package.

Even better, some backers will get conehead crafts from Lyle's craft workshop!

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