Monday, February 14, 2011

Possible autistic short story collection

I have just received a tip about some people who are interested in putting together a short story collection by autistic authors. I have written 23 short stories, 14 of them have been published on my stories page. It has been a few years since I have written any stories, though at some point I might write more. I'm more interested in writing novels and technically I have now written two of those. Of course short stories can often be a novelist's baby steps. I have submitted my story, Guess who isn't coming to lunch to these people. I may submit one or two more to them. They have a 3,000 word limit so this would preclude a good number of my stories that are substantially longer than this but I have a number of others that do fall within this range.

At one time I believed that I was one of the few persons on the spectrum to have written fiction. After I wrote this on my home page of my stories website, various people countered this claim and I must concede that there are apparently more fiction authors on the spectrum than I previously had believed.

This seems like an exciting project, the fact that there could be a collection of short stories by autistic authors and that it could be published.

One of the problems with this project however is that these people are planning to submit the collection to Jessica Kingsley, probably the premiere publisher of autism-related books. I met Ms. Kingsley at an autism conference a few years ago or so, and she told me that as a general rule, she will not publish fiction books because they did publish one children's book that was fiction and it sold poorly. Though, I think such a project would be worthwhile, I understand that Ms. Kingsley is concerned with her company's bottom line. So, I am guessing the chances that this story collection would be published by JKP is certainly a longshot. If JKP declined to publish it, the chances of anyone else doing so are miniscule, as short story collections are only published by mainstream publishers when the author is an established writer who has had stories published in various magazines, anthologies etc.

If any other autistic authors who have written short stories are interested in this I guess they can follow the link to the wrong planet post and contact the parties concerned.


Oliver M Canby said...

Congratulations, Jonathan! Jessica Kingsley published me in the Autism Heroes book, so perhaps she will publish you as well.

Bullet said...

Thank you for notifying us of this. I like writing fiction as well and have been following the same themes/genres since I was 8 years old. I'll have a look at the site and see if I am able to offer them anything.

Larry Arnold PhD FRSA said...

There are a number of things that JKP did not publish in the past and now do. Don't see short stories as an obstacle, might even have a go myself, but would probably do so under a pseudonym