So you want to run a reading series, do you? That’s fantastic news! The more places authors have to showcase their work, the better. But while running a reading series may seem like a cakewalk to the casual outside observer, there are many things you must consider to make sure your series is successful.
I’ve been co-hosting the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series in Manhattan alongside Ellen Datlow for over eight years (the series itself has been running since the late 90s), and in that time I’ve learned many things about how to run a successful reading series, some of which I’ll share with you here.
So that cryptic message I left a few weeks back about a story sale? Here it is: I’m supremely happy to announce I’ve sold “In Memory of a Summer’s Day” (which some may have heard me read at KGB last month) has sold to Ellen Datlow for her forthcoming Alice in Wonderland-themed anthology called Mad Hatters and March Hares. My story is about a jaded guide who gives many daily tours of Wonderland, which people come from all over the world to visit. No word yet on when the book drops, but it seems now to be some time late in 2017.
Here’s the full table of contents:
- Gentle Alice Kris Dikeman (poem)
- My Own Invention Delia Sherman
- Lily-White & The Thief of Lesser Night C.S.E. Cooney
- Conjoined Jane Yolen
- Mercury Priya Sharma
- Some Kind of Wonderland Richard Bowes
- Alis Stephen Graham Jones
- All the King’s Men Jeffrey Ford
- Run, Rabbit Angela Slatter
- In Memory of a Summer’s Day Matthew Kressel
- Sentence Like a Saturday Seanan McGuire
- Worrity, Worrity Andy Duncan
- Eating the Alice Cake Kaaron Warren
- The Queen of Hats Ysabeau Wilce
- A Comfort, One Way Genevieve Valentine
- The Flame After the Candle Catherynne M. Valente
- Moon, Memory, Muchness Katherine Vaz
- Run, Rabbit, Run Jane Yolen (poem)
Over at Fran Wilde’s Cooking the Books, Ellen Datlow and I share inside secrets about the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series, the esoteric art of anthology editing, and the black divination of novel writing. Fran has a Patreon to support the podcast, and if you donate she’ll send you some of our outtakes! Why would you want to hear those outtakes? Well, because Ellen doesn’t want you to!
— Ellen Datlow (@EllenDatlow) March 28, 2016
Also, this week I’ll be writing a series of essays for the Jewish Book Council. In “The Shortening of the Way” I speak about about Dune, the Baal Shem Tov, the Kwisatz Haderach, and genre shibboleths.
Give a listen! Give a read! And leave a comment, so I know there are people out there who are interested in this stuff.
Last week I participated in the Speculate Podcast, episode 144, hosted by Gregory A. Wilson and Bradley P. Beaulieu, and I was joined by Ellen Datlow, who I co-host Fantastic Fiction at KGB with. We speak about the origin of the series, what it takes to run a successful one, and what some of the benefits to the community are. We also speak about our respective projects: Ellen on her anthologies, and I speak of my debut novel King of Shards. Here’s the intro:
Welcome to Episode 144 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans. In this episode we talk about reading series and short stories with the legendary editor Ellen Datlow and author/editor Matthew Kressel, who co-host the KGB Fantastic Fiction series in New York City, looking at how each of our guests got involved in hosting KGB, how reading series have changed over the years, and what the live experience offers which other more canned or isolated experiences don’t. We also talk about the process of constructing an anthology, and the difference between short and long fiction from a writing perspective. We really enjoyed this conversation with two very interesting and active people in the genre, and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
You can listen to the podcast here.