Wednesday, February 22, 2012

W1S1 Interview: Verity Linden of Curiosity Quills

Today, W1S1 is delighted to have an interview with Verity Linden of Curiosity Quills. Verity talks about their upcoming Creature Feature anthology as well as other CQ projects of interest to W1S1ers.

Q. Can you tell us about the Creature Feature anthology and the sort of thing you are looking for?

A. Creature Feature is something a bit unusual, both in the breadth of what we are accepting, and in its purpose. We are looking for a very wide range of submissions; visual, in the form of photography, photomanipulation, art in traditional and digital media, in addition to written submissions of short fiction and poetry in any and all genres. The only restrictions are on tone and theme. As this is an all-ages anthology, we're keeping away from graphic blood, gore, sex and cussing, as well as the darkest of the hopeless ruined dystopias. Thematically, we want the anthology to explore the relationship we have with the myriad of other creatures that inhabit this world – both the ones we know about, and the ones we don’t. These creatures can be real or mythical, allies or predators, so long as they interact with either people or man-made factors.

The purpose of the anthology ties in with the theme - what makes Creature Feature a bit different, is the profits will be donated to an animal charity, nominated by the contributors, voted for by the readers. Every submission will represent an animal shelter or charity, and once the anthology is published, readers will have two months to vote on their favourite written and favourite visual submission, with the profits split between the winner from each.

The usual restrictions on reprints, length, format etc are explained in more detail on the submission page at

Q. There's a lot more to Curiosity Quills than just this anthology: can you tell us more about yourselves? Are there other opportunites open to Write1Sub1ers?

A. Curiosity Quills is a two-pronged site. The community site posts articles about writing technique, social media use, publicising your book and any number of other topics useful to authors, as well as humour feature columns by the likes of CatFoodBreath and Paranormalady, and short stories. We're always open for pitches for quality content for the community site.

The other side is Curiosity Quills Press, which focuses on speculative and paranormal fiction, though with at least one piece of literary fiction in the pipeline the options are always open. Although not announced yet (hush, I told you nothing) there is an anthology of dark short fiction planned for later in the year, so that's one to keep an eye out for.

Submissions for any of these areas should be sent to

Q. Do you see any common problems with the submissions you receive? Is there anything in a story you really look out for? Any tips to potential contributors?

A. The most common problems? Not reading the submissions guidelines (too long, too short, sent in PDF format) and missing deadlines (a wonderful submission the day after we've finished putting the anthology together is, frankly, an almost inevitable annoyance). As for tips beyond that? For site submissions, have a good read of the Curiosity Quills site before pitching us, so you know how your idea might fit in. For Creature Feature, submissions that make us stop and think about the relationship / interaction between the human and animal element of the story and what impacts they might have on each other are likely to stick out, bit first and foremost, be creative and give us something we haven't seen before!

Thanks, Linden! If you're interested in submitting to Curiosity Quills, the general guidelines are here.


  1. Always good to hear of somewhere open for submissions.

  2. So, the common theme of these interviews is "Read the dang submission guidelines".

  3. David,

    Yup! I think that about sums it up. And I infer from that that lots of people don't do that.

  4. David and Simon: YES to both. You see that response to 'what do you look for in a submission' because it is seemingly a very tall order!

    The other reason is it's in our best interests to make 'what we want in a submission' as clear as possible, so if someone asks me what I want, odds are I've already put down most of what I think in the sub guidelines anyway!

    Hope to see some interesting submissions from Write1Sub1 readers. It's possible the date is getting extended to the end of March, so you've got a little more time!