Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Fantasy Crowdfunded Anthology – Guest Post

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Disability and or Neuro-diversity, Guest Posts, LGBTQIA, News, Race and Ethnicity | 0 comments

Kaleidoscope from Twelfth Planet PressToday I want to welcome two special guests to the blog, Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios. Alisa and Julia are currently in the process of raising money for a very exciting young adult anthology. Here’s what they have to say about the project:

We’re the editors of a new anthology of diverse YA fantasy stories called Kaleidoscope. We’re crowdfunding on Pozible until the end of this month, and if you visit our Pozible page you can watch a couple of videos we’ve made, and learn a bit about the project. In this post, we wanted to go into a little more depth to talk about the kinds of stories we love, the kinds of stories you can expect to find in Kaleidoscope, and the kinds of stories we want to see in our submissions queue.

Julia: I love to read YA stories. I loved it as a younger person, and I still love it as an adult, so I was really excited when Alisa asked me to edit a YA anthology with her. I’d like Kaleidoscope to be full of stories I would have loved when I was a teen! Smart stories, fun stories, stories that pull me in so completely they make me forget about my own life for a while.

Alisa: I’m excited about making a book that has wide appeal, to all kinds of readers, and hopefully all kinds of writers. I’m looking for stories that reflect the world, and people, around me but also offer escapism. Everybody deserves to see themselves reflected in the heroes of their stories and that is what I hope we will offer in Kaleidoscope.

Julia: One of the stories we’ve got lined up is by Sofia Samatar. It’s told in the format of a paper the main character is writing for school, and as soon as I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. The character’s voice is funny and honest, and the idea of her writing this as a paper for school is fascinating. She talks a lot about her life and her friends and her school, and things I know a lot of kids have to deal with (like bullying, which I also had to deal with when I was in high school). When Sofia sent us that story, I opened the file just to make sure it was all there and not a blank file. I intended to read it later. Instead I read the whole thing immediately, and when I was done, I was shivering because it was so good. Of course we had to take it for Kaleidoscope!

Alisa: Another story we have is by Vylar Kaftan and features a bisexual teen with OCD. The protagonist is struggling to deal with what her rituals really mean to her and why they are so necessary to her comfort as well as fitting in and around her everyday life s she goes through a break up. It’s a story I deeply relate to personally and I think Vylar really captures perfectly the nuances of such a character.

Julia: We are really looking forward to reading submissions from everyone as soon as we open our general submissions call. The full guidelines will be posted on our website, but in short, what we really want to see are stories that have interesting characters doing interesting things. We also want those characters to be people of color, disabled, neurodiverse, part of the QUILTBAG, or in some other way not the standard default straight, white, cisgendered, able-bodied, neurotypical characters we see everywhere. It’s not that we have anything against those characters, just that we think there are plenty elsewhere, and in Kaleidoscope, we want to celebrate the awesome variety of humans in the world.

Alisa: We’re really hoping to meet our fundraising goal so that we can make this project happen.

Please take a look at our Pozible page (http://www.pozible.com/project/34920) for more information about Kaleidoscope. If you like what you see, and can spare a few dollars, every little bit helps! We LOVE our backers! We also wanted to thank Visibility Fiction for hosting us, and for doing great work to promote diversity!

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About Alisa and Julia:
Alisa Krasnostein is editor and publisher at independent Twelfth Planet Press, a freshly minted creative publishing PhD student and recently retired environmental engineer. She is also part of the twice Hugo nominated Galactic Suburbia Podcast team. In 2011, she won the World Fantasy Award for her work at Twelfth Planet Press. She was the Executive Editor and founder of the review website Aussie Specfic in Focus! from 2004 to 2012. In her spare time she is a critic, reader, reviewer, podcaster, runner, environmentalist, knitter, quilter and puppy lover.

Julia Rios writes all sorts of things, hosts the Outer Alliance Podcast (celebrating QUILTBAG speculative fiction), and is one of the three fiction editors at Strange Horizons. Her fiction, articles, interviews, and poetry have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, Stone Telling, Jabberwocky, and several other places. She’s half-Mexican, but her (fairly dreadful) French is better than her Spanish.

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I am a big fan of Twelfth Planet Press and have always been impressed by the quality and creativity that goes into each of their publications. I really can’t wait to read Kaleidoscope and to see what exciting young adult stories Alisa and Julia compile in this anthology. I can already tell that their passion for fun and interesting stories with diverse characters will make this a unique, entertaining and important anthology. With that in mind, I urge everyone who loves young adult fiction and cares about the visibility of diversity in fiction to support the Kaleidoscope Pozible fundraising campaign.

To pledge funds to the Kaleidoscope Pozible campaign, visit the Pozible site at http://www.pozible.com/project/34920.

If you are unable to spare any funds, you can always support Kaleidoscope and diverse fiction by helping to spread the word.

To find out more about Kaleidoscope and Twelfth Planet Press, visit the Kaleidoscope blog and the Twelfth Planet Press website.

Thank you, Alisa and Julia, for taking the time to tell us about the Kaleidoscope anthology and the sorts of stories we can look forward to reading upon its release!

– Holly Kench, Visibility Fiction

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