Every year since 2010, the online writing group for expat writers to which I belong – Writers Abroad – has published an anthology. Since we are spread across the globe and all the work is carried out online, this is a quite a feat of virtual collaboration. Foreign and Far Away, this year’s effort, will be published next Monday 21st October.
The book is a selection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry on the theme of people and places. The distinguishing feature is that it has been written by expats (or former expats) around the world. The contributions explore the relationship between people and the landscapes and settings they live in. They evoke the diversities, similarities, connections and misunderstandings of life in foreign places.
My own contribution, a short story entitled Angel Maker, is set in a village in SW France at the beginning of World War I. It tells the story of what happens to a young woman and her sweetheart when he goes off to war.
Author Amanda Hodgkinson, who has lived in Southwest France since 2002, has written the foreword. Her debut novel, 22 Britannia Road, was published in 2011 and has been very well received. Amanda took part in our literary festival at Parisot last weekend (more about how that went later). She was delightful and ran a very popular session about the genesis of her novel and how she works as a writer.
Writers Abroad sent out a call for submissions in April. We received 219 contributions, of which we selected 94 for the anthology, including 23 from our own members. The anthology includes 38 short stories, 37 non-fiction articles and 19 poems.
Book Aid International will benefit from the proceeds of this year’s anthology. They aim to increase access to books and support literacy, education and development in sub-Saharan Africa. They have sent more than 30 million books to partner libraries since 1954.
Christmas is coming at a rate of knots and this time we’ve chosen to publish on Amazon. The price is $10.99, £8.99 or €9.99, depending on where you live and which Amazon site you buy from. For a book of 300 pages, this represents pretty good value.
The book will be available from 21st October on the following links:
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