Wednesday, 3 December 2008

What is Soup...?

Soup is an online anthology that brings together the work of writers and artists in Manchester. Throughout 2009 we will be presenting a series of illustrated short stories from a collection of Manchester's aspiring bright young things.

Our aim is to collect creative prose in all of its vibrant and wonderful forms, pass it on to a suitable artist - who will then respond to the work - and publish the collaboration online.

To submit, you need to be between the ages of 20 and 25 and currently live in Greater Manchester. It might seem strange that we are only accepting submissions from people within this age bracket, but we feel there is a genuinely good reason for this.

As practicing young artists it is much easier to find established publications with strict submission guidelines and stiff competition than it is to stumble across platforms more suited to our most recent creative efforts.

Soup is an antidote to this.

It is designed as a forum specifically for artists who are beginning to realise their potential and find their 'voices.' It is a collection of efforts and ideas put forth by anyone in Manchester who wants to achieve something. Most of all, it encourages experimentation, stylistic diversity, and creative collaboration.

So, if you want to get involved, here's what you need to know...


WRITERS

To begin with there will be no limit on the amount of work you can submit. In time this might change, but for now we urge you to send us as much as you like - stories, articles, essays, diatribes, opinion pieces, etc. All prose up to 2000 words will be read, but if you have something that exceeds this limit and believe we will enjoy it then, by all means, contact us.

Soup is about improving ourselves as artists, and so ideally we are looking for prose that has been written with this project in mind. Try writing something new that will excite and challenge you as a writer. This website is an ongoing, ever-developing entity and we are always looking for new creative writing.

And, finally...

Soup is dedicated to creating an anthology worthy of your work, both in terms of content and aestheticism, so if we like what you send we WILL publish it.

Send your work, along with a 50 word biography of yourself, to:

soup_anthology@hotmail.co.uk


ARTISTS / ILLUSTRATORS

If you would like to be an illustrator for Soup then please send us 2 - 3 examples of your work via email. We are interested in a whole host of artistic forms and will select one artist for every piece of prose we decide to publish. When sending work, please ensure files are saved as either jpeg or .png files.

Once you have been chosen we will send you a writer's work and you will have a certain amount of time to respond to it. Your work will then be published online as an illustration.

Send all examples of your work, along with a 50 word biography of yourself, to:

soup_anthology@hotmail.co.uk

Please Remember:

Soup is here to ENCOURAGE rather than dishearten, and we very much look forward to hearing from you...

4 comments:

Clare Sudders said...

"Soup is here to ENCOURAGE rather than dishearten"

But I'm already disheartened by being apparently too old!

I'm 39 and I assure you I don't feel in the least bit old. I also don't see how your arguments validate your age limit. For instance...

"As practicing young artists it is much easier to find established publications with strict submission guidelines and stiff competition than it is to stumble across platforms more suited to our most recent creative efforts.

Soup is an antidote to this."

How are older people immune to these problems? As a 39-yr-old writer I face this stuff too.

"It is designed as a forum specifically for artists who are beginning to realise their potential and find their 'voices.'"

I've only had one novel published in the UK. My writing career is still very new, I am still finding my voice. And I'm not unusual. Many people don't start writing until they're older. You can't assume all artists start when they are young.

"It is a collection of efforts and ideas put forth by anyone in Manchester who wants to achieve something."

Yup, that's me.

"Most of all, it encourages experimentation, stylistic diversity, and creative collaboration."

Me again. And to be honest I'm slightly offended by the implication that anyone over the age of 25 is not interested in experimentation, stylistic diversity or creative collaboration.

Still, there you go. I wonder whether my opinions will be instantly discounted as those of an old fogey...

Soup Anthology said...

Dear Clare,

We fear you might have mistaken Soup's submission guidelines as being discriminatory against anyone over 25 years of age. This, of course, is not the case at all.

Firstly, Soup really does exist to encourage rather than dishearten. As we explained in the first blog post, we serve to provide a platform for writers and artists between the ages of 20 and 25, but in no way are we calling anybody outside of this age bracket 'old.'

Soup is not an ageist project, neither does it discredit people's opinions based on age. Indeed, we appreciate that different people start writing at different stages in their lives. It doesn't matter, as far as Soup is concerned, whether you begin at 17 or 71: our anthology, however, is aimed at 20-25 year olds simply because these are the people we specifically want to provide some support for.

We understand completely that writers in their late twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, etc, often face big challenges to their career. Nowhere in our project outline or submission guidelines has Soup even come close to claiming that older people are 'immune to these problems.' Yes, we are a forum specifically for artists who are beginning to realise their potential and find their voices. Nevertheless, contributors should fit the age specification we have provided.

'Many people don't start writing until they're older. You can't assume all artists start when they are young,' you say.

We can only reply by explaining that we haven't assumed this in the slightest. Soup does not promote any kind of negative exclusivity; rather it aims to form creative relationships between 20-25 year old Manchester artists, many of whom are finishing University, or are trying to find a job, or are perhaps working already.

Remember, Soup is just ONE online writing blog in Greater Manchester, let alone the UK and the rest of the world. It exists alongside a whole host of other gender-specific, origin-specific, city-specific and all-else-besides-specific writing:

http://www.mslexia.co.uk/ (Women's Writing)

http://www.amazon.com/Anchor-Book-New-Irish-Writing/dp/0385498896 (Irish Fiction)

http://www.literaturetraining.com/metadot/index.pl?id=37134&isa=DBRow&op=show&dbview_id=2252 (LGBT Writing)

Finally, we must consider your utterly presumptuous statement regarding Soup's supposed 'implication that anyone over the age of 25 is not interested in experimentation, stylistic diversity or creative collaboration'...

Such an accusation is, to say the least, a rather extreme interpretation of the text. If one is to study our guidelines they will see that we simply suggest people try writing '...something new that will excite and challenge you as a writer.' We hope that by putting this message across our demographic might pursue an artistic project specifically designed for the Soup anthology. We want our prospective collaborators to feel excited about breaking - perhaps just temporarily - with their own particular styles.

You end your comment by saying:

'I wonder whether my opinions will be instantly discounted as those of an old fogey...'

No, of course they won't be. Or, perhaps that should be, they haven't been. We only discount opinion based on invalidity. Soup harbours no ill-feeling towards people over 25; it is simply ONE online writing project aimed at ONE aspect of the Manchester community. There are numerous outlets for writers such as yourself, Clare, just as there are for every writer who seeks them out. Soup co-exists with numerous other Manchester blogs, and we do so respectfully, humbly and happily.

Regards,

Soup.

Christopher Bryan said...

What's the plan when you've been working for a while developing young writers and then they turn 26?

Soup Anthology said...

Soup is not a project that intends to 'develop' writers and artists. People who fit this age bracket submit work and if we can team them up with a writer/artist then we do.

However, we operate with no 'guiding hand' and the work that is published is entirely crafted by the artists themselves.

Soup simply aims to collect and publish the work of 20-25 year old artists working in Greater Manchester in order to form creative partnerships between people.

We think the work published in both January and February are perfect examples of this.