I want to tell you all some things about 40 Below: Volume 2. The first thing to tell you is that I am not a very organized person most of the time. When I put out the call for submissions for the first volume of 40 Below it was on October 31st and I gave people about 2 months to submit something. Winter was just getting started and people were excited about this whole 40 Below idea. They were all like, “a book? sounds interesting!”. This led me to receiving somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 submissions which led to me publishing 70 or so stories and poems and essays in 40 Below. In my very biased opinion I believe that 40 Below contained some of the best writing that was published in 2013, not just locally but in the whole country. 2013 was an amazing year for Edmonton area writers. So many books came out last year and I was very proud that 40 Below was one of those books. I believe that people will continue to discover it years and years from now. It’s very difficult for anthologies to find their place during awards season because… reasons, but nevertheless I will continue to use all of my breaths to tell people how great I feel this collection is. It brings me great joy to know that even on the hottest day of the year so far, last week in Edmonton, somebody still walked into a bookstore and purchased a copy of 40 Below.
So, moving along, I was talking about 40 Below: Volume 2. I’ve been reading submissions preparing for the June 2nd deadline. I know what a lot of you are saying: June 2nd??? I thought the deadline was July somethingorother?? Yeah..about that… This falls under that whole ‘being disorganized’ thing I was saying earlier. I moved the deadline to June 2nd and it has appeared in the Writers Guild of Alberta newsletter for the past month or so. The problem is that on the 40 Below website it still said (until recently) the deadline was July somethingorother. Confusion! Sorry about that. The point is that the deadline is June 2nd. If you still think that the deadline is in July, that’s ok. Just send me something whenever you feel like it. If there is time I may still accept it.
The main point that I am trying to make is that I have been reading submissions for this second volume, which has now expanded the original theme of winter in Edmonton to include winter in the whole province of Alberta. I want you to know that there are a lot of really good submissions in this bunch. Like, a lot. There is some great writing that people have sent me from all over the province. No decisions have been made yet or anything like that but you should know that there are some staggeringly good submissions in this lot. I want your submissions to be a part of this amazing group. I want you to know that even though it is the beginning of summer that I am getting very excited about this second volume of 40 Below. I made the submission deadline when I did because I want to make sure that there is more than enough time to get everything done this time. The scheduled release of this book won’t be until the winter of 2015. You may think that is a lot of time but in book terms it isn’t. I don’t know why this is. I just want to make sure there is enough time to do this right. It’s going to be good. It’s going to repair the relations between Edmonton and Calgary. It’s going to make writers in Vancouver and Montreal and Toronto envious of our cities and our writing talent. It is going to bring us all together in the best ways possible.
June 2nd is a week away. July 31st is even further away than that. I want you to send me your writing as quickly as you can. Tell your friends about this. Tell your writing friends, your non-writing friends, your co-workers and girlfriends and boyfriends and mothers and fathers. We are building something very exciting and we are building it together. It’s happening right now.
Thank you for your time.