Community Novel Project

Community Novel Project Logo


Welcome to the 2016 Community Novel Project from the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library!

The goal of the Community Novel Project is to help writers gain skills and learn techniques that transfer to their writing careers, through working together on a collaborative writing project.

Follow along on our writing, editing and publishing progress by looking Behind the Scenes to find handouts and notes from workshops. Find upcoming events under Get Involved to gain skills and learn techniques . Community Novel Project is open to anyone who wants to learn more about being a writer, editor, marketer, or in any other role needed to successfully self-publish a book.

WRITERS: Learn more about the self-publishing process, including peer feedback and editing, and contribute a short story to this year’s community novel. Contact Project Organizers Lissa Staley and Miranda Ericsson.

Spoiler alert: The 2016 theme is short stories which are Alternative History or Speculative Fiction set in Topeka/NE Kansas.

Project and Programming for 2016

  • A short story collection, allowing writers to all write simultaneously and meet the same deadlines
  • Workshops designed to improve writing, editing and self-publishing skills
  • Greater focus on workshopping/peer review and editing
  • Collaborative effort to create a quality product

The Theme

  • Alternative History or Speculative fiction set in Topeka/NE Kansas
  • “What if” stories—something in the past happened differently than it did in real life, leading to a different present; or, what the future could look like if things continue on the track that they are on now

Parameters for Inclusion (as determined by participants)

  • Stories should be about 2,500 words—4,000 word hard maximum
  • Single submission from each writer
  • Flash fiction is also acceptable, for example, a complete story in one page.
  • Writers are expected to have personally polished their work through self-editing before it is passed on for peer review
  • Each writer will have their story read by at least 3 other writers; each writer will read at least 3 stories and give feedback
  • Do your part in the collaboration. This is not a publishing house or a contest. This collaborative project models the successful skills and strategies for successful fiction self-publishing.

If you decide you want to be involved, please read more about the project theme and parameters for inclusion in the notes from the Premise Meeting. You can also check out the March 25 project update with project timeline and deadlines and April 1 project update for reminders, upcoming events, and links, then email to reach Project Organizers Lissa Staley and Miranda Ericsson.