Backer rewards and official release: WARRIORS out in the world!

WARRIOR on Kindle is now available for preorder! 

As we prepare to round off the last batch of Kickstarter reward shipments – the gorgeous special-edition hardcovers! – here’s the latest news on the WARRIOR anthology and its upcoming world release.

Kickstarter reward progress

Out in the world:

  • All backer paperbacks! If you’ve not yet received yours yet, it should be with you in a matter of days.
  • All backer ebooks and digital bundles!

Up next:

  • Special-edition hardcovers! We expect to ship these within the next week.
  • The audiobook! This will take priority once the remaining physical rewards have been fulfilled. We can’t wait!
  • The short-story writing course! Thanks to your support during the Kickstarter campaign, we secured 30 spots on an upcoming writing course for young marginalised voices. Course details will be released soon, alongside us opening applications for these spots. To be the first to know when applications open, sign up to our newsletter!

WARRIOR launch: 3 April

WARRIOR is right now available for kindle preorder, and will be available in paperback and ebook formats via Amazon from 3 April!

Text: WARRIOR, a collection of short stories: out 3 April

[Text: WARRIOR, a collection of short stories: out 3 April]

Join us on the day to celebrate the release! Tweet your friends and favourite bloggers using the hashtag #WARRIORantho to let them know these amazing stories are now available for all to enjoy!

Already read the book? We want to know what you thought! Did one story give you the shivers; did another inspire you to take on the world? Post your review on Goodreads to help spread the book to others and, come 3 April, be sure to review WARRIOR on Amazon, too! Writing a review on your blog? Send it our way – we’d love to share it with the world!

It’s been a rollercoaster getting this far, and we couldn’t have done any of it without you wonderful people. Thank you again for all of your support!

Amelia and Antonica
Ink & Locket Press

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The warriors are coming! (and other news)

A little behind schedule but raring to go, our twelve feisty warriors are now on their way to all of our paperback backers! The first arrivals might be spotted in as early as five days, so keep an eye out in your mail! Ebook backers, expect to get your hands on these fab stories by the end of the week to coincide with the paperback release.

Text: The warriors are coming! (and other news)

[Text: The warriors are coming! (and other news)]

If you have not yet answered the backer survey, please do so as soon as possible, or contact us on Kickstarter for help resolving any issues.

In other news…

The hardcover: We’re a bit behind schedule with the special-edition hardcover, but it’s looking fantastic so far and you’ll be seeing more about it soon! Perhaps there will be some previews to come in our newsletter…? Only one way to find out!

The short-story writing course: Through your donations and support, we secured 30 young writers spots on an upcoming short-story writing course (more information to come)! Applications for these places will open soon, as well as regular booking slots. Stay up to date through our newsletter and Twitter to be the first to know.

The audiobook: This has taken a backseat while we ensure all the rewards are fulfilled, and that you wonderful backers get your hands on the paperback and ebook, but we’re incredibly excited to get the ball rolling. Watch this space for more information!

The digital bundle: Some of our backers may be wondering what happened to those digital bundles – they’re on their way! We’re sorry for the delay and hope to get these out within a fortnight. We promise they’re worth the wait!

Thank you all for your patience as we get your rewards out, and for your continued support throughout and beyond the campaign! Remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up to our newsletter for all the latest Ink & Locket news.

Amelia and Antonica
Ink & Locket Press

WE DID IT!

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

finalthankyou

Warriors of generous souls, look at what we’ve done!

In the past month:

  • You helped us raise £7053 – that’s £4053 more than we were aiming for!
  • You gave us the funds to produce an audiobook version!
  • You sponsored 25 writing course spots for young, marginalised voices.
  • The 284 of you helped us donate a LOT of books to schools, libraries and organisations – we will let you know the final number when the dust has settled.

You have been an absolutely amazing support throughout the campaign, and we are eternally grateful for each and every one of you.

The book will be up and ready for preorder sometime in January, and everyone who backed the campaign will get their copies first!

But, before that, we’re going to take a few days off and enjoy the holidays with our families!

Thank you so much to each and every one of you. You blew our socks off!

Love,

Amelia and Antonica

Ink & Locket Press

P.S.

Did you hear about the campaign too late, but would still like to buy the book? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll let you know when it’s ready to preorder!

Do you want more information, to donate a number of books or have any questions? Feel free to get in touch with us through the Kickstarter message system, or through our website.

Final 33 hours of Kickstarting!

Our most wonderful WARRIOR anthology has, as we write this, 33 hours left on Kickstarter, and we’ve been interviewed for a Norwegian LGBT magazine!

The campaign has already surpassed our wildest expectations; our stretch goal of donating free writing course spots to young underrepresented voices has already secured 20 young writers a place! 20! And we still have time to go!

It’s not too late to get in on the action: You can support the project by visiting the Kickstarter, buying a book for yourself or someone you love, donating a single pound to the cause for some instant karma, or by letting people in your network know about the campaign.

We are so grateful for all your help in making this campaign fly! You are all golden.

Author interview: Claudie Arseneault

When Claudie Arseneault saw our call for submissions for WARRIOR, she wanted to write about LGBTQIA characters who weren’t romantically involved. In her story Seida the Fairy-Troll, the main character is a lesbian and her best friend is aromantic and asexual.

Claudie Arseneault, author of Seida the Fairy-Troll

Claudie Arseneault, author of Seida the Fairy-Troll

‘Their respective queerness isn’t important to the plot itself,’ Claudie says. ‘It’s more a case of LGBTQIA characters starring in their own stories.

When we sat down to plan WARRIOR, we knew we didn’t want all the stories to focus on romance. In many people’s minds, being queer is still something entirely sexual rather than a small part of a larger identity, and this is often how queer characters are represented. But, as rare as it is to find non-romantic LGBTQIA characters in media, it’s far rarer to find characters who don’t feel romantic or sexual attraction at all. And this is exactly why they’re important, according to Claudie.

‘I really wish there had been any kind of asexual or aromantic representation during my youth. Mainstream storytelling taught me that only robots didn’t have desire and that only villains didn’t love. No wonder I found myself rooting for the bad guys so often! No one should have to go through their formative years thinking they’re broken or condemned to tragedy.’

If Claudie could go back in time and give her 15-year-old self the perfect short story, she says it would have to be a tale featuring an ‘aromantic, asexual science girl who solves mysteries based on Québec’s folklore with her winged cat companion’. Besides this sounding like an awesome story, Claudie says a clear aromantic and asexual protagonist could have saved her ‘some serious sads’.

"Fairies are meant to fly—to zip around, looping and twisting, buzz-buzz, look at my pretty shimmering wings, or something." - Seida the Fairy-Troll by Claudie Arseneault

“Fairies are meant to fly—to zip around, looping and twisting, buzz-buzz, look at my pretty shimmering wings, or something.” – Seida the Fairy-Troll by Claudie Arseneault

She was attracted to the WARRIOR project because it looked fun: ‘I loved how the call allowed a wide range of stories. I’m a novel-writer by nature, but calls like these are enough to make me set aside the longer form and enjoy myself with shorts.

‘I love being in projects with other writers and editors,’ she adds. ‘Being edited by a skilled editor is always such a joy. You learn a lot from it.’

In addition to writing novels like her post-apocalyptic Viral Airwaves, Claudie is passionate about squids and all other cephalopods, and is a freelance editor. Last year, she edited an anthology of dragon-filled solarpunk short stories with writer and friend Brenda J Pierson. And we are really lucky, because Claudie has offered her editorial skills to you through our Kickstarter!

For the £50 “Warrior of the mighty pen” perk, Claudie will help you with your sci-fi/fantasy short story! In addition to her feedback and guidance, you will receive the WARRIOR anthology as an ebook – for inspiration purposes.

WARRIOR, a collection of LGBTQIA short stories

If you want to support WARRIOR and read Claudie Arseneault’s story, check out our Kickstarter campaign.

You can read more about Claudie on her website, check out her novels on Goodreads and connect with her on Twitter.

Author interview: Natalie Cannon

One of the writers set to debut her fiction writing in WARRIOR is Natalie Cannon. She is currently working towards earning her Creative Writing MFA at Fairleigh Dickinson University, as well as ‘gaying everything up and smashing the patriarchy’. That’s our kind of writer!

Natalie Cannon, author of Howl

Natalie Cannon, author of Howl

Natalie’s story, Howl, started out as a dream. She dreamt she was a werewolf and woke up with sore legs after an intense rooftop chase. She stored the images in her head and the idea eventually ended up as Sherlock fanfiction. From there, it was transformed into an original work, one day when she needed a last-minute short story for a Creative Writing class, before finally making its way into the WARRIOR anthology. What a journey!

But Natalie’s way into this anthology began even earlier.

‘I’ve been a huge sucker for ladies in armour since the age of twelve,’ she says. ‘A question that twelve-year-old me grabbed on to was whether I wanted to be Joan of Arc or meet Joan of Arc and, since I’m Catholic, I settled on making her my guardian saint. Moving forward, I wrote almost exclusively LGBTQIA stories. The WARRIOR project is a perfect intersection of my interests – although the armour has turned into werewolf fuzz.’

"I'm boneless and floating and nothing is real, not even Rafe, not even the fire." – Howl by Natalie Cannon

“I’m boneless and floating and nothing is real, not even Rafe, not even the fire.” – Howl by Natalie Cannon

Neither of the main characters in her story are meant to be read as straight; one is a lesbian, the other a genderfluid pansexual. As with the other stories in WARRIOR, though, the gender and sexuality of the characters are not the main focus of the plot. Natalie thinks it is important that young people can find stories about characters with different identities and experiences than what is considered the default.

‘Being a teenager is like being trapped in a time-warped identity crisis while someone screech-sings creepy opera in the background,’ she says. ‘It’s a time when life experience is low, but knowledge level is very high. Teens and young adults are searching for life’s possibilities in a dizzy panoply of choices, testing to see what they can and can’t do, trying to decide who they want to be. It’s not only important, but also a responsibility for those older to show them every possibility and encourage exploration. Stories do this.’

Although this will be Natalie’s first published short story, she has previously had three poems in print.

‘They were about the frustrations of studying history, a weird painting that got the Gilligan’s Island theme song stuck in my head and metaphorically setting myself on fire,’ she says.

WARRIOR, a collection of LGBTQIA short stories

If you want to buy WARRIOR and read Natalie Cannon’s story, or donate copies of the book to your local school or library, remember to check out our Kickstarter campaign.

You can connect with Natalie on her Twitter (and possibly pester her for copies of her poetry).

Kickstarter update: We’re on the “Projects we love” list!

Six days in, and a almost a third of the way to our goal! Not only that, but today we’re on Kickstarter’s “Projects we love” list! Who would have thought?

Well, we did! Why?

WARRIOR

  • This book is for an audience that’s longing for it
  • Many of us know LGBTQIA youth who would love a book like this (or indeed, used to be LGBTQIA youth who would have loved a book like this)
  • People who come across our campaign are excited about the opportunity to donate books to schools and libraries. In fact, many of our backers have pledged large sums for lower level rewards, which makes it possible for us to donate even more books!
  • Everyone loves a special-edition hardcover!

So many of you have helped us spread the campaign by sharing it in your networks. Thank you so much! When we get to 50% funding, we will announce our first exciting stretch goal. The sooner we get there, the more likely it is that we’ll reach it, so all your help is propelling us forward.

Thank you!

Antonica and Amelia
Ink & Locket Press

The WARRIOR campaign is live!

Book cover: WARRIOR – a collection of short stories from Ink & Locket Press

Book cover: WARRIOR – a collection of short stories from Ink & Locket Press

Yes! It is time! You can now buy the WARRIOR anthology through our Kickstarter campaign by following this link:

OUR KICKSTARTER

We have a few different versions for you to consider: the ebook, the paperback or the limited-edition hardcover. You can also choose to add some fantastic extra material; we are offering four bonus short stories and a novella from our WARRIOR writers in the digital bundles, and they’re all great!

Are you a writer? There are also five short-story critiques and five submission-pack critiques among the perks.

Not super interested in the book for yourself, but want to help spread it to those who want it? Consider one of our donation perks by donating one, two, ten or 100 books!

We are excited to keep you updated on this journey so, if you haven’t already, consider signing up for our newsletter, where we’ll send out weekly updates.

You can also add WARRIOR to your Goodreads shelf!

WARRIOR: It’s cover-reveal day!

We are proud to present the cover for our WARRIOR anthology—a collection of exciting short stories featuring LGBTQ+ heroes!

Book cover: WARRIOR – a collection of short stories from Ink & Locket Press

Book cover: WARRIOR – a collection of short stories from Ink & Locket Press

We hope the cover reflects the diverse nature of the stories within, bringing together science-fiction and fantasy, badass adventurers in clunky armour, and strange worlds under different suns.

We have not marked the front page with the fact that this is an anthology of LGBTQ+ characters, but it will be made clear on the spine and back cover!

We hope you like it as much as we do! Tweet us @inkandlocket or leave a comment to let us know what you think.

Antonica and Amelia
Ink & Locket Press

 

An open letter to Voya Magazine

Context: VOYA recently published a book review that ended on a line containing a biphobic message. Upon receiving complaints, they responded with a poorly constructed, insensitive email (which they later made public, together with a signed, rather personal letter of complaint) and eventually published an apology on their public facebook page, which many (us included) find lacking. This is a public letter from Ink & Locket to VOYA. This letter has also been posted as a comment on their facebook apology.

Dear editor in chief,

It is with the deepest respect for VOYA magazine, and what you are trying to do and are doing for YA librarians and young readers, that I am sincerely asking you to do better.

You have been called out for perpetuating the idea that bisexuality is something dirty; something young children shouldn’t be exposed to the existence of. You have been asked to consider that saying “the story contains many references to Bo being bisexual and an abundance of bad language, so it is recommended for mature junior and senior high readers” is the same as saying that mentions of a bisexual identity are unsuitable for children.

If we take a step back from this specific review, and imagine a character called Matthew who falls in love with Lisa, would it be natural for VOYA to say “there are mentions of Matthew being straight, and therefore the book is recommended for mature readers”? Probably not. And that is why this is problematic: you have equated bisexuality with something other than a term for who you fall in love with. You have made it inherently sexual. We are sure there were plenty of good reasons to recommend the book to mature readers – swearing and actual descriptions of sex and sexuality, perhaps – but being bisexual is not such a reason.

Now, you seem to partially address this in your apology, as you admit the bisexuality should have been mentioned separately from the age guidance. We are happy you understand and agree with this point. We think it’s great that you want to point out bisexual characters to make it easier for YA librarians to present them to young readers.

However, your apology does not take responsibility for your actions – this being a clumsy wording or mistake, at best, and directly harmful, at worst. In fact, you apologise only that anyone was insulted and/or read the review as biphobic, not for the fact that your reviewer wrote something biphobic. The intention behind it was probably 100% innocent, but the message is not, and the subconscious attitude beneath it is something worth giving a thought.

What was expected was an apology for a harmful sentence and that this sentence was reworded or changed. What you gave was an insulting and hurtful response (which you have even made public on your webpage), and then an apology without an apology.

I sincerely believe this to be a problem caused by a lack of understanding, and not done in any ill-will. But I am asking you to reconsider, reword and do better.

Best regards,

M. Amelia Eikli
Managing director
Ink & Locket Press