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.

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

Our WARRIOR writers!

It’s just a few short weeks until the launch of our first crowdfunding campaign and the Ink & Locket camp is buzzing with activity! We will be crowdfunding our anthology WARRIOR—a collection of short stories featuring LGBTQIA characters.

We have selected 12 stories by 12 authors, many of whom identify as LGBTQIA themselves and all of whom have exciting stories to tell. Throughout the campaign and in the weeks leading up to it, we will introduce you to our fantastic authors, give you a teaser or two, and tell you about the exciting perks you can choose when you support the campaign.  We’re excited!

Here is the line up of authors who are contributing, who you’ll get to know over the following weeks.

Text: Introducing our WARRIOR writers

[Text: Introducing our WARRIOR writers]

We are proud to announce that the WARRIOR anthology will feature stories by:

Kelly Matsuura
Natalie Cannon
Lewis Bright Rees
E H Timms
Tyler Gates
Helle Reiersen
Tash McAdam
Kirstie Olley
Claudie Arseneault
Kayla Bashe
B R Sanders
Abigail Rosenhart

Some of these writers are already established authors with long publishing histories, while some will see their publishing debuts in WARRIOR. We are excited to share their work with you!

Make sure you follow us on twitter @inkandlocket, where we will be tweeting about the anthology with the hashtag #WARRIORantho.

Antonica & Amelia

Presenting: WARRIOR, an anthology

Over the past few months, Ink & Locket Press has been busy putting together a collection of short stories. We have read through many fantastic submissions and chosen the best stories, and we are now in the final stages of editing what looks to be a fantastic book!

We asked for warriors—in any shape or form—in stories that included one or more LGBTQIA+ characters. As always, we did not want the diversity to be the main plot point. We wanted all manner of brave warriors, cowardly warriors, social-justice, science-fiction, fantasy and real-life warriors—we just also wanted them to be characters who identified within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

"WARRIOR": Introducing our LGBTQIA+ anthology!

[Image: Text reads “WARRIOR”, with a rainbow-hilted dagger]

We are so excited about the collection we have gathered! Here, you’ll find a Roman gladiator, a London werewolf, a futuristic mermaid, a retiring legend, and countless other exciting characters we can’t wait to introduce you to! The stories span several genres, thousands of years, and way into the speculative landscapes of fairy-trolls and manticores. And all of them feature LGBTQIA+ characters who are woven beautifully into the narratives.

Over the next few months, we will be introducing you to the authors right here on our blog. We will also be giving you sneak peeks at some of the stories, and keep you up-to-date as we gather perks for the crowdfunding campaign. When the campaign launches in September, we are sure you will feel as passionately about this project as we do!

This brings us to our next piece of news:

We have finally set up a newsletter for you to subscribe to! We will get in touch with you once a month, summarising what we are doing behind the scenes of the publishing house. This will be a great way for you to find out when our new calls for submissions open, when our crowdfunding campaigns launch (and when we’re almost at our goals!) and when we are arranging or taking part in community events.

We promise, with our hands on our hearts, that we will never send you more than three emails a month—and usually, we will only send you one! You can sign up quickly and easily by clicking right here!

We are so excited to have you in our community, and can’t wait to share this anthology with you! How about you? Let us know what you think!

Antonica and Amelia
Ink & Locket Press

On representative writing, and an update

It’s time for an update on what’s been going on at Ink & Locket Press.

Next week, we will be announcing our upcoming short-story collection, which is all about warriors and has an LGBTQ+ focus! You’ll start to see some author profiles of our contributors popping up on the blog, and we’ll be sharing some of the experiences we’ve had throughout the project.

We will also be announcing our two upcoming picture books. Both of them feature children with queer parents, but the stories could not be more different. We can’t wait to share them with you!

On top of this, our next call for submissions is right around the corner. Our next short-story collection and picture books will have a focus on disability, and we are excited to see where your stories take you! Own-voices narratives are, as always, strongly sought after. Just remember our motto: diversity shouldn’t be plot, just reality.

And on to a task of ‘representative writing’ that many seem to forget…

The way we see it, if you’re writing representatively, you have a job to do. Your job starts out like this: take an inventory of the stereotypes and presumptions you hold. You might not know you have some of them before the inventory, and most probably, you won’t know about all of them afterwards. Inventorying sucks like that: even after you think you’ve caught them all, there are probably stacks more hidden away in closets that you’ve missed. You might not be trying hard enough to find them, or you might not want to find them—hell, if someone points to the closet and says “you have a ton more in there, man”, you might be offended at the insinuation that you’re hiding them away!—but the fact is, that closet probably exists, and it’s just going to make your job harder. So open the door now, and round up what you can.

Your next task for the day is to file those stereotypes and assumptions away somewhere with a big ‘warning’ sign hanging over the cabinet. The next time you’re writing representatively—or, in fact, writing at all—interrogate the contents of that filing cabinet. If your main character is of colour but she’s been tokenised, turned into the “sassy, big-bootied African queen” without agency while the rest of your characters have more fully developed personalities: you’re not doing your job.

You are not doing your job if the only underrepresented character in your story is a gay woman who gets killed off in the first scene, while the straight people go on fighting. You are not doing your job if all your successful characters have some form of disability but at the same time, you describe all of them as skinny, beautiful and fair-skinned, while all your bad guys are described as overweight and grotesque-looking. That’s not what representative fiction is about for us!

"If you're writing representatively, you have a job to do." Blog post: On representative writing, and an update

[Image: Text reads, “If you’re writing representatively, you have a job to do.”]

At Ink & Locket Press, we want exciting, engaging stories in which the good guys can be fat and fine with that. We want non-magical black women rescuing the damsels in distress. We want bad guys that aren’t the only characters of colour in the whole story, and mentally ill bad guys who are bad not because they’re ‘broken’, but because they’re, well, bad.

We want you to actively examine your writing to see your own subconscious bias. Of course, we do not mean that every character should represent some sort of minority or underrepresented group—not unless that’s what you’re going for. But as a representative writer, whatever that means to you, it’s part of your job to make sure your work is not negatively contributing to dominant cultural presumptions. We know you can do better than that!

This is just one small part of our job as representative writers (or editors, or artists, or filmmakers…), but we believe it’s a part that can’t be overlooked.

Antonica Jones, head editor