Day Twenty of Blog Tour

Thank you for reading this blog entry! This is an extension to the blog tour. If you missed the tour, welcome! If you stayed with us throughout, thank you for following the tour! This extension is very much in keeping with the way contributors submitted their work to the anthology. The last day for submitting was August 31st 2008 but the final submission did not arrive until September 5th! Submissions did not always arrive together. When I received and accepted two short stories from Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow, I received a request from Elynne to consider two more submissions since all four short stories would still be well within the four thousand word maximum. I agreed and accepted two more short stories.

Before I talk about the four stories, here are my answers to some interesting questions posed by Elynne:

1. What is appealing about anthologies for the reading public at large?

The short story has enjoyed something of a revival in recent years with the increased pace of life alongside busy schedules that leave less time for reading. A volume of short stories, therefore, lends itself to those who have little spare time to do all the things in the day they would like to do. The attraction of this particular collection of work lies in its diversity and variety of genres. From romance and mystery to fantasy and science fiction, there is something for everyone. While some are short and pithy, others are thought-provoking and satisfying. All are entertaining.

2. What are the advantages for readers to pick up a good anthology?

The advantages are many; the first one being time, as mentioned in my answer to the first question. Another advantage is variety; readers receive a new vision every few pages. Different writing styles can also be considered an advantage as can diversity and the opportunity to read different points of view. On an academic level, anthologies have a special appeal to teachers for classroom use because they provide examples of different ways of writing in one volume. A good anthology will have all these advantages plus the obvious attraction of a well-compiled volume of work. If, after reading a poem that follows a story, the reader is inspired to read the next short story, then the compiler has worked hard to create a book that flows from beginning to end. Always the sign of a good anthology.

3. How and why is this particular anthology special?

Forever Friends is special because it brings together writers from all over the world. The contributors to the anthology have experienced some of the same things in life but their personal experiences and how they reacted to them are unique. It is this uniqueness that they bring to the anthology. The stories and poems are full of imagination and love; human kindness, thoughtfulness and understanding; humour, wit, honesty and candour. Something for everyone!


I would like to thank Elynne for inviting me to say more about Forever Friends. As mentioned earlier, Elynne has four stories in the anthology. Three of the short stories are true stories about events in Elynne’s life concerning her family and friends. The first of these stories, The Red Pen, is about her beloved sister Ivy. The fourth story, part of a Wright College Graduation speech Elynne gave as Distinguished Professor, is an insight into life survival skills.

Forever Friends is available now from  Forever Friends

Thanks again for reading this and best wishes for the holiday season!

Shelagh Watkins

December 20 Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow


5 Responses to “Day Twenty of Blog Tour”

  1. Tania Hershman Says:

    Hi Shelagh,
    it’s so great to come across your blog and meet a fellow short-story lover. As a writer of short stories, I agree absolutely with all the points you make, about short stories in general and anthologies in particular. I particularly want to endorse what you say about there being something for everyone in the short story world, I most definitely find that as editor of The Short Review, where we review ten collections or anthologies each month. I personally review a book for each issue, and have read some great anthologies which have introduced me to writers whose careers I will follow, and some poor anthologies which seemed rather thrown together, with no thought. I look forward to hearing more about Forever Friends!


  2. shelaghwatkins Says:

    Hi Tania,

    Thanks for leaving a comment! I checked out The Short Review and it’s good to see that anthologies are becoming so popular.


  3. Zada Says:

    Shelagh, you have done a fantestic job, both on the anthology and with this tour. You are to be congratulated.

  4. Zada Says:

    I also thank Elynne for asking such good questions and being a contributor.

  5. shelaghwatkins Says:

    Thanks Zada! You have been an absolute brick! You have been so supportive and encouraging and it is very much appreciated.


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