The theme of Anthology 2 is “Transformative Works.” The basic idea is that we selected (with the help of our Patrons) a work in the public domain, and authors for Anthology 2 are invited to write fanfiction stories of up to 3,000 words, based on that work in the public domain. The selected work is:
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
In order to participate in Anthology 2 (which is as yet untitled) all authors will need to be familiar with some version of Much Ado About Nothing. However, we’re talking an extremely liberal view of what counts as a “version.” We’ve said, only slightly jokingly, that it would be fine if someone read Sparks notes, or if someone based their story on their child’s book report, or if someone just read the Wikipedia synopsis. As long as your transformative work is in ANYWAY recognizable as related to Much Ado About Nothing, we’ll allow it. We want to spread a broad tent and make it easy for people to be involved – rather than getting all snooty about a classic.
Note that we are not accepting applications for this anthology! Authors are getting the chance to contribute by invitation only, and we are focusing on authors who didn’t “make the cut” for Add Magic to Taste but whose work still impressed us.
To help our writers and our audience become more familiar with Much Ado About Nothing, we’ve compiled the following list of resources:
- Wikipedia Synopsis and information on characters, adaptations, and more.
- The original text is available for free online at Project Gutenberg:
- 1993 Film Adaptation directed by Kenneth Branagh, starring him, Emma Thompson, Robert Sean Leonard, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, and others:
- “Great Performances/PBS” Version starring Danielle Brooks and Grantham Coleman (entire cast is BIPOC) (free, at least in the US, but has ads, on Youtube)
- “Dil Chahta Hai,” a transformative movie version in Hindi that was adapted (in part) from Much Ado About Nothing.
- “Nothing Much to Do” is a modern transformative version set in New Zealand (available free on US YouTube).
Other Adaptations (but they cost money):
- Wyndham Theatre staging starring Catherine Tate and David Tennant (£7.99 to rent)
- Joss Weedon’s version with Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion and others ($3.99 to rent or $7.99 to buy)
- 1984 BBC Adaptation (requires a specific Amazon Prime subscription but I can’t quite figure out which and don’t want to risk getting charged just to figure it out, sorry)
- 1973 Broadway Production starring Sam Waterston (requires Amazon Prime with a BroadwayHD subscription)
- “The Boys are Coming Home,” a musical adaptation set during World War 2.
- “These Paper Bullets” is a musical adaptation with songs by Billy Joe Armstrong.
- Spark Notes
- “The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You” by Lily Anderson is a Young Adult High School AU.
- “Speak Easy, Speak Love” by McKelle George is a Young Adult Historical AU set in the 1920s
- “Nothing Happened” by Molly Horton Booth is a Young Adult Modern AU (and it’s gay).
Other adaptations are available on DVD and/or VHS but I’m not gonna link ALL of them. This list focuses on either film versions that are readily available online OR transformative versions, even if they’re not that available, because they look interesting and might be worth more looking into.
General Rules and Guidelines:
- All contributors must be 18 years old or older.
- You must be respectful toward your fellow applicants, collaborators and towards the anthologists at all times.
- This Anthology will be published in print and in e-book formats. The print book will be available exclusively to the backers of a crowdsourcing campaign on Kickstarter which we expect to launch in September. After the campaign, the e-book will continue to be sold on the Duck Prints Press website. Assuming minimum funds are raised, contributors will receive a free e-book copy of the book and will have the opportunity to purchase the print book and campaign merchandise at a discount. Feel free to review this draft of our budget for more information about our projected costs.
- This is a paid opportunity. Contributors will be required to sign a contract. As such, you must be willing to share your legal name and address to participate in this anthology, and you must be legally able to work as an independent contractor in your country of residence.
- We will primarily be communicating with contributors via e-mail and Discord. All participants must provide an e-mail address they check regularly and we encourage everyone to create a Discord account as well. Invitations to our Discord server will be included in acceptance e-mails. If you’re new to Discord, you can learn more about setting up a Discord account for yourself here.
- Please contact us if you have questions:
- DO NOT POST THIS CALL FOR CONTRIBUTORS ON SUBMISSION GRINDER OR ANY OTHER MASS/AGGREGATE CALL FOR SUBMISSION WEBSITE. If we find out that you have done so you will be permanently banned from all Duck Prints Press projects. This is a small test project, not a general call to the wider public. Give us time, we’ll get there.
- Rules violations will result in consequences ranging from a warning through a ban, depending on how many infractions take place and how severe those infractions are.
- No author may write for both this anthology AND Add Magic to Taste.
- Stories must be new and never-before-published. You may use a story written previously, provided it’s a transformative work of Much Ado About Nothing. The ban on previously published works includes “repurposing” a posted fanfiction – if the story was previously published as a fanfic, you may not “rebrand” or “scrub the barcodes” in order to make it fit this Anthology.
- Stories must be in SOME WAY recognizable as related to Much Ado About Nothing. This could mean writing pre- or post-canon stories, alternate universes, original characters in the canon setting, retellings with different characters or in different settings, etc. We’re not going to heavily police what counts as a “transformative work,” but if someone reading the anthology can’t recognize that the story is related to Much Ado About Nothing, that won’t fly.
- Stories must be longer than 1,000 words. The maximum length allowed is 5,000 words. Depending on formatting constraints we may be willing to permit small amounts of latitude over the 5,000 word limit.
- Authors will be paid a flat rate per story, regardless of word count, of $30 per story. One of our Kickstarter stretch goals will be to raise this amount to $50 per story, which is the maximum an author will be able to earn contributing to this anthology. Authors will be paid even if the Kickstarter doesn’t fund.
- Early in the creation process, you’ll be asked to give us an idea of what you intend to write so that we can ensure that stories in the anthology include a diverse range of characters, themes, and settings.
- Stories must be primarily in English. Individual words or small chunks of dialog may be in a non-English language. If you use any non-English words, they should either be part of English vernacular (for example, rendezvous), or a reader must be able to infer their meaning from context, or a translation should be offered as a footnote.
- Stories must be rated either “general audiences” or “teen.” This is not a mature-themed or explicit anthology.
- Any common major triggers, such as graphic violence or major character death, must be tagged. Further, once your story is complete, please provide a list of content tags related to your story, similar to those that would be under the “additional tags” section on Archive of Our Own. We will include a tagging system in this anthology to give the readers the information necessary to make informed reading decisions.
- Please don’t share your work in progress outside of the Duck Prints Press Discord. If you’d like to publish a small sample (no more than 100 words) as part of a meme, work in progress update, or similar social media usage, that’s acceptable – please let us know so we can share and boost your post on our social media accounts!
- Teasers and works in progress may be shared on our Patreon to offer exclusive early access/behind the scenes sneak peeks to our backers. These will only be shared with permission – we will ask for volunteers.
- Once stories are complete, authors will be asked to select an excerpt of their story for use in promoting sales of the Anthology. Excerpts should be no more than 250 words.
- When stories are complete, authors will be asked to sign a contract regarding the use of the story in this anthology, as described above in the Author Rules and Guidelines section. Only specific rights (such as English Anthology Rights) are being signed over, and for no longer than a year post-publication of the anthology. After that, all rights revert to the author, though Duck Prints Press reserves the right to continue selling e-book versions of the Anthology on our website. For more information, refer to the sample contract we’ve shared.
- Please review the General Rules and Guidelines. These rules apply to all artists who work with us, as well as to all writers.
- Artists must meet the following minimum requirements to apply:
- Interested artists are asked to submit three complete works of art from their oeuvre which they feel reflects an art style they’d like to use in this anthology. We accept both original and fanart as samples, as long as the merit of the work can be recognized without fandom-specific knowledge. We ask that at least two of these three pieces be in full color. Please make sure you select pieces that reflect the kind of style you’d like to employ for the anthology. Please, no erotica or NSFW pieces (no exposed pensies, vaginas, breasts, or butts, including no “artistic” nudity) among your three complete works (NSFW works in your linked portfolio is fine). Work samples will be reviewed by the project staff to select artists.
- We’ll select up to 20 applicants to contribute an artwork of A4 size (210 mm x 297 mm or 8 1/4″ x 11 3/4″), plus 0.125″ of bleed. Works must be 300 dpi, RGB/SRGB, and submitted in PSD or TIFF format. The anthology will be printed in full color, so you’re encouraged to produce color works.
- Selected artists will be paid $30 per single page of artwork. One of our Kickstarter stretch goals will be to raise this amount to $50. The artist fee for a single page illustration in the anthology is capped at that amount. Artists will be paid the $30 minimum even if the Kickstarter doesn’t fund. There may be opportunities for artists to contribute more than one page, depending on how many qualified applicants we get, and depending on how many authors and artists we accept, we may be able to accommodate illustrations, comics, or other works that are two or more pages. Once we have a final list of contributors, we will determine how many artists we can offer this opportunity to and recruit those interested from among the artists we’ve already selected for participation.
- Artwork for this anthology must be new and never-before-published, and re-working existing pieces is also not permitted.
- Artwork must be in SOME WAY recognizable as related to imagining a queer version of Much Ado About Nothing. This could mean artwork related to a specific adaptation, an illustration of a specific scene, an imagined instance of canon divergence, a depiction of an alternate universe setting, or anything else clearly inspired by Much Ado About Nothing and incorporating queerness. We’re not going to heavily police what counts as a “transformative work,” but someone looking at the work in the context of the anthology should have some inkling of how it relates to the play.
- We may also have additional slots for artists to help with merchandise, including: die cut stickers, enamel pins, stamped mugs, and note cards. Merchandise artists will be paid a flat rate of either $15 (for smaller pieces such as pins) or $30 (for a larger piece such as a note card).
- This anthology is rated general and teen audiences. No works for it can be explicit. If your work contains potentially triggering themes (such as character death or graphic violence) we ask that you include tags.
- Only finished works will be considered for inclusion in this anthology. We understand that many artists have sketchy styles; that’s part of why we ask for you to share a link to your work and a sample on the sign up survey. Your work for this anthology should be comparable in “polish” to your usual style.
- If you work in traditional media, you must be able to provide a print-quality scan or photograph of your work.
- Please don’t share your work in progress outside of the Duck Prints Press Discord. If you’d like to publish a small sample (such as a close up of one section) as part of a meme, work in progress update, or similar social media usage, that’s acceptable – please let us know so we can share and boost your post on our social media accounts!
- Teasers, sketches, and works in progress may be shared on our Patreon to offer exclusive early access/behind the scenes sneak peeks to our backers. These will only be shared with permission – we will ask for volunteers.
- Once artworks are complete, please be aware that the mod team will potentially use crops of your image to promote the Kickstarter and the anthology.
- Artists will be asked to sign a contract upon agreeing to contribute to the anthology, with payment contingent upon completion of the artwork. We are requesting rights solely related to the production, development, and sale of the Anthology. The rights requested are: the right to display, modify, advertise, and transmit the Artwork; the right to produce art prints and other reproductions of the Artwork; and the right to create derivative works such as merchandise and accessories featuring the Artwork. Our licensing of these rights expires either one year after the Anthology is published or on January 31st, 2023, whichever comes first. We reserve the right to continue selling e-book versions of the anthology that include the artwork, and we may sell extras of produced merchandise, but we will NOT have the right to produce additional prints, merchandise, or printed books after the Anthology Kickstarter. (Nor will we produce massive excess simply so we have more to sell; production levels will be geared specifically to filling actual Kickstarter sales.) If we decide to do future projects involving this artwork, we will re-negotiate with authors at that time. You can view a sample of the contract here.