Monday, October 28, 2019

Want to Contribute to You Goes... But Don't Know Where to Start? Let Us Help

If you've been following our social media, you've probably seen us talk about the open call for essays for You Goes for the Remote from Watching Books. If you haven't... well, the short version is we're looking for essays about British television from across the years. It's a charity volume, and while it's not being published via Altrix, Paul and Kara are editing it.

We've seen a few people express interest, and a few have hesitated... which is understandable. The brief (if you go to the page) isn't your typical one when being asked to write an essay. So where do you start? What can you write about? What should you write about?

There's still plenty of time to get your essay in, but if you need help getting ideas going, we can at least give you somewhere to start — besides editing the volume, we've both written for Watching Books anthologies before!

Starting with the You and Who line, Watching Books asked for essays about every Doctor Who story produced for television. But rather than a review or a critique, they wanted personal stories. How did this particular episode reflect something in the person's own life? Did they have a specific memory or life event tied to the story or something within it? In other words, writers didn't write about the story: they wrote about the story's place in their lives. This went on to You and Who Else, exploring non-Who television.

Essayists ranged from professionals who worked on the titles in question to fans with childhood memories tied to moments from the show. Some were slow-burn stories of memories rekindled, others were harder reads about loss and unhappiness. Regardless of mood or style, the stories were all original and genuine, and came together to create an anthology not about television, but about how television affects us.

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That may sound a very lofty goal, but it's whatever works for you. Maybe you and a sibling fought all the time, but you called a truce for Horrible Histories. Maybe the soundtrack of Life on Mars inspired you to take up an instrument. Maybe Blackadder has been your go-to show on bad days for the last 20 years.

That's really the whole point of the You Goes series. You'll see professional writers and entertainment industry sorts, but they're sharing pages with indie creators and even people for whom this may be their first published work. After all, that's how you get an accurate view of fandom: you have to look everywhere.

So if you've never been published before, if you want to write for the anthology but think "not being a writer" will keep you out... put that out of your mind. That's actually something that might give you an advantage here as compared to elsewhere.

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In short: the point is not to be academic, to say something lofty about a show that's never been said before. The point is to let the world know what your show of choice means in your life, by telling us about a memory or a point of interest between you and your show of choice. Even if you think your story is silly, or not "noteworthy," there are good odds it belongs in these pages.

So, give it a go! Apply here to join us in You Goes for the Remote. Or if you're feeling a stronger pull to a film, book, or album, there are calls for those as well!


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