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What Is 'The Event' Short

Story Collection?

I've talked at length about the "Event" project ... here, LinkedIn and other social media sites ... but I wanted to put a set of pages together on the site that could be a comprehensive source of info. Several years ago, I was chatting with some colleagues who also like to write creatively. I wondered aloud at the idea of having a group of writers look at a single event and create a story based off that one platform. An earthquake. A building fire. A traffic jam. What could the ripple effect be? Fast-forward ... and we've released numerous story collections so far!

Event 1: The Chicago Rust Yards

The inaugural event had humble beginnings. The premise was released to a select group of writers in September of 2016 with the final manuscript published in late May of 2017. Three writers contributed with the total manuscript clocking in at 47,142 words or 198 total pages.

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Event 2: Iron Bay

Emboldened by how fun Rust Yards ended up being, the premise for Iron Bay was announced in the fall - roughly one year after the original Event was announced. The book was published in May of 2018. There were four writers and five stories in a collection that weighed in at 80,183 words and 334 pages.

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Event 3: Precision Robotics

This was probably the most wide-open of all the event set-ups. The premise was always going to be based on the idea of "technology gone awry," but the actual event didn't come into focus until I was sitting at a traffic light on the way home from work. The premise was delivered to writers who had participated in the first two Event collections early on, compared to the first two volumes. Writers were given the set-up in late June 2018. "The Event: PR" was released in June 2019 with four writers contributing stories. The final manuscript was 60,139 words and 277 pages.

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Event 4: Gold Rush

Event 4 could have been anything. "Caldera," "Pandemic," "Ice Age," "1972" ... they are all ideas being bandied about. In fact, the premise of The Event: Pandemic was all but written before sudden inspiration struck. The Old West. Unfortunately, not everyone who had initially planned on it could participate, but the collection turned out pretty fun regardless. Enjoy our fourth group of premise-driven stories by a diverse set of authors as they set about trying to figure out why, exactly, Red Jack shot a U.S. Marshal to death before mysteriously dying in a locked prison cell.

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Event 5: Wreckage

Wreckage. Short and sweet. The premise for the fifth Event collection was only a few sentences long. In the past, I had included numerous bits of mysterious stuff in the premise to inspire writers - to give them something to grab and run with. The green flash before the explosion in Chicago, for example, or the cat and dog roaming the cargo ship all by themselves ... these details were inserted to offer a jumping off point. This time, however, the premise was simple - There's a wreck of an airplane in the New Mexico desert.  Volume 5 was released in May, 2022 and weighed in at 78,258 words which translated to 312 pages.

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Event 6: Congo Square

After Wreckage, we decided to go in a different direction. Precision Robotics could have a sci-fi element ... so Congo Square could have a horror element. Focusing on the complicated history of voodoo healers in New Orleans and throughout the deep south, the sixth Event story anthology allowed writers to examine the dark arts and come up with a plot that might be a little more twisted than usual. Volume 6 was released in October, 2023 and weighed in at 74,011 words which translated to 273 pages.

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Event 7: Carnival of Souls

The seventh Event collection ... coming in October 2024 ... will be called "Carnival of Souls." The main premise centers on a mysterious circus that appears suddenly overnight in a cornfield in Nebraska. Ooooh. Creepy!

Here is the work-in-progress cover. The author names and story information is all placeholder text.

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