Friday, March 13, 2015

Ask the Editors: What Are Sofra's Editors Doing While We Write Our Stories?

What does an editor of an anthology do?

Besides edit?* Well, a lot of stuff actually! 

First, we agreed to work together. While that might sound easy, anyone that has been a part of a partnership knows that working together can be the trickiest part. After five years of friendship and cheering each other on through writerly ups and downs, we knew we were a good match. Plus, we love Turkey. Plus plus, we love food. Perfect, right? We sat down and created the Expat Sofra concept, then had to spend some time on our partnership and how to divide tasks (Katie loves in person socializing, Rose loves designing and behind the scene stuff!). We outlined ideas, made a plan for the book, and brainstormed everything from how to get the Call for Submissions out to querying publishers. 

Once we agreed on a timeline and put out the Call for Submissions (reminder: April 1, 2015 is the deadline!), we added another element:


Part of what we love about the expat world is the sense of community, the ability to meet new people, push our boundaries, embrace the unexpected. We love the prospect of working with both new and professional writers, and expats that may write in English as a second language. So rather than feature only Writers with a capital W, we opened the Call up to a larger community so we could hear as many stories from expats as possible. You do not have to be a career writer, or think of yourself as a writer, to submit. But are you storyteller? Do you have a story to tell? Share it! Inclusivity suits our sofra. 

Since the Call was officially put out on January 1st, we have been active publicly and through social media reaching out, attending expat events, joining groups and forums for expats throughout Turkey and the world. This has led to some funny exchanges. Katie accidentally joined a Facebook group for Turkish men seeking foreign girlfriends, but thankfully made a hasty exit! Despite occasional bumps, the response to Sofra has overwhelmingly been positive. We editors spend a good chunk of our day making sure the Call has been placed on as many sites and venues as possible. Being interviewed by websites and magazines (Yabangee, The Displaced Nation, Time Out Istanbul's April 2015 issue, and The Guide's Straightangle blog) We also spend many hours answering questions from contributors and potential contributors. We both gained so much confidence through working with the editors from Tales from the Expat Harem, and it is crucial to us that we keep that positive support system going. 

We love talking to people about Sofra, and offering whatever we can do to encourage people to take a chance. To let you know that we can be trusted with your stories.

After April 1st, 2015 we will be busy reading and selecting submissions: for us, that is the main course of our meal! Other mundane tasks will also keep us busy in the marketing, legal, and publishing world, but we are looking forward to all of it. We also are committed to maintaining the open dialogue we have established with all of the members of the Expat Sofra community. There is a way for everyone to participate in the sofra we are creating. Once the book is published we will be busy promoting it. Doing whatever we can to keep this wonderful, supportive, community going. This is how we define our roles as editors of the Sofra anthology. 

As the deadline approaches, please do not hesitate to send us a message of any questions you have. Let us know how we can help!

*And consume vast amounts of chocolate-covered pistachios?


  1. and you are moms! I love that you are doing this - and making it so welcoming and so personal!


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