Anthology is a big and kind of intimidating word, but if you swap it out for “a collection of stories”, it doesn’t seem so scary. And that’s really all they are — collections of stories or poems (or even art and songs).
Anthologies come in lots of different forms, and this is part of their magic. They might be themed, have one or multiple authors/creators, have stories that are linked and/or connected, have short stories, short-short stories, poetry or a mix of them all.
But no matter what form they come in, each one delivers a magical journey. And these journeys deliver several benefits for readers — particularly kids:
- If the thought of reading a whole novel is kind of terrifying, an anthology can be your best friend. As a collection of many stories, they allow you to dip in and out and tackle shorter pieces, one at a time.
- Want to try out some new authors, but don’t want to commit to a whole novel? With an anthology that features multiple authors, you’ll be able to sample new creators and see which ones you like best.
- Themed anthologies allow readers to explore that theme from different perspectives. This is a great experience for curious minds and it’s also beneficial for classroom study. No two viewpoints are the same, and when you get lots of different creators to write or draw about the same topic, the results are always an adventure.
- Anthologies provide bite-sized reading experiences. This is great for bedtime, travel or if you’re just in the mood for a quick story.
- Anthologies can help you discover different forms of writing you never knew you loved! Some of the most powerful stories I have ever read were 50 words or less. Until reading them, I didn’t even know a story could be so short or that this form of storytelling has a really cool name — flash fiction!
Today, there are SO many great anthologies being published, and so many written specifically for kids. Some of my recent favourites include 10 Minutes of Danger by Jack Heath, Brain Freeze by Oliver Phommavanh and Laugh Your Head Off 4 Ever by NINE awesome and hilarious authors.
An anthology is like a magical door to a world of story. If you’ve not explored one before, I highly recommend you give it a try.
Shaye Wardrop writes for kids who love the fantastical. We’re talking cool creatures, fantasylands, superpowers and everything in between. Her short story Dragon Sized features in It’s a Kind of Magic: Stories and Spells for Second-rate Sorcerers, a magical anthology published by Michelle Worthington and Share your Story, raising funds for Children’s Rights Queensland.