Short Story Friday: The Plan

Thanks to your encouraging comments, I have decided to go forward with the Short Story Friday experiment. Yep, we’re going to crowdsource the Mormon short stories available online. The premise is this:

  1. That there are numerous Mormon-themed short stories available for free on the Internet.
  2. That the best way to find the goods ones is via a crowd-sourcing project.
  3. That this will not only be entertaining and interesting, but that it will create a data set that may be of use to the Mormon Literature Database and perhaps the AML, and more importantly that this will be a nice way to collect some of the better and/or more interesting stories out there. The idea is to not be exhaustive, but to create exposure for the stories that participating individuals dig up.

How it’s going to work:

Continue reading “Short Story Friday: The Plan”

Announcing AMV Projects

When it comes to online writing and discussion, blogging is the best mix, imo, of the formal and the informal, the authored and the conversational. I personally have gotten a lot more out of blogging and reading and commenting on blogs than participating in forums and listservs and online magazine-style publications.

But sometimes there are projects that just don’t lend themselves to the blog post format. And that’s why we’re launching AMV Projects. That’s where you’ll find links to Reading Until Dawn (Tyler and Laura’s online literary journal about the work of Stephenie Meyer) and Popcorn Popping (the Mormon narrative arts magazine that I created with Steve Evans and Brian Gibson) and Mormon Translation (Kent’s wiki-style attempt to outline which LDS books are and should be translated into other languages). The results of the recommendations for LDS book groups are listed there as well.

It’s not intended to be a huge endeavor. But there is still a lot to do in terms of bibliography and resource lists and evaluating the field. For example, once we get something set up for Kent’s idea of a list of out-of-print Mormon lit (and preferably one where people can vote on which titles they’re most interested in) it’ll be linked to from there. And these projects are intended to complement — not compete with — larger efforts like the Mormon Literature Database. A bridge between the more thorough, formal efforts of the database and similar resources and the scatteredness, sifting-through-the-chaff of a Google search.

Of course we’ll still announce all new projects with blogs posts. But if you are ever looking for these projects, I don’t want you to have to wade through the blog posts archive so I’m collecting them on a single page (a link to the page will be added to the top nav bar shortly).

I also welcome comments on other projects you’d like to see — and even help with. If you’d rather not mention them publicly, e-mail us at admin AT montleyvision DOT org.

Last call for LDS book group recommendations — the form is closed

Submissions for the list of Mormon fiction recommendations for LDS book groups have petered out, but I figured I might as well announce a formal end date: I will be closing the form at 10 p.m. CDT, Sunday, April 20.

UPDATED 4.20: The form is now closed. Give me a week or two to crunch the results. And, thanks again.

The original post with explanations and instructions.

Titles in the spreadsheet as of April 18, 11 a.m. CDT:

Brother Brigham
Long After Dark
Kindred Spirits
Hooligan: A Mormon Boyhood
Passage to Zarahemla, Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites, Tower of Thunder, Eddie Fantastic
Ender’s Game
On the Road to Heaven
Go In Beauty
Paradise Vue
The Conversion of Jeff Williams
Heresies of Nature
Bound on Earth
The Pictograph Murders
Fine Old High Priests
Bound on Earth
My Mom’s a Mortician
Funeral Home Evenings
Early-Morning Cemetery
The Final Farewell
Circle Dance
Bound On Earth
Cold Train Coming

There are several titles that still deserve to be considered. I have refrained from adding any, but after the form closes, I will add the two titles that I think most deserve to be included, but weren’t added via the anonymous form. I will also make clear that I’m responsible for adding those titles so readers can take my biases/tastes into account.

Thanks for your help!

Mormon fiction recommendations for LDS book groups (updated April 18)

Chris Bigelow, founder of Zarahemla Books, recently published a guest post on Blog Segullah on Mormon literature’s middle niche. In the comments, author and blogger Angela Hallstrom said that she’d like to see Deseret book develop this Mormon niche and market it to all the LDS book clubs. That seems unlikely, but it occurs to me that there is something that we can do. Plus I have been itching to trot out this really cool Google application as well as launch AMV projects*. So I respectfully request your help in creating a list of middle niche novel (or short story collection) recommendations for LDS book groups.

Updated 4/7/08 to add this point of clarification — Titles should significantly feature Mormon characters and/or themes. For example, Saints by Orson Scott Card is fine. Ender’s Game is not (even though Ender’s mother is Mormon). /update

Here’s how this is going to work:

I have created a Google Docs spreadsheet that can be fed through an online form. I want all of you to submit your recommendations via this form. I will then crunch/format all the data and post it in some sort of usable way on a static (i.e. non-blog post) page here at AMV and announce the finished list with a blog post. All of us will then forward the page link to people we know who are in LDS book groups as a resource for them to use when considering what books to read.

UPDATED 4.20: The form is now closed. Give me a week or two to crunch the results. And, thanks again. Continue reading “Mormon fiction recommendations for LDS book groups (updated April 18)”