This is the Long-Distance Call*

ShortStoryCall New years (well it isn’t that far into 2013 yet is it?) often bring with them new projects. Let me tell you about a project I’m starting and then let me invite you to be a part of it.

Maxine Clarke was an avid reader and strong supporter of crime fiction and crime writers. The world of crime fiction lost one of its dearest members and I lost a good friend when Maxine passed away in December 2012. As a way of giving back just a little of what she gave to us all, I’ve decided to put together a crime fiction short story anthology.

Maxine always told me I ought to have my sleuth Joel Williams solve the murder of a publisher, editor or reviewer. Well, Maxine, I’m going to take your advice. The short story collection I have in mind will focus on the world of writing, publishing and editing. Maxine was among other things a highly skilled editor, so I think she’d appreciate the kinds of things that go on in that world that can lead to murder and mayhem.

Any proceeds from this collection will be donated to the Princess Alice Hospice, which was so supportive of Maxine and her family during her last days and weeks.

Now, here’s where you come in:



If you’re an author, please consider contributing a story for this collection. Maxine supported us all, so let’s return the favour. Here are a few things I have in mind to help you decide whether you’d like to be a part of this:


  • The stories will all focus on crime in the world of editing, publishing, writing and/or reviewing. Feel free to explore that theme in your own way. Stories about fiction writing, non-fiction writing, research or academic writing are all fair game.

  • Please, no stories with excessive gore or violence against children or animals.

  • I’m hoping that the anthology would be ready by the end of this year for e-publication. So if you’re interested I’d ask that you’d be prepared to contribute your story by the first week of August.

  • If you already have a story that hasn’t been published elsewhere, feel free to contribute that.


Interested? Oh, I’m so glad! Email me at margotkinberg(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll be happy to give you the ‘nitty-gritty’ particulars.


Rather not? That’s fine too. But please, please, please spread the word. Please mention this project on your own blog and other social network sites, talk to other authors you know, etc.. I could really use your help in getting the word out to authors who might want to contribute.



Not an author but still think this project is a good idea? Thanks 🙂   Please help me spread the word about it and let potential contributors know about the project. We all have connections, and I’d appreciate your using yours. You can talk to authors you know, spread the word on your blog and other social network sites and, well, you know the drill.


Questions? Feel free to email me (margotkinberg(at)gmail(dot)com).


Thanks, Everyone!


Now, while you’re waiting for this project, you can help remember Maxine in other ways too.  Check out Petrona Remembered, where bloggers and writers are sharing their reviews and discussions of great crime fiction. We would love your contributions!!


Want to know more about the Princess Alice Hospice? Visit the hospice’s website and please consider making a donation.




NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Paul Simon’s The Boy in the Bubble.


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58 responses to “This is the Long-Distance Call*

  1. Margot, what a wonderful idea to honor Maxine Clarke’s memory with a collection of short stories. You have picked a worthy recipient of the donations. I know how much difference hospice care (here in the US) made to me and my family in my father’s last days.

    • Tracy – That’s so kind of you – thanks. I’m glad that you and your family had some comfort as your father was preparing for the end of his life. I’m sure it made a big difference. That’s part of why I’m doing this…

  2. What a wonderful idea, Margot. I’m sure that Maxine would have LOVED the creativity that this project will involve, and the excellent cause.

    I see that the world of academic writing is included. If any plot or characterisation tips are required, I’d be very happy to oblige 🙂

    • Mrs. P – Thank you so much 🙂 – I think Maxine would have liked have liked this too. It was after all her idea… And thank you very much for offering to serve as an expert for those who’d like some input. That’s extremely generous of you. Folks, Mrs. P. is a fabulous resource!

  3. Margot, what a wonderful way to pay tribute to Maxine. I’d be delighted to share your information with readers at Thoughts in Progress. Would you mind if I ‘cut and pasted’ portions of your post and of course, linked back to you?

    Thoughts in Progress

  4. News of this project is rocketing round the crime-writing world! I’m sure you’ll be inundated with stories for this great idea. Good on ya!

    • Many thanks, Bev! I appreciate your help an awful lot.

      • paddy richardson

        What a wonderful idea. I’ll definitely give it a try. There’s a reviewer I can think of who I’d like to, at least, maim and this way I wouldn’t have to go to prison.

        • Paddy – Oh, I am so delighted you’re interested in doing this! What an honour. And trust me, you are far from the only one who has at least one reviewer in mind for mayhem. As you say, writing doesn’t give one the prison record that grievous bodily harm does.

  5. Fabulous initiative, I’ll be sure to spread the word and look forward to reading the results! Very tempted to participate too, except I’m sure you will have much more famous and better writers rearing to take part.

    • Marina Sofia – Thank you! And I truly do hope you’ll consider contributing. You are talented and I’ll bet Maxine would’ve enjoyed getting to know your work.

  6. kathy d.

    What a great idea to do this. It’s another tribute to Maxine Clarke and a recognition of her contributions to not only crime fiction readers, but writers.
    I’ll look forward to reading this anthology.

  7. Reblogged this on Rebecca Bradley and commented:
    This is a really great idea. Worth considering if crime is your thing!

  8. Wonderful cause, Margot! I’d like to try to participate, if I can. Only…I’ve never written shorts, so we’ll have to see if what I create is worthy of inclusion!

    • Elizabeth – Thanks! I hope you’ll be able to participate. And hey, if you develop a new skill, too, well, why not? I’m sure that your story would be terrific.

  9. This is a noble idea and a novel project, Ms. Kinberg, and a fine way to remember Maxine Clarke. I’d be happy to spread the word through my blog. I wish you lots of luck with this project.

  10. What a lovely idea Margot and for such a worthy cause. I will spread the word as much as I can…

    • Thank you, Patti 🙂 – Thanks for your ideas too. It was your inspiration that got me thinking. And I would love it if you contributed a story if you can spare the time. Your stories are terrific.

  11. Margot: You have an excellent idea with the short story collection. I have been thinking about publishing and reflecting on blogging. I think it would be great if contributors, could include blogging as a part of the publishing world. I would not have known Maxine but for her participation in publishing through blogging. I am sure mystery writers could include bloggers as sleuths, victims, aides, support staff and all the other potential characters for a story.

    • Bill – Thanks for the kind words. And you have such a good idea about including blogging. Certainly Maxine was dedicated to blogging and it’s a very ripe area for all sorts of interactions that could lead to crime. I appreciate the idea.

  12. I will try very hard to come up with a story in time. What a wonderful idea.

  13. Reblogged this on Annie Dyer and commented:
    Super idea! I’ll definitely be submitting something for perusal!

  14. What a nice idea, Margot. I do hope, however, this doesn’t result in a whole slew of mysteries about writers who knock off their editors/publishers/reviewers… 😀

    I’ll see if I can think of something clever too. And I will definitely help spread the word. Thanks!

  15. I have indeed spread the word. Maxine was a fellow editor at Nature, a colleague and friend, and this is a lovely idea for a memorial. I might even think about contributing a story … though don’t hold your breath …

    • Oh, I’m so glad you like this idea – thank you. And you were fortunate to work with Maxine. I hope you’ll consider contributing a story but whether or not you do, it means a lot to me that you’re helping spread the word.

  16. … I could write something involving my sleuth DI Persephone Sheepwool, who featured in my one and only mystery novel By The Sea. She and her redoubtable sidekick DC Elaine Fitch need another outing.

  17. Great idea Margot. I’m tweeting now!

  18. Great idea and worthy cause! I’ll spread the word.

  19. kathy d.

    Wow! This is really catching on, and some very interesting stories are on the horizon, it seems. I think Maxine would have been very glad to see that her influence on crime fiction helped to foster more creative writing — and is bringing readers to writers new to them.
    I can’t wait to read this anthology.

    • Kathy – I too would really like to think that Maxine would have liked to see so much interest in creating new stories. I am very eager to see the stories that come out of this.

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  22. Reblogged this on Jane Risdon and commented:
    I have been enjoying a wonderful on-line (writer-related) relationship with mystery novelist Margot Kinberg for about a year now which has been really inspirational and educational for me, and a lot of fun too. She is seeking contributors for her short story collection which she hopes to publish later in the year and which is in tribute to her friend Maxine Clarke. Please read on for more information and contact Margot if you might like to contribute to the book which is in aid of the Princess Alice Hospice.

  23. Hi Margot

    Just saw this today. I think this is a great way to remember a dear departed one. Would definitely post about this on my blog. Am thinking of sending you a story too.

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