Foreword

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WORDS. Yes. No. I want. How much? Do this. Please. Thank you.

Words are the gears that make civilization function, the tools that move almost every action in our daily lives. Through words we create instructions, blueprints, cooperation, organization.

But some people use words as more than just gears and tools. They elevate language to an art, an evocative level beyond mere instructions. They use words as a brush to create and paint sweeping imaginary landscapes that they can make other people see in their own minds. They use words to sculpt characters with history, personalities, scars of tragedy, or a sense of humor.

Writers see words as wondrous things, ordinary beans that can spawn a magical beanstalk, simple keys that can unlock Pandora’s Box.

Readers feast on the fantastic concoctions that wordsmiths create from these sophisticated, sorcerous tools. Any bookstore offers shelves of published novels from well-known and well-loved masters of the craft, storytellers who have entertained us for years, thereby creating a special place in our hearts and our imaginations.

But how many other word wizards live among us, secretly practicing their magic, developing their skills, hoping to one day become masters themselves? Many try to take up the special mantle, hoping that their magic is good enough to be noticed.

Spark: A Creative Anthology is one way for those emerging apprentice storytellers to take one step closer to becoming masters. Spark is a quarterly anthology and accompanying writing contest dedicated to fostering emerging talent with participation from industry professionals. Established writers and editors serve as guest judges for each contest, and the new stars who shine the brightest are featured here.

In all likelihood, you don’t recognize many of the names featured in the table of contents—at least not yet. But judging by the quality of what I’ve read, you will know them. You will.

— Kevin J. Anderson

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KEVIN J. ANDERSON has written 50 national bestsellers and has over 23 million books in print worldwide in thirty languages. He has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the SFX Readers’ Choice Award; in 2012 at San Diego Comic Con he received the Faust Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has written numerous bestselling and critically acclaimed novels in the Dune universe with Brian Herbert, as well as Star Wars and X-Files novels. In his original work, he is best known for his Saga of Seven Suns series, the Terra Incognita trilogy, the Dan Shamble Zombie PI series, and Clockwork Angels: The Novel with Neil Peart. Find out more about Kevin J. Anderson at www.wordfire.com.

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