Fresh Designs Crochet call for submissions

FRESH DESIGNS CROCHET CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Cooperative Press is publishing a new series called Fresh Designs Crochet with series editor MK Carroll. We are seeking pattern submissions from designers of all experience levels for books on the following topics: mittens and gloves, home, designs for men, toys and bags (submissions for the hats, kids, scarves, shawls, and sweaters books are closed). Each book will consist of 10 patterns, except the 11th book in the series, Best Of, which will contain 30 patterns (or more) taken from the previous books. These books will be published in multiple formats, both print and digital.

In the spirit of our overall operating philosophy (single-book authors share directly in the proceeds of their books at a percentage level that can be 4-6x the typical publisher royalty rate), all book contributors will be awarded a share in the total earnings of the title after costs, payable every two months instead of the usual twice per year. Cooperative Press will also provide you with help in organizing various promotions, whether blog tours, crochet-alongs or anything else that you’d like to do.

Designers of all experience levels are invited to submit. We are seeking designers who are enthusiastic about taking a very DIY, hands-on approach, ready to learn and try new things. Creativity is encouraged and celebrated for the design concepts; however, formatting your pattern according to the provided style sheet must be done as instructed. Part of the Fresh Designs concept is the establishment of new standards for craft publishing, helping designers and the craft progress, and working together to promote creative and professional behavior.

Designers will be responsible for producing and delivering finished samples for photography. Cooperative Press will handle the final technical editing, schematics, and charts as needed. Cooperative Press will assist with yarn support and we will create needed graphics that you are unable to supply in our preferred format.

Designers will get to keep the finished items (though we may ask to borrow them for initial promotion and trunkshows), and they will retain their own copyright. Rights on single patterns will revert 1 year after the initial publication date. However, we will retain the right to continue selling the whole book/collection, and you may also opt to continue selling your pattern through our various sales outlets, including a new technology we are currently developing.

Designers outside the United States are welcome to submit; please keep in mind that finished pieces must be mailed to the United States for photography and the costs and time required will vary by location.

DESIGNS
Fresh Designs Crochet is about fresh, contemporary crochet. There is no room for filler in these books! We are looking for:
• eye-catching pieces
• interesting construction and techniques (including Tunisian and hairpin crochet)
• “gateway” crochet projects to grab the attention of non-crocheters (get them eager to pick up a hook and start learning!)
• doily-making skills for non-doily items, and fresh, modern takes on doilies (#10 crochet thread)
• use of fine gauge yarns (lace, fingering, sock, DK)
• use of hand-dyed yarns, especially variegated and self-striping
• wide range of garment sizes, including plus sizes for women and men
• …and more – please don’t limit yourself to this list

Inspiration boards for the book topics are available (mittens and gloves, home, designs for men, toys, bags) as well as a list of specific items we’d like to see submitted; please keep in mind that the images and links provided are intended to provoke thoughtful creativity. Any reproduction/imitation designs submitted will be rejected immediately.

PREFERRED YARNS
We also believe in supporting small, independent yarn companies. Please see the list at the bottom for a partial list of possibilities. We will help coordinate yarn requests: choose up to five yarn possibilities for your project and be prepared to give us the yarn company name, yarn name, color name and number of skeins/yardage needed in your submission. If you do not have a specific brand in mind, please describe an appropriate yarn (e.g. “fingering weight, smooth, wool or wool blend, 800 yds”).

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
Submissions are online only, using the form provided by Cooperative Press. Links to sketch/swatch pics may be provided via online photo hosting services such as Flickr, with privacy settings like Flickrs Guest Pass. Submissions must be designs that have not been previously shown in public (this includes online, e.g. Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr “view by all”). If you aren’t familiar with Guest Pass, MK has put together a short tutorial using screenshots so you can see where you need to click and what you should be seeing on your screen.

A written description and a sketch are all you need to submit a design proposal. The written description and drawing do not need to be great works of art; we just need a clear idea of what you have in mind and the overall size/shape of the piece. Photos of swatches are very helpful for lace patterns and textured patterns, but are not required. MK has blogged several tips for submitters, including an acceptable sample submission (list of posts here).

  • Submission date deadline: 30 September 2011, Friday, midnight, Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time: Honolulu.
  • An email confirming that your submission(s) are/have been received for consideration will be sent within 5 working days of your submission. If that form letter does not appear in your inbox within that time, please check your junk/spam mail folder before inquiring.
  • Acceptance notification deadline: 10 October 2011, Monday
  • Finished items deadline: 20 January 2012, Friday
    • finished written pattern submission to be made via email or online submission
    • finished project to be received by Cooperative Press in Lakewood, Ohio, USA

Submitting earlier is better than waiting until the last minute!

Designers may submit multiple design proposals; please submit each pattern for consideration separately.

ABOUT COOPERATIVE PRESS
Cooperative Press has been in operation since 2007. Owned and managed by Shannon Okey, the former editor of Yarn Forward magazine, we have published books by Jonelle Raffino of South West Trading Company Yarns, Hunter Hammersen, Heather Ordover of the CraftLit podcast, and of course the Knitgrrl Book of Professional Knitwear Design. We currently have many titles by other independent authors underway as well, and we are always looking for more good designers-partners.

Our philosophy is different from the standard publishing company — we are pro-digital as well as print-friendly, we believe in designers’ rights and in treating our authors and contributors as we ourselves would want to be treated, and in fairness and honesty above all else. Cooperative Press prides itself on being designer-owned and operated.

ABOUT SERIES EDITOR MK CARROLL

I’m really excited about working with Cooperative Press to put out a series of crochet books featuring emerging designers! This isn’t just about getting great crochet patterns out there for crocheters to use, this is also about working to establish new standards for crochet publishing and creating opportunities for crochet designers to learn and grow in ways that can benefit the entire industry.

I’ve worked with online magazines (Knitty, CrochetMe), big publishers (Interweave Press), tiny independent publishers (Take Back the Knit ‘zine), and self-published my own work. Along the way, I’ve gotten to meet and work with incredible people in the industry, appeared on TV (Knitty Gritty), been interviewed by the local paper (the late Honolulu Advertiser), and I’m still blogging, tweeting, and keeping my finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the yarncrafting world. If you know me and know my work, you already know I’m a proud polycraftual who has been championing crochet for years. Working with Cooperative Press to help bring you the crochet books we know you want to have on your bookshelves (or e-reader) has got me all fired up, and I can’t wait to see your submissions!

Ravelry: mkcarroll
Twitter: mk_carroll
Website: mkcarroll.com

QUESTIONS?
If you have any questions that have not been answered in the above or in the comments to this Cooperative Press blog post, please feel free to use the comments form. If you would prefer to ask privately, you may contact MK at mk@cooperativepress.com.

SUBMISSION FORM
You’ve read everything above, yes? Interested? Fill out this form and we’ll be in touch!

POSSIBLE YARN COMPANIES
These yarn companies responded to the initial call for yarn during the first Fresh Designs series. You are not restricted to using these specific yarns, but we encourage you to choose small, independent yarn companies for your designs where appropriate. We ask for more than one yarn choice when you submit to keep from overwhelming one or two companies, but if your design requires a certain yarn for a pattern-specific reason, please indicate this in the comments.

We are also seeking indie yarn companies to sponsor yarn for patterns in the books; please fill out this form if interested.

13 thoughts on “Fresh Designs Crochet call for submissions”

  1. Do you have any tips on figuring the amount of yarn needed, when not knowing what yarn will be chosen? Usually I’d make a gauge swatch of the chosen yarn and do my math from there. Thank you.

    1. Kimberly, you can use a yardage estimator like this Yarnberry tutorial (using yarn you have on hand) or this chart from Elizabeth’s Fiber and Yarn Store (note that it says to add 30% for crochet, as the chart is set up for knits). You can also swatch with a similar yarn and use that to make an estimate.

  2. Hi there MK! A question about thread…something I was thinking about for Home requires the use of cotton thread. However, none of the indie companies offer this and the few biggies that you have relationships with don’t really either. So, is thread crochet out? Thanks!

  3. Very inspirational links! But, as you said, cotton thread is very difficult to substitute…especially when working in the Home category. It’s got to be washable, preferably iron-able (is that a word?)

    So, do we HAVE to get a company to sponsor the crochet thread? I mean, if we are willing to buy it ourselves, would it be acceptable? Or does that kind of go against the impetus behind these books?

    1. Would buying the yarn instead of having it sponsored be fair to all the yarn companies who have sponsored projects? I don’t think so. Inquiries went out this weekend; I don’t expect to hear back immediately. Hopefully I’ll be able to update with a yes soon.

      In the meantime, what would be possible using laceweight? Besides hemp, there’s silk (Yarn Love Cleopatra, for example), and linen. Hemp and linen are machine wash-and-dryable and can take a hot iron with a pressing cloth.

  4. Agreed about the fairness issue, just thought I should ask. Laceweight will work just fine as far as weight goes; I hadn’t really considered hemp or linen as fibers. They sound like great alternatives!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *