We're back! (redesign and announcements)


It’s no joke – the Anthill is back!

We all know April Fool’s day originated in China, but now it’s past noon you can take us seriously when we say we’re coming out of our long winter hibernation. I’ve been travelling and finishing a project, so it’s been kind of hectic. Now we’re up and running for a new season and a fresh start.

This year we’re tightening our focus, to find and publish original narratives about China that go beyond the news ticker. As such, we’re sunsetting the Chinese Tuesdays feature, after two years and 80 posts since it started in 2013 with crossposts from Sam Duncan (big thanks to Sam). Narrative non-fiction is still our first love, and we’re aiming to publish a new non-fiction sketch each week, on Fridays. There’ll also be some short stories (edited by Tom Pellman) and poetry (edited by Anthony Tao), plus photography and translation creeping in around the sides.

First, some exciting news and announcements:

Redesign   That’s right, we’ve got a new face. It’s lots of little changes – higher cheekbones here, a new font there – rather than any big ones, plus contributor profile pages (see the full list here) and categories. Huge thanks to my brother Thomas Ash (check out his meta-charity work at Charity Science) for patiently doing the redesign in Drupal. If you have any feedback, post a comment below.

Writers night   We had such a crazy good time at the first Anthill storytelling night last April, with the theme of Writers and Rum, that we’re doing it again this year. The provisional theme is “Scotch and Stories”, with a mix of writers and whiskies to sample, and it will likely be at the end of this month or beginning of May. Watch this space.

Anthology book   Looking back over the last two and a half years of posts at the Anthill, we realise we’ve published enough compelling stories to put them together between two covers for posterity. So we’re going to do it. How exactly that will work we’re still figuring out, and the anthology will only be out at the end of the year, possibly October in time for our third year anniversary. Until then, get writing as you can be in the book, if you just …

• Submit a story   We’re inviting submissions for narrative non-fiction, short fiction and poems. Anything with a China connection and a sense of story is game, both short and long form. For more details and how to submit, see our submission guidelines. We also run photo essays and translations of Chinese stories, from sci fi to satire.

That’s pretty much it. Remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, plus sign up for our weekly email digest to never miss a post. I hope you enjoy this coming year’s haul of stories. In the end, the Anthill is a labour of love and there’s only so much time we can put into it. While we do, it’s a delight. Thank you for reading and supporting us.

– Alec Ash