Announcing a New Series: Bright Ideas

Image for posts 2.JPGAs some of you know, John Scalzi is a dear friend of mine. He has a series called The Big Idea that focuses on forthcoming science fiction literature. I like the series and the idea behind it quite a bit and think there is room for a version in the academic world. I asked whether he’d mind if I adapted it. John said no problem, so here we go. (Hat Tip to Dan for coming up with the image)

So what is the idea behind Bright Ideas? Books are a culmination of years of work. There is often a story about how or why the author wrote the book. Authors rarely have a chance to share the details of what motivated them to pursue their project. What was it about the idea that compelled the author to write it? How did that idea carry the author through the difficult times that occur while writing? In short, Bright Ideas seeks to be a platform from which authors can explain the high-level concepts behind their work. As John put it, authors should tell their story, not flog their book.

Authors and publicists interested in participating read on.

First publicists should continue to seek out and contact any member of Concurring Opinions regarding publicity as best fits the publicist’s and a given CoOp author’s interests. The basic publicity guidelines, author subject matter interest, and contact information is here.

In addition publicists and authors wishing to participate in Bright Ideas should contact me (ddesai at and I will send a short guide. Nonetheless, here are some basics:

In general pieces from around 400 to 1,000 words would probably be the best fit. That being said, authors should submit what they wish, and we will review it for possible participation in the series.


Deven Desai is the coordinator of Bright Ideas. Publicists should send Deven a proposal for a Bright Idea piece (contact info below). The proposal should include information regarding the book they would like to have featured such as the name of the author, the name of the book, the date it will be published, and other pertinent information. You do not have to send a copy of the book to Deven, but it may help him know more about the book. (Again, please use your discretion and send copies of books to whomever you think is the best fit among the CoOp authors).

Non-book specific proposals are also quite welcome. Concurring Opinions seeks to build its reputation as place for the exchange of ideas. As such, proposals for op-ed styled pieces or special commentary fit well into the Bright Ideas vision. In addition, if publicists or authors have other suggestions, Concurring Opinions will be happy to consider them.

If the proposal is accepted, Deven will contact the publicist so the piece may be sent.

The expectation is that once a proposal is accepted, the submitted piece will be posted. NONETHELESS, Concurring Opinions reserves the right to reject a piece at its discretion. Although there may be some copyediting by Concurring Opinions, the author is responsible for his or her work. The author retains all rights to the work but grants Concurring Opinions a worldwide, royalty free, non-exclusive right to use the work on its blog and related archives.

Once the piece is accepted, Concurring Opinions will post a short introduction about the author and the book followed by the author’s byline and the piece.

Proposal Submission and Contact Information

Please email proposals to Deven Desai at ddesai at Please include BRIGHT IDEAS in the subject line. Email is the best way to submit a proposal.

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