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A collection of stories, essays and art from autistic authors and artists.

Who do you picture when you think of an autistic person? Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory, Rain Man, the boy from Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time? These are the responses you’ll get from most people. Not the most diverse line up of voices, not least because they are all fictional, and all follow a really specific set of characteristics: good at maths, socially inappropriate, male, strange.

Yet the saying goes in the autistic community that if you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person; our individualities make us just as unique as neurotypical* people, shining through beyond the diagnostic criteria that links us.

Around 1 in 100 people in the UK are autistic, but rarely do autistic people have a voice. Dialogue around autism often follows a bleak and cliched path -- “problem” children, parents desperately seeking answers and cures, unemployment -- and it has been neurotypical people who have often led the discussion on autism in the wider media, the parents, carers, doctors, and experts. They are the ones on the daytime tv sofas, in parliament, or writing about their experiences with us. While these voices are important, the balance is tipped, and rarely do we get to use our own voices to talk about our experiences or to show how creative, smart and funny we are, how different from the stereotype most people have.

But the tide is starting to turn, and autistic people are taking the chance to speak for themselves, rather than being spoken about. The stereotypical view of autism we once had is starting to slip away, and the more representation there is, the more this will happen.

Autistic people have routinely been denied the opportunity to share their own stories, and we want to change that.

This anthology represents an important step in reclaiming that power, of using our own voices. This book will bring together some of the best autistic writers, showcasing the immense talents of people who just happen to be on the spectrum. It won’t just feature essays about what it is to be autistic, but also stories, illustrations and art. So this isn’t just a book for autistic people or those who work or live with us; Stim will be an enjoyable, insightful collection for people around the world, who want to discover and champion unheard voices.


What does Stim mean Stimming is the nickname for ‘stimulatory behaviours’, the repetitive self soothing movements that are a well recognised trait of autistic people. In many harmful autistic therapies, stimming is forcefully repressed; I want to reclaim this word as something powerful.


Why me I got diagnosed with Autism at the age of 28, accidentally discovering I was autistic through the power of other autistic people’s writing. It is a strange thing to read your life on the page, but also empowering and important. I want to help create a platform where other autistic people can interact with the art of their neurodiverse siblings and understand themselves better and where neurotypical people can get a real chance to see that we can be as brilliantly individually creative as neurotypicals can.


Contributors:
Grace Au
Nell Brown
Helen Carmichael
Laura James
Katharine Kingsford
Rachael Lucas
Aisja Mahmood
Ishita Basu Malik
Ashleigh Mills
Tristain Alice Nieto
Reese Piper
Cornelia Prior
Megan Rhiannon
Charlotte Roberts
Martha Rose Saunders
Robert Shepherd
Waverly SM
Amelia Wells
Gemma Williams
Tjallien de Witte


* Neurotypical means not autistic, although its definition has in recent years expanded to include people who don’t have other cognitive differences, such as ADHD or epilepsy. You might also hear the word “allistic”, which means not-autistic too, but for the sake of ease we’ve stuck to the more familiar neurotypical here. The way we see and experience the world may be different from you, but that doesn’t make us abnormal, just different. We prefer to think that you’re neurologically typical and we’re neurologically diverse – neurotypical and neurodiverse.

Lizzie Huxley-Jones is an autistic person and occasional writer, based in London. She currently works as editor and publicity human at independent micropublisher 3 of Cups Press.

Otherwise, she can be found avoiding working on her manuscript by proposing new anthology projects, being weird online or taking her dog Nerys for a walk. She can also be found over-enthusiastically chairing author events around London. In her past career lives, she has been a research diver in the Philippines, a children's bookseller and digital communications specialist.

She tweets too much @littlehux and you can find out what she's up to here. You can reach her at lizzie.stim@gmail.com.

Introducing... Reese Piper!

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Hello all,

Each week, I will be introducing you all to a contributor to Stim. If you're on Twitter, you can tune in on Saturday evenings around 6pm where each person will talk a little about themselves and answer any Qs you have; else you can pop over here to read all about it in condensed form.

This week I have the pleasure of introducing you to Reese Piper. Reese is a stripper, writer and…

Introducing... Ashleigh Mills!

Monday, 6 August 2018

Screen shot 2018 08 06 at 13.12.29

Hello all,

Each week, I will be introducing you all to a contributor to Stim. If you're on Twitter, you can tune in on Saturday evenings around 6pm where each person will talk a little about themselves and answer any Qs you have; else you can pop over here to read all about it in condensed form.

This week I have the pleasure of introducing you to Ashleigh Mills. Ashleigh is a poet, psychologist…

Introducing... Gemma Williams!

Monday, 30 July 2018

Screen shot 2018 07 30 at 16.20.11

Hello all,

Each week, I will be introducing you all to a contributor to Stim. If you're on Twitter, you can tune in on the #StimBook hashtag on Saturday evenings around 6pm where each person will talk a little about themselves and answer any Qs you have; else you can pop over here to read all about it in condensed form.

This week I have the pleasure of introducing you to Gemma Williams, who…

Introducing... Grace Au!

Monday, 16 July 2018

Screen shot 2018 07 16 at 18.58.32

Hello all,

Each week, I will be introducing you all to a contributor to Stim. If you're on Twitter, you can tune in on Saturday evenings around 6pm where each person will talk a little about themselves and answer any Qs you have; else you can pop over here to read all about it in condensed form.

Starting us off is Grace Au, a UK based writer contributing a piece of short fiction about hungry…

Announcements this Saturday!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Hello all,

I hope this update finds you all well and, if you're in the UK, keeping yourself cool in this heatwave. It has been exceptionally quiet on my front due to a massive health wobble this last month, which has finally sorted itself out, phew. Hopefully I won't be leaving you so long again.

So! Exciting things are coming. Remember last update I discussed curating an anthology? Well, I…

Curating the book

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Hello all!

It's been a couple of weeks since I last spoke to you because I've been, as the title suggests, curating the book. At the start of the month was the deadline for pitches for the "second half" of Stim, a way to ensure we reached voices and talents beyond my own network. Across the two open calls for pitches (one of which I did pre-launch on Unbound) I've had about 100 pitches.

ONE…

New stories to share

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Hello all,

I hope you're all doing well, and (if you're in the UK) prepping for the incoming heat wave this weekend. Fill up those ice trays.

This weekend I'm going to be going through all the pitches I received for Stim. You may have noticed that the contributor list says "and more to be announced". That's because I decided to launch the book with roughly half the book planned and keep searching…

Find out more about the Stim contributors

Monday, 23 April 2018

Hello all! 

I hope you've been enjoying the sunshine we've been having in the UK this week (alternatively, I hope you've had good weather wherever you are).

I've been a little quiet here as I've been sorting out things over at the publisher I co-run 3 of Cups Press, as we were crowdfunding for a book over there as well at the same time! Despite that, I've been doing quite a lot of Stim bits…

A lot can happen in seven days

Friday, 23 March 2018

If you'd told me pre launch that we'd be comfortably sitting at 22% with 140 backers after one week, I wouldn't have believed you. Crowdfunding is a difficult game, influenced by paydays, your audience, even the day of the week you launch, and having ran two Kickstarters for 3 of Cups Press before hand I knew the best thing was to expect nothing.

I couldn't have expected this. Not just the financial…

These people are helping to fund Stim: An Autism Anthology.

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