Erotica Readers & Writers Association
Home | Erotic Books | Authors Resources | Inside The Erotic Mind | Erotica Gallery
Adult Movies | Sex Toys | Erotic Music | Email Discussion List | Links

'07 Authors Insider Tips

by Louisa Burton
Formatting Your Manuscript
Scams / Choosing an Agent
Pitching Your Novel...
From The Call to Published...

Hard Business
From Greg Herren
Who Is Telling This Story?
It’s Work, Not A Hobby
Where Ideas Come From

Sexy on the Page
With Shanna Germain
Plotting Erotic Fiction
Seducing Your Muse
Creating Characters...
Description, Action & Dialogue
Fucking on Paper
Ten No-Nos of Erotic Fiction
Climactic Moments: First Draft
Critique Groups
Revising Your Erotic Story
Finding the Perfect Markets...
Just Submit Already
Rejections and Acceptances

Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Verb Tense Confusion
Coming Up with Story Ideas
Attend a Writers’ Conference
The Fundamentals of POV
Should I Sign That?
Etiquette for Authors
Erotica is Serious Work
No Body Writes for Free...
Shameless Self Promotions
The Myth of Writer's Block

The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
The Time is Write
The Beautiful People
A Book by Any Other...
Synopsis: the Necessary Evil
Erotica or Porn?
Feedback Whine

2007 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
What's it like being a writer?
An Apology to Salespeople

Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
About Secrets
The Perfect Fuck
About Choices
The Age of Consent
The Kingmaker
Kids and Sex
The Price of Beauty
The G.O.P.
All Worked Up About Hate
Real Men

Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Good Sex: A Physics Lesson
Meet Frankenstein
Thoughts on the Orgasm Gap
The Very Bloody Marys
The Doomsday Erection
Online Threesome Porn

Sexy on the Page
by Shanna Germain

"Sorry, wrong hole" or "Yes, yes, yes!"
Handling Rejections and Acceptances

Shanna GermainYou've been working it for weeks, months, maybe even years. You've massaged your writing into a story that you like, you've smoothed it and softened it up, made it ready. The paper's been kissed by all the right words, covered with sweet nothings. The chemistry is popping. You're smooth. You're golden. You are so in… Now, you just sit back and wait to hear those precious three words from your editor: "Do it, baby!"

And then: Rejected.

Ouch, that hurt.

No matter how good you are, rejection is going to happen. At least once. Many, many times if you're like most writers. In fact, I got a rejection this morning, just as I sat down to revise this article. And here I am, still alive, still writing. And, of course, still hoping for an acceptance next time.

Here's how to make sure that rejections don't get you all droopy—and that acceptances don't get you so exited that you have a premature celebration!


Move On: Start moving on from rejection before it even happens. You do this by continuing to write. Get to work on that next project. And stop checking your e-mail a million times a day. (Or, if you're like me and can't resist the allure of e-mail, at least teach yourself to write between check-in times.) The rejection will still sting when it lands, but at least you'll have the padding of a new story to protect the really tender bits.

Buck Yourself Up: Call me a pessimist, but I assume that every story I send out will get a big fat no. Thus, I find a back-up market for it before I even send it out. This way, if I get a yes, I have a reason to celebrate. And if I get rejected, I have a plan for the story. This helps prevent the wallowing and spur-of-the-moment edits (always a bad idea) that can happen when a rejection makes you feel like you seriously suck. Send it out again. Right now.

Don't Bitch and Cry: Okay, really, you can cry. But only in private and to your bestest friends. Don't send a nasty note back to the editor asking, "How could you possibly reject my masterpiece? You must be the stupidest editor ever," (yes this happens) and do not, no matter how tempting, post a "fucking editor bitch rejected me" note on your blog (also happens—rather often, in fact). Instead, send a nice thank you note. Yes, a thank you note. It goes like this, "Thank you for getting back to me about my story. I'm sorry it wasn't right for [this book/publication/contest], but I plan to try again with another story in the future." 

Notch Your Bedpost: Think of each "no" as a success. After all, you had to attempt that kiss in order to get slapped, right? So, brag about your accomplishments. "Last month, I nailed 12 rejections!" Trust me, you'll sound like a serious stud and having a sense of humor about it will keep you going between acceptances. 


It would seem like we wouldn't need to talk about acceptances, right? You got a yes, you pop the bottle of champagne and that's all there is to it. But that's like saying if your date says yes to your fumbling advances, then you're home free on the sex bit. It's only after you have trouble finding the sweet spot that you realize a few pointers never hurt. Here's how to proceed after that frantic, "yes, yes, yes!"

Bask in the Glory: Really, you'll want to do this. Run around the house, eat all the cookies, call everyone you know and go ga-ga for a while. Scream, "She likes me, she really likes me!" at the top of your lungs. Then, once you've got it out of your system, sit down and go through the details.

Check Everything: Double-check the acceptance letter and take a look at the contract (they may have sent it now, or they may send it later). Contracts aren't as complicated as they seem, but they do need your attention. Especially any bit that has to do with rights and payment (see the links below for a more complete list of suggestions on what to look for and avoid).

Ask for What You Want: This is likely the hardest part of getting an acceptance. If the contract doesn't work for you (the most common reason is that it asks for all rights of any sort from now 'til the end of time or that it doesn't include anything about those big bucks you were promised), you have three options: suck it up and sign it (almost definitely a bad idea), refuse to sign it (potentially a bad idea), or ask the editor if you can negotiate some of the contract terms. While renegotiating is probably your best bet, it is not easy. It will likely never get easy. Learn to do it anyway.

Kiss, But Don't Slobber: When your editor says yes to a story, it's good to be grateful, gracious and professional without drooling in her eye. A polite, "Thank you so much for accepting my story and I'm really looking forward to working with you," is perfect. An "Omg, omg, thank you thank you thank you I can't believe someone finally took this story!" is probably not.

After Glow

Once you've signed the contract, you're still not done. Publishing truly is the never-ending story. Your editor may have editing suggestions or changes—treat these similar to a contract. They're often good ideas, but sometimes they're not, and everything is negotiable. My philosophy is to say yes to every edit or suggestion that makes the story better (and since this is your editor's job, hopefully most of the changes will do that), and to fight for only the things that really, really matter. Sometimes the changes have nothing to do with your story—maybe the anthology already has two other stories with characters named Baby Sue Goshdarn and the editor asks for a name change. In that case, you need to decide how important the name is and how it will affect the story if you alter it.

Additionally, make sure you're clear on the expected publication and payment dates. I mark these in my calendar, and if I haven't heard anything by then, I follow up with the editor.

Looking Ahead

As you may already know, this column is the last of the "Sexy on The Page" series. In the last year, we've looked at where to come up with ideas, how to write the first draft, ways to find markets and now we've reached the final part of short stories—getting published.

So what's next? Maybe, like me, you're ready to move on to something longer and more complex. I hope so, because next year, we getting ready to go the distance. Starting in 2008, I'll be starting a new column, "Going Long: Erotic Novels and Novellas." We'll look at everything from making the leap from short stories to longer works, to testing an idea's novel-strength to writing the first (and second and third) drafts and, of course, to working with editors and publishers. It's going to be one long, sexy ride, so be sure to strap yourself in and get your fingers, brains and other body parts ready to write.

The Sting and the Bling: More on Rejections and Acceptances


About the Author: Shanna Germain's erotic stories have appeared or are scheduled to appear in dozens of publications and anthologies, including Absinthe Literary Review, Aqua Erotica 2, Best American Erotica, Best Bondage Erotica, Best Gay Romance, Best Lesbian Erotica 2008 and The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica. She is a fiction editor for Clean Sheets and 42Opus, as well as a poetry editor for the American Journal of Nursing. You can see more of her work, erotic and otherwise, on her website,

Shanna Germain
December 2007

  Get Sexy on the Page with Shanna Germain in ERWA 2007 Archive.

"Sexy on the Page" © 2007 Shanna Germain. All rights reserved.

About the Author: Shanna Germain’s erotic stories have appeared or are scheduled to appear in dozens of publications and anthologies, including Absinthe Literary Review, Aqua Erotica 2, Best American Erotica, Best Bondage Erotica, Best Gay Romance and The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica. She is a fiction editor for Clean Sheets and 42Opus, as well as a poetry editor for the American Journal of Nursing. You can see more of her work, erotic and otherwise, on her website,

  E-mail this page

Search ERWA Website:

Copyright 1996 and on, Erotica Readers Association, Inc.
All Rights Reserved World Wide. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or
medium without express written permission is prohibited.

'07 Book Reviews


A for Amour / B for Bondage
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica '07
Review by Ashley Lister

The Butcher, The Baker...
Review by Ashley Lister

C is for Coeds
Review by Ashley Lister

Cream: The Best of ERWA
Review by Ashley Lister

Cream: The Best of ERWA
Perceptions by Cervo

Coming Together for the Cure
Review by Lisabet

Review by Ashley Lister

F is for Fetish
Review by Ashley Lister

Got a Minute?
Review by Ashley Lister

He's on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

Love on the Dark Side
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Lust: ...Fantasies for Women
Review by Ashley Lister

The Mammoth Book Vol 6
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Naughty Spanking Stories
Review by Ashley Lister

Quickies 1
Review by Angelika Devlyn

She's on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

Sixteen of the Best
Review by Ashley Lister


Amorous Woman
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Boss
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Burning Bright
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Call Me By Your Name
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Ashley Lister

Dark Designs
Review by Ashley Lister

Equal Opportunities
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Angelika Devlyn

Review by Angelika Devlyn

Gothic Blue
Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Ashley Liste

The Lords of Satyr: Nicholas
Review by Helen E. H. Madden

Love Song of the Dominatrix
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Review by Angelika Devlyn

Riding the Storm
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Silver Collar
Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Ashley Lister

Suite Seventeen
Review by Ashley Lister

Sweet as Sin
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Tiffany Twisted
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Top of Her Game
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Whalebone Strict
Review by Ashley Lister

Wife Swap
Review by Gary Russell

Wings of Madness
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Gay Erotica

Historical Obsessions
Review by Erastes

Homosex: 60 Years of Gay...
Review by Erastes

Mammoth Book of New Gay...
Review by Erastes

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Iridescence:...Lesbian Erotica
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Sex Guides

The Path of Service
Review by Ashley Lister

Secrets of Porn Star Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Touch Me There
Review by Ashley Lister


Concertina: An Erotic Memoir...
Review by Rob Hardy

Daddy's Girl
Review by Ashley Lister

Dirt for Art's Sake
Review by Rob Hardy

Entangled Lives
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Impotence: A Cultural History
Review by Rob Hardy

I, Goldstein: My Screwed...
Review by Rob Hardy

In Praise of the Whip
Review by Rob Hardy

Insatiable: ...Porn Star
Review by William S. Dean

Letters of a Portuguese Nun
Review by Rob Hardy

Mississippi Sissy
Review by Rob Hardy

Ron Jeremy
Review by Rob Hardy

Virgin: The Untouched...
Review by Rob Hardy

The Year of Yes
Review by Rob Hardy