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'08 Authors Insider Tips


Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Epublishing: A Different Way
Choosing an Epublisher
Your Milage May Vary
Understand Your Contract!
Reasonable Expectations


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
The Publishing Biz
Critiquing: To Give and ...
Commerical vs. Literary...
Antiformalism for Fun &...
So You Want to Write a Novel
The Story Idea
Planning Your Novel...


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
5 Steps to Success
Inspirational
Opening Passages
Let's Get Critical
Writer's Block
Learning Lessons


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Be a Finisher ...
Listen to Your Characters
Conferences: Act Now ...
Starting an Erotic Story
Exercises & Writing Prompts
Revising & Rewriting
Copy Editing
The Manuscript Critique
How to Submit Your Work
Reading as Craft


Guest Appearances

Adventures in e-Publishing
by Lisabet Sarai

For the Love of Man
by Laura Baumbach

How to...Influence Editors
by Alison Tyler

Marketing your e-Book
by Brenna Lyons


2008 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Role Play
Busy Doing Nothing
Picture of a Fish & Chip...
What I Did With My Summer


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
Naughty Cookies...
Tie Me Up, Please …
The Smut-Writer’s Holiday
Never Trust the Narrator ...
Compare and Contrast
Following the Pen
Naked at the Farmers Market
Iím Easy, But Iím No Slut
Good Girl Gone Bad
Pleasures of the Dark Side
Slow, Spare and Sexy


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Raising Daughters
Jamie Lynn
Utopias
Lust
The Good Old Days
Election '08
Traditional Marriage
Campaign 2008
Free Will


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Masturbating on SSRIs
Sex and Disability
Besides Ourselves
Adjusting our Contrast


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Sex Is All Metaphors
Turn-ons and Squicks
Sexual Truth
Fickle Muse
Porn, Erotica & Romance


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Alison Tyler
Ashley Lister
Debra Hyde
Donna George Storey
Jeremy Edwards
Kristina Wright
Rachel Kramer Bussel


Erotic Hot Spots
by William S. Dean
Interview with Tilly Greene
Interview with Devyn Quinn


Getting Graphic
with William S. Dean
New Times for Readers...
The Future in Words ...
Interview with Fantagraphics


On Writing Erotica

The Accidental Pornographer
by Lisabet Sarai

The End of Innocence
by Lisabet Sarai

Get Them Off in High Style
Helena Settimana

So, You Want To Write Erotica?
by Hanne Blank


Web Gems
Hot Movies For Her

Two Girls Kissing:
Writing Lesbian Literary Erotica

with Amie M. Evans

How to Submit Your Work

 

Amie M. EvansYou’ve written, revised, and edited your lesbian erotic short story and are ready to send it off into the world—hopefully, to be published. You’ve got a copy of the current calls for submissions in front of you. Now what? Don’t take a deep breath or get distracted, your work with this story is not done until you’ve made sure it confirms to the guidelines.

Nothing will get a poorly written story published. However, not following instructions will ensure your well-written story doesn’t even get read. The “call for submissions” is a clear set of instructions from the editor about what he or she wants from you, the author. Ignoring it, or not paying enough attention to what it is asking of you, is fool’s play. After all of the time you have put into writing and revising your story, invest the time and attention into this last critical step. I’ll walk you through the process.

The Call for Submissions Guidelines

These guidelines are the editor’s want ad. A well written call will clearly tell you what the editor wants and exactly how they want to receive it. In that sense, the call is a blue print for how you should construct your submission and deliver it to the editor. Read them carefully. Everything you need to know is there and if it isn’t, there is an industry standard you should already know about that should be used. There is nothing mystical about calls once you know what to look for when reading one.

Reading a Call
This is an old expired call for an anthology I edited:

Drag Kings: Short Erotica Edited by Amie M. Evans and Rakelle Valencia

We want to create an anthology of realistic-like stories involving drag kings on or off stage…in a dressing room…a parked car…a hotel room… All the glamour, or lack there of, that dressing up like a man, performing for a screaming (or lame) crowd, traveling in intimate circumstances with other performers, or meeting all those fine women and bois who yell to you to take it off, that leads to sex, sex, sex. Or tell us tales of the hooking up that happens at these gigs between co-performers or lusty fans looking to bed their favorite kings. And make your story HOT. 2,000 to 6,000 words. No reprints or poetry. Literary Fiction only. Mail two hard copies and a bio to me at my address by this date. $50/story. Suspect Thoughts Press. 2009.

What Information Does the Call Provide?
Let’s deconstruct the guidelines. They will usually tell you (1) the theme or topic of the anthology, (2) maximum and minimum word count of submissions, (3) the type of work being solicited (fiction, memoir, essay, etc…), (4) how to send your work (email, hard copy, multiple copies), (5) the deadline, (6) if reprints are accepted, and (7) any specific requirements such as only southern, female, left handed authors may submit. Additionally, information about publication date, publisher, and payment are normally also listed in the call. Identify each element in the above call. Go ahead, do it now. I’ll wait.

Sometimes the editors will spell out specific details such as send two copies or put your email in the footer of every page or blind submissions with no name on the story and the title in the cover letter. Sometimes editors are kind enough to remind you of how to format the manuscript (double spaced, etc…).

What Information Is Missing from the Call?
In the above call there is no reference to how your manuscript should be formatted. This doesn’t mean you can do what you want; instead it assumes you will know enough to format your manuscript in industry standard format.

Formatting Correctly
Basic standard manuscript format is 81/2x11 page white paper with a 1 inch margin on all sides. Use 11 point font, Times New Roman or similar, black ink, and double space. Author’s name, email address, phone, story title, and page number in footer. Title, author’s name, full contact information (this means phone, email, and snail mail), and word count centered, single spaced on the first page. Short stories are stapled or paper clipped. Novels normally have a rubber band around them.

If the call doesn’t state how the manuscript is to be formatted than use the formatting above. Do not bind your manuscript. And just to be clear, if the call states that your manuscript should be on pink paper in 20 point font, than do it. Do whatever the call request. The above is to be used only if no specific request is stated in the call.

Tracking Your Submissions
It is critical that you keep track of who you have sent your stories or manuscript to for consideration. This will allow you to know which stories are accepted and which stories you can still shop. It will also allow you to know which editors like your work and just as importantly which do not. It will allow you to determine your submission/publication success rate and adjust your submissions accordingly. It will also allow you to track the notification dates and know who has yet to get back to you.

There are any number of ways to keep track of submissions. I use an excel chart with Story, anthology title, editor contact, date sent, accept/reject, and date published columns. Excel allows me to sort data, add other columns and rows and manipulate date easily. A page in a notebook with hand drawn columns will work too. The key is to find a system that works for you. You need to know what you’ve sent to who and what they thought of it.

To Follow Up or Not, That Is the Question
In most cases I say not. It is highly unlikely that the editor has forgotten to reply to your submission. It is possible, but not very likely. It is possible they miss-entered your email address and you didn’t get their email reply. However, if this is the case and they wanted your story they would call or send you a snail mail.

For an anthology submission: If you do not hear back by one week after the notification date stated in the call, it is acceptable to send an email request to find out what the status of your submission is. Make the email clear, concise, and polite. State your name, the name of your story, and ask whether or not it was accepted. Use the title of the anthology as the subject line of the email. (For example, Re: Submission to BLE 2005). Do not be chatty or explain why you want to know.

For a manuscript submission: If you do not hear back by the date stated (normally 3-6 months) it is acceptable to send an email or better yet a letter inquiring about the status of your manuscript. Since many publishers do not accept simultaneous submissions, if you want to send your manuscript to someone else, say so. But be aware, that will not cause the first publisher to hurry up and read or accept your manuscript. So only say it if you mean it.

Fulfilling the Editor’s Desires
The key to getting your submission read is to fulfill the editor’s desire. What the editor wants is clearly stated in the call. Guidelines aren’t optional or suggestions; they are very simply set in stone. Don’t reinvent the wheel. It already exists and works perfectly for the editors who will be reading (or not reading if you don’t follow the guidelines) your submissions. Do exactly what the guidelines say. This isn’t the time to show how creative you are; instead it is the time to show that you are capable of following instructions and a professional—two characteristics editors want in the authors they are going to be working with. Whatever, the guidelines say to do, no matter how dumb it might seem to you, you should do it. Period. Before you seal the envelope, double check your submission against the call.

Best of luck submitting your work!

NEXT TIME: Reading as Craft

Amie M. Evans
October 2008


More of Amie M. Evans' Two Girls Kissing in ERWA 2008 Archive.

______
"Two Girls Kissing: Writing Lesbian Literary Erotica" © 2008 Amie M. Evans. All rights reserved.

About the Author: Amie M. Evans is a widely published creative nonfiction and literary erotica writer, experienced workshop provider, and a retired burlesque and high-femme drag performer. She is on the board of directors for Saints and Sinners GLBT literary festival and graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Literature and is currently working on her MLA at Harvard.
Read Amie M. Evans' full bio at the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.



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'08 Movie Reviews

Almost Perfect
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The Fold
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Two
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Fallen
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'08 Book Reviews

Anthologies

Best Bisexual Women's Erotica
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Best Fantastic Erotica
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Best Women's Erotica '08
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Bound Brits (ebook)
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Deep Inside: Extreme ...
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Dirty Girls
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Hide and Seek
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Hurts So Good
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J is for Jealousy
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K is for Kink
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Lust Bites
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Open for Business
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Possession
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Rubber Sex
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Rubber Sex
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Seriously Sexy
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Sex & Candy
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The Shadow of a... (poetry)
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Spanked
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Tasting Her
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Tasting Him
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Tasting Him
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White Flames
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Yes, Ma'am: Male Submission
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Yes, Sir: Female Submission
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Novels

The Art of Melinoe
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Demon by Day
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Gemini Heat
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Gothic Heat
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The Hidden Grotto Series
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The House of Blood
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In Too Deep
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In Too Deep
Review by Victoria Blisse

Incognito
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Nicholas
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One Breath at a Time
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Out of the Shadows (ebook)
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Phantasmagoria
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Reckless
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Seduce Me
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Seduced by the Storm
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Serve the People!
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Signed, Sealed and Delivered
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Sunfire (eBook)
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Templar Prize
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The Wicked Sex
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Wild Kingdom
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Gay Erotica

Backdraft
Review by Vincent Diamond

Best Gay Romance '08
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Hard Hats
Review by Vincent Diamond

Leathermen
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Lesbian Erotica

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
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Best Lesbian Erotica '08
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The Night Watch
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Non-Fiction

America Unzipped
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Best Sex Writing '08
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Bonk: The Curious Coupling
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The Book of Love
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Casanova: Actor Lover ...
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Dishonorable Passions
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Flagrante Delicto (photos)
Review by Jack Gilbert

The Flesh Press
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Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star
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The Humble Little Condom
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Instant Orgasm (sex guide)
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Man O Man! Writing M/M...
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The Not So Invisible Woman
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Swingers: Female...
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Who's Been Sleeping in...
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