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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

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
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
Im Easy, But Im 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
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

The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister


One of my writing tutors brought some bread into class last week. It was a profound experience.

The writing class was littered with the usual Tuesday afternoon scribes and wannabes. I was sitting behind a half-used notepad facing two damned good writers and sandwiched between the class cynic and a very deep young lady who writes exceptionally emotive poetry.

The other members of the class were sat around like peripheral players at a high rollers’ poker game.

“Take a piece of bread,” the tutor told us, handing the loaf around. “Tear it with your hands. Observe how it looks. Remember the texture. Notice the smell. Listen to the sound it makes when you chew it. Savour the taste.”

They were good instructions. The senses are important in any description. In erotica an erection is just an erection until someone strokes their tongue against its sweat-soaked length. In erotica a nipple is only a nipple until it’s tweaked between a teasing finger and thumb. In the classroom a piece of bread is only a piece of bread until it’s been experienced and described.

And so, fresh from our experience with the bread, we were expected to write. Fifteen minutes were allowed. We could use whatever genre we wanted, poetry, prose—even a scene for a screenplay if that was how we preferred to work. All that was required was that we thought about hunger and used our recent experience with the bread to help us write something descriptive.

For fifteen minutes the room was silent.

That’s a lie. It wasn’t totally silent. The sound of pens scratching at paper was a constant. The mutterings of writers saying, “Fuck! No!” and “Fuck! Yes!” were a permanent undercurrent. The electric tension in the air was charged from people desperate to do their best and determined to outdo each other when faced with this opportunity to show off their prowess.

When the tutor said the fifteen minutes were complete someone swore. A pen was slammed down hard against a desk. And the tension in the room got thicker.

“Are you all finished?” the tutor asked.

Three of us preened. The analogy of the high rollers’ poker match still fits because the three preening were the ones who were still in the game. We all knew when the tutor asked us to read our work, we would stun the entire room. In a card game, we would have been smugly tossing our chips into the centre of the table.

“Has anybody produced anything they want to read?”

I settled back in my chair and allowed someone else to up the ante. One of the damned good writers on the opposite side of the room was anxious to go first. With a rustle of paper, and a delivery that was just a little too anxious, she narrated an autobiographical piece.

It was a cohesively structured story. The tempo could have used a little slowing but that would have worked itself out in the rewrites. Overall, her reminiscence of being hungry on a day when her parents were moving home was cleanly presented and it ended to polite applause. In a card game it would have been worthy of presenting two pairs.

I glanced at the deep young lady to my side. She held a piece of poetry that looked to be half the length of my ode. Gallantly I offered her the floor but she shook her head. I shrugged and figured I had made the effort to be chivalrous—now I could clean up completely.

I then read out my ode to the pie.

It was a comic piece. Before writing I’d figured that the rest of the class would be tackling hunger from a negative perspective. Thinking outside the box I’d tackled the subject of hunger from a different point of view. I’d written a humorous ode, lavishing stupendous and exaggerated praise on a simple savoury pastry.

The response made me realise I had shown a full house—and all of them picture cards. Laughter shook the window frames. By the time the reading was finished the applause was loud enough to make me blush. If we’d been playing poker I would have been reaching for the stack of chips and pulling them towards my pot.

But someone with a better hand would have stopped me. The poet by my side read her piece. Carefully, she laid out a royal flush.

I almost felt guilty for having written a comical piece. Whilst I’d been writing daft rhymes about pies, she’d been creating the most moving story about having spent time on the streets, knowing a hunger so fierce it felt lethal, and describing a severity of starvation that I never wanted to know. The class cynic by my side wiped something from his eye.

And, as the rest of the class applauded and praised her, I mentally pushed the chips toward the poet.

And I mention all of this for two reasons:

I mention it firstly, to show that we all work in different ways. Given a piece of bread to explore three of us produced three vastly different pieces of work. Whilst I’d tried to think outside the box to earn the empty accolade of having the day’s best piece of writing, I hadn’t stood a chance against a brilliant poet who had been properly inspired. And, such was the quality of her writing, I didn’t mind taking second place.

Secondly, I mention this as a reminder that we can all take different things from inspiration. The tutor’s exercise was genius because all of us were so familiar with bread that considering it through all five senses was something we hadn’t tried in ages.

And I mention it thirdly to set the following exercise.

Kiss someone. Consider all five senses during the kiss: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Then, go and write erotica for fifteen minutes. It doesn’t matter whether you write male/male, male/female, female/female or any combination of men, women or transgendered characters. Spend fifteen minutes writing on the subject of arousal.

I assure you: the results will be inspirational.

Ashley Lister
March 2008

Find more of Ashley's Write Stuff in ERWA 2008 Archive.

"The Write Stuff" © 2008 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

About the Author: Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms.His most recent work, Swingers: True Confessions from Today's Modern Swinging Scene (Virgin Books), a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his first title published under his own name.
Ashleys non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.
Email: Ashley Lister

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'08 Movie Reviews

Almost Perfect
Review by Oranje

The Fold
Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Spooky

Review by Spooky

'08 Book Reviews


Best Bisexual Women's Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Fantastic Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica '08
Review by Ashley Lister

Bound Brits (ebook)
Review by Ashley Lister

Deep Inside: Extreme ...
Review by Cervo

Dirty Girls
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Hide and Seek
Review by Ashley Lister

Hurts So Good
Review by Ashley Lister

J is for Jealousy
Review by Ashley Lister

K is for Kink
Review by Ashley Lister

Lust Bites
Review by Ashley Lister

Open for Business
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Rubber Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Rubber Sex
Review by Victoria Blisse

Seriously Sexy
Review by Ashley Lister

Sex & Candy
Review by Ashley Lister

The Shadow of a... (poetry)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Victoria Blisse

Tasting Her
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Tasting Him
Review by Ashley Lister

Tasting Him
Review by Kathleen Bradean

White Flames
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Yes, Ma'am: Male Submission
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Yes, Sir: Female Submission
Review by Angelika Devlyn


The Art of Melinoe
Review by Ashley Lister

Demon by Day
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Gemini Heat
Review by Ashley Lister

Gothic Heat
Review by Ashley Lister

The Hidden Grotto Series
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The House of Blood
Review by Lisabet Sarai

In Too Deep
Review by Ashley Lister

In Too Deep
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Donna George Storey

Review by Victoria Blisse

One Breath at a Time
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Out of the Shadows (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Rose B. Thorny

Seduce Me
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduced by the Storm
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Serve the People!
Review by Donna G. Storey

Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Sunfire (eBook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Templar Prize
Review by Angelika Devlyn

The Wicked Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Wild Kingdom
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Gay Erotica

Review by Vincent Diamond

Best Gay Romance '08
Review by Vincent Diamond

Hard Hats
Review by Vincent Diamond

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Lesbian Erotica

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
Review by Donna George Storey

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
Review by Ashley Lister

The Night Watch
Review by Lisabet Sarai


America Unzipped
Review by Rob Hardy

Best Sex Writing '08
Review by Rob Hardy

Bonk: The Curious Coupling
Review by Rob Hardy

The Book of Love
Review by Rob Hardy

Casanova: Actor Lover ...
Review by Rob Hardy

Dishonorable Passions
Review by Rob Hardy

Flagrante Delicto (photos)
Review by Jack Gilbert

The Flesh Press
Review by Rob Hardy

Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Humble Little Condom
Review by Rob Hardy

Instant Orgasm (sex guide)
Review by Ashley Lister

Man O Man! Writing M/M...
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Not So Invisible Woman
Review by Ashley Lister

Swingers: Female...
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Who's Been Sleeping in...
Review by Rob Hardy