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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
I’m Easy, But I’m 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

Learning Lessons


I learnt an important lesson this month.  Well, in truth, I learnt several important lessons.

  • Never test if the iron is still hot by using your tongue on the plate. 
  • Just because the words “fat” and “jolly” go together in common collocation, it doesn’t mean that tubby people always have a sense of humour.
  • There are some people who don’t like to hear the word “bisexual” before 9.30 in the morning.  (A fellow student told me she couldn’t deal with hearing the word until she’d had a sausage inside her).
  • And (most importantly) a writer should always read.

The fourth lesson came about through an email exchange with a poet.  I’d written some poems and contacted him to discuss one or two points on the whole business of poetry, poems and performance.  In an innocent enquiry from the poet he asked, “Which poets or poetry do you read for pleasure?”

The question threw me.  I was stumbling for a response, trying to get my thoughts into the mindset of whether or not I’d ever read any poetry for pleasure.  I was trying to recall if I had ever been sat by the fireside, with a book of poems in my hand, quietly reading verse whilst sporting a big grin on my face.  I don’t think I’ve ever done that but, if I have, I think I might have been wearing a smoking jacket.

Like most people, I was introduced to poetry through English language education.  This is probably the best way to bleach all the fun and pleasure out of any subject.  Reading poetry is inextricably linked with reading text books.  Appreciating poetry is something you’re taught how to do.  Understanding poetry usually means the poet didn’t do their job properly. 

So it was no small wonder that the idea of reading poetry for pleasure was not something I could immediately grasp.  I thought about how to respond, fearful I would look like the world’s biggest fool, because it seemed I was trying to write poetry without having read any.  Fortunately, our exchange was via email, so I had the luxury of thinking time to formulate my response.  As is only natural in these situations, I decided to lie.

My first thoughts went to Coleridge.  I don’t know why.  I’ve been forced to read Coleridge in the past and I think the man was an over-rated stoner.  Anyone who has ever heard his story about “the man from Porlock” and how that interrupted his “dream-induced” creation of Kubla Khan, can’t help but notice that the story is similar to the frequent lament of dope-addled musicians who claim they were writing, “the most awesome tunes” when a bout of the munchies struck and soured their creativity.   

But I couldn’t honestly say I’d ever read any Coleridge for pleasure.  However, I had flicked through Wordsworth for fun – simply because I enjoyed his description of nature.  And I remembered reading and re-reading his complete works just for the entertainment of the experience.  I wasn’t sat in front of a fireside, wearing a smoking jacket.  I’d just spent a lazy evening in bed one night whilst enjoying some Wordsworth.  (It’s fortunate I wasn’t holding my Longfellow – or that could have looked rude).  On a similar note, although a lot of Shakespeare’s plays can seem inaccessible and verbose – his poetry is surprisingly pleasing.  His mastery of the sonnet and iambic pentameter are wholly entertaining and – again – I have spent several evening simply reading his work for the pleasure of the experience. 

And then I remembered I’d been trying to encourage some friends to read Edgar Allen Poe’s poetry.  Here in the UK Poe is chiefly known for his relationship with prose and the horror genre.  Introduce people to The Raven or Annabel Lee or A Dream Within A Dream and they come close to orgasm from the sheer pleasure of the experience.

On top of that, whilst researching poets from whom I could be influenced (it’s not called plagiarism in this context – it’s intertextuality) I had been listening to YouTube recordings of performance poets, dub poets and beat poets.

So, after an hour’s careful thought, I realised I had no need to lie about reading poetry for pleasure – it was something I’d been doing for a long time. 

But the experience of having to remember those incidents did remind me how important it is for writers to read.  If I hope to be successful with my poetry it’s vital that I know what is happening with poetry today and how it’s best being produced.  And, when I next receive an email from someone who wants to write an erotic story, but they’ve never read anything from the genre, I shall give them a two word lesson on how a writer should familiarise themselves with their target genre.

Writers read.

Ashley Lister
November 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.
Ashley’s 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