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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
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
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

Get Them Off, And Do It In High Style
by Helena Settimana


Get Them Off in High StyleQuality erotic writing sets the bar high and by making it a goal you raise your own sights even higher. Reputable editors of literary erotica choose stories which have extraordinary wordcraft, plot and characterization. Many short pieces have daring experimental slants. All their pieces are unique, but are bound together by intelligence and creativity. All their choices display a unique 'voice.' That's what makes them premier—the voice of the writer and the structure of the work. And yes, the stories are hot.

Want to get into a lauded collection or magazine? Read what that press publishes. Take your cues from their existing content.

What else can you do?

Read. Read something other than porn, even. (There's a thought!) You don't know what you don't know. It can be a disadvantage. The best writers in any genre are voracious and catholic readers. Take a course in creative writing. If you really don't know what makes for great fiction, take a course that will teach you how to discern the difference. I am stunned by the number of wannabe writers who have no foundation in reading or writing. None. Alice Munro? Who's that? Never read Hemingway. Joseph Heller? Didn't he do a screenplay? Who is Nadine Gordimer? Never heard of her either. Robertson Davies? Why should I care? (Even pulp writers are good writers—they can tell one heck of a story and may well find a place among the literati of the future).

†What's a clause? Why are you bugging me about fractured sentences and dangling participles or ending my sentences with prepositions? What the fuck does that have to do with writing a sex story? These people figure that if they have sex they can write about sex and all they need is to splat some body parts and some jamming into a ‘story' and they'll be wildly popular and loved the world over. Not generally so. Learn to create fiction the same way you would build a house—from a prepared foundation, through the structure and design to the finished product with doors and windows to admit you, allow you to enter and view its world. Then write and write some more.

Join a critique group. Take in criticism. Turn critiques to your advantage. If an accomplished member of the group helpfully suggests that you make changes, then make them. Your story and your writing will benefit. You will need to have a thick skin. You will really need this once you are dealing with editors, anyway. Get your ego out of the way and your work will benefit from it.

Know your market. Know your own writing. Who are you trying to reach? Some people are good at writing for the Weekly World News; some know they belong in the New Yorker or Vanity Fair. Who are you? When you know what your goals and your capabilities are, you will see your writing find its natural place, and so, then, will the acceptances come.

Don't send them something that needs a thousand style and grammar adjustments—they'll shit-can it and for good reason. Forget about a story with a predictable plot, plodding language, paper-cut-out characters. Don't over-write nor "tell" the story. "Show" it. Wow 'em. Even a scene—a searing, slamming jackhammer-fucking scene can be exalted by words. Some ask, "Well, what does "show and tell" mean? What's the difference?" Telling a story is reporting it. "She was a 38DD blonde wearing a tight blouse and she was horny." Well, ok... but the same information can be conveyed by saying that, "Her blouse was too tight. It shifted over her breasts, swollen with her arousal. The motion, enhanced by her restlessness, disturbed her nipples; too sensitive already..." Got that? It's a far richer experience. If you want publication in a quality venue you had better stop composing like a cheap letter-writer in a cheesy porn-mag. It's the truth.

Read your work out loud. Awkward phrasing, punctuation, grammar and other glitches show up when you do this.

Write what you know. Again, who are you? Be honest. Be daring. Free your imagination. Write like you know you are hot shit. Let go of the rails. By this I mean, don't censor yourself. Censoring is more than just thinking, "I can't say (write) that. Censoring yourself is also about lack of confidence in laying out the words. Trust your intuition. Let the words tumble out. This is the creative part of the process. You can trim and edit, later. One of the most remarkable things I've experienced was a recent e-mail exchange with another writer in which we engaged in a sort of ‘slam/jam'—zinging off hot, smokin' words—about 4 exchanges in under sixty minutes in which we wrote whatever came to mind and played off of each other's messages: a sort of cyber-sex, with vaulting imagination. It was all free-fall, over-the-top and decidedly one of the most exhilarating experiences I've had since becoming a writer. It was fresh, unrehearsed and uncensored in both senses. My mind was fired up as much as any other working part of me. Let yourself GO. Fresh works.

Don't cling to the idea that a sex story has to be porn-y in order to succeed. I still think the underpinning of the best erotic writing is subtle, metaphoric, poetic. Some of the most powerful images in erotica are created by words that rattle in the brain long after the page has turned, and this is not so much about the sex scene described as the way it is described. You can sexualise, eroticise the ordinary—and create something extraordinary.

Collect publishers rejections—they are badges of honour. A rejection doesn't necessarily mean you've written a dog—it may simply be that it's not something that is suitable for their needs at the time.

Tell the truth. Write Well. Tell a helluva story, beautifully held together with layers of meaning and words strung together that will make the reader sigh with envy. Get into the heads of your players. Show us what they think, see; smell. What motivates them? Make us care. When we inhabit the bodies and minds of your characters we experience their stories first-hand. Your sex story is their sex story is our sex story.

Make someone want to become a writer because of your writing.

Elevate your craft and the standards of sex writing everywhere. Serious writers do this. Readers need this. Get them off, and do it in high style.

Helena Settimana

"Get Them Off, And Do It In High Style" © Helena Settimana. All rights reserved.

About the Author:
Helena Settimana lives in Toronto, Canada. Her short fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared on the web at The Erotica Readers and Writers Association, Scarlet Letters, Clean Sheets, and Dare (no longer being produced). In print, her work has been featured in Best Women's Erotica 2001 and 2002, Erotic Travel Tales, Best Bisexual Women's Erotica, (all Cleis Press, San Francisco); From Porn to Poetry: Clean Sheets Celebrates the Erotic Mind (Samba Mountain Press,), Prometheus Vol. 36, Desires (Venus Book Club), Shameless: Womens' Intimate Erotica (Seal Press, Seattle); The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica (Robinson,UK 2002), Best of the Best Meat Erotica (Suspect Thoughts Press, 2002) and Penthouse, (April 2003). Later in 2003, expect to see her work in, Best Bondage Erotica (Cleis Press, San Francisco), Best Women's Erotica 2004 [2 stories] (Cleis Press, San Francisco), and Delicate Friction, (Bullock Publications).

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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