The LHMP is Becoming a Publisher
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 07:00
I've been playing around with ideas for how to use the occasional "fifth week" in the Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast schedule, and the idea that keeps coming back to me with the tenacity of an affectionate cat at feeding time is to publish audio short stories that fit the theme of the Project. I bounced the idea off a few people and other than the occasional reaction of, "You know...this means you have to read a slushpile," no one tried to dissuade me.
So I'm making it official. This announcement should give enough time for inspiration, writing, and polishing, while providing a close enough deadline to keep people focused. (For those of you who find NaNoWriMo too daunting, maybe it would make a good project?) The one thing that I was absolutely certain of the moment the idea came to me was that I would be offering professional rates. I want to provide incentive for writers to submit great stories. Stories that fulfill the goal of the LHMP of encouraging the writing and enjoyment of truly great lesbian historic fiction.
Details on how to submit will be available closer to the submissions window. For now, fire up those keyboards and start writing!
The submissions period has closed. Thanks to all who submitted and who helped spread the word about this project! If you missed it this time, there may be another chance. If the reception for the fiction segments in the podcast is positive, I'll definitely be considering doing it again.
The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast will be open for submissions during January 2018 for short stories in the lesbian historic fiction genre, to be produced in audio format for the podcast, as well as published in text on the website.
Update 2017/12/13: Details on formatting and submission are now included below. Please follow them carefully so that your story will be given proper consideration.
- We will accept short fiction of any length up to 5000 words, which is a hard limit. We will be buying at least two stories, possibly more, depending on length (if we get some really great shorter works). If the experiment is successful, it may be repeated in the future.
- We will be paying professional rates: US$0.06/word.
- The contract will be for first publication rights in audio and print (i.e., the story must not have appeared in either format previously) with an exclusive one year license. (Exceptions can be arranged by mutual consent for “best of” collections within that term.)
- Instructions on how to submit will be made available on this site closer to the submission period. NO SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED OUTSIDE THE SUBMISSION PERIOD OF JANUARY 2018.
What We’re Looking For
- Stories must be set in an actual historic culture--i.e., a specific time and place in history--and the plot and characters should be firmly rooted in that time and place. (No time-travel or past memories, please. And no supernatural elements, just ordinary history.)
- Stories must be set before 1900. We’d love to see stories that reach beyond the popular settings of 19th century America and England unless you do something new and interesting in them.
- Romance is optional--by which I mean story lines focusing on the establishment of a new romantic relationship--and romance stories should have some other strong element in addition to the romance.
- We are not looking for erotica. Sex may be implied but not described.
- Stories should feature lesbian themes. What do I mean by that? Especially given the emphasis the LHMP puts on how people in history understood sexuality differently than we do? This is where we get into “I know it when I see it” territory. The story should feature protagonist(s) whose primary emotional orientation within the scope of the story is toward other women. This is not meant to exclude characters who might identify today as bisexual or gender-queer, or who have had relationships with men outside the scope of the story. But the story itself should focus on lesbian themes expressed authentically within a historic context.
- Stories need not be all rainbows and unicorns, but should not be tragic. Angst and peril are ok as long as they don’t end in tragedy.
- Authors of all genders and orientations are welcome to submit. Authors from traditionally marginalized cultures are strongly encouraged to submit, regardless of whether you are writing about your own cultural background.
Please feel free to publicize this call for submissions. If you have questions of general interest, submit them in the comments.
- Do not send submissions before January 1, 2018 or after January 31, 2018. Submissions sent outside this window will not be considered (with allowance for time zones).
- Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Submit your story as an rtf or doc(x) file attached to your email
- The file name should be “[last name] - [story title, truncated if long]”
- The subject line of your email should be “LHMP Submissions - [last name] - [story title]”
- There is no need to provide a synopsis or biographical information in the cover letter.
- By submitting your story, you are verifying that the material is your own original work and that it has not been previously published in any form in a publicly accessible context.
- Submissions will be acknowledged within 2 days of receipt. If you haven’t received an acknowledgment within 5 days, please query.
- I will begin responding to submissions during January as I read them, but final decisions will not be made until after the submission period is complete.
Use your favorite standard manuscript format for short fiction with the following additions:
- In addition to word count, please provide the date/era of your setting and the location/culture it is set in. These can be in general terms, but it helps for putting the story in context, especially if it uses a very tight point of view where the time/place are not specifically mentioned in the story.
If you don’t have a favorite ms format, here are the minimum essential elements it should have:
- Use courier or a similar monospaced serif font, 12-point size
- Lines should be double-space with the first line of paragraphs indented. (Use your word processor’s formatting for this, do not use tabs or manual carriage returns.)
- Do not justify the text, leave a ragged right margin.
- Margins should be at least 1-inch or equivalent all around
- On the first page, at the top, provide the following information:
- Your name (legal name, the name I’ll be putting on the contract)
- email address
- (standard formats generally require a mailing address but I don’t need one at this point)
- word count (please use your word processor’s word count function, rounded to the nearest 100)
- date/era of story
- location/culture of story
- Centered above the start of the story, include the title, and on the next line “by [name to appear in publication]”. This is where you may use a pen name, if you choose.
- Please use actual italics, rather than underlining, for material meant to appear in italics.
- Please indicate the end of your story with the word “End” centered below the final line.
- As I will be reading stories electronically, there is no need to include page numbers or a header on each page. (If this is part of your standard format, you don’t need to remove them.)