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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!

Major category: 

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.

Technical Details

  • 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.