So far this year, I have submitted four short stories to various editors. I have one more looking for a home, so I diligently peruse calls for submissions. Most calls for short stories are very specific – e.g., zombies, sex at work, Christmas – and since my unsubbed story is already written, I have to find an appropriate call.
I’ll admit that I never thought I would be able to write an erotic story based on someone else’s prompt. Sexy is subjective, isn’t it? Some things just simply do not turn me on. One of the calls did turn me on, so I plunged in (my hero did some plunging in of his own, too). A couple of others were challenging, so I decided to challenge myself. I can’t wait for the responses – it’s like opening presents on Christmas (not the sexy kind of Christmas).
In Rachel Kramer Bussel’s post “Secrets of a Sex Writer: Erotica Writes and Wrongs” she offers advice on writing an erotic short, as well as advice on submitting that story to an editor or publisher:
There are a few things you can do to make your story stand out, and the first is simple but one lots of people get wrong: follow the instructions. Some editors have word count limits or want submissions formatted a certain way; it sounds like a minor thing, but conform to their conditions and you’ll pass the first hurtle.
Below are some links to calls for short story submissions (sorry, some deadlines have passed; but keep checking the sites for new calls!). When submitting your work, as Bussel states, please always follow any and all posted guidelines! Each editor has his/her own instructions for formatting, such as fonts, spacing, and margins, and sending, such as attachments, body, postal mail. It’s polite, it’s professional, and not following instructions could mean your submission is not even considered.
Short story calls for printed anthologies are in the left column; calls for digital anthologies are on the right. There is also an impressive list of book and novella publishers in both columns. Clicking on a call brings it up in the center section of the page. If a call is new or updated it is tagged as such in easy-to-spot bright blue.
UPDATE: ERWA has revamped their Calls for Submissions page.
I don’t think Bussel’s calls end up on the ERWA page, so go directly to her Submissions page.
Wright’s 2013 calls are all with Cleis Press. Her Calls for Submissions, 2013 are in one blog post. I don’t think they show up on ERWA.
UPDATE: use the “Call for Submissions” tag on Wright’s site, which will take you to all her posted calls.
UPDATE 2: it appears Kristina Wright is no longer organizing anthologies.
Calls for Submissions are on the left sidebar of her main page. Most of these seem to show up on the ERWA site.
UPDATE: When she has calls for submissions, Delilah will post them on her author blog and on her Collections blog.
Rachel Kramer Bussel, Delilah Devlin, and Kristina Wright have edited anthologies for Cleis Press. Presumably, if there are any calls for submission, Cleis Press will post on their calls for submissions page.
(You may encounter a content warning page first, so click through.)
Call for Subs is on the left sidebar, or you can click on this link.
Tyler’s very good advice if you plan to submit to her:
“Here are ten reasons why I didn’t choose your story for my book”
Including my (inexplicable) favorite: “I have no idea why, but several people sent me Excel files.”
And, “here is the short list of how to be the writer of my dreams“
UPDATE: Alison Tyler appears to no longer be editing anthologies.
Violet Blue is the editor of many anthologies, among them the annual Best Women’s Erotica. Her calls should show up on the ERWA page, but if not, go to her blog and search for “submissions”, or click this link.
Best Women’s Erotica 2014 will be her final for that series.
UPDATE: Violet Blue is editing Best Women’s Erotica 2015. Her call for submissions is here.
UPDATE 2: Violet Blue appears to no longer be editing anthologies.
GDP publishes anthologies from time to time, but is now also acquiring novels and novellas.
From their Submissions page: “Go Deeper Press is now acquiring novels and novellas by new and established authors. Queer owned and operated, we have published rebel erotica and literary pornography since 2012. Our books are distributed by Ingram via IngramSpark.”
UPDATE: GDP appears to no longer be taking submissions. I hope this is a temporary setback for this publisher.
What did I leave out? Please post in the comments section below.