View Full Version : Call for Submissions: Erotic Short Stories

04-04-2010, 10:21 AM
Call for Submissions:

Short Literary Erotica Fiction; 2,000 - 6,000 words
For Anthology Series: "Lyrotica"

In 1964, Justice Potter Stewart tried to define pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . but I know it when I see it . . . "

Which is kind of funny, because that's exactly how many people feel about Literary Fiction; we're not sure how to describe it, but we know it when we see it.

In order to further our battle against entropy in the universe of letters, Vagabondage Press has decided to stir up a little chaos by combining the two and launching our new anthology series of Literary Erotica, working title "Lyrotica" scheduled for release in September 2010.

We are currently seeking well-written pieces of steamy literature--with the emphasis on literature. This is smut with its opera gloves on, elegant and provocative, perhaps even satisfyingóbut never tawdry. (Well, maybe just a little.)

The focus is on character development and thematic plot via the wonderful world of human reproductionórated NC-17. All genres will be considered and we hold no editorial bias in regards to stories for or about individuals of any race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or planet of origin.

As well as our own in-house reprobates, our Guest Editor for the Lyrotica Anthology is none other than Creative Loafing Sex and Love columnist, Rebecca Ammon (http://www.rebeccaammon.com/), who will be helping us make sure that the finished product is racy enough for any connoisseur and helping to promote the series. You can visit her website here: http://www.rebeccaammon.com/

Please see our submission guidelines for full details: http://www.vagabondagepress.com

04-04-2010, 06:19 PM
Saving a few clicks: Guidelines (http://www.vagabondagepress.com/submissionsanthology.html)

Maryn, helpful type

04-04-2010, 07:46 PM
The focus is on character development and thematic plot via the wonderful world of human reproductionórated NC-17. All genres will be considered and we hold no editorial bias in regards to stories for or about individuals of any race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or planet of origin.

Does 'human reproduction' element mean there has to be babies in involved at the end? And doesn't that sort of rule out any same sex couples?

04-05-2010, 11:14 PM
No babies required.
Same sex is fine.

Just a note, we're looking for erotic stories, not bawdy tales. For consideration, stories should be arousing and sensual, not just involve sex. They should also arouse thought, contemplation, and reflection. But to be "erotic" they should arouse desire.

04-06-2010, 10:43 PM
<<thematic plot via the wonderful world of human reproductionórated NC-17>>
I'm still puzzling over this requirement. Can anyone clarify?

04-08-2010, 07:06 AM
Just to clarify:

We are seeking short fiction of 2,000-6,000 for an anthology of literary erotic stories.
This is a royalty paying project.

'Literary Fiction' = fiction where character growth and/or development or changes in relationship dynamics is the actual plot.

'Erotica' = Prose (or other art) designed to arouse sexual desire.

We are not looking for flash fiction or poetry.
We are not looking for stories about sex - we're looking for sexy stories

We are looking for finely-crafted literary fiction that is also sensual in nature that involves characters in sexual situations.

There is no other requirement than it be well-written, involve rich characters and involve erotic situations.

Any orientation/all is fine.

The usual 'don'ts' apply: No illegal sexual activities, including pedophilia and bestiality.

04-08-2010, 04:46 PM
So there's no up-front payment at all, only royalties? What percentage? On what anticipated sale price? Split between how many anticipated authors?

Maryn, who likes to know stuff before doing any actual work

04-08-2010, 05:41 PM
I'm a little confused re:erotic and no bawdy.

Are you seeking more of a romance slant, with flowery yet sensual descriptions of sexual encounters? The way you've worded the call seems to suggest that, rather than explicit situations.

I don't mean to be difficult, I just feel that a clearer understanding of what you're looking for in the sexual encounters will help clear it up for potential authors.

04-08-2010, 10:15 PM
If you visit you website you can see their focus is on classical literary intent--exposing facets of the human condition. Presumably they want sex stories that do this. There highest ranking book on amazon is at #1,681,803 FWIW.

04-09-2010, 12:39 AM
Just to add: they're open to submissions for The Battered Suitcase (literary zine), the erotica short story anthology mentioned by the OP, and literary novellas/novels. The literary zine takes first publication rights and non-exclusive e/print rights for life; the anthology takes exclusive World e/print/audio rights for 5 years; the novel publisher takes exclusive e/print/audio/translation + all subsidiary rights for life. All pay in royalties.

04-09-2010, 01:02 AM
Rights for life? That's a long time.

04-09-2010, 01:31 AM
Rights for life? That's a long time.Indeed. Decision made. Although I note that what's right for me is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal.


04-09-2010, 06:11 AM
Life of copyright -- which is indeed a long time, especially for print plus electronic plus audio plus translation plus movie plus serial plus graphic plus....

04-12-2010, 09:52 PM
I apologize for the confusion - the wrong rights info was placed on the anthology page which was brought to my attention and has been corrected.

It's world English rights -- digital, print and audio only -- five years.

With the advent of digital publishing and POD printing - it is our intention to keep the anthologies in publication for many years, thereby earning the authors royalties for many years. We are intending to do a series of these and want to keep all volumes on the market and available so that when new ones are released, the old ones will still be available and earning.

We're a start up in book publishing - we only pay royalties. As most of the new small press and digital publishers are doing. Although it's unconventional to pay royalties on an anthology, it's the model we've decided on.

We are new to book publishing, but we've been publishing the literary journal for two years now and have gathered enough regular readership that we feel comfortable moving into our intended niche. We've had a number of well-known guest artists in the journal, already have reviewers commited to the anthology, and have recently been involved with another anthology series being mentored by Little Brown Books. Our guest editor is becoming increasing well-known as a sex columnist, having been solicited for interviews by national media. So, although this anthology will be our first 'book' publication, along with a handful of selected novellas, we feel we've laid a lot of good ground in launching into book publishing.

I'd be surprised if we have anything listed on Amazon at all, much less a ranking, as we've only just sent a digital copy of our literary journal up for distribution last week.

Our intended niche is to publish hard-to-place work, not commercial in nature, because we believe there IS an audience for these formats; literary fiction, novellas, etc. We know there's not a lot of money in this market, but we love this kind of work and want to create a place for others who love it, both readers and writers.

Maryn - I'm a lot like you - I don't particularly like to do work without knowing what's in it for me first, but this is where we start and we all have to start somewhere. If you have a piece kicking around that hasn't found a market, or if you just feel like investing 4000 words on a new publisher, then that's great. If not - it may not be for you. Believe me, I understand that a writer wants to be paid for hard work.

To be completely clear about 'what we're looking for' - we've received a number of submissions for this project that were about or involved sex, but were not erotic. Couples arguing/divorcing over sex, young men doing dumb (but humorous things) to get sex, we even got a very unerotic rape story (which was actually crime fiction - I think) This is not to say that there was anything wrong with these stories, they simply weren't erotic. Or erotica.

For example; Portnoy masturbating with the family liver was about sex, and funny, but it certainly wasn't erotic. Exit to Eden is literary erotica. Venus in Furs is literary erotica. 9 1/2 Weeks is literary erotica. (This is just a couple of examples, please do not feel obliged to stick to the BDSM theme.) Nabokov's Ada has some very erotic narrative. Try searching on the term "literary erotica" at Amazon and see what you get.

I hesitate to use the word "romance" because in the publishing industry that carries a lot of connotations that don't apply. We don't need a happy ending. We're certainly not interested in alpha males (sick to death of them, frankly). It doesn't have to be flowery or involve love. It can be about a fresh relationship, or even the transformation of an old and tired one. It can be about strangers, married couples, best friends, whatever.

The act of sex should be romanticized or at least given a very positive slant, to qualify as erotica. The stories should be sensual and arousing. As for literary fiction; sex can be a very transformational experience. In each of the examples above, the characters were changed by their sexual experiences, for good or for bad.

I hope this shed some light on us and what we're trying to achieve and what we're looking for.

04-12-2010, 10:15 PM
Fawn, I appreciate your getting back to us about our concerns. You've earned yourself some brownie points. (Alas, it takes thousands to earn a single brownie. Sigh...) I'll scan my hard drive for what's been sitting idle and unplaceable for too long. Better out in the world than hidden away, right?

Maryn, tipping her hat

04-13-2010, 01:10 AM
Yes, I think I may have the wrong press on Amazon. Would it be more correct to say you have not previously published in book length?

05-01-2010, 10:27 PM
Heard back regarding my submission. It was a very polite "maybe" for inclusion in anthology. I am stoked!