We're more than halfway through the year, so it's time to start beating the drum for next year's podcast fiction series! I mentioned late in 2021 that I was committing to continuing the series in 2023 by virtue of having agreed to commission a story in advance. But that's different from starting the active promotion. So spread the word.
The call for submissions is essentially identical to last year's. (I've made some minor revisions in the CfS text, but mostly because I can't read anything without feeling compelled to tweak the wording.)
When I look back over the stories that we've published in the Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast, I continue to be amazed and gratified by the work that authors have been willing to entrust into my hands. (Or voice, as the case may be.)
I'm also going to take this opportunity to touch on the topic of the financial basis for the fiction series. The default business model for podcast fiction that pays authors and narrators (at least the model I'm familiar with) is for the content to be completely free to access and for support to come through voluntary donations, either using a Patreon-type model, or a year-by-year kickstarter model, or by hosting advertising. Or there's the fall-back option, which is "podcast producer fronts the money."
I use that last option. The LHMP has a Patreon, which goes toward hosting expenses but doesn't address royalties or narrator fees. I have a strong aversion to including advertising. And I don't have the energy for a regular cycle of kickstarter-type funding campaigns. What I do have is a day-job that allows me to create this show without worrying about where the money's coming from. I like to be upfront about this. In a few years when I retire, I might have to reassess that approach, but there's always the possibility that I'll reassess the Project as a whole.
So what I'm getting at here is that I'd love for people to show their appreciation for the podcast by signing on to the Patreon. (I'm afraid you don't get much in the way of extras -- just the satisfaction.) But honestly, your financial support isn't all that critical. And if you feel inspired and appreciative about what the Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast provides, then you can do a lot more by promoting the show and giving it a review at Apple Podcasts (or the equivalent).
The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast will be open for submissions in January 2023 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.
What We’re Looking For
Please feel free to publicize this call for submissions.
Use your favorite standard manuscript format for short fiction with the following additions:
If you don’t have a favorite manuscript format, here is a good basic format:
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.)
Notes on Sensitivity
I strongly welcome settings that fall outside the "white English-speaking default". But stories should avoid exoticizing the cultural setting or relying on sterotypes or colonial cultural dynamics. What does that mean? A good guideline is to ask, "If someone whose roots are in this culture read the story, would they feel represented or objectified?"
What do I mean by "stories that involve cross-gender motifs should respect trans possibilities"? I mean that if the story includes an assigned-female character who is presenting publicly as male, I should have confidence that you, as the author, have thought about the complexities of gender and sexuality (both in history and for the expected audience). It should be implied that the character would identify as a woman if she had access to modern gender theory, and the way the character is treated should not erase the possibility of other people in the same setting identifying as trans men if they had access to modern gender theory. This is a bit of a long-winded explanation, but I simultaneously want to welcome stories that include cross-gender motifs and avoid stories that could make some of the potential audience feel erased or mislabeled.
A note on transfeminine characters: I am completely open to the inclusion of stories with transfeminine characters who identify as women-loving-women. This is a complicated topic for historic stories, though, as this is not a motif with much known historic grounding before the later 20th/21st century. (In all my research, I've found only one possible, fictional example that was not presented as gender deception for ulterior purposes, and no non-fictional examples of any type that don't involve intersex persons.) If you're submitting this type of story, you may have to work harder than usual on making it work in the historic context.