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Yes, the LHMP is Doing a 2019 Fiction Series!

Friday, October 5, 2018 - 10:00

As I hinted in last month's On the Shelf podcast and will be announcing officially in tomorrow's episode, The Lesbian Historic Motif Project and Podcast will be repeating this year's exciting audio fiction series in 2019! Please publicize this to anyone you think might be interested in submitting. There's a lot of buzz out there from readers who are hungry for f/f historical fiction. I'd like to do my part to give readers what they're clamoring for. As you can see from the selections we've published this year, I'm eager to support stories that take chances, stories that aren't the same thing you've read before, stories that embrace the diversity of queer women's experiences throughout history. Maybe you've been thinking of dipping your toe into historical fiction waters and just needed the excuse. Maybe you've had a story kicking around but didn't think there was a market for it. Maybe you've been reading the LHMP blog and listening to the podcast and been inspired by some real-life history. We want to see your stories so we can put together an even more stunning series in our second year.

Major category: 

The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast will be open for submissions in January 2019 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 a total of four stories. (If we get some really great flash fiction, there’s the possibility of more.)
  • We will be paying professional rates: $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 are given below. NO SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED OUTSIDE THE SUBMISSION PERIOD OF JANUARY 2019.

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, and romance stories should have some other significant plot element in addition to the romance.
  • We are not looking for erotica. Sex may be implied but not described. (It’s difficult to include both a substantial non-romantic plot and erotic content in short fiction. I’d rather that stories focus on the plot and characters.)
  • 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 who have had relationships with men outside the scope of the story. But the story should focus on same-sex relations.
  • 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.

Submission Information

  • Do not send submissions before January 1, 2019 or after January 31, 2019. Submissions sent outside this window will not be considered (with allowance for time zones).
  • Send submissions to alpennia@heatherrosejones.com
  • 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 may begin responding to submissions during January as I read them, but final decisions will not be made until after the submission period is complete. If I haven’t responded by mid-February, please query as the response may have gone astray.

Formatting

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 manuscript 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-spaced with 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, 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.)