amongst books

amongst books

Sunday, April 29, 2007

still fighting gender discrimination in erotic fiction

here's a call for submission from an australian publisher and my letter to the publisher in response:

Call for SubmissionsFemale Writers Wanted for Lady Smut... A new bi-annual Erotica Anthology.

So you're a woman who likes to write a dirty story? Or perhaps you like to read erotica and want to try your hand at writing? Women of all persuasions and perversions are encouraged to submit saucy erotica in any written form (not pictures) up to 1500 words. The ten-fifteen authors selected to appear in the bi-annual (twice a year) publication will receive (AU)$25 plus a copy of the publication upon printing.

First edition Deadline: May 30, 2007. Submissions via EMAIL ONLY, as a PC-readable MS WORD doc. Send all writing to writingsafari [at] gmail.com

At the top of your submission, please include your legal name, pen name, address, phone number, and email address.Successful applicants will be notified via email by mid-June. You absolutely must be a female over 18 years of age. You will need to sign a basic contract stating we have permission to print your story, and that you wrote it. You may publish your story elsewhere, and retain full copyright of your work.

Stories should primarily be written with a female audience in mind. And they should turn us on! Themes might involve solo, group, gay, lesbian, trans, bi, voyeurism, machine, phone/internet chat, hetero, D/s, drag, as well as other non-classifiable categories. No bestiality or underage characters.If it's saucy, we want to read it!

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Hello,

I recently saw your call for submission "Female Writers Wanted for Dirty Smut"

I wanted you to know that I, as a female writer and reader of erotic fiction, have some concerns about this call. This e-mail is not meant to be offensive or angry in tone, simply a statement from someone who is still puzzled by a publisher's need to limit calls for submission according to gender. Here are a few thoughts...

In the world of erotic writing, women account for a much larger segment of published writers than men. So the gender inequality is actually the other way around from other fields and professions. Also gender is not something that proves what a good or bad writer someone is.

How do you check to see if someone is a woman and what constitutes a woman? Even if you verify according to someone's legal name, you have no way of knowing whether or not this name is female or male. Michael for instance is a name that is gender neutral. Someone who is preop transgender for example with a male body is still a woman if inside her heart she thinks of herself as one.

And men who write erotic fiction, such as Mike Kimera, M. Christian and others, write incredible and moving erotic fiction, some of the best I've ever read. Don't you think your audience deserves to read erotic fiction which is of the highest quality possible? Don't you think that you should opt for the best writing rather than care about what gender a person is?

I just find it odd in this day and age to see gender discrimination, especially in the field of erotic fiction. If a publication asked for heterosexual writers only, they'd be barbecued at the stake. Even for GLBT fiction, most calls do not discriminate according to sexual orientation when requesting stories.

As a woman writer, I don't want a special category in order to be published. I want my work to be judged based on its own merit. I do not submit my writing to any publication that advocates gender discrimination.

I hope that you change your mind and open your call to all, regardless of gender. I realize that your rationale for narrowing the field to women writers only may have to do with marketing concerns, with keeping the number of submissions down, with all sorts of possible justifications, but it doesn't matter...it's still discriminatory and I urge you to change your mind.

best wishes,
Amanda Earl

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