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Taking Submissions: Romancing the Rainbow
December 1, 2023
Deadline: December 1st, 2023
Theme: All ages to PG-13 romance on the LBGTQ+ spectrum in any genre
There are tons of boy meets girl stories that we see, all the time, from the moment we can start paying attention. From famous novels and movies to TV shows and commercials. And for the people those stories are applicable to, they are “lessons” or templates for those kinds of interactions, for how the boy and girl can or should or could interact, even when fictitious and obviously untrue.
But for the rest of us who do not fall easily into the boy/girl combination, there are very few examples of “How do I meet them?” “What do I say?” “How can I tell if they like me, or even if they are like me?” “How do I deal with…?”
And those are tough questions for anyone, let alone people who don’t have good examples to learn from, who don’t have easy guidelines to follow, who don’t have any experience to build upon.
I would like to put together an anthology of those kinds of stories: first time meetings, of people who fall somewhere on the all-inclusive LBGTQ+ spectrum, that lead to healthy relationships. I would prefer these were romantic stories of meeting and falling in love, though I recognize that may not apply to everyone, or may not apply in the same way.
And that’s part of the issue.
Not everything does apply to everyone. And for those trying to find their way, a good story about that particular path may mean everything to them.
And I hope we can help provide that.
I realize we are talking about representation here, but I want to normalize it. I want stories, that show a reader they are “not alone” in who they are, to become commonplace.
In March of 2023, my friend L.J. Hachmeister published a successful anthology, Instinct: An Animal Rescuers Anthology, to raise money for a no-kill puppy shelter. She lived just long enough to see it become every bit as successful as she’d dare dream.
Once upon a time, LJ had asked me to write her a story about two lesbians meeting for the first time and falling in love. She told me when she was growing up there weren’t enough of those kinds of stories, and she felt having them as guidelines/role models would have helped her a lot. Talking to other authors who knew her, it turns out I wasn’t the only one she’d said this to/asked this of.
In her memory, in her honor, and to help support her widow, I would like to put together an anthology of these kinds of positive role-model stories. Stories that could possibly help people who might need a guiding example or reassurance that they aren’t alone.
I have, and will continue to enlist the help of others, as I am about the opposite of an expert in this area as is possible. I intend to have several sensitivity readers, so I expect some authors who contribute to get upset when their story doesn’t get accepted “as-is,” but I want these stories to be as authentic and positive as they can be. Even if the story has a “bummer” ending, I want it to present as a positive example.
***Important! Please note!*** Participants will be granted equal shares in the royalties for their contributions and one half of each participant’s share, or more should they choose, will go to L.J.’s widow to help her with rent, buy groceries, pay medical bills, or to donate to the puppy shelter (because that’s what L.J. would have done), or for whatever else she chooses to do with it. I would like to pay back a little of what L.J. paid forward, and in process, maybe help L.J. pay things forward a little more.
Submissions open until December 1st 2023. Anthology expected to be published in or around 2nd quarter 2024.
No reprints. **This includes something that has been made available on any website, including a personal website, blog, or an archived newsletter. (The reason for this is explained on the Upcoming and Open Submissions page here: https://knightwritingpress.com/open-and-upcoming-submissions/ and has to do with limitations placed by Amazon.)
Wordcount up to 15k, but please keep in mind that you are not getting paid by the word, and longer stories use more paper and raise the price of the print books, thus lowering the chance of someone purchasing them. So, tighten up your stories as much as possible!
Payment is royalty sharing through Draft2Digital’s Royalty Sharing Program. **If you are not willing to donate 100% of your share, or obtain a Draft2Digital account in order to receive your royalty share, then PLEASE DON’T SUBMIT. ** (You do not have to have an account in order to submit. You can create one after your story is accepted.)
There are no genre restrictions on this anthology, as long as the story fits the theme.
Please keep content and language limited to the equivalent of a “PG-13” rated movie.
Please no extreme depictions of horror, abuse, or disturbing things, including graphic sex. These stories, while for entertainment purposes, are also intended to be a kind of role-model should someone need it to be.
Please remember, Knight Writing Press will not accept a story that glorifies, supports, encourages, or gratuitously includes hate, hate crimes, rape, sex, sex crimes, or any other forms of inhumanity. And doubly so for this anthology, which is intended to contain stories of support.
We intend to put these stories through a panel of sensitivity readers so, should your story be accepted, please expect to be open to changes. Please also understand that this may also lead to us not accepting a story that some people may find problematic while other people do not think it is. Again, the anthology is intended to contain stories of support and of role-model capabilities.
Please make sure you read and follow all submission guidelines and look over the sample contract on https://knightwritingpress.com/sample-contract/ before you submit. The sample contract will not exactly match what you will receive, should your story be accepted, but it will give you a good idea of what to expect from Knight Writing Press.
Please submit in proper manuscript format (https://www.shunn.net/format/) and in a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file format. We can’t use PDFs and don’t want access to cloud files.
Please name the document the same as the story title, so we can keep track of submissions better.
So that we can keep track of submissions better, please send submissions to [email protected] and format the subject line as Romancing the Rainbow_(Story Title)_by_(Author’s Name)
**Important**: In the text of your submission letter, include confirmation that you understand we are using Draft2Digital for royalty sharing payments and that you are willing to donate 100% of your share or that you understand that you must have an account with Draft2Digital in order to receive royalties for your story. Failure to do this may result in an immediate rejection for failing to follow submission guidelines. We have had too many people in the past try to get paid via different methods and then choose to withdraw their story last minute.
Note: you do not need a Draft2Digital account in order to submit to us. You only need to create one if your story is accepted and if you wish to receive royalties.
Rights asked for: Exclusive, worldwide, first-time print and electronic rights, but exclusive only until such time as the anthology is published (the reason for this is explained at the bottom of the Upcoming and Open Submissions page here: https://knightwritingpress.com/open-and-upcoming-submissions/ and has to do with limitations placed by Amazon), and then worldwide, English Language publication rights, for both print and electronic, for as long as the anthology remains in publication. (As soon as the anthology is published, you can do whatever you want with your story, but obviously, as this is to raise money for L.J.’s widow, we’d prefer you didn’t…)
We are not asking for audio rights, as producing an audio book would cost money we do not have.
Flash fiction (anything under 2,000 words) is welcome and will be paid at 1/2 rate .
Please be aware that this submission will be open until December 1st 2023 and any response for your submission, acceptance or rejection, may not be forthcoming until several months after that date. If you are not okay with that waiting period, please don’t submit.
Multiple and simultaneous submissions are acceptable. Please be aware that while we may not mind publishing your story at the same time someone else does, other publishers may not feel the same way, and you should keep them informed of the multiple submissions status of your story.
Please Note: We are no longer accepting previously published stories. We regret this, but some sales outlets (that maybe start with A, have a Z in the middle, and end with an N) have caused us problems when a previously published story appears for free (in whole or in part) online anyplace. This means if you posted your story on your (or any) website, it has already been published for free and SOME outlets won’t carry it for sale, even as part of a new collection.
While we don’t like to ask for many rights beyond the world-wide English Language publishing right needed to include your story in an anthology, because of the above-mentioned problem, we now ask for first publishing rights (no reprints) and that you stay exclusive (don’t post it or resell it) until after the anthology is published.
We ONLY publish through D2D. We do this because we ONLY pay royalty shares, and that is paid through D2D. If you are not willing to obtain a D2D account in order to receive royalty shares, then don’t waste your time and ours by submitting a story. (Seriously. We will not just send you $5 via PayPal instead.)
Via: Knight Writing Press.
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Stuart Conover is a father, husband, published author, blogger, geek, entrepreneur, horror fanatic, and runs a few websites including Horror Tree!