18 November 2010

Call for Submissions: Corsets and Clockwork (er0tic romance)

Post date: 18 November 2010
Deadline: 15 February 2011

Editor: Kristina Wright
Publisher: Cleis Press
Publication Date: Fall 2011
Submission Deadline: February 15 (earlier submissions preferred!)
Payment: $100 per story and 2 copies of the book, on publication
E-mail: corsetsandclockworks@gmail.com

Er0tic romance stories only.

Not sure what steampunk is? Think Victorian elegance and aesthetics meets futuristic invention and exploration. But it doesn’t have to be Victorian (or Edwardian) era—it can be any time period, real or imagined, that blends elements of science, history, fantasy and technology. The one thing the genre has long been missing is romantic relationships and erotic encounters. Steampunk erotic romance is shiny brass and crushed velvet; mechanical inventions and romantic conventions.

The steampunk world includes steam engines and scientists, corsets and clockworks, aviators and airships, alchemy and anachronistic technologies—not to mention those damned goggles and gadgets that everyone always references when talking about the genre! Steampunk is a spirit of high adventure that bridges the past and future. It captures the imagination in ways that make the eyes go wide and the heart beat a little faster.

What I do want:

* Stories that embody the essence of steampunk and pay homage to the genre.
* Time travel, alternate histories, “second” or parallel worlds and non-traditional steampunk settings.

What I don’t want:

* Stories that throw in everything but the steampunk kitchen sink.
* Stories that are pure camp. A little campy fun is okay, but don’t overdo it.
* Fan fiction or slash fiction. Do not steal another author’s characters, please.
* Stories that are more about the technology than the characters.

Steampunk often defies definition, but here are some examples of books, television shows and movies that are considered steampunk or contain elements of steampunk:

* The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (comic book series and movie)
* Wild, Wild West (60s television show and 90s movie)
* Sherlock Holmes (the recent movie)
* H.G. Wells’ Time Machine
* Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
* Katie MacAlister’s romance novel Steamed!
* Joss Whedon’s Serenity (television series) and Firefly (movie)
* Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (movie, technically dieselpunk)
* Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere
* The Prestige (movie, technically gaslight romance)

There are many more, but hopefully this gives you an idea of the depth and breadth of steampunk. (Author Cherie Priest does an excellent job of defining steampunk on her website The Clockwork Century: http://theclockworkcentury.com/?p=165)

This collection will feature primarily heterosexual relationships, but stories may include lesbian and bisexual elements, triads, polyandrous relationships or group encounters.

Stories should be written with a female audience in mind and I have a preference for female point of view. According to Romance Writers of America, a romance must include two key elements: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying, optimistic ending. So be sure to give me a steampunk story that is erotic and romantic!

Submission Guidelines:

Unpublished stories only, no simultaneous submissions. The desired story length is 2,500-5,000 words. Double-space and indent the first line of each paragraph. Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs. Include your full contact information (legal name/pseudonym, mailing address and phone number) and a bio of 50 words or less written in the third person. Please paste your story into the body of your e-mail and attach it as a Microsoft Word .doc file.

Payment will be $100 per story and 2 copies of the book upon publication. Contributors retain the rights to their stories. I will notify contributors of their acceptance in June 2011, but please note that Cleis Press has final approval over the manuscript.

Send your submission to corsetsandclockworks@gmail.com with Submission: Story Title in the subject line. Please direct any questions to the same address.

Please read the complete guidelines here.
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