Maybe once this park had an official city name, but now everyone knows it as simply Pride Park. There is a wall at the entrance where a piece of graffiti has been preserved that reads “Pride. Hope. Love.” with a rainbow. It’s known as a safe space for all to be who they are without fear or discrimination. It is a community park that has walking trails, playgrounds, grassy areas, botanical gardens, farmers markets, hot dog vendors, etc. Think Central Park, but smaller. Pride Park exists in all timelines and universes, which will allow for fantasy, sci-fi, etc, while still tying together with that sense of a safe space and normalcy of a park.
It should also go without saying, but also try to have LGBTQIA+/SAGA characters or issues at the forefront. We are looking for stories that span the sexuality and gender spectrum! Allies are also welcome and encouraged to submit and get involved in the project!
A Note on Representation
Allies are welcome to submit to this project and show their support and love for the LGBT community through their writing. However, please also be aware that the community can often be misrepresented in media by well-meaning allies who don’t have knowledge of what is and isn’t respectful. This is an especially high concern with us when working with an erotic anthology when the LGBT community is often fetishized.
For that reason, if you are an ally writer, please plan on submitting your work by the early bird deadline. We will have LGBT+ editors go over stories for all the anthologies to make sure the stories aren’t accidentally harmful to the community, and will talk one-on-one with you if any changes need to be made. The LGBT edits will be returned before the end of October so you’ll have time to work on them and get your piece back to us before the December deadline.
Pride Park (Fiction Stories): So often in modern LGBT+ stories, the entire story revolves around “being gay” and how the world refuses to accept the protagonist because of it. In reality, that’s only a part of who we are, not the entirety. So what if there was a park where everyone was accepting no matter what? That’s the idea behind Pride Park. You can still have LGBT+ issues be at the forefront of your story… or you can not. The Park gives a safe space for characters so they can be who they are without facing conflict about it at every turn. We also want to build the idea of Pride Park in real life, and hope that by showing what a real accepting space is, that maybe others will come to start creating Pride Park outside of the books someday.
Pride Park After Dark (Erotic/Adult Stories): If you’re LGBT+, you’re probably uncomfortably familiar with how often the question of “So, how do you…. You know… do it?” comes up. That’s part of what makes Pride Park After Dark different from other LGBT+ erotica. We’re aiming for tolerance and education in each of these anthologies, and we hope for the same with After Dark. This is a great space to explore some of the questions that are so often asked of us, but are impolite for everyday conversation. We don’t want characters to be objectified, as often happens with LGBT+ erotica, but to rather be a tool for building acceptance.
Pride Park: A State of Mind (Non-Fiction Stories): It’s terrifying to share your story, even though there’s a certain drive to do it when you’re in the LGBT+ community. A shared story can be the difference between someone with a similar story thinking there’s hope or not. And yet, there’s so many people out there with the intent of tearing these stories down. But for this book, imagine you’re in the safe space of Pride Park, and you can share your story with those who need it most, while knowing you’ll be accepted afterwards. Help us to create Pride Park as more than a concept, but also a place within our minds and hearts.
Pride Park: Include the park somewhere in your story. Perhaps a character runs there for comfort, two teenagers meet there for a secret rendezvous, or someone uses it as their thinking space.
Pride Park After Dark: There’s a special Adults Only building in the park where lovers meet to do the things they can’t do anywhere else. There’s also a lover’s lane for strolls, and the entire park available for romantic escapades. Tell about some of those juicy times. Stories for this book should also be sex-positive. Non-consensual sex can happen as a plot point in the character’s past only, but not described in detail, nor as the main sex scene, nor taking place in the park.
Pride Park: A State of Mind: Imagine you could travel to Pride Park and tell your story without fear. What would you say? Tell us your true story! This is more about the idea of Pride Park being somewhere in our hearts, where we can all accept one another. Actual mention of the park is not necessary.
- No violence in the Park.
- No abuse/harassment/homo-transphobia in the Park. Negative emotion and arguing is fine.
- No negative police presence—this includes involuntary police interviews in the park.
- No non-consensual sex in the park.How these rules are enforced is up to you, as Pride Park changes depending on the world it’s in. It could be a magic gate, or it could be a security team that fetches frisbees from trees in their down time.
Submission Limit (Per Book)
These categories aren’t exclusive, meaning you can submit to all three the max for each category. The submission limit is also to each anthology, meaning you could submit a story to Pride Park, a story to Pride Park After Dark, and a story to Pride Park: A State of Mind.
Stories: 2, and when you submit them, tell us which one is your “first pick.” We’ll go over the first picks first, and if there’s still room, we’ll look at adding some of the second picks. Collaborative pieces accepted.
Poetry: 5, tentatively. We may have space for more if you have more than five, but it will also depend on balancing with our short stories. If you have more than five when you submit, let us know in your email, and we’ll contact you if we end up looking at adding more poetry to the collection. Framed poetry under 1,500 words will follow poetry submission guidelines. Framed poetry over 1,500 words will follow short story guidelines. Poetry does not have to take place directly in the Park, but try to incorporate the theme of “Pride. Hope. Love.” into your poem, even if only in concept.
Art: No limit. Art will be printed in black and white in the paperback, and we will be looking into a color special edition of the book if there is enough interest.
If your character tends to swear, please write them in the way that is most comfortable to write them. You can then censor them yourself after you’re done writing, or we can look at it together in the editing process.
Pride Park: No graphic sex or excessive gore. Content needs to be accessible to young teens, but not necessarily targeted to the YA audience.
Pride Park After Dark: Graphic sex acceptable, no graphic violence. But feel free to keep it on a lower if that’s more your comfort zone. After all, the LGBT spectrum includes many varying levels of sexuality!
Pride Park: A State of Mind: No graphic sex or excessive gore. But feel free to go a little darker/adult with this theme. Real life can be dark and scary sometimes, and there’s comfort simply in knowing you’re not alone.
Max Word Count
Stories: 8,000 words per story.
Poetry: 2 pages (or approx. 75 lines).
We will be doing line editing and minor developmental editing, but we expect submissions to have already gone through basic developmental editing. We will also be going over all ally stories with an LGBT editor who will double check to make sure the stories represent the community in accurate ways. For this reason, all allied stories need to be turned in by the early bird deadline. If you’re an LGBT writer but are worried about your representation or want some extra time for edits, you can submit to the early bird deadline and let us know how to help. Submissions will be rejected if they need excessive editing unless they have been turned in early and have time to fix it before the submission deadline.
Early Bird: 11:59 PST October 1st, 2016
Regular Submission Deadline: 11:59pm Jan 1st, 2017 **extended**
.doc, .docx, Google doc link, .rtf, .odt
Please include a header in your document that has your pen name, the title of the piece (Untitled is fine if you’re working on it), and the word count for short stories.
Email Submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please title your email subject line with the type of work you’re submitting, followed by the anthology you would like it published in. Ex. – “Short Story – Pride Park After Dark”
When you email your submission to us, use the body text of the email to write us a brief bio. Please tell us what name you would like to be published as, whether you identify as an ally or not (this is only so we know whether we’re going to give you an extra round of edits, it won’t change your chances of being in the anthology), a little information about yourself (Have you been published before? Why is writing about LGBT issues important to you?) and a dedication for your work. A dedication isn’t necessary, but if you’d like to acknowledge someone who has lost their life to LGBT-related violence, or if there’s someone who has helped you on your own journey, we’d like to let you give a nod towards them if that’s important to you.
Please submit previously unpublished work to us. This includes posting a story, poem or piece of art on your own website. We will also need exclusive rights to the work for 120 days after the publication.
In addition to the time-sensitive exclusive rights, we will also need Electronic rights, Worldwide rights, and also Internet rights. These allow us to publish for kindle, overseas, and on our website.
120 days after publication of the anthology, the exclusive rights will revert back to you and you’ll be able to publish the work elsewhere. However, we reserve the right to continue reprinting your work.