This call is closed, my friends, but keep an eye out for Positively Sexy's release this fall!
Coming Together: Positively Sexy is a collection of erotica focused on characters living and loving while HSV+, edited by Annabeth Leong. Proceeds benefit the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, a sexuality education and training organization that works to reduce sexual shame, challenge misinformation, and advance the field of sexuality.
Update: In the first submission window for Coming Together: Positively Sexy, many submissions focused on characters living and loving while positive for HSV (herpes). So I've decided to embrace that focus and reopen the call in order to fill out a book all about these characters. I'd particularly love to get more stories including queer men or nonbinary characters, but any story exploring and celebrating the sexuality of characters with herpes is welcome.
Details from the original call are below:
Ever notice that sex ed classes tend to focus on how to prevent STIs, but don't say much about living with them and having a sex life after an STI diagnosis? Erotica, on the other hand, is often written as if STIs don't exist at all.
For this anthology, I'm looking for short erotica and erotic romance about characters who have STIs.
I would like to see a range of experiences represented. Give me characters just opening themselves up to sexuality post-diagnosis, characters for whom disclosure and safer sex practices are a routine side note to whatever sexual fun they're getting up to, and everything in between. Stories must be fictional.
It's a major priority for me to include stories about people of a variety of orientations, body types, races, genders, etc. I'm very interested in stories that engage with stigmas around STIs, but I'm absolutely not interested in stories that perpetuate those stigmas. I'm interested in the realities of sexuality, and it is fine for characters to have backgrounds that include unsafe behavior/murky consent/etc. In the present of your story, however, I want to see characters who are responsible with themselves and their partners. Please use medically accurate information where relevant. Please don't be preachy or shaming.
All sexualities and gender expressions are welcome. Kink is welcome. Realistic contemporary settings only, please.
Stories between 3,000 and 7,500 words are preferred. I will consider shorter stories or stories as long as 10,000 words if I find them truly exceptional.
Coming Together contracts non-exclusive rights to publish, so previously published work is fine, as long as you own the rights to the work you submit. Stories over 5,000 words may be released individually through Coming Together as well, with the sales proceeds benefiting the CSPH.
Please use RTF, DOC, or DOCX format when submitting a manuscript. Include your legal name, pen name, and a working email address at the top of the document. Do not paste your story into the body of your message.
Please use Times New Roman font, size 12, and one-inch margins. Double-space paragraphs and set indentations to .3 – Do not use tabs or spaces to indent.
Please do not submit poetry or memoir.
Direct all submissions to email@example.com and CC firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include “Coming Together Positively Sexy Submission” in the header of your e-mail. In your e-mail message, include a two-line blurb for your story (to help with promotion if your story is accepted), and a short biography, no more than 150 words, including your website/blog/social media links if applicable. Please also indicate if your story has been previously published.
Feel free to query if your submission is not acknowledged within 72 hours.
Coming Together is a non-profit organization, and all CT authors and editors have generously donated their talents to various causes. Compensation for inclusion in this work is a PDF contributor copy of the finished product and the satisfaction of knowing you are helping an amazing organization that is working to reduce sexual shame.
Signs that you've read the guidelines make me <3 you. Thanks so much for being interested in this anthology.