Writers Guidelines

Welcome to Circlet 2.0.

These are the submission guidelines for writers. (Artists have their own page now. See navigation tabs above.)

Types of publications

  • Traditional Print Books
  • Ebooks
  • Writers on Writing Essays
  • Microfictions (short-short stories)
  • Aural stimulation

Traditional Print Books: At the moment we are not reading submissions for print publications. That means do NOT send stories intended for printed books. (It also means do NOT post comments in the blog with your book proposal. No. Do not.) It’ll say here when (if) we re-open, so please do not waste your time sending manuscripts, nor proposals, at this time. (Blog and ebook submissions are being accepted as described below.) We are also not accepting submissions or nominations for a “Best of” contest at this time. Watch the blog for updates.

Ebooks: We have two ebook programs in the works right now, our regular anthologies and a paranormal romance imprint called Clasp Editions. Clasp does not accept over the transom submissions at this time. To submit to Clasp, authors must publish one or more short stories in our anthology program. An interested author would then submit a proposal to the editor with whom they have worked on the anthology. A full proposal should include a cover letter, plot synopsis, three sample chapters, a list and discussion of comparable and competitive books in the genre, and a marketing plan/promotional ideas.

Anthology submissions are accepted from all who are 18 years of age or over. All stories for ebook publication will conform to the same standards of quality and sensuality as in all Circlet’s print books. Ebooks pay $25 per story, with an additional $25 if a book goes into print or POD. To see the most recent calls for submissions on specific anthologies, click here: http://www.circlet.com/?tag=call-for-submissions Each anthology has its own deadline, submission address, and subject matter or theme.

Writers on Writing: Circlet 2.0 seeks 500-1000 word “guest blog” entries, essays, articles, thoughts, advice, and book reviews, etc… from erotica, paranormal romance, and sf/fantasy writers about topics of interest to our readers and enthusiasts of the erotic sf/f genre. That includes personal thoughts on the writing process, book reviews or reactions, interviews, experiences in the genre, con panel follow-ups, et cetera, for our Writers On Writing columns. Please browse the Writers on Writing category to see the latest examples. We have had Jean Roberta writing about sf/f books that seem to forget that sex leads to reproduction, Kal Cobalt on how Asimov’s laws of robotics would affect BDSM play, and many more. Writers on Writing pieces, guest blogs, and other non-fiction essays pay $5 via Paypal (you must have a Paypal account) or a free print book of your choice if you are in the US/Canada (or an ebook, if you prefer, no matter where you are).

Microfictions: Also for the web site, we are looking for 250-1000 word short-shorts of erotic sf/f and related genres (no horror, though) that make an enticing fictive snack. Microfictions should be sex-positive. literary quality, and although they may be explicit should be tastefully written. Microfictions pay $5 via Paypal (you must have a Paypal account) or a free book if you are in the US/Canada (or ebook, if you prefer). Check out the “free reads” tab above to read previously published microfictions on the site. Microfiction submissions should be made to the address “circlet.microfiction {at} gmail (dot) com.”

Aural Stimulation: We are also producing podcasts and MP3 downloads of microfictions as described above, essays, reviews, and interviews. These fall into two categories: minis and standalones.

Aural Mini: A 5-7 minute piece, recorded by you as an MP3 and then submitted to us may be incorporated as part of a larger podcast, which would also include interviews, book reviews, and the like, or fiction be made available as a post of its own. Be sure to state your name, the title of the piece, and where it comes from or your own blog/website when you record. Think NPR for erotic science fiction. Non-fiction contributions to the podcast are paid only in free books. Fiction is paid $5 via Paypal or a free book (or ebook).

Aural Standalone: If you have a short story 2500 words up to 12,000 words, of erotic science fiction, which you can provide to us as an MP3 recording, we may be interested in selling it on the site. Submit by sending the whole manuscript along with a 2 minute recording sample to circletintern (at) gmail (dot) com. Our terms on MP3 sales are that Circlet and the author would split 50/50 any income from sales of the MP3 through our site.

Microfiction submissions should be made to the address “circlet.microfiction {at} gmail (dot) com.” Other submissions for the Circlet 2.0 website should be made to the address “circletintern” {at} gmail (dot)com. Please allow 2-3 weeks for reply. Submissions for individual ebook anthologies should be sent to the individual editors working on each one, as listed in the individual calls for submissions.

Bogus Submissions & Queries
If you write something OTHER than erotic science fiction, erotic fantasy, or blog essays that relate to these genres, we ARE NOT INTERESTED. Also, do not think you are being smart and clever and proactive with your writing career by posting a comment here in the blog with your book proposal or pitch for what kind of material you write. No. Don’t do it. You’re being rude, stupid, and an amateur if you do. No, really.
We also do not take QUERIES on erotic sf/f short stories. If you have a story you think we’d like, submit it to an anthology that it fits. If there is not an anthology that it fits open at the moment, then we DO NOT WANT IT RIGHT NOW and querying us about it only makes you look like you didn’t bother to read these guidelines. Okay? Now you know.

Some other places to look for submission guidelines if your work didn’t fit here:
+ Erotica Readers Association
+ Duotrope Market Listings

Manuscript Formatting Requirements

Most anthologies are only accepting email submissions, but the final choice is up to the project’s editor, so read the call for submissions carefully. For email submissions, send your story as a word processor document (.doc, .rtf, .txt, etc.) attached to the email, but do not forget to include your complete contact information on the attached document! (If it’s only in the body of the email, it’s quite easy to have a brilliant story come out of the printer and then have no way to trace back where the heck it came from.) Manuscripts should be correctly/professionally formatted for submission using standard manuscript format. (If you’re not sure what we mean by that, Google it. Hint: do include your contact info on the ms and DON’T use 17-point Curlicue font in purple.) And yes, we expect professional writers and those who aspire to at least some professionalism to provide their real names and phone numbers, even if planning to publish under a pseudonym.

Our Genre & Editorial Preferences

Typically we want short stories between 3000 and 7000 words, with some flexibility about the lengths. Generally we’ve found that below 2500 words there isn’t enough room for an author to get sufficient plot, characterization, and erotic action in to make it a good story, though it has occasionally been done. Over 8500 words and we are often looking at a novel or long novella that someone tried to cram down into short story size. Begin a short story in medias res and use your craft to keep it paced like a story and not like a novel.

As for our genre, people often want to know just what do we mean by “erotic science fiction?” What follows is as detailed a description as we can give.

1) Erotic Content: Erotica means sex. We reject many manuscripts because they do not have enough sexual content. No level of explicitness is required, but erotic interaction must take place! It need not be described graphically or vulgarly but it must be focal and integral to the characterization, plot, and conflict resolution. Also, the sex must be enjoyable for the characters–positive, celebrating sex and sexuality! No rape, exploitation, mutilation, suicide, or snuff. Most other manuscripts we reject are because they have a negative attitude toward sex and/or they portray not a sexy, enjoyable scene, but a terrible rape/exploitation.

2) Science fiction / fantasy: We don’t split hairs between sf and f. Our main prerequisite is that the story not take place in the “real world.” Magical realism, alternate realities, other times and planets are all welcomed. (However, please note we do not publish horror! The rule is: no murder, dismemberment, rape, castration, or other gruesome topics.) The best blendings of erotica and sf we have seen accomplish the mix by making the science fictional element inseparable from the erotic one. For example, in a story in which two telepaths fall in love, the telepathy sf aspect could be what gives their erotic relationship fire. Merely transporting your erotic scene to a space station isn’t really enough.

Editorial Biases: We are strong supporters of “alternative” sexualities, including lesbian, gay, transgendered, S/M, leather, other fetishes, and so on, but do not try to “queer up” your story for us if the characters are heterosexual. Though we admit we have a taste for the hot and kinky stuff, work need not be overly kinky to get our attention. We encourage works that are fresh & original, left of center, and so on. We admit to a certain bias away from the sometimes cliched aspects of all genres, including pornography. If it seems like it’s “been done before” we may not have a place for it. See below for some specific examples to avoid.

DONT’S: We’re really serious about these: Don’t send anything too long (over 10,000 words). Don’t send horror. Don’t send erotic stories that have no science fiction or magical element. Don’t send sf/f stories that don’t have a lot of actual sex in them. Don’t send stories with negative attitudes about sex and sexuality. Don’t send stories where the sex takes place “off camera.” Don’t send stories that lack plot or characterization. Don’t send novels; novels are not “stories.” Don’t send anything centering on nonconsensual violence, rape, castration, murder, necrophilia, or other purposefully gross topics. Don’t send stories with homophobic, racist, or sexist messages. Don’t send stories that have no plot, pastiches of “images,” or poetry. Don’t send stories featuring trademarked or copyrighted characters (Batman, Captain Kirk, etc.) Don’t send ms on disc.

Please note that we’re almost certainly never going to buy any stories that contain any of the following ideas, which have become cliches. No really, we’re sick of these plots and ideas, even when they are good ones:

  1. Humans have sex with aliens as part of “diplomatic relations.”
  2. Aliens come to Earth in search of semen/life energy.
  3. Two people have sex and THEN we find out one of them is an alien/vampire/android/elf! (Who knew!)
  4. Vampire falls in love with a blood doctor/researcher/scientist.
  5. Dragon falls in love with “virgin sacrifice.”
  6. Human stumbles accidentally onto a faerie ring orgy.
  7. Artist falls in love with beautiful man or woman in a painting–turns out he or she is a vampire, is still alive, and becomes his muse.
  8. Vampire picks up victim in a bar under auspices of sex, seduces victim, then kills victim. (Nor Surprise Ending #1: The ‘victim’ is a vampire hunter! Nor Surprise Ending #2: Victim turns out to be a vampire, too!)
  9. Lonely woman conjures perfect man out of magazine, off cover of romance novel, or from her own dreams.

This isn’t to say that these ideas automatically make bad stories. Some of them were good–once. But we’ve seen them too many times already. Originality counted for a LOT in choosing the winners of the Best Fantastic Erotica contest.

Editorial director Cecilia Tan was on a panel at a convention a few years ago about the overused ideas in erotic sf/f, and the audience came up with an even longer list of things they have already seen and don’t need to see again. The list included: the “ghost sex” haunted house story, story of the last man alive/last woman alive getting it on, Adam & Eve references, naughty tentacles and alien anal probes, multiple breasts, the “interstellar whore,” a chemical or disease turns everyone horny, time-travel leads to sleeping with your parent(s) to create yourself.

Use any of these ideas at your peril–even the readership says they are sick of them.

What about novels? — Since 1992 we have had a policy that we do not accept unsolicited novel queries or manuscripts. We do not publish novels, usually. In our ebook program, we are experimenting with some novels, but they are solicited from writers we have worked with before and have relationships with. So the rule stands: no over-the-transom or unsolicited novel queries are accepted. They will be discarded unread. The way to get in the door here is to sell stories to our anthologies and develop a relationship with an editor who may consider your novel-length manuscript.

WEB SERIALS? — We’ve seriously considered starting to try to serialize some fiction. Email editorial director Cecilia Tan at ctan.circletpress at gmail dot com if you’d like to pitch such an idea or if you have an unpublished long-form work that could be serialized, and we can talk about it. We’re not quite sure what we’re looking for here, but we’ll probably know it when we see it. (Our current Wednesday web serial is being written in-house and seems to be doing well.) Pay would be minimal, probably $1.00 a week at most to start, along with a deal for Circlet to publish the finished whole as an ebook at the end, in which the author would share royalties of 35% of the net profits. (As ad revenue on the site picks up, the pay rate could go up.)

Finally, we reiterate the following in the hopes of saving some of you pain and embarrassment:

Bogus Submissions & Queries
If you write something OTHER than erotic science fiction, erotic fantasy, or blog essays that relate to these genres, we ARE NOT INTERESTED. Also, do not think you are being smart and clever and proactive with your writing career by posting a comment here in the blog with your book proposal or pitch for what kind of material you write. No. Don’t do it. You’re being rude, stupid, and an amateur if you do. No, really. We also do not take QUERIES on erotic sf/f short stories. If you have a story you think we’d like, submit it to an anthology that it fits. If there is not an anthology that it fits open at the moment, then we DO NOT WANT IT RIGHT NOW and querying us about it only makes you look like you didn’t bother to read these guidelines, like the poor schlubs below in comments, whose heads we have left on pikes for you to see as a cautionary measure.


50 Comments

  1. Comment by James Fabert:

    I have a short SF story about a Navy Blue Angels Commander who loses his wingman and goes to the desert to get his head together before he augurs in.

    There he meets a woman from the future who helps him know the answer is inside him. Very sensual and spiritual.

    Are you interested?

  2. Comment by Claus-Peter Ganssauge:

    I am a computaholic. I’m fascinated of the possibilties which the PC offers.
    The use of searchengines enables me to write books with scientific or historical background.
    I also love to contact people all over the world. To feel that my words arrive at my chatting partner in the same second I write them is phantastic, nevertheless he or she lives in Australia or Sibiria or elsewhere.
    I am a German and I found some very good friends in all parts of the world thanks to the PC.
    20 years ago it would have been impossible to communicate this way.

    I found my big love by chatting and exchanging e-mails with a young lady in Texas.
    Some day I read a profile in one of the friendfinders agency written by this lady in a fresh, uncomplicated and self confident way of expressing. I was impressed and immediately I wrote her and made myself acquainted.
    Shortly after this I got her reply although she had received hundreds of more or less suggestive answers. She and me – we have found immediately the right partner to communicate with.
    Because my English is far from perfect we concentrated ourself more on writing than to phone with each other.
    A wonderful romance with highly erotic background began, which has touched me at the utmost.
    Suddenly the heartbraking correspondence stopped.
    I have printed all the letters of my beloved sweetheart and have filed them.
    After nearly 10 years I have checked my folders and found the old letters. The tenderness, intimacy and erotic phantasy of this young, warmhearted and intelligent lady has fascinated me again.
    I want to put up a monument for this great woman, who has enchanted me for ever.
    Never I will forget her.
    This booklet is an example for that eroticism cannot become compareable with pornogrphy. However, somebody might be shocked by the permissiveness of the described love scenes.

    The story contains 20750 words.

  3. Comment by Seth Gray:

    I have a question regarding the submission guidelines. You say to Google, but I happen to know that most sites have a slightly different presentation with the advice “ask if they want more specific.”

    So my question is regarding the full name and address information, which you’ve already stated not to include in the email. Some resources tell you to put the full name and address at the top of the first page, and leave it alone. Others tell you to make a cover page of sorts with this information and nothing else. I was wondering if there was a specific format preferred here at Circlet Press?

    Or is this a question I should email indvidually to the editors of the submission in question?

    • Comment by ctan:

      Thanks for asking, Seth. “Some resources tell you to put the full name and address at the top of the first page, and leave it alone. Others tell you to make a cover page of sorts with this information and nothing else.” — Either way would work for us, so long as the author’s contact information is on the ACTUAL MANUSCRIPT and not just in their email. (It’s OK to put it in the email, too, just not ONLY there.)

      And just to clarify for you the confusing difference between the two styles described by the online resources are telling you: a short story should always be formatted with name, address, etc on top, and the title and beginning of the story beginning partway down the first page. A novel should be formatted so that the contact information is on the title page, but that the actual first line of the prose begins on the next page.

      But for us it doesn’t matter. All I care about is that if I have an attachment sitting on my computer that is entitled “storyforcirclet.doc” and when I print it out it has no name, no address, no email address, no contact info (often no page numbers or headers, either…) I can then not reasonably find a way back to contacting the actual author who submitted it. Likewise, if the manuscript comes out of my printer with no name or contact info on it, the author may as well have just put it in a bottle with a cork and thrown it into the ocean as far as its chance of us being able to trace it back to them.

  4. Comment by Sarah:

    What is the time frame for the submissions to be read and accepted/rejected for the anthologies? Thank you, Sarah

    • Comment by ctan:

      Sarah, it depends on the anthology. From the deadline for submissions to final decisions being made and sent can take anywhere from a few days to 3-4 months, depending on the subject matter, the number of submissions, the quality of the submissions, and the various projects being juggled by each individual editor. Hope that helps.

      • Comment by Sarah:

        Thanks for the response. I actually already received an email from the editor of the anthology I submitted to. I really appreciate the quick turn-around.

  5. Comment by Arua Catan:

    Whew,, read your guidelines, and if they don’t scare people away nothing will.
    you must have gotten a lot of unwanted manuscripts to be that angry.

    • Comment by ctan:

      We’re not angry, but tone is notoriously hard to convey through the Internet. Amazingly, despite the guidelines given, we still get manuscripts for children’s books, serial rapist stories, necrophiliac poetry… but fortunately not as often as we used to. What we do get MOSTLY is a steady deluge of actual relevant material, which keeps our editors quite busy.

  6. Comment by Cheryl:

    Is use of Courier in manuscript submissions required or preferred? And are italics okay or would you rather see underlining? I’m used to using Times New Roman and italics, so I wanted to check first.

    • Comment by ctan:

      Actually, we would strongly encourage you never to use Courier in a manuscript submission except for those wacko stone-age publishers who prefer it because it looks like an old time typewriter.

      Readable serif fonts, like Times, Palatino, or Garamond, are the best way to go for a polished, professional presentation and are the nicest on your editor’s eyes.

      If you really want all the advice: Use 12 point type and do not use double spaces after each period. (That’s another vestige of the typewriter era. The very first thing the editor has to do to work with the file is strip out all the extra spaces, tabs, and the like. Don’t use tabs to indent, either. Use the indent function of your word processor’s ruler.)

      Don’t forget to include your full name, address, and phone number on your manuscript document itself, not just in your email. That’ll help tremendously once the document gets separated from the email, and we need to know who sent it again.

      Honestly, we’re not *that* picky. if someone sent a manuscript to me in Courier, I’d use my word processor to change it to a readable font before reading it. But it’s much nicer when they come nicely formatted in a human-eye friendly font.

      • Comment by Marie Casey Stevens:

        I’m embarrassed to say this, but I don’t know how to use the indent function of my computer’s ruler. I’ve always typed the way I was taught in school, double spaces and all. How do I indent paragraphs in the way you require?

        I’m sorry to bother you with such miscellany, but I’m getting a manuscript ready for Under Cover of Darkness and would like to make sure it’s as compliant with your guidelines as possible.

        • Comment by Cecilia Tan:

          I feel fairly certain that whatever word processor you are using has help files that will explain it. It probably depends on which one you have, but generally “Select All” the text, and then use the mouse to click the little indent indicator on the ruler (which usually looks like the indent thingie on a physical typewriter, a sort of black or gray triangle) and drag it over. If you’re not even seeing the ruler at the top of the word processor page, then you have to play with your software settings. Alternately, select all the text, then go to the Paragraph format settings in the menus and set First Line to .25.

          If none of that made sense, then you really need to get a tutorial on how to use your software, which I strongly encourage you to do. If you’re going to be writing, whether as a hobby or a living, mastery of your tools is as important as mastery of your prose. Otherwise it’ll be a source of constant friction and frustration. Writing is hard enough without fighting your tools: learn to use them right.

          • Comment by Marie Casey Stevens:

            Thank you! I’m working to eliminate those double-spaces, and I have to admit I prefer the indent function immensely. I appreciate you taking the time to answer!

            • Comment by Cecilia Tan:

              No problem! It took me a while to train myself out of typing the double-space. But I thought about all the people who develop repetitive strain injuries from typing too much. If I could hit the space bar a few thousand times fewer each novel and a few hundred times fewer per day, it’d be better for me! That combined with listening to the typesetters complaining about how the first thing they had to do to any manuscript was strip all those extra spaces out convinced me to stop doing it.

            • Comment by Lynne Connolly:

              In Word, you can set every new paragraph to indent by, say, 0.3 inches, my personal preference. It’s in the “paragraph” options in formatting. Find the box that says “special,” and hit the drop-down to “indent first line by…” Specifically where it is depends on your version of Word, but there are lots of sites online that will tell you how to do it.
              Tabbing is the devil.

  7. Comment by Vicarious:

    Hi,

    I’m simply a guy that used to write erotica online. My fan base was surreal and I grew tired of giving away my stories. I wrote all genres of erotica, and usually in first person female. Having hordes of crazed, enthusiastic fans is kind of surreal, and my phone rang off the wall. I decided it had gotten too crazy and stopped writing on the Internet. People are willing to pay for quality erotica and I’ve been told numerous times I was a fool to just give it away. I want to do it right this time. I need a publisher and a web site designed to sell my juicy stories.

    I’m ready for the challenge of reestablishing a fan base as I would often start new diary sites under many different names just to see if it was my writing or my reputation that kept people reading. This kind of freaked me out because I quickly gained popularity anywhere I posted. Keep vanity out of it: I’m good at what I do and want to make some money. Seduction is an art and am I’m fricken Picasso. I’m also loving the challenge of having to deliver to you upon boasting of my prowess with the keyboard. But I’m not worried. I know what I’m capable of when it comes to seducing the mind and keeping the ladies wet. If this site is legit and people honestly purchase books and the author makes money, this is your lucky day.

    Tell me what types of stories you guys secretly covet. Tell me what submissions you need by a skilled writer, and decide for yourself.

    Rick

    *for some reason this font is really tiny so forgive me if there are typos; I’m a hunt and pecker*

  8. Comment by Theresa Kennedy:

    I can see you are sick of crap! I am a hard critic myself and not real happy with what I am seeing out there. I will get some good stuff to you soon!

  9. Comment by rhill88:

    If a story is written that may fit into more than one of the categories offered on this site, can they be reused or I suppose I should say resubmitted? If not, would it be possible to use the same main character and the same circumstance but with a different partner?

    • Comment by ctan:

      A story that is sent to one of our anthologies should NOT be submitted to one of the other anthologies being read for at the same time. (No simultaneous submissions.) If the story is rejected, it can be re-submitted to our other anthologies if the reasons for rejection didn’t disqualify it (we reject a lot because of insufficient erotic content, for example). One would hope that any editorial suggestions be taken into account before re-submitting. As for using the same main character and “same circumstance,” I’d say no, as that sounds too much like two versions of the same story. We would not buy two stories that are too much alike, even for different books. (Many of the same readers will see it and think, what a lazy author/editor, they just took the same story I already read and plopped in a different partner.) Entirely different stories featuring the same character, but happening at different points along their character development, could certainly be considered.

      Chances are, though, if you’re needing to think too much about these questions & their answers, you are thinking too much. Just pick one great story and submit it to one anthology, and see what happens rather than trying to strategize some way to maximize your chances of publication some other way. Your best bet is one great story that shines.

  10. Comment by Chelsea Question:

    Hello!

    I just wanted to get your thoughts on first person perspective in writing, and especially in erotica. I have always heard that it’s better to write in third person. For me writing in first person is much easier, and I write from that perspective when I’m feeling lazy. Of course “I” can talk about myself for pages and pages! Today I picked up a copy of the enormously popular “Twilight,” and realized that it is written all in first person. As a publisher, what’s your preference when reading submissions?

    • Comment by ctan:

      I don’t have a preference for either third or first person. The most important thing is that the author create a compelling narrative, whether that is a first person speaking, or third. When I write, I choose based on which narrative voice would best serve the story and have the desired effect on the reader. As an editor, I hope authors are doing the same.

      There isn’t just that choice to be made, either. If you are writing in first person, are you using a past tense reminiscent voice, for example, or is it in the past tense just as a narrative voice, but being told “as the story happens”? Likewise with third person, are you going to try to use an omniscient voice or will the narrative stick close to one character’s internal point of view?

      There’s a great deal more every writer should be considering about their narrative stance and style than just first versus third.

  11. Comment by Ela Logar:

    QUOTE:If you really want all the advice: Use 12 point type and do not use double spaces after each period. (That’s another vestige of the typewriter era. The very first thing the editor has to do to work with the file is strip out all the extra spaces, tabs, and the like. Don’t use tabs to indent, either. Use the indent function of your word processor’s ruler.)

    I have to admit I’m a little confused with no tabs to indent. I would like to try my luck and submit something, and I went on the net to find the Manuscript Formatting Requirement. Almost all articles on that said:”Preferable
    font: Times New Roman, font size: 12 , double spacing, and to use tabs to indicate new paragraphs. I may sound stupid, but does ‘no tabs to indent’ applies to that? Because if it does, I don’t know how to use the indent function – it just makes a mess in my document.

    • Comment by ctan:

      Basically, if you use tabs to indent (or multiple spaces) the first thing any typesetter or designer has to do with your document is strip all those keyboard characters out. So yes, when we say don’t use the tab key to create what looks like an indentation at the beginning of each paragraph, we mean do not use a tab to indicate a new paragraph.

      You’re not stupid at all, since not every word processor makes it obvious, but I guarantee EVERY word processor has a way to tell the paragraphs to indent without using the tab to “fake” it like a typewriter. In Microsoft Word, for example, you can use the little sliders in the ruler at the top of the page to indicate how much of a first line indent you want OR you can also set it in the paragraph style sheet submenu. I suggest .25 inches, but .5 is OK too. In OpenOffice it’s the same, there are small sliders in the top ruler, or you can go to Format — Paragraph — First Line Indent and it lets you fill in how big an indent you want.

      • Comment by Ela Logar:

        I wasn’t sure, thank you for clearing that out for me. Will Google the indentation of paragraphs.

        • Comment by Ela Logar:

          And another thing. I just went though William Shunn: Manuscript Format, and he says: “Always place two spaces after any sentence-ending punctuation.” And since I got the link to this Manuscript Format on your page, I’m interested if that applies?

  12. Comment by William-Stephen Taylor:

    Dear ctan.

    I write Sc-fi erotica, steampunk too.

    I would like to know the min-max word count for your (future) novella, novels and trilogies and your payments etc.

    When do you propose to re-open for submissions – after the Frankfurter book fair? – October?

    October is good.

    Thank you for your time.

    Yours sincerely,

    W. S. Taylor.

  13. Comment by Kimberly Hunter:

    I have recently regained the rights to two erotic scifi novellas,a M/F with some M/M and a M/M, they are part of a series that I hope to continue. What are your thoughts about having works previously published though the rights have been returned?

    • Comment by Cecilia Tan:

      Kimberly, the best way to approach this would be to sell some short stories to one of our anthologies. Once you establish a working relationship with one (or more) of our editors, approach that editor with the idea of these ebooks that you now own the rights to, with the idea of a future series that would continue it with new material.

  14. Comment by Jane:

    Because there’s nothing in your guidelines about it, I wanted to ask what is your policy regarding authors who aren’t residents of US or Canada. Do you accept submissions from them?

  15. Comment by ellid:

    Question – what is the average wait time between submission of a manuscript and a reply from Circlet? I know that you have multiple editors but I was curious as to whether there’s a typical time period.

    Thanks.

    • Comment by Cecilia Tan:

      It largely depends on the book and the editor. Some books receive larger numbers of manuscripts than others, and all of our editors work other day jobs (and/or grad school, parenting, etc… also…), so the amount of time it takes to read and evaluate everything can vary wildly. Also, unlike a magazine which has rolling admissions and is constantly accepting and rejecting, anthologies often require that ALL the submissions be read before replies can be made, except for the flat-out awful/inappropriate rejections. Sometimes they must be read two or three times before final decisions come into focus.

      So on the short end, I’d say the “average” reply time is anywhere from two weeks to six months.

  16. Comment by Anonymous:

    Hi there. Just wondering if I submit to you if I can specify that portions of my work not end up in @circletslush, since the call for submissions is not, as I understand it, a license to reproduce material. I understand that this is within the guidelines of fair use, but may I stipulate otherwise in my query?

    • Comment by Cecilia Tan:

      Sure! Mention that in the query. (Though I should point out that anyone clueful enough to have actually read our writers guidelines is light-years ahead of those who are quoted on circletslush, and so very highly unlikely to end up as a “bad example” there. You’d be much more likely to be excerpted as a “good example”!)

  17. Comment by daniel hungerford:

    Best guidelines page I have ever seen. I already know to email Cecilia. Thank you for being so clear, particularly about novels.

  18. Comment by Evan:

    I just read your call for submissions for ninja stories and I am very excited about it, but confused about your “don’t” list which includes “murder,” especially since murder was the primary vocation of historical ninjas. Are you simply banning murder-sex, or must no one be killed, at all?

    Also, are ninja submissions excepted from the requirement to be fantastical (“whether you want to stick to what few facts exist”)? I’d rather have the main character simply wonder why the scantily-clad ninja suddenly appeared on the rooftop, without telling the reader she flew there.

    • Comment by jenzorz:

      Hi Evan,

      Murder can be a part of the plot of a story, but it should not be linked in any way to the erotic action. Our preference is for the fantastical elements to be integrated into the story. If after the ninja appears on the rooftop, it doesn’t really matter to the story that the character is a ninja, then it’s likely to fall flat. Good luck!

      Jen

  19. Comment by L. Kelly:

    Hi

    When sending in a submission for an anthology what do you write in the body of the email other than you contact details?

    L.Kelly

  20. Comment by J:

    Forgive me if this was covered elsewhere – I have read several instructional pages but haven’t seen anything about tense/POV, so I would like to double-check.

    1. I prefer present tense to past tense, as I think present gives a much more immediate feeling to the story; it’s immersive, whereas I feel past tense can feel cold and distant. Are present tense submissions acceptable?

    2. While I am capable of writing in first/second/third person depending on the narrative’s needs, for erotica I’ve found that second person has the strongest narrative voice for my purposes. However, I realize that second person tense can be extremely jarring for a reader who isn’t used to it. I had hesitations myself when I read my first story in second person, but now I find it quite thrilling. Would it be inadvisable to offer a submission written in second person? I can just as easily do third, if it would be an ill fit with other submissions.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Comment by Cecilia Tan:

      I have no blanket objections to either the present tense or the second person, but they are both strong spices in the writing brew and should be applied with care.

      Second person is immersive but intense, and intensity can only be maintained for so long before fatigue sets in, so I find it usually works better with shorter pieces (2500 words or less) but there’s no hard and fast rule. Second person also limits the range available for characterization, but that can work in a short story.

      Present tense is one of those things that when done well one doesn’t even notice the tense, and when done badly is glaring. An example of a book that uses present tense well is Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. I think some editors who have a bias against the present tense may possibly be reacting to the fact that it’s the choice of some inexperienced writers whose control over narrative voice is shaky to begin with.

      Ultimately, it’s all about finding the narrative stance that conveys the story most effectively. If that’s second person, present tense, then go for it! We have no rules against that.

  21. Comment by Joe:

    Do you accept submissions form non-US citizens? And if yes, what would they have to provide? Like, Individual Tax Identification Number or some such thing?

    Oh, and as you seem to “buy” the stories, as opposed to pay royalties, who holds the rights after you accepted them? Circlet Press or the author?

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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