OK. So we've realized that perhaps using plain English to get our message out there isn't necessarily the best approach. This month, consider the following mathematical equation:
No + Queer + Theme = Instant Rejection
Seriously, our guidelines are rather clear on this. And while we realize that submission guidelines get copied and posted around the Internet, we've been diligent about including a link to this blog with our response to each and every query we receive and respond to, strongly suggesting that each potential contributor give this (helpful) blog a read.
In any event, we are nearing the end of our reading period and can now point out some specifics in terms of what stories not to submit, based either on what we've already accepted or what doesn't work in terms of the direction in which the anthology is evolving:
- Coming of age stories / teenage angst / runaways
- Nothing with a gay bar setting (although we've been saying this for some time now)
- Stories involving a therapist, therapist's office, therapy of any kind
- Stories in which traumatic childhood events or abuse triggers the repression of memories and/or sexual orientation.
- Stories at the higher end of our word count
Conversely, there have been certain stories and story elements that we haven't seen coming across our desks that we have a strong interest in:
- Surprisingly, we haven't received one story involving an actual closet yet. Come on, people. Closets are scary places!
- We haven't accepted many stories with "traditional" horror monsters. Have a few good ghosts and an outstanding vampire on board, as well as a marvelous mummy on hold. We haven't seen hide nor hair of zombies yet, and the werewolves who've crossed our paths so far haven't made us howl at the moon. Tough sell unless done extraordinarily well, but we're still open to these.
- We've yet to find a good story involving a drag queen or transgendered character.
- Period pieces with a strong sense of time and setting.
- Stories in the 1,000 to 2,500-word count range are being given preference at this stage in the process.