Desperate times call for desperate measures, so though I had so hoped to be done with this anthology by tomorrow, I’m still one third short on my word count. That means I’d love it if you’d spread the word (either en masse or to someone you know who has an amazing sex story they might want to share in writing). I do NOT need any stories about sex work, but I would love an essay by an asexual person and I’d also love an essay by a transgender person (essays don’t have to necessarily be “about” those topics). Those are just two potential ideas on my editorial dream wishlist. The truth is, the essay I’m looking for is the one I don’t yet know exists but that keeps me riveted, awed, amazed, and sure that my readers will be too. In other words, I’ll know it when I see it.
Queries or questions? Email me at truesexantho at gmail.com - earlier submissions get priority and I’ll be filling the anthology as I go. I will consider anything that comes in by December 6th, there will just be fewer spots available by then most likely. If you are waiting to hear back from me, I will get back to you as soon as I can, by the end of January at the latest. I have wanted to do this book since I first started hosted True Sex Confessions nights in 2006 at In The Flesh. If you want to know the type of essay I love, read “Silver Baling” by Stacey D’Erasmo in Best Sex Writing 2009 and “It’s a Shame About Ray” by Kirk Read in Best Sex Writing 2010 (or any personal essay I’ve published in Best Sex Writing 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013. I hope it’s not just a dream that never sees the light of day, and I have a feeling that this will be a wonderful book. Thanks!
Call for Submissions
True Sex essay anthology
Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
To be published by Cleis Press
Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel is looking for true (nonfiction) essays about your most powerful sexual experiences. The final book will feature a wide range of scenarios, settings, writing styles, ages, races, genders and sexual orientations. These should not be academic in tone or about theory, though there can be a political or serious element; I’m mainly looking for extremely personal, one of a kind essays focused around compelling sexual events in your life. I’m looking for your hottest sex, or the worst sex, or the kinkiest, or the funniest, or the meanest, or the most unexpected. Sex with a celebrity? Sex with someone forbidden? Sex you’ve never told anyone about? Sex on vacation you wouldn’t have had at home? Sex on drugs? Group sex? Sex on camera? Sex you paid for or were paid for? Sex that surprised or confused you? Sex that changed your life? I want the story that most speaks to you about your sex life, either as a defining moment or simply one you’ve never been able to forget. No poetry. First or second person POV welcome. See the Best Sex Writing series and videos of true sex confessions from my former In The Flesh Reading Series for an idea of the types of essays I’m looking for. Please keep in mind that the more original and unique your essay, the better its chances. I want the story that only you can write told in a lively, compelling, can’t-put-down way. Original essays will get priority, but I will consider reprints as long as you retain the rights; you MUST include the previous publication information with your submission.
Payment: Contributors will receive $100/essay and 2 copies of the anthology on publication. Contract is for one-time rights.
How to submit: Send only the final version of your proofread work along with your bio and mailing address. Include essay title and byline at top of first page. Send double spaced Times or Times New Roman 12 point black font Word document OR RTF of 1,500-3,500 word essay. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch and double space (regular double spacing, do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). US grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) required. Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), mailing address, and 50 word or less bio in the third person to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you’d like to be credited as. Cleis Press has final approval over the manuscript so you can expect a final answer by April 2013.
Deadline: January 6, 2012 (earlier submissions get priority)
Rachel Kramer Bussel creates amazing erotica anthologies. I’m sure this one will be no different. If you have a story to share I encourage you to try submitting. It can’t hurt to try, right?
[I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in
I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only.] I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.
— Margaret Atwood, from “Variation on the Word Sleep”
With the virtual uses and changing of language online it’s important we note how we are using the @ symbol in our name and in the things we are creating and writing. For many of you this is “common knowledge,” but the reality is that some folks have not ever really thought about why this symbol is important.
We think the @ symbol is important because it represents gender neutrality, gender inclusion, and disrupts the misogynistic ways language privileges men, masculinity, and things that are considered “male.”As many Latin@ scholars have stated and argued, especially Anzaldua, “Language is a male discourse” (p. 54, Borderlands/La Frontera). In the Spanish language, grammatically, if there is one man present in a room or area filled with women (a man of any age, a boy, a child, etc.) instead of using the “feminine” form of the language often using an “a” (i.e. una or nosotras) a masculine “o” is used (i.e. nosotros or the absence of the “a” such as un).
Utilizing the @ in this way challenges these grammatical “rules” that are embedded in a legacy of privileging men, masculinity and maleness. It is also part of a legacy that includes and recognizes our gender queer and trans* community members versus erasing them by constantly using a language embedded in a gender binary/dichotomy.
The @ is useful not only in discussing Latinidad, but also discussing how Blackness and African identity intersects as well. Often when we see terms discussing LatiNegr@s in various ways and using other self-identifiers they are still using a masculine version of “Afro” such as “Afro-Latin@”. This is a preference by some, and I’d like to argue this is also a way of privileging men and masculinity in the English language. Afr@Latin@ is a valid term and form to use when discussing our identities as well. Just as AfraLatina is valid. Why must the African in us also remain masculine?
The questions still exist of how to actually speak the @ sign and this has yet to really be resolved. How have others negotiated this?
(written by Bianca)
I remember discussing this in Queer Studies last year, especially Anzaldua’s writings. I believe the @ sign allows for the reader to read the word how they most prefer. In this case, it gives the reader and the writer the most agency possible within the limitations of language.
The fleeting colors of autumn paint the woodland path once again marking the beginning of another fall. The dramatic cathedral of breathtaking trees stretch from the path beneath my feet up, up towards the sapphire sky. They are splashed with the brilliant hues of autumn like a majestic stained glass mural. The blue jays flutter from branch to branch in the treetops. They scold me for my intrusion into this holy place. Grey squirrels gossip as they leap lightly through the trees their grey cotton candy tails flipping effortlessly. I reverently inhale the crisp autumn air and the trances of chimney smoke and woodsy aroma of pine tickles my nostrils. I run my fingers over the rough, knurly bark of a nearby pine. I savor the crunchy feel of pine needles, dead leaves and twigs that litter the path under my flat Converse sneakers. I swing around in a wide circle and slowly allow the wildness of God and the colors of autumn to inspire me.
Thus our beloved Autumn arrives. I love the cathedral feeling among the trees, as well, and the permeating sense of reverence.