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Silk & Steel: An Adventure Anthology of Queer Ladies Edited by Janine A. Southard
Submissions due: February 22, 2020.
Princess and swordswoman. Scholar and mecha pilot. Warrior women… and the courtly ladies who love them.
The Silk and Steel anthology was initially inspired by artwork from Al Norton (see below). She’s put so much tension into these characters! Yet, among all that edginess and conflict, there are also romantic feelings… and a definite sense that both women have the upper hand.
We’re looking for stories of high adventure that feature one weapon-wielding woman and one woman whose strengths lie in softer skills, but who is just as powerful in her own right. You’re free to choose any setting – from historical to modern to wildly futuristic.
You can expect to share a Table of Contents with distinguished authors such as: Ellen Kushner, Aliette de Bodard, Amal El-Mohtar, Arkady Martine, Claire Bartlett, Django Wexler, Freya Marske, Jennifer Mace, JY Yang, K.A. Doore, Kelly Robson, Nibedita Sen, and Yoon Ha Lee.
Editor’s Note: I’m looking for all speculative genres except straight-up erotica or hard-core horror. (We’re aiming this anthology at general audiences, after all. Erotic and horror elements within your story’s context are definitely okay! But if they’re the thrust of the story, then you’ve gone off genre.) I think the idea lends itself well to swashbuckling romance and operatic comedy, but it’s really up to you.
Other Inclusions: Yes! I would love to see trans women, bi, pan, and ace characters.
How to submit: Send your story in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format to Janine A. Southard at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note about conflict: Yes, this is an f/f anthology, but that doesn’t mean your women need to be fighting against homophobia! While this is one option, it’s not the only one. Consider also having them fight for their countries, their loves, or their right to wash their cars on Wednesdays in flagrant disregard of their HOA’s rules. Silk and Steel is about romance and optimism, so moving on to the next big fight after homophobia will be a much easier sell.
Rights and compensation: Originals only, no reprints. We will purchase first publishing rights for inclusion in this anthology (ebook and print) and one year of exclusivity for 8 cents/word. Authors retain the rights to the individual stories; Cantina Publishing exercises rights to the anthology as a whole.
General Guidelines for Submissions: We are currently only considering submissions for active calls.
Do send: Your story with your contact details, name (and pseudonym, if applicable), and word count on the first page of a .doc, .docx, or .rtf document. Please use italics instead of underlining. Cantina Publishing recommends using a really common workhorse font like Times New Roman or Calibri at whatever the default setting is for your word processor. (Font selections are subject to change before publication. Still, the submissions reader will remember you as “the jerk who sent something all in wingdings.” So we don’t recommend that particular level of creativity.) 3,000-7,000 words recommended.
Don’t send: Fanfic of any kind. (Unless specified by the call for submissions.) Grotesque horror. Anything over 10,000 words without querying first.
Women who loved other women would use the word "peach" to signal to each other of their interests. --- Slang in the Northern Cultures