Call for Submissions: Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast Fiction Special

The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast will be open for submissions during January 2018 for short stories in the lesbian historic fiction genre, to be produced in audio format for the podcast, as well as published in text on the website.

Technical Details

  • We will accept short fiction of any length up to 5000 words, which is a hard limit. We will be buying at least two stories, possibly more, depending on length (if we get some really great shorter works). If the experiment is successful, it may be repeated in the future.
  • We will be paying professional rates: US$0.06/word.
  • The contract will be for first publication rights in audio and print (i.e., the story must not have appeared in either format previously) with an exclusive one year license. (Exceptions can be arranged by mutual consent for “best of” collections within that term.)
  • Instructions on how to submit will be made available on this site closer to the submission period. NO SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED OUTSIDE THE SUBMISSION PERIOD OF JANUARY 2018.

What We’re Looking For

  • Stories must be set in an actual historic culture–i.e., a specific time and place in history–and the plot and characters should be firmly rooted in that time and place. (No time-travel or past memories, please. And no supernatural elements, just ordinary history.)
  • Stories must be set before 1900. We’d love to see stories that reach beyond the popular settings of 19th century America and England unless you do something new and interesting in them.
  • Romance is optional–by which I mean story lines focusing on the establishment of a new romantic relationship–and romance stories should have some other strong element in addition to the romance.
  • We are not looking for erotica. Sex may be implied but not described.
  • Stories should feature lesbian themes. What do I mean by that? Especially given the emphasis the LHMP puts on how people in history understood sexuality differently than we do? This is where we get into “I know it when I see it” territory. The story should feature protagonist(s) whose primary emotional orientation within the scope of the story is toward other women. This is not meant to exclude characters who might identify today as bisexual or gender-queer, or who have had relationships with men outside the scope of the story. But the story itself should focus on lesbian themes expressed authentically within a historic context.
  • Stories need not be all rainbows and unicorns, but should not be tragic. Angst and peril are ok as long as they don’t end in tragedy.
  • Authors of all genders and orientations are welcome to submit. Authors from traditionally marginalized cultures are strongly encouraged to submit, regardless of whether you are writing about your own cultural background.

See the original call for submissions at Alpennia.

One comment

  1. This is really interesting. Last year we had the centenary of our rebellion against British rule here in Ireland. There was a huge interest in the role women played in that movement, not least because female historians had done plenty of research into the subject and this was the first time we ever acknowledged the sacrifice of women in our struggle for nationhood.
    When I did my own historical research for a novel last year, I found several lesbian couples who were suffragettes and revolutionaries and involved in the struggle for union rights, over a hundred years ago.
    One of these couples went on to live together for thirty years. Leaving what are unmistakably love letters behind. Anohter inseparable pair were buried together (I visited their graves with my partner last year, just to pay my respects and to say thanks for what they had done for us). As I read up, I began to realize that there was what we would now call a lesbian community in my city of Dublin, (where the rising took place) over a hundred years ago. That put a smile on my face.
    Although none of these women were referred to as lesbians and may not have called themselves that, they lived lesbian lives and were political activists at a time when women’s roles were narrowly defined.
    I would love to submit something for this project. And I can’t wait to read the historical stories being collected.


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