Corsets and Clockworks: Steampunk Erotic Romance
Editor: Kristina Wright
Publisher: Cleis Press
Publication Date: Fall 2011
Submission Deadline: February 15 (earlier submissions preferred!)
Payment: $100 per story and 2 copies of the book, on publication
I am looking for romantic erotica that reflects the excitement, fantasy and rebellion of steampunk. Not sure what steampunk is? Think Victorian elegance and aesthetics meets futuristic invention and exploration. But it doesn’t have to be Victorian (or Edwardian) era—it can be any time period, real or imagined, that blends elements of science, history, fantasy and technology. The one thing the genre has long been missing is romantic relationships and erotic encounters. Steampunk erotic romance is shiny brass and crushed velvet; mechanical inventions and romantic conventions; sexual fantasy and kinky fetish.
The steampunk world includes steam engines and scientists, corsets and clockworks, aviators and airships, alchemy and anachronistic technologies—not to mention those damned goggles and gadgets that everyone always references when talking about the genre! Steampunk is a spirit of high adventure that bridges the past and future. It captures the imagination in ways that make the eyes go wide and the heart beat a little faster.
What I do want:
Stories that embody the essence of steampunk and pay homage to the genre.
Stories that fetishize steampunk elements.
Time travel, alternate histories, “second” or parallel worlds and non-traditional steampunk settings.
Stories that are lush, wicked, sexy and romantic.
What I don’t want:
Stories that throw in everything but the steampunk kitchen sink.
Stories that are pure camp. A little campy fun is okay, but don’t overdo it.
Fan fiction or slash fiction. Do not steal another author’s characters, please.
Stories that are more about the technology than the characters.
Steampunk often defies definition, but here are some examples of books, television shows and movies that are considered steampunk or contain elements of steampunk:
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (comic book series and movie)
Wild, Wild West (60s television show and 90s movie)
Sherlock Holmes (the recent movie)
H.G. Wells’ Time Machine
Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Katie MacAlister’s romance novel Steamed!
Joss Whedon’s Serenity (television series) and Firefly (movie)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (movie, technically dieselpunk)
Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere
The Prestige (movie, technically gaslight romance)
There are many more, but hopefully this gives you an idea of the depth and breadth of steampunk. (Author Cherie Priest does an excellent job of defining steampunk on her website The Clockwork Century: http://theclockworkcentury.com/?p=165)
I want stories with strong plots, good character development and scorching hot sex. This collection will feature primarily heterosexual relationships, but stories may include lesbian and bisexual elements, triads, polyandrous relationships or group encounters.
Stories should be written with a female audience in mind and I have a preference for female point of view. No incest, bestiality or underage characters, please. According to Romance Writers of America, a romance must include two key elements: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying, optimistic ending. So be sure to give me a steampunk story that is erotic and romantic!
Submission Guidelines: Unpublished stories only, no simultaneous submissions. The desired story length is 2,500-5,000 words. Double-space and indent the first line of each paragraph. Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs. Include your full contact information (legal name/pseudonym, mailing address and phone number) and a bio of 50 words or less written in the third person. Please paste your story into the body of your e-mail and attach it as a Microsoft Word .doc file.
Payment will be $100 per story and 2 copies of the book upon publication. Contributors retain the rights to their stories. I will notify contributors of their acceptance in June 2011, but please note that Cleis Press has final approval over the manuscript.
Send your submission to email@example.com with Submission: Story Title in the subject line. Please direct any questions to the same address.
About the editor:
Kristina Wright’s (http://www.kristinawright.com) first anthology, Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women is nominated for a Reviewers’ Choice Award by RT Book Reviews and was featured hardcover alternate of the Doubleday Book Club. Her second anthology, Dream Lover: Paranormal Stories of Erotic Romance, will be out in May 2011. Kristina’s erotica and erotic romance fiction has appeared in eighty print anthologies, including With This Ring, I Thee Bed (Harlequin Spice); Bedding Down: A Collection of Winter Erotica (Avon Red); Nice Girls, Naughty Sex (Seal Press); three editions of Best Women’s Erotica (Cleis Press); four editions of Best Lesbian Erotica (Cleis Pess); six editions of the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica (Running Press) and the erotic romance collections Seduction, Liaisons and Sexy Little Numbers (Black Lace). She received the Golden Heart Award for Romantic Suspense from Romance Writers of America for her first novel Dangerous Curves, which was published by Silhouette Books. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Passionate Ink. She is also a book reviewer for the Erotica Readers and Writers Association and the book club moderator for the Naked Reader Book Club at EdenFantasys.com. She holds degrees in English and Humanities and teaches English Composition and World Mythology at the community college level.