The deadline to submit short stories to my Cleis Press anthology Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 is December 1st, exactly five months away, which means my goal is to get an average of 100 submissions per month between now and then. Why 500? Well, for the first two volumes, I got around 200 submissions for each one, and while I had plenty to choose from, as an anthology editor, more is more. My duty to my readers, in my opinion, is to provide them variety, both within each volume and in the series, and to my mind, the best way to do that is to have a huge range of authors and stories to choose from.
So I decided to set my goal of getting 500 submissions to the book. Now, this does mean that the most horrible part of my job as an editor, sending rejection letters, will also be greatly increased, but I am okay with that because I know that by doing more outreach than I have in the past, so that more authors see my call and, hopefully, submit, I am best serving my readers. I want to find the stories that come from authors who might not have ever considered themselves erotica writers, but had that one amazing idea floating around in their head. I want to see more submissions starring transgender women as protagonists. I want to see more relationships about people 50 and over. I want to see, in a word, more. I could give you a laundry list of what I'd like to see in December when I sit down to sort through submissions, but the truth is, what I love most about issuing a call for submissions is seeing what comes in that I love but didn't know I would.
This series doesn't have a theme per se, but each anthology seems to wind up coming together with some sort of through line. The unofficial theme of Volume 2, as you will see when it pubs in December, is travel. That wasn't something I listed in my call but it wound its way into many of the stories in the book and I appreciate that each author tackled it so differently.
So my favor to ask of you is: if you know someone who might be a good fit to submit a short story to Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 3, please pass along the call for submissions. I'm aiming to spread the word as far and wide as I can now to give authors the most time possible to write. I'm sure I will still get emails on December 2 saying "I just heard about this call..." and I'll have to say "Check back again next year," but in the meantime, I am doing my best to reach my 500 story submissions goal so I have a giant, sexy pile of stories to consider.