Email: rachelkramerbussel at


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Monday, March 30, 2009

Submit your sex writing to The Sexies and Best Sex Writing 2010

I'm a guest judge this year for The Sexies (The Sex-Positive Journalism Awards) so I'm passing that info on for your information. Any questions, ask the folks in charge. That deadline has been extended to April 20th.

I'm searching high and low, print and online, all over, basically, for pieces for my Best Sex Writing 2010. Deadline is May 1st, guest judge is Esther Perel, book's out in December. See below for guidelines. I've already made some selections and am really excited about this book, especially because we're doing galleys so that the powers that be (such as Publishers Weekly) will have it in time so the book can actually be seen, read and bought.

I have so many ideas, but need your submissions and suggestions (suggestions are very welcome, and anyone who suggests a piece I wind up including in the book gets a free copy!). Plus they don't have to be U.S.-based; the pieces must be in English but can have been published outside the U.S. I want it to be as timely as possible, so topics like breastfeeding and sexting (to link to but two examples of pieces I liked) will hopefully be included.

The Sexies guidelines:

We are seeking pieces of journalism that:

* Touch on sex—sexual practice, health, or behavior—in some manner (stories just about sexual orientation do not qualify)
* Are intended for a general audience
* Meet high overall standards of reporting, fact-checking, and writing

and do at least one of the following:

* Show evidence of fairness in seeking sex-positive sources to respond to sex-negative ones
* Ask hard questions about the motivation and background of sources who rely on sex-negative soundbites
* Avoid biased or sensationalistic language
* Cover newsworthy topics, events, or issues that might tend to be swept under the rug because of controversial sexual content
* Report accurately, respectfully, and with nuance on sex research results
* Contain fair, accurate, and non-sensational portrayals of sexual subcultures
* Keep a clear separation between sex crimes, such as sexual assault or pedophilia, and things that merely make people uncomfortable, such as consensual kink, teen sexuality or gay priests; and help readers who may not be familiar with the issues make the distinction
* Specifically challenge sex-negative assumptions or practices in society at large or in a specific community
* Educate the public as to the diversity of sexual behavior without sensationalizing
* Celebrate sexuality as a positive force in human lives

We are not looking for racy or sensationalistic stories. The awards will be something any traditional journalist should be proud to hang on his or her wall—a testament to journalistic standards of fairness and accuracy about a charged and controversial subject.

Best Sex Writing 2010 Call for Submissions

To be edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, selected by
guest judge author and therapist Esther Perel (author of Mating in Captivity)
Publication date: December 2009
Deadline for submissions: May 1, 2009

Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel is looking for personal essays and reportage for inclusion in the 2010 edition of the Cleis Press series Best Sex Writing, which will hit stores in December 2009. Seeking articles from across the sexual spectrum, covering (in no particular order) alternative sexuality, reproductive rights and sexuality, sex education, sex and technology, sex work, sex and aging, sex and parenting, sex and religion, sex and race, sex and class, sex and disability, BDSM, polyamory, transgender issues, gender roles, etc. These topics are just starting points; any writings covering the topic of sex will be considered. Personal essays will also be considered. I like work that looks at sex in new and unusual ways (see Stacey D'Erasmo's "Silver-Balling" in Best Sex Writing 2009 for a prime example), that challenges us to think about sex and our own sexuality, is thought-provoking and possibly disturbing. I want sex journalism that's found in the most unexpected places and is as topical as possible. No fiction or poetry will be considered. No fiction or poetry will be considered.

Previous editions of the annual series have featured authors such as Brian Alexander, Violet Blue, Susannah Breslin, Susie Bright, Stephen Elliott, Gael Greene, Michael Musto, Scott Poulson-Bryant, Mary Roach, Tristan Taormino, Virginia Vitzhum, and others. See Best Sex Writing 2008 and 2009 for examples of the types of writing being sought (tables of contents at and I'm especially looking for reported pieces that are political, timely, intelligent, surprising, and insightful about sex in American culture (and its many subcultures). Think topics in the news such as Obama and sex, Nadya Suleman, abstinence education, breastfeeding etc., to give a few examples.

About the editor: Rachel Kramer Bussel ( is a prolific author and editor. She is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, hosts In The Flesh Reading Series and has edited or co-edited over a dozen erotica books, most recently Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories, Tasting Him, Tasting Her, Spanked, as well as Best Sex Writing 2008 and Best Sex Writing 2009.

Requirements: Story must have been published (or slated to be published) between September 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009, online and/or in print (book, magazine, zine or newspaper) in the United States. No unpublished work; reprints only.

Instructions: Please send your double-spaced submission (up to 6,000 words) as a Word document or RTF attachment to bestsexwriting2010 at – you may submit a maximum of TWO pieces for consideration. You MUST include your full contact information, a bio, and previous publication details as per below.

If for some reason you are unable to send a Word document or RTF, send your submission in the body of an email. Put BSW2010 in the subject line. Include your name, email address, mailing address, phone number, and exact publication details (title of publication, date of publication, and any other relevant information). ONLY SEND WORK YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REPRINT.

Editors may submit up to three submissions from their publication, following the guidelines above. Please make it clear that you are the editor submitting work for consideration from your publication, and have the author's contact information available upon request.

Email address (for queries and submissions): bestsexwriting2010 at
Payment: $100
Deadline: May 1, 2009
Expect to hear back from me by October 2009 at the latest.

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