Thursday, July 7, 2016

When Stigma Stops Writing

I recently wrote a post for Delilah Night about the challenges presented by the book I'm currently taking submissions for, the charity anthology Coming Together: Postively Sexy.

What I didn’t realize was that this book is demanding a different kind of editing skill: convincing and encouraging nervous writers to try their hands at stories that feel risky to them. I have had many conversations with writers who say they don’t know anything about STIs and can’t write about them, only to tell me in the next breath that they’ve had or currently have an STI. I’ve had conversations with writers who say they can’t picture how a story could include mention of an STI and still be sexy. I’ve had conversations with writers who say they are far too worried about the possibility of getting something wrong. I’ve talked to writers who say they mostly submit stories they’ve already written, and they’ve never written a story that includes a character with an STI.

To me, this all speaks to the stigma around STIs, the very stigma that I’m hoping this book can question. I want to make a book that opens up a little space inside a dominant culture that often seems intent on shaming people, a book that offers up a vision that an STI doesn’t have to be the end of a person’s sex life, that it doesn’t have to be a big deal at all. I’m hoping to get some stories from writers who already know that because they’ve lived that experience, and I’m also hoping to get some stories from writers who are learning it through the writing they’re doing now.

You can read the rest of the post here, at Delilah's blog.

You can read the full call for submissions, with all the details, here.

Also, check out Delilah's post about the anthology she's editing, Coming Together: Under the Mistletoe.

And, writers, let's do some good by being bad. :) (An old tagline for the charity erotica publisher, Coming Together).

(Also, the deadline for Positively Sexy has been extended to Oct 1st!)

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