Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

Tl;dr I’m taking (paid) submissions for short stories at charliesauthors@gmail.com

I think it was Robert Bloch who, when discussing the difficulties of growing up in the great depression said:

“You work or you starve. I decided to combine the two by becoming a writer.”

There’s whole volumes written on the subject of perceptual value, and on the role of social contracts. I’ll bludgeon both fields horribly by summarising that writing is horribly undervalued.

What’s more, the current paradigm pushes people to accept less than is reasonable for their writing. There’s a pervasive attitude in some sectors (including some parts of the fanfic community) that think writing is a passion (ok) and therefore shouldn’t be paid for (definitely not ok).

Now, I’ve posted writing for free. Hell, this very blog post is taking time and energy I could put towards some other project). And yes that’s my choice. But this choice is also a part of the current societal norms on writing.

What I’m arguing is that, just because something is the norm, doesn’t make it ideal or even ok.

So, why am I writing this? Is there a point?

Well yes, sort of. In my own, clumsy way I’m going to try to nudge things in the right direction.

I’m literally putting my money where my mouth is by hereby offering to begin publishing other people’s erotica on this blog and paying (albeit a token amount) for it.

Details:

I’m planning on posting one guest story per month, on a non-exclusive basis (so writers are free to cross-post or sell as they see fit), for which I offer a token payment of £10 (which I hope to increase).

Disclaimers/provisos

Ideally stories should aim for 500 words, but there’s flexibility on this.

Posting stories to this blog is entirely at my discretion and I reserve the right to edit (lightly) if necessary and with the author’s consent. If I and the author agree to a story getting posted here I’ll pay them.

Usual content guidelines (no bestiality, rape or paedophilia) with usual exceptions for werewolves.

I can’t guarantee I’ll respond to all submissions but I’ll try.

I know £10 doesn’t begin to cover the time and effort it takes to write a good story (hence the non-exclusive rights mentioned above), and I won’t pretend that this is a “fair” price for one’s labour.

I’m also aware that I’ll probably stand to gain more from this offer than authors, I’ll be getting high quality blog content, they’ll get posted on a very lightly trafficked blog (Hi Mum!). So please bear this in mind before choosing to submit. Obviously I’ll do my best to boost authors’ blogs with links, tweets etc.

Email submissions to: charliesauthors@gmail.com


“Look on Them I Dare Not!”

Back at Eroticon Live in May I was one of the readers for the closing erotica slam on the Sunday. When I took the microphone I explained to the audience that, despite urgings of several friends, I wasn’t going to read the explicit bits of a story (one that, incidentally will appear later this year in an anthology edited by the adorable Leonora Soloman).

This raised one comment that suggested it was ironic that I was hesitant to read mere words when the previous evening I’d happily had my buttocks on display and received a spanking in front of a room full of writers. It was a comment that baffled me for two reasons.

Firstly, I didn’t see any contradiction. My body simply is and, whilst I’m actually for the most part pretty happy with it, I don’t feel that anyone judging it is really a judgment on me. I’m not ashamed of the meatbag that is Charlie Forrest. Whereas my words, that’s something different. The words I trick myself into pouring onto the page, the honesty, bluntness, sheer unadulterated lust and greed and desire I express. That’s me, and that’s me in a way that I’m far more scared of being judged on, because then it means something, then it’s based on a real tangible aspect of me as a person.

The other thing that baffled me was that, despite not reading the explicit sex bits at the end, I did something that, even by my own logic, was a lot more daunting; I read the really hot bit. You see, this particular story is focused on the idea of humiliation and, in that regard, the absolute peak of it, the realisation of the narrator that they are in a very very bad place, comes right at the beginning.

So I guess I can stand in front of a room full of people and do the scary dangerous stuff; it just might not be what you expect.