Publish Sexy Stories after Midlife
Some of us who are writers don’t quite know what we think until we write it down. So writing our erotic stories is liberating, even if we never show them to another living soul. If you would like a boost to keep the pen moving, you’ll find two FREE self-taught courses on my website: One for writing our erotic histories and the other for creating sexy stories.
Each course encourages writing freely, in a spirit of play. When you try them, you may be surprised by how much you learn about who you have been, who you are now, and into what new personhood you are growing. And we do keep growing. As Grey Panther founder Maggie Kuhn famously said, “Learning and sex until rigor mortis.”
Self-knowledge is all well and good, but what do we do when we’re ready to share? Writing groups can be terrific. For example, a group of women enjoyed fun and liberating online Elderotica sessions during this past pandemic year. And stay tuned for more online erotica workshops, in the planning stages.
But beyond sharing in a small circle, there comes a time when we want to publish what we have written. How to scope out opportunities that will welcome sexy writing by Women of a Certain Age? Here are resources to keep in mind, some of which specifically seek age diversity.
- Rachel Kramer Bussell frequently publishes theme-based erotica collections. For example, she is now working on a collection about group sex (for which the submission deadline was May 1). Rachel is also the editor of the annual series, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year. I recently took an online class from Rachel, and she expressed concern that she was not seeing enough submissions by women over fifty. So, ladies, please help Rachel out by signing up for her newsletter and checking the Calls for Submissions on her website.
- Another great resource is the Erotica Readers & Writers Association. There you will find Calls for Submissions for anthologies, novels, magazines, websites, and more. It’s a great central clearinghouse for information geared toward erotic writers.
- If you are writing queer erotica, check out Bold Strokes Books.
- If you are writing erotic romance, take a look at ebook publisher Carina Press.
- For women writing fantasy and science fiction erotica, check out Circlet Press.
- Cleis Press publishes book length erotic fiction as well as nonfiction related to sexuality.
- Riverdale Avenue Books publishes erotic fiction, and has an imprint called Hera that is specifically for stories about women over 35 (Personally, I’ve been over 35 for 32 years, so I think I might qualify). Riverdale also has an imprint called Truth that seeks memoirs of midlife dating.
- If you have published a sexy story (possibly in the Dirty Old Women anthology or in Aphrodite’s Pen), please consider submitting to the Good Sex Awards, coming right up (submission deadline is May 16). Submission is free, and there will be a Reader’s Choice award in addition to the adjudicated awards. And most importantly, the awards focus on diversity, including age diversity. This is the first year of an annual award, so please also look for it next year if you publish a story over the next twelve months.
There are also some interesting Facebook groups that cater to writers and/or women of a certain age. The below list includes places to look for submission calls as well as places to promote your work once it is published. Consider signing up for a few of these:
- Calls for Submissions (Poetry, Fiction, Art)
- National Association of Memoir Writers
- Crones of Anarchy
- Crones with Pens
- Book Heaven
- Create Your Renegade Retirement
- Crones’ Literary Society
- Lesbian Books, Writers, Readers
These resources are a great place to immerse yourself in writing around like-minded women. Every once in a while an anthology comes by just for us, like Joan Price’s Ageless Erotica or Lynx Canon’s Dirty Old Women. I will keep you posted if I learn of more like like that (and please let me know if you hear of one!) And don’t forget that May is Masturbation Month, and as well as a topic for each day of May, there are topical articles and some sexy short stories.
Women after midlife need to have spaces to share our stories that focus on the vibrant lives we enjoy.
To that end, Lynx Canon and I are developing a new periodical to showcase erotic stories by and about women after midlife. We know what we want:
- We’ll seek work that explores all aspects of erotic life after 50. What is sexy for us now?
- We want to present a range of body types, abilities/disabilities, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions and locales.
- We’ll look for stories that showcase our experience and wisdom, in and out of bed. Stories with anticipation and buildup. Stories with sensory detail, so readers feel and see what the characters feel and see.
Lynx and I were zooming along toward the Call for Submissions for the first issue until we got waylaid by the choice of just the right name for this new venture. It needs to have mainstream appeal and be attractive. It should speak to the vibrant lives we lead, and may or may not specifically reference sex. And here’s the kicker: It can’t be in use by another periodical. We can’t wait to get started—once we have a title! Do you have an idea? Send it, please! Or of course add your thoughts to the comments below.
Writing our stories is liberating, sharing with one another builds community, and publishing our stories brings us out into the larger society where we create a fuller picture of the lives of women after midlife. And, perhaps most importantly, we shape the perception of the future for our daughters and granddaughters. We are artists and writers, and when we publish, we are also advocates pushing back against ageism and sexism.
Let’s all go publish sexy stories after midlife
Welcome to the joyous revolution. And don’t forget that masturbation story!