Hello, Bold Queer Writer!
You are hereby cordially invited to queer up yyc this Christmas. Ready?
The Project: Queer Christmas In Cowtown, an anthology of Christmas-themed stories by YYC Queer Writers, cured by M. Jane Colette, and published by GENRES were made to be BROKEN
Question: Only Christmas?
Answer: Other December-occurring holidays welcome, if you wanna play with Hannukah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, or, heck, New Year’s for that matter. No Valentine’s Day, Easter or Halloween, though, ok? If you have a Ramadan story that takes place in December, bring it on.
Question: It’s a December story, but not really a Christmas story. Is that ok?
Answer: Read on…
Your task: To write a non-fictional, memoir-or-something-like-it style piece that somehow or other touches on Christmas / December / holidays. And queerness. Pretty broad umbrella right? Let’s narrow it a little. Must be PROSE. NO POETRY in this one. (Sorry, poets. But poems are welcome in our second annual Screw Chocolate project, on which more anon.)
Question: How long?
Answer: As short as you like if it’s brilliant. No longer than 1500 words.
Answer: 1500 words. You audience, and your editor, has a short-attention span. Write tight. Write short. Write snappy.
Your deadline: July 31, 2017. This is writ in stone. If you’re sleeping with me, you get until August 1.
Panic attack 1: That’s not enough time!
Answer: Sweetheart, it should take you 90 minutes max to write 1500 words. Sit your ass down in a chair, put them fingers on a keyboard, and type me up a first draft NOW!
Panic attack 2: I don’t know what to write about!
Answer: Anything that fits in with the Christmas-holiday theme. The Christmas you came out, the December you were born, the New Year’s Eve you first broke your heart, the time you stayed awake through the shortest night of the year because you were in the ER watching your ex get her stomach pumped, 15 reasons you hate Christmas, 12 reasons you love Christmas, why you don’t celebrate Christmas, the time you spent Christmas Eve in a Houston airport surrounded by NRA supported, how you had a total breakdown in the Market Mall Sportcheck on December 13, 1997 because… (I dunno what happened! I wasn’t there!) … ya get the idea, right?
Question: How queer does it have to be?
Answer: Duh. As queer as you. No more, no less.
Question: How Calgary does it have to be?
Answer: Meh. So long as the writer’s from Calgary, you can set your story in Paris if you really want to. Although… top billing will go to the story that incorporates cowboy boots and a branding iron into a narrative that situates the story firm in Cowtown. Maybe. Unless the Paris-set story is really good.
Question: Who chooses and edits the stories?
Question: Why the fuck you?
Answer: I get shit done. It’s, like, my motto.
Question: How will the project be distributed?
Answer: As an e-book at all the usual outlets, including Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, etc, for $1.99. As a print book, in Print-On-Demand format, at cost-to-print + $2, orderable online from Chapters, Amazon, etc.
Question: Who gets the money?
Answer: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, darling, you know nothing about publishing. Actually—I’m applying for an AFA and CADA grant to help fund the project, and, if the funding is successful, the writer of each accepted story will get $50. If the funding is not successful, you’re doing it or love and glory, baby, as am I. All and any royalties/profits from the project will be donated to Camp Firefly.
Question: Is there going to be a party?
Answer: Damn straight (get it? hee hee hee). Wednesday, November 15. Mark your calendar. Now—get off-line, open a Word or Google doc—or grab a notebook—and start writing. Ninety minutes. And… go.
Email your submissions to email@example.com by JULY 31, 2017, with “Queer Christmas” in the subject heading.
PS Screw Chocolate 2 deadline will be December 1 this year. More details in September.
Royalty-free, Creative Commons licence photos courtesy of Pexels.