Queer Blades: A Queer Sword and Sorcery Romance Anthology is a twice-yearly print and ebook publication open to all LGBTQIA+ stories set in adventure fantasy worlds, particularly stories of queer romance.
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Submissions for the first anthology will be open from 1 December 2020 through 28 February 2021. If you miss the submissions window by a few hours, don’t worry!
Adventure fantasy settings range a spectrum of secondary worlds—not just sword and sorcery, but also heroic fantasy, epic fantasy, historical fantasy, wuxia, “Old Mars” and “Old Venus” settings, fantasy westerns, portal fantasy, and Fae realms of all descriptions. If it’s a setting in which you might readily play a D&D campaign, it will fit right in. (Though please don’t submit stories set in Faerûn, Greyhawk, or any other trademarked, copyrighted IP.) Our preference is for pre-gunpowder, magic-heavy worlds, but run wild with your imagination and bring us fresh wonders!
Sword and sorcery has a lot of baggage. Its classic stories are laden with racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry. Those elements, obviously, are not welcome here. We want to get rid of sword & sorcery’s awfulness and instead explore its potential for awesome. Be inventive with your adventures!
All stories must feature LGBTQIA+ protagonists and storylines. Romance is preferred but not necessary. The romance could be a nascent crush or a long established partnership or anything in between. Aromantic stories could focus on the growth of a friendship. Let your characters’ relationships be as diverse as you are!
Black, Indigenous, Trans, and similarly marginalized / historically excluded authors are especially encouraged.
Content. No prejudice or bigotry of any kind is permitted. This includes but is not limited to racism, sexism, classism, fascism, transphobia, homophobia, fatphobia, and ableism.
Eroticism in service to the characters or story is welcome, but exploitative sex or gore is not. We want to help normalize the practice of content warnings. If your submission contains materials that might warrant a content warning, please provide one in your cover email.
Don’t “Bury Your Gays.” Not all stories need to have happy endings, but no characters will be punished for being queer.
Length. We accept short stories, novelettes, and novellas between 2000 and 25000 words.
Language. At this time, sadly, we can only consider stories in English. Translations of stories you originally published in other languages are welcome. Please include the original publication details for translated stories. If you are translating someone else’s work for them, please indicate that you have the permission and legal right to do so.
Formatting. Use the standard short story manuscript format. We find it particularly helpful if you underline, rather than italicize, italics in your text.
Submit through email. Email submissions as .doc, .docx, or .rtf attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Absolutely no compressed folders will be opened. Make your subject line “Title” by Your Name. Please allow up to thirty days for a response, though we generally try to respond within two weeks.
No simultaneous submissions (in other words, do not submit a story here if you’re waiting on a response from another publisher).
Only submit one story at a time. If you receive a rejection, wait at least one week before submitting a different story (unless invited to submit one sooner).
Reprints. Reprints are welcome, so long as you have the reprint rights. Please let us know your story’s original publication history (market name, publication date) in your cover letter.
Payment. If your story is accepted for publication, you will be paid $10US via Venmo, PayPal, or by mail (your choice). You will also receive one contributor’s copy of the anthology in which your story appears. All submissions must include a valid mailing address, unless you choose not to receive your contributor’s copy.
Rights. We ask for one-time non-exclusive serial print and electronic rights, as well as electronic archive rights. Authors retain all other rights.