1. When is the deadline?
August 1, 2015. We know this is short notice, but we are planning to publish the expanded edition next May, so deadlines are tight!
2. How old do I have to be?
Those 21 years of age or under (as of January 1, 2016) are eligible.
3. What are you looking for?
Personal nonfiction, in any form: essay, poetry, graphic essay, and memoir about the lesbian, gay, bi-, transgender, and questioning experience now. To see the work we’ve chosen in the past, you can read the existing anthology The Full Spectrum. That said, for the expanded edition we hope to find fresh perspectives not yet represented in those pages. We are particularly interested in highlighting the experiences of those from under-represented communities. Though we encourage all eligible writers to submit their work.
4. Do I have to be queer to submit?
Absolutely not! We welcome submissions from all points of view about these topics.
5. Is there a reason that asexuality (and the other identities on the ace spectrum) isn’t listed with the other identities in your call for submissions, when so many other identities are mentioned by name?
It’s truly a matter of space, and it’s the reason we have the + there at the end of the acronym. We agree that it absolutely sucks to be part of a “+” instead of part of the acronym being used, and for what it’s worth we dearly, dearly wish the word “queer” was universally embraced, since that would be the best possible alternative. To be clear, we absolutely wish to hear from people who identify that way.
6. Is the contest limited to only to United States citizens or are you open to read international entries?
We’re open to reading about international experiences. There is no citizenship requirement for eligibility.
7. May I submit fiction?
No. We’re really looking for true stories.
8. How do I submit?
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9. What information should I include when I submit my work?
Include your name, address, phone, and email address on each submission. Also, please, double-space your work (except for poetry), and include page numbers. It makes it easier on us.
Note: In some circumstances, we will consider work submitted through a third-party adult, such as a teacher or social worker–though only in very special cases, and with the teenager’s expressed permission. Queries regarding sensitive submissions can be directed to the editors (see below for contact information).
10. Do you accept anonymous submissions?
This has been a very popular question. Yes, it is possible for an authors to be published in the book with pennames or false identities to protect themselves. We do, however, need all applicants to submit their pieces with all of the required information for legal reasons. It isn’t legal for us to publish anyone’s work without knowing whose it is. All of the information would be entirely confidential, and once a piece is chosen, there can be a discussion about the author’s choices as to how they would like their work presented.
I hope you decide to submit your story. As I’m sure you know, there are many people in a similar situation, and it would be comforting to a lot of people to hear as many experiences as possible. What is the point, after all, if we are only going to be able to publish the stories of those in a position to reveal themselves? This book is intended for all groups to find some of themselves within its pages.
If you have any other concerns, please feel free to ask.
11. Will I get feedback on my work?
Unfortunately, due to the great number of submissions we will receive, we are unable to comment on each individual work. Sorry, we wish we could.
12. What happens if my piece is chosen?
*All sorts of hoopla:
a) it will be published in the anthology
b) we’ll send you a contract dealing with the legal mumbo-jumbo involved with being a published author
c) you’ll be paid a flat fee of $150
d) we’ll send you a copy of the book
*We are unable to guarantee instant fame and popularity, but, let’s face it, you’ll be published; the chances are pretty good.
13. When is the planned publication date?
The book will be published by Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House, and we’re planning on it coming out (pardon the pun) in Summer, 2016.
14. When will winners be announced?
Winners will be notified and posted on this site no later than September 30, 2015.
Unfortunately, we can’t notify writers whose submissions are not accepted.
15. How long can my piece be?
10 pages, double-spaced.
16. Can I submit more than one piece?
Yes, but limit your submission to three pieces.
17. Do I keep the rights to my work?
Yes. Rights revert to back to you after publication. We get only first publication rights and maintain the copyright. The piece still belongs to you.
18. May I submit previously published work?
It depends. If you have the rights to the work and it has not appeared in a national publication, then, yes.
If the piece was published by a high school publication or undergrad literary magazine, it’s probably okay, but just in case, click here to check out the official rules.
19. What are the rules about cuss words or sexual content? Am I going to be disqualified for using profanity or talking about sex?
Curse words and sexual content are fine, as long as they have a reason to be there. Use whatever language you need to be honest.