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Pride Story Bundles to Benefit Charity

A banner with a faded-out background of rainbow pride-flag-esque stripes. Text reads, "Read Queer Stories, Support Queer Causes with Duck Prints Press." It includes the Duck Prints Press logo, with the name of the business, rainbow duck prints on the left and bottom sides, and a white duck standing beside the name, looking at the viewer. Beneath that is the Press slogan, "we print diversity."

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH, EVERYONE! We are thrilled to announce our second-annual Pride Bundles for Charity with two all-new short story bundles – 30 stories total! – that we are selling at a discount to raise money for our chosen queer charity!

Last year, our debut Pride bundles raised almost $350 for queer charities. This year, we’re back with a new General Imprint Bundle and a new Explicit Imprint Bundle, each discounted 20% from their list prices (and each including multiple stories that aren’t for sale and are usually only available to our backers on Patreon) and with 20% of the net profit going to Rainbow Railroad.

How This Works

  • you buy one or both bundles between now and July 8th, 2024.
  • we tally up all the proceeds earned and do some math-e-magic to figure out how much we’re donating!
  • before the end of July, we donate the raised money to Rainbow Railroad, we post the proof we’ve done so.
  • you get fantastic stories!
  • we all get that happy, glowy feeling of knowing that money has been well-spent on fantastic causes!

About the Press

Duck Prints Press is a queer-owned indie press, founded to publish original works by fancreators. We’ve been in operation for over 3 years, and in that time we’ve worked with well over 150 creators to publish six anthologies and almost 100 other stories, from shorts to novels, and we’ve got more on the works (our next anthology, our first erotica collection, will be crowdfunding within the next month!). The vast majority of our creators and their creations are queer/LGTBQIA+ (maybe even all, but we don’t out anyone and we don’t ask demography because, frankly, it’s none of our business).

25 of our authors have chosen to include their short stories in one or both of these short story bundles, and all our short story authors nominated potential charities and voted to select Rainbow Railroad as the beneficiary for our 2024 Pride Bundles.

About Rainbow Railroad

In countries around the world, LGBTQI+ people face violence and oppression simply because of who they love or who they are. Rainbow Railroad helps them get to safety! Rainbow Railroad is a global not-for-profit organization that helps at-risk LGBTQI+ people get to safety worldwide. Based in the United States and Canada, they’re an organization that helps LGBTQI+ people facing persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics. In a time when there are more displaced people than ever, LGBTQI+ people are uniquely vulnerable due to systemic, state-enabled homophobia and transphobia. These factors either displace them in their own country or prevent them from escaping harm. 

Note: This charity isnot affiliated with the Press, do not know we’re doing this fundraiser, have not endorsed this in anyway and are, as such, utterly uninvolved in this beyond being the beneficiaries of our efforts! Text is from the Rainbow Railroad website.

About the Bundles

We are offering two bundles, one with 18 short stories published under our General Imprint, the other containing 12 stories published under our Explicit Imprint. The shop listings include details about and excerpts from all the stories. Here’s the gist…

A graphic with a semi-opaque background of vertical rainbow stripes. Text on the graphic reads "Buy 18 General Imprint Stories, Support Rainbow Railroad! with Duck Prints Press." Beside the Press name are duck prints each a different rainbow color (on the left and bottom) and on the right is a white duck with orange beak and feet. This is the Duck Prints Press logo, and beneath it is the slogan "We Print Diversity."

Titles in the General Imprint Charity Bundle:

18 stories. 254 pages. 82,462 words of fiction!

Price: $22.50

Approximately 20% of the list price of this bundle will go to Rainbow Railroad.


Titles in the Explicit Imprint Charity Bundle:

12 stories. 198 pages. 69,550 words.

Price: $21.50

Approximately 20% of the list price of this bundle will go to Rainbow Railroad.

A graphic with a semi-opaque background of vertical rainbow stripes. Text on the graphic reads "Buy 12 Explicit Imprint Stories, Support Rainbow Railroad! with Duck Prints Press." Beside the Press name are duck prints each a different rainbow color (on the left and bottom) and on the right is a white duck with orange beak and feet. This is the Duck Prints Press logo, and beneath it is the slogan "We Print Diversity."

Come get some great stories, support a queer-owned business this Pride, and benefit two fantastic causes. Win-win-win situations don’t get much better than this!

These bundles will only be available for one month, so don’t miss out. Visit our webstore between now and July 8th and get yours!

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Meet Some of Duck Prints Press’s Transgender Authors!

A graphic showing 10 book covers over stripes in pastel blue, pastel pink, and white - the colors of the trans pride flag. The graphic is labeled as "Transgender Day of Visibility: 11 reads by Trans Authors x Duck Prints Press." The book covers are: Aether Beyond the Binary: A Duck Prints Press Anthology; Of Loops and Weaves by Catherine E. Green; Sarisa by N. C. Farrell; Whispers of Atlantis: A Tale of Discovery and Belonging by Neo Scarlett; Chrysopoeia by Zel Howland; Many Drops Make a Stream by Adrian Harley; A Shield for the People by Puck Malamud; This Treatment for Chronic Pain has an Unbelievable Side Effect! by Xianyu Zhou; And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing"; and LA Photographs Itself by YF Ollwell.

Today, March 31st 2024, is Transgender Day of Visibility! We’re celebrating by shining the spotlight on 11 trans authors who’ve published with us, and three more who are contributing to projects that are in the pipeline. Duck Prints Press works with many trans creators, but we never disclose such information without explicit permission – there are way more than 11 trans folks working with us, but the people highlighted in this post all opted in to be included: they’re here, they’re trans, and they’re happy for y’all to know that about them!

Most of these authors have published more than one work with Duck Prints Press; we’re mostly highlighting one story each for this post, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to read!

Aether Beyond the Binary is our most recent anthology (Kickstarted in January, expected to go up for sale in late spring or early summer). About half the contributors are transgender or genderqueer, including four who volunteered to be included in this post!

  • S. J. Ralston, who contributed the story Razzmatazz, about a dystopian Hollywood where robots of long-dead stars are forced to make movies, and about the non-binary mechanic who services them.
  • Kelas Lloyd, who contributed the story True, about a non-binary teen going to a remedial camp to help them learn to channel aether.
  • Catherine E. Green, who contributed the story To Hold the World Close, about an established non-binary couple working together to try to take down a corporation that’s trying to control access to the world-wide aether network.
  • Zel Howland, who contributed the story Flower and Rot, about a world where channeling aether causes human bodies to sprout plants, and about the people who sprout fungi instead.
  • Meet the other contributors, too!

All of our anthologies have had trans contributors; highlighted here also is And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” contributed to by Adrian Harley (a character study of modern-day Benedick’s coming out as a trans man) and Nickel J. Keep (a wlw historical story about the characters returning home after serving in World War 2).

You can read about all the contributors to Aether Beyond the Binary here.

And other works by our trans authors…

And we’ve got upcoming projects featuring even more trans authors!

So come check out Duck Prints Press, an indie press that works with fancreators to publish their original works, and support some awesome trans creators this Transgender Day of Visibility!

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Round Table Discussion: Grammar Pet Peeves

Today, March 4th, is National Grammar Day! Last year, we celebrated with six of our favorite grammar quirks. This year, we’re going to the other end of the spectrum: we had a conversation with our editors and blog contributors about grammar things we hate. They may be technically correct, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make us crazy. Eighteen people, many anonymous, contributed to this discussion.

Dangling Modifiers

boneturtle: Dangling modifiers, hands down. Even when I can decipher what the writer meant based on context, it viscerally hurts me every time. When I am editing I have to stand up and take a lap around my apartment when I hit a dangling modifier. Remind myself that I am here to help. Learn more about dangling modifiers.

Commas

anonymous: Commas are not difficult! Commas end phrases. Full stop. That’s all they do. Is a phrase necessary to the grammatical coherence of the sentence? if the answer is yes, no commas because that phrase hasn’t ended. If the answer is no, commas! comma hug that bish if it’s the middle of a sentence. The difference between grammatical and informational is whether or not the sentence makes sense without the phrase. 

Examples: 

The man who ordered the six double anchovy pizzas claims to have a dolphin in his pool. 

You need “who ordered the six double anchovy pizzas” because you need to identify which man you’re talking about. The world is full of many men. 

The ancient Buick, which Madeleine purchased via Craigslist, belched black smoke whenever she pressed the accelerator. 

We don’t need to know how Madeleine purchased the car for the sentence to make sense. You don’t even meed “Madeleine” for the grammar to make sense. Therefore, hug that phrase! 

(a comma on each side of the phrase) or give it a dramatic send off with a comma and an end punctuation. (i could go into conjunctions, too, but those are a little more complex, and if you were taught them properly, i understand not getting the comma use 😂 ) 

Prepositions at the End of Sentences

Tris Lawrence: There was a dictionary (Merriam-Webster? Oxford? idek) that posted recently on social media about how the rule about not ending a sentence with a preposition came from English scholars trying to make English line up with Latin, and that it’s totally okay to do it… and I’m just wanting to point to it to yell THIS because uhhh trying to rework sentences to not end in a preposition often creates clunky awkward things (my opinion, I recognize this).

D. V. Morse: Ending sentences/clauses with a preposition. Well, not doing that is supposed to be the rule, but depending on the sentence, it can be a convoluted mess to try and avoid it. Winston Churchill famously told someone off after they “caught” him breaking that rule, saying, “This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.” (Yes, I had to look that up.)

Pronoun Confusion

anonymous: I hate playing the pronoun game when reading. I hate it in life when someone comes up to me and tells me a story involving 2 people of the same pronouns and stops using names halfway through, and I hate it while reading too. Nothing makes me fall out of scene more if I don’t know who just did/said what. Use names. That’s why we have them.

Nina Waters: epithets. If I know the characters name…why? Also, when people use “you” in third person writing. There are times I’ll allow it as an editor/times when I do think it’s at least acceptable but not gonna lie, I absolutely hate it.

anonymous: My pet peeve … I read hundreds of essays in a given month for work, plus a whole lot of fanfic for fun. A rising issue that I have noticed in both places is incomplete sentences (lacking subjects, typically). I think it’s because people rely on Google’s grammar checker to tell them if something is wrong and…Google doesn’t check for that apparently. I’m increasingly convinced that my high schoolers simply weren’t taught sentence structure, because when I ask them to fix it they almost universally say some variant of “I don’t understand what you’re asking me to do.” Therefore, it might be punching down a little to complain about it. I’m not sure. It does drive me nuts though. Lol

“Would Of”

Neo Scarlett: Not quite sure if that falls under grammar, but I hate hate hate when people use “should of” instead of should’ve. Or “would of.” It just makes my toe nails curl up because it may sound right, but it looks wrong and is wrong.

Semi-Colons

Shea Sullivan: I saw a list punctuated by semicolons recently and that made me froth at the mouth a bit.

anonymous: I think any editor who’s worked with me knows that I have a pet peeve about using colons or semi-colons in dialogue. Or really, any punctuation mark that I don’t think people can actually pronounce. Semicolons can live anywhere that I don’t have to imagine a character actually pronouncing them.

English isn’t Dumb!

theirprofoundbond: As a former linguistics student, it bugs me a lot when people say that English is a dumb or stupid language because it has borrowed from so many languages. What people mean when they say this is, “English can be really difficult (even for native speakers).” But I wish people would say that, instead of “it’s dumb/stupid.” Languages are living things. Like other living things, they adapt and evolve. English is basically a beautiful, delightful platypus. Let it be a platypus.

Dei Walker: I remember seeing somewhere that English has four types of rules (I’m trying to find the citation today) and everyone conflates them. And I guess my pet peeve is that everyone treats them equally when they’re NOT. There are rules but not all of them are the same – there’s a difference between “adjectives precede nouns” (big truck, not *truck big) and “don’t split infinitives” (which is arbitrary).

And, because we couldn’t resist, here are some of our favorite things, because when we asked for pet peeves…some people still shared things they loved instead of things they hated.

Oxford Comma

Terra P. Waters: I really really love the Oxford comma.

boneturtle: me: [in kindergarten, using oxford comma]

teacher: no, we don’t add a comma between the last two objects in a list.

me: that’s illogical and incorrect.

anonymous: I will forever appreciate my second grade teacher’s explanation of Oxford comma use: Some sentences are harder to understand if you don’t use it, but no sentence will ever be harder to understand because you do use it. Preach, Mrs. D

anonymous: I am definitely Team Oxford Comma. I even have a bumper sticker which says so

Other Favorites

Shea Sullivan: I adore the emdash, to every editor’s chagrin.

Shadaras: zeugmas! I think they’re super cool!

Shea Sullivan and Hermit: I use sentence fragments a lot. Fragments my beloved.

English Grammar vs. Grammar in Other Languages

anonymous: so in English my favourite thing is the parallel Latin and Saxon registers because of how that affects grammar, but in Japanese my favourite grammatical thing is the use of an actual sound at the end of the sentence to denote a question, as opposed to how in English we use intonation? Also how in Japanese the sentence structure requires reasoning first and action second in terms of clauses. So rather than go “let’s go to the cinema because it’s raining and I’m cold,” you’d go “because it’s raining and I’m cold, let’s go to the cinema.” (My least favourite thing is the lack of spaces between words in the written form but that’s purely because I find that level of continuous letters intimidating to translate.)

I also love how Japanglish in the foreign communities in Japan starts to develop its own grammatical structure as a way of situating yourself in this space between the two languages. It’s used as a call-sign of belonging to that specific community, because in order to make some of the jokes and consciously break the rules of English or Japanese grammar and/or choose to obey one or the other, you’re basically displaying your control over both/knowledge of them. Like, the foreign community in Japan is often a disparate group of people with multiple different native languages who are relying on their knowledge of at least one non-native language but often two to signify their status in the group as Also An Outsider and I think that’s really interesting.

Nina Waters: Chinese and Japanese both drop subjects, and Chinese doesn’t have like… a/the… Japanese doesn’t have a future tense… Chinese kinda sorta doesn’t have tenses at all… (these are not pet peeves, btw, I love how learning a language with such different ways of approaching these things reshapes my brain). Chinese also doesn’t really have yes or no.

There’s a joke somewhere on Tumblr about that, though I actually think it’s about using “a” versus “the,” like, someone was giving a Russian speaker a hard time after they said “get in car” and they were like “only you English speakers are dumb enough to feel this is essential why would I be talking about getting into any random car of course I mean our car wtf.”

anonymous: on the subject of other languages, epithets are also something that happen differently in other languages. In French repeating a word (names included, and sometimes even pronouns) is considered bad writing. As in, way more than in English. Going by how grating the English translation of the Witcher books was to me when the French one was fine, I’d say it’s the same with Polish, at least. It’s also very interesting how brains adapt to writing styles in other languages.

What are some of your favorite and least favorite grammar quirks, in English or in the language of your choice?