Posted on Leave a comment

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!

Posted on Leave a comment

Last Day to Buy Our Pride Bundles and Support Queer Charities!

Today is July 28th, which means it’s the last day to buy our General Imprint Pride Bundle and Erotica Imprint Pride Bundle, save money on our stories, and help us raise funds to donate to the Ali Forney Center and Transgender Law Center!

Each bundle costs $19.69, in honor of the year of Stonewall. The Press is donating 40% of our share of the proceeds to the charities, and many of our authors chose to donate part of their share to charity as well, with the result that more than 35% of each bundle sale will go directly to the causes our authors have chosen to support. Thus far, we’ve raised just over $300; we’ll divide our final total in half and make the donations once the fundraiser is complete, and we’ll post receipts for transparency purposes.

The General Imprint bundle includes 14 short stories – 175 pages of very queer fiction – with works by Alec J. Marsh, Annabeth Lynch, D. V. Morse, Era J. M. Couts, J. D. Harlock, Nicola Kapron, Nina Waters, nottesilhouette, Puck Malamud, R. L. Houck, Sage Mooreland, Theresa Tanner, Tris Lawrence, and Violet J. Hayes. Approximately $7 of every General Imprint bundle purchase goes to charity (35%).

The Erotica Imprint bundle includes 11 short stories – a steamy, smutty 151 pages – with works by Aeryn Jemariel Knox, Alec J. Marsh, boneturtle, Dei Walker, Lyn Weaver, Mikki Madison, Nina Waters, R. L. Houck, Samantha M. Piper, Tris Lawrence, and Xianyu Zhou. Approximately $8 of every Erotica Imprint bundle purchase goes to charity (40%).

DUCK PRINTS PRESS gets your eyes on two whole bundles of our publications.

THE CHARITIES get cold, hard cash!

AND YOU get great stories, a sampler of works written by the authors who are part of Duck Prints Press! Some come on over and BUY YOUR 2023 GENERAL IMPRINT AND EROTICA IMPRINT PRIDE BUNDLES NOW!

You can read more about this charity drive, the Press, the charities, and the stories by reading this post!

Posted on Leave a comment

Three Days Left to Buy Queer Stories and Support Great Causes!

Time is running out to participate in Duck Prints Press’s 2023 Pride Bundle fundraiser! Through July 28th, we’re offering two book bundles – one containing 14 short stories from our general imprint, one containing 11 short stories from our erotica imprint – with nearly 40% of the proceeds going to the Ali Forney Center and Transgender Law Center.

Since we listed these bundles on the 54th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, June 28th, 1969, we’ve raised $225.25 to donate! We’d love to increase that number, and with your help we can!

Check out everything you can get:

Titles in the General Imprint Charity Bundle:

Approximately 35% of the $19.69 list price of this bundle will go to the charities.

Titles in the Erotica Imprint Charity Bundle:

Approximately 40% of the $19.69 list price of this bundle will go to the charities.

Looking for a big W this week? A small, queer indie press gets support, two wonderful charities get money to help queer youth, and you get great stories? Sounds like winning to us! So come visit Duck Prints Press’s webstore and get your stories now!

You can read all the details about us, the charities, and how this sale works by visiting the main post here.

Posted on Leave a comment

Time is Running Out to Get Our Pride Bundles!

There are only TEN DAYS left to buy our Pride Bundles, get loads of great stories, and help us support the Ali Forney Center and Transgender Law Center with a share of the proceeds!

With the help of y’all awesome readers, we’ve already raised $172.81 total – we’ll be sending half of that total to each charity!! Can we make it $100 per charity, $200+ total? I think we can, but only with your help!!

Not sure what I’m talking about? Duck Prints Press is selling two short story bundles, one of general imprint stories, one of erotica stories. Each bundle is $19.69, and combined they include 25 stories by 20 different authors. We’re donating almost 40% of the proceeds to charity, so this is a great chance to support indie publishing AND queer causes.

But don’t wait – we’re only selling these bundles until July 28th, 2023.

You can read all the deets here! Don’t miss this opportunity to help us help others!

Posted on Leave a comment

Great Queer Stories for Great Queer Causes

In honor of the 54th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots – June 28th, 1969 – Duck Prints Press is thrilled to share with you how we’re celebrating Pride Month: with queer stories, of course!

Introducing our Pride 2023 Bundles: two collections of short stories, one general imprint, one erotica, each priced at a discounted $19.69, with all purchases benefiting two wonderful queer charities selected by the authors of the stories in the bundles: The Ali Forney Center and the Transgender Law Center.

We’ll be donating roughly 35% of the proceeds from these bundles to charity – the Press is donating 10% off the top, and many of the authors chose to donate part of their royalties as well, bringing the totals to approximately 40% of the list price of the erotica collection and approximately 35% of the list price of the general imprint collection.

How This Works

  • you buy one or both bundles between now and July 28th, 2023.
  • we tally up all the proceeds earned and do some math-e-magic to figure out how much we’re donating!
  • we divide the charity share in half right down the middle and, within the first week of August, we donate raised money to the Ali Forney Center and the Transgender Law Center; then, 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 2 years, and in that time we’ve worked with well over 150 creators to publish four anthologies and almost 70 other stories, from shorts to novels, and we’ve got more on the works (our fifth anthology is Kickstarting RIGHT NOW, as a matter of fact!). 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).

20 of our authors have chosen to include their short stories in one or both of these short story bundles, and these 20 and others nominated charities, then voted to narrow it down to these two! Participation in these bundles was entirely voluntarily, as was choosing to donate shares of royalties, which about a third of the authors have opted to do.

About the Charities

Note: These charities are not 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 websites of each charity and is being used under fair use laws.

The Ali Forney Center was founded in 2002. Committed to saving the lives of LGBTQ+ young people, our mission is to protect them from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. A 24-hour program, The Ali Forney Center never closes its doors. We provide more than just a bed and food for those in need — from initial intake at our drop-in center to transitional housing and job readiness training, we provide homeless LGBTQ+ youth a safe, warm, supportive environment to escape the streets [of New York City].

Transgender Law Center is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Since 2002 we’ve been organizing, assisting, informing and empowering thousands of individual community members towards a long-term, national, trans-led movement for liberation.

About the Bundles

We’re offering two bundles: one containing 14 stories from our general imprint, the other containing 11 stories from our erotica imprint. For all the deets, you’ll need to visit the page for each story, but here’s an overview…

Titles in the General Imprint Charity Bundle:

Approximately 35% of the $19.69 list price of this bundle will go to the charities.

Titles in the Erotica Imprint Charity Bundle:

Approximately 40% of the $19.69 list price of this bundle will go to the charities.

What are you waiting for? 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 28th and get yours!

Posted on Leave a comment

Happy International Transgender Day of Visibility! Meet 8 Trans Authors We Work With!

Today, March 31st, 2023, is International Transgender Day of Visibility! To celebrate, we’re spotlighting eight trans authors who work with Duck Prints Press. The individuals included in this post either indicated in their biographies that they were trans, or they volunteered to be included. We’re delighted to be able to share their work with you. 😀 We work with other trans authors who chose not to be included in this post, and we support them too! It’s scary times to be out in a lot of countries, we get it, and protecting the anonymity and privacy of the people who work with us is one of our top priorities. To be visible on this day, in the current international climate, is an act of bravery, and we salute everyone choosing to publicly celebrate their identity today, and we respect everyone choosing not to. <3


Adrian Harley

Works:

Adrian Harley is an almost-lifelong North Carolinian and a fantasy fiction aficionado who didn’t start delving deep into fandom until adulthood. They are an editor of research by day and an aspiring novelist, also by day. They go to bed early. They have short stories forthcoming in OFIC Magazine and future Duck Prints Press anthologies. They live with their husband and a perfectly reasonable number of cats.

Link: Twitter


Stephen G. Krueger

Works:

  • “On Not Going to Parties,” in the anthology He Bears the Cape of Stars (includes a trans male character, an agender character, and a non-binary character!)

Stephen G. Krueger (he/him/his), fandom name WithBroomBefore, is queer, trans, and aroace; he is an academic librarian in the northeast United States. His other writing includes the book Supporting Trans People in Libraries, a handful of professional chapters and articles, and The Trans Advice Column (a co-authored blog that is exactly what it sounds like). Stephen holds a B.A. in English from Warren Wilson College and an M.S. in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; he is currently making leisurely progress towards an M.A. in Arctic and Northern Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He knits and sells hats, some with pride flag colors on them, and enjoys watching figure skating while his three cats take turns claiming lap space.

Links: Archive of Our Own | Etsy | Personal Website


Puck Malamud

Works:

Puck Malamud (pronouns: ve/ver/vis/verself or they/them/theirs/themself) is a librarian, writer, and poet who has lived in a variety of large East Coast US cities since immigrating from Ukraine in the 1990s. Ve is co-author of a chapter on being L.G.B.T.Q. in the library profession, and author and co-author of multiple fanfics in various fandoms, though primarily The Untamed and Mo Dao Zu Shi. When not desperately trying to keep up with vis Libby holds, Puck can be found practicing dance, playing TTRPGs and board games, hanging out in various Slacks and Discords, and shitposting on Tumblr.

Links: Tumblr


Alec J. Marsh

Works:

Alec lives in the Pacific Northwest, where they write romantic adult fantasy and self-indulgent fanfiction. They make candles inspired by their favorite characters.

Links: Etsy | Instagram | Twitter


Catherine E. Green

Works:

  • Editor on our upcoming anthologies Aim For The Heart and Aether Beyond the Binary
  • Aim For The Heart author contributor (forthcoming)
  • Aether Beyond the Binary author contributor (forthcoming)
  • Of Loops and Weaves (trans female main character, this is Patreon/ko-fi exclusive)

Catherine E. Green (pronouns: xe/xem/xyr or they/them/their) is an agender person, one who’s had an on-again, off-again love affair with writing. Xe began writing when xe was a wee thing, when xyr other major pastimes were playing xyr mother’s NES and roughhousing with the boys next door. It’s only in the past few years that they have begun writing consistently and publishing their writing, fanfiction and original writing alike, leading to their first published short story titled “Of Loops and Weaves.”

Outside of writing, xe is a collector of books and sleep debt and an avid admirer of the cosmos. Playing video games, reading a variety of fiction genres (primarily fantasy, queer romance, and manga and graphic novels of all kinds), and working on wrangling their own personal data archiving projects occupy most of their free time. Xe has also started meeting up with a local fiber arts group and is excited to be crocheting xyr first scarf.


S. J. Ralston

Works:

  • Aether Beyond the Binary author contributor (forthcoming)

S. J. grew up in the distinctly weird town of Athens, GA, bounced around in the American southwest for a while, and landed in Houston, TX, where they currently work as a Mars Research Scientist. They’ve been writing original works and fanfiction since they could hold a pencil semi-correctly, and continue to write both whenever possible (as well as still holding a pencil only semi-correctly). They’re currently working on developing a portfolio of published original works. In their clearly copious spare time, S. J. enjoys hiking, tabletop RPGs, jigsaw puzzles, and enthusiastically crappy sci-fi.

Links: Personal Website

Cover not yet revealed!


N. C. Farrell

Works:

N. C. Farrell (they/he) grew up in California’s Silicon Valley, where they spent long days hiking the coastal mountains, reading an impressive number of books about dragons (and cats, and spaceships, and magic, etc.), and creating stories with their friends. He moved to Massachusetts for college, where he studied psychology while reading more books (some of which were even for classes!), participating in LARPs, and ensuring that the SF/F club’s student-run convention had a solid schedule. Since graduating, N. C. Farrell has worked in various education-related roles. They currently spend much of their free time reading (more translated webnovels than paper books right now), writing (a lot of fanfic), practicing aikido, playing TTRPGs, and being supervised by a small shadow in the shape of a cat.


Alex Ransom

Works:

Alex Ransom is a longtime fan writer and translator recently expanding into original fiction. Her favorite trope, as both reader and writer, is “Earn Your Happy Ending,” in which characters fight through perhaps inordinate amounts of difficulty to come out happier and more content on the other side. She is especially interested in the intersection between social circumstances, personal history, and the formation and maintenance of identity. Her favorite genres are space opera, fantasy, queer romance, and poetry.

As a child, Alex thought everything was better if it was more complicated and that the best answer to a yes or no question was usually “both”. Consequently, today she is bi/pansexual, trans/nonbinary, has worked a variety of jobs, and has three degrees in completely unrelated fields. When she isn’t writing or doomscrolling on the internet, she likes to travel, hike, and build marginally functional furniture. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, with her spouse and adult daughter.


Thanks for joining us in celebrating gender diversity and supporting trans creators on Trans Day of Visibility!

Who we are: Duck Prints Press LLC is an independent publisher based in New York State. Our founding vision is to help fanfiction authors navigate the complex process of bringing their original works from first draft to print, culminating in publishing their work under our imprint. We are particularly dedicated to working with queer authors and publishing stories featuring characters from across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Love what we do? Want to make sure you don’t miss the announcement for future giveaways? Sign up for our monthly newsletter and get previews, behind-the-scenes information, coupons, and more!

Want to support the Press, read about us behind-the-scenes, learn about what’s coming down the pipeline, get exclusive teasers, and claim free stories? Back us on Patreon or ko-fi monthly!

Posted on Leave a comment

Creator’s Spotlight: December Works Created by Duck Prints Press Contributors!

Our monthly “created works round-ups” are Duck Prints Press’s opportunity to spotlight some of the amazing work that people working with us have done that ISN’T linked to their work with Duck Prints Press. We include fanworks, outside publications, and anything else that creators feel like sharing with y’all! Inclusion is voluntary and includes anything that they decided “hey, I want to put this on the created work’s round-up!”

Check out what they’ve shared with us this month…


Hold it together by Era JM Couts

fiction || naruto || no ships, platonic or familial || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 940 || complete

summary: Hold it together had been Sakura’s mantra for far too many years. Existing for others, surviving a war, forcing her mind to endure just one more day, just one more mission, just one more battle.

But as Naruto and Sasuke fight their final fight, Sakura slowly has no more reasons to hold it together.

OR

Sakura’s pov of manga chapters 696-699. As per my view and poetic liberty.

other tags: Final Battle, POV Haruno Sakura, Angst, Chapter 696-699 (Naruto), Building anxiety, Sakura’s pov of the Final Sasuke/Naruto fight.

TUMBLRAO3INSTAGRAM


I’d Call As You Climbed by Puck Malamud

fiction || arcane: league of legends (2021) || platonic or familial, f/f || caitlyn/vi (league of legends) || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 5,639 || complete

summary: > “You’ll have to excuse Vi,” the skinny kid with big eyebrows drawled. “She’s a punch first, ask questions later sort of girl.”

Caitlyn goes down to the undercity after Jayce’s workshop is destroyed and meets Vi and her gang. This doesn’t change anything. But then again, it might change quite a lot.

Written for Fandom Trumps Hate 2022

other tags: Alternate Universe – Canon Divergence; Alternate Universe – Different First Meeting; Arcane: League of Legends Season 01 Act 01; POV Caitlyn (League of Legends); Pre-Relationship; Pre-Femslash; Enforcers (Arcane: League of Legends) – Freeform; background Caitlyn & Jayce; Team Up; Privileged Character Unlearning Biases; Making Bureaucracy Work For You

TUMBLRAO3


thinking (about last night) by Rhosyn Du

fiction || red, white & royal blue || m/m || alex claremont-diaz/henry fox-mountchristen-windsor || explicit || no major warnings apply || 18,743 || complete

summary: “I hope you know that I am literally never going to stop reminding you that you said that. I’m going to, like, take out an ad in the student paper. Maybe hire a skywriter or something. I am definitely telling Pez.”

“I hate you,” Henry tells him.

“Lies,” Alex says, still laughing. “You know you love me.”

Henry lets out a heavy sigh. “Well,” he says softly, “that’s rather the problem, isn’t it?”

“What, you think we’d be better off if we still hated each other?”

“I think,” Henry says slowly, “I’d be better off if I could figure out how to stop being so stupidly in love with you.”

It takes a few seconds for the words to really register, as distracted as Alex is by the heat of Henry’s breath and wondering how much it would cost to actually hire a skywriter. Once they do, it takes a full minute before Alex can move. Can breathe. Can think.

Finally, he forces out a whispered, “What?”

When that gets no response, he tries again. This time, his voice actually cooperates. “Wait, what?”

The only response he gets is a soft snore and Alex realizes that Henry, the utter fucking asshole, has passed out on his shoulder.

other tags: Alternate Universe – College/University, Roommates, Drunken Confessions, Communication Failure, Idiots in Love, Pining, Jealousy, Light Angst, References to Depression

AO3


Castles in the Sky by Shadaras

fiction || 全职高手 – 蝴蝶蓝 | quánzhí gāoshǒu | the king’s avatar – húdié lán || platonic or familial, queerplatonic f+m (just in case: this is distinctly separate from the platonic relationships!) || queerplatonic chǔ yúnxiù & yè xiū, chǔ yúnxiù & shū kěyí, chǔ yúnxiù & team misty rain || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 36,613 || complete

summary: Here are two truths and a lie:

Chu Yunxiu is Misty Rain’s captain.

Chu Yunxiu is dating Ye Qiu.

Chu Yunxiu is happy to have the Shu twins on her team.

Of course, a lie can become true if you believe in it enough…

(A Chu Yunxiu character study.)

other tags: Aroace Characters, Mostly Canon-Compliant, Post-Canon, Team Feelings, Women-Centric, Fake Dating to Queerplatonic Marriage

AO3


Fledgling Bonds by Tris Lawrence/tryslora

fiction || teen wolf || poly (one gender: male) || derek/stiles/jackson || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 6,143 || complete

summary: When Jackson’s ambo is called to the building where he lives, he’s terrified it’s Derek. But no, it’s the guy next door, who has crowds of noisy people over all the time, and plays his TV loud enough to bother Derek into getting noise-canceling headphones. Jackson and Derek are more than a little surprised to discover exactly who that person is.

other tags: Panic Attacks, Canon Divergence, Future Fic, Polyamory Negotiation

AO3


​All of this month’s shared works are fanfiction – so if you’re in the market for something new to read this New Year’s Day, why not check them out?

Who We Are: Duck Prints Press LLC is an independent publisher based in New York State. Our founding vision is to help fanfiction authors navigate the complex process of bringing their original works from first draft to print, culminating in publishing their work under our imprint. We are particularly dedicated to working with queer authors and publishing stories featuring characters from across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Love what we do? Sign up for our monthly newsletter and get previews, behind-the-scenes information, coupons, and more

Posted on Leave a comment

New Release: “A Shield For the People” by Puck Malamud

What’s that sound? A creature moving in the forest? A ghost in the attic? A stirring in the graveyard? No! It’s just the third of our “Eerie Fall” theme stories, written to be released in conjunction with our current Kickstarter campaign – “Eerie Animal” Enamel Pins!

Title: A Shield For the People

Author: Puck Malamud

Genre: Historical with Magic

Rating: General

Character Features: jewish, non-human, trans, vampire

Tags: death and dying, monster hunting, past tense, period-typical antisemitism, pov third person limited, rape/non-con (implied), the undead, violence (non-graphic descriptions)

Teaser:

Sha’ul walked through the empty streets of the shtetl, listening to the sounds made by the residents as they settled in for the night—banking fires, salting doorways, barring shutters. It was a clear evening; the waning moon and the stars lit his steps sufficiently. The cool breeze of early autumn brought fear-scent to his nostrils.

The whole village stank of it.

Length: 8 pages/1.878 words

Price: 99 cents US

Pick Up Your Own Copy!

Can’t get enough Eerie Fall stories? Check out the first two theme stories: “Widow’s Black” by Nina Waters and “Campfire Stories” by Nicola Kapron.

Love what we do? Sign up for our monthly newsletter and get previews, behind-the-scenes information, coupons, and more!

Want to support the Press and get lots of our stories? Consider backing our Patreon or ko-fi monthly at a level that includes free stories, and read your fill!

Posted on Leave a comment

First-Ever Giveaway for One of Our Titles!

Are y’all familiar with Storygraph? It’s the independent alternative to Goodreads, a lovely website that does a lot of what Goodreads does, but without the whole “being owned by Amazon” crap. It’s been running for a while now, and we’ve been on it since the minute we found out about it (and got a paid account as soon as they offered them – $40/year to support such an amazing project? Heck yeah! Not that anyone has to give them $$ to be clear, the site is free to use). They’ve been steadily expanding, adding functionality, unrolling more publisher- and author-oriented features, and generally being awesome. And, with all that in mind, we were thrilled to hear that they were introducing a Giveaways function (which, on Goodreads, is often a great way to get the word out about a book), and we jumped on the chance to offer our debut anthology Add Magic to Taste as part of the very first run of Storygraph giveaways!

But enough about them – what about the book we’re giving away?

For Add Magic to Taste, 20 authors have come together to produce all-new, original short stories uniting four of our absolute favorite themes: queer relationships, fluff, magic, and coffee shops! Our diverse writers have created an even more diverse collection of stories guaranteed to sweeten your coffee and warm your tart.

So, check out Storygraph if you haven’t already, and check out our giveaway and the other awesome titles on offering (such as our own A. L. Heard’s Choose Your Own Adventure story), and enter to win your own copy of Add Magic to Taste!

The giveaway is running until October 18th, 2022, so if you want to throw in your hat for one of the 10 digital copies on offering, this is your moment!

Check it out now!

Posted on Leave a comment

Solicited Brilliance

Hey everyone! This is Aria, one of the resident fandom olds here to bring you a guest blog post this week. The topic is near and dear to my heart, so let’s dive straight into talking about that ever-ominous thundercloud – Writing Advice! 

Writing advice is a tricky subject for many authors – what works for one clearly doesn’t work for another, and what’s essential for one genre might not even apply to another genre . (Certain authors can pry adverbs from my cold, dead hands.) It doesn’t matter who is offering it, where, or when: it is an industry truism that writing advice is as varied as writers themselves. 

With that in mind, I asked ten different authors for writing advice, in the hope to highlight just how different we all are, even when approaching the same question.

The question I posed to everyone individually (so no one would get worried if they gave the same answer), was as follows: What is one piece of writing/writerly advice you hold as a Universal Constant? That no matter what you are writing or what you are working on still holds true?

As I hoped, the advice is as varied as the authors are!


@nottesilhouette:

Hmm I think for me, the Universal Constant is that [my writing has] got to make me feel good. Not necessarily happy, because I’ve definitely written through tears before, but it’s got to make me feel…satisfied, or give me catharsis, or lead me towards a goal I’m passionate about (looking at you, med school essays!). 

Even if [my writing is] for school, getting things done feels good, and for creative writing, I want to feel like I’ve stretched my writing brain or accomplished something cool — if I’m not getting that feeling, it’s time for a break and maybe a new plan of attack.


Hermit:

“You can’t think your way out of a writer’s block. Most of the time you need to write yourself out of a thinking block.” – John Rogers

When a story is fighting me this is often the solution. Either the scene is going against the characterization, the characters are lacking agency/being too passive, or I went wrong three sentences back; the answer to getting the story flowing is to write it differently and see how that feels. Rather than try to force an existing scene by coming up with better justification for an OOC (Out of Character) passage or diving into a new research rabbit hole.


Shadaras:

I don’t know where this advice first came from (it’s one of those things that just gets passed around until it’s from the general writer mindscape, especially in fandom spaces), but this is the advice I tend to ground myself in: “Write what you want to read.” What that means can vary depending on context, of course, but it gives a guiding point to return to when I’m stuck. 

The thing I want to read could be a specific character dynamic, or leaning into descriptions of the environment, or a plot beat I really want to hit, or even (in a nonfiction context) just the clearest explanation of an event/rule I know how to give. Writing what I want to read means that I’m going to enjoy myself more, and that means that I’m going to be able to write much more easily, and that makes it more likely I’ll finish stories and be able to share them with other people – and then I can find people who like the same things in stories I do, and we all win!


Annabeth Lynch:

The most constant advice that I really try to keep in mind is that sure, someone else may have written it, but not you. Everyone has unique experiences, and that makes your writing unique. No one can write something the exact way you would. It’s my favorite advice I’ve ever gotten, and I feel that it’s always relevant.


@ts-knight:

Writing by habit is often easier than waiting for the muse. When I feel out of practice in my writing, I find that starting again is an uphill climb, but setting a daily goal helps me get back into the flow. That goal could be just writing at all or a certain (achievable) number of words. That way, I know I’ve reached the goal not when I’ve hit a certain quality of writing, but when I sat down at the keys. Exercising my writing muscles (even when I’m afraid to) makes the creativity flow so much better than avoiding the ominous blank page!


@mad-madam-m:

[My writing advice is] that you have to finish. And I don’t mean that you have to finish everything that you write; I’ve got easily a dozen stories or more that are either unfinished or never made it past the first draft. But if you’re writing with the goal of sharing your stories with an audience, be that via fanfic or original fiction or what have you, I really think one of the best things you can do is learn to finish them. This quote about it in particular is one that I’ve held close to my heart for years:

“Finish. The difference between being a writer and being a person of talent is the discipline it takes to apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair and finish. Don’t talk about doing it. Do it. Finish.” — E. L. Konigsburg 


Sanne Burg:

I think my universal constant is that I write because I want to write, and I create for myself. That means not caring what other people think of the topics I write [about], as long as I’m behind whatever it is I’m writing. (It also means that I know when I’m forcing it and that I need to stop when writing becomes a chore rather than something for fun or a hobby.)


@theleakypen:

I think the one [piece of writing advice] that has been truest for me, regardless of what I’m working on, is that if something isn’t working [I should] step away from it for a bit and go work on something else. Usually if there’s a problem, I need to let it percolate in the back of my head instead of banging my head against a wall.


ThePornFairy:

Focus on the feeling. If you can write the feeling so that it’s filling you from the tips of your toes to the hair on your head, then you’re on the right track. People don’t care half as much about the setting and wording as they do about the feeling. 

When people say “step inside your character”, I think what they mean is “let your character feel and feel along with them until feelings come out on your page and stab your reader’s eyeballs until they’re feeling right along with you.” Everything else can be edited later, as long as you capture and express the emotions.


@tryslora:

Fall in love with your characters. If you don’t love them, no one else will. And yes, this includes the antagonists and every single side character. And while you’re doing that, remember that every single character thinks they are the star of their own narrative, so let them tell you what it is, even if it’s not the main storyline. Let them come alive.


Wonderfully said, everyone! I’m going to add my answer to the question as well, because sometimes, I’ve needed this reminder far more than I’ll admit! 

@arialerendeair:

Don’t be afraid to write badly. Or poorly, or lazily. (Take that, Mr. Adverb-Hater.) There is a freedom I never realized before in allowing myself to write “badly:” to overuse certain words, phrases, and even styles as I write my rough draft. When I remember not to focus on the minutiae of a story, I can focus on the bigger problems, and fix the small ones later. Once the words are on the page, they can be fixed, but they have to be put on the page first. Write badly, edit, learn, get better, and write again. 

Writing advice as a topic is a mix of controversial and contradictory; all advice should be applied in moderation rather than treated as an endless stream of syrup being poured over a stack of pancakes. (And now I want pancakes…) It’s always all right if advice doesn’t apply to you – but understanding why the advice is given is important. There are other authors out there who might need the advice that isn’t right for you.

When I set out to write this blog post, I had two goals. The first was I wanted to highlight how varied writing advice and tips can be. The second one was for everyone reading it to walk away with one piece of advice that they could hold to heart because it fit them. I accomplished the first, but the second is entirely up to every author reading this. 

The one consistent theme through all of this advice comes down to two words: Keep Writing. Whether that’s daydreaming about your story or putting the words down on the page, write. 

Keep writing. 

Last, but not least, I’ll leave you all with the same question, because I know there are more answers out there that we all would love to hear:

What is one piece of writing/writerly advice you hold as a Universal Constant? That no matter what you are writing, what you are working on, still holds true.

Stay sassy, everyone!