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Next Weekend: Duck Prints Press at Fandom Fest!

Proctors logo

Fandom Fest 2023 – the largest con aimed at fantasy enthusiasts in Upstate New York – is taking place next weekend, Saturday, August 26th, and Sunday, August 27th, at Proctor’s Theater in downtown Schenectady, New York!

As fate would have it, where is Duck Prints Press based? Why, in Schenectady, New York! So of course, we’ll be there – vending at a convention for the FIRST TIME EVER! We’ve been hard at work gathering all our merch, organizing the print books left over from our past campaigns, getting supplies so we can easily get set up (we own a hand truck now!), and PREPARING FOR OUR PANEL!

Yes, we’re hosting a PANEL! Featuring yours truly (I’m unforth, aka Nina Waters, aka Claire Houck – last one’s my actual name 😀 ), authors Shea Sullivan, Catherine E. Green, Tris Lawrence, and Willa Blythe, and Albany Law School professor Rob Heverly! Our author Nova Mason will also be putting in a cameo at our booth, handling sales while the rest of us are en-paneled.

Fans show their love of their fandoms in many ways, and one of the most common is by writing fanfiction! Among fanauthors, it's common to dream of a future in publication. How can fanauthors make that dream a reality? That's the topic of this panel! Hi, we're Duck Prints Press, an indie press based right here in Schenectady, and we're fans who work with other fans to publish their original work (ofic). There are many considerations when looking to make the transition from fanauthor to ofic author, and we'll be looking at many of those considerations and answering your questions. We'll discuss several common paths people follow when they seek to get published, "barcode scrubbing" and other fanfiction-specific publication concerns, copyright concerns and contract pitfalls, what our Press does, and more! Bring your curiosity, your favorite blorbos, and your questions—we look forward to seeing you there! 

So, if you’re gonna be at Fandom Fest (it’s not too late to get advance tickets!), make sure you come say hi! We’d be thrilled to meet ya!

(and, while I know we’ll be your main inducement for attending, might I mention that Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, and a bunch of other celebrities will be there? and a bunch of gaming? and of course a cosplay contest? it’s gonna be lots of fun, y’all…)

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June 2023 Releases: 6 All-New Titles from Duck Prints Press Just in Time for Pride Month!

Happy Release Day, Everyone! We publish new short stories and novelettes for our General Imprint on the fourth Thursday of the month, and here we are with five new short stories and a novelette!


Title: Of Loops and Weaves
Author: Catherine E. Green

F/F, Getting Together, Maximum Fluff

Robin loves to sit in the local coffee shop, crocheting a sweater for her friend Dee, who she hopes will become more than a friend.

She doesn’t expect to need to frog a chunk of project.

And she really doesn’t expect Dee to walk in on her doing so…


Title: Solarpunks: Viva la Revolución (a story in the Solarpunks ‘verse)
Author: J. D. Harlock

Found Family, Utopian Future, the Very Teenage Urge to Rebel Against Authority

The future is perfect, with strong community ties, collective ownership, plenty for all, and an ideal balance of private life and public life.

In such a setting, what’s a group of bored teenagers to do to shake up the order of things?

Sami, Ros, and Amara aren’t sure…but Sami has a plan.


Title: Seal Island
Author: K. B. Vimes

M/M, Queerplatonic Relationship, Ace Trans Main Character, Selkies

Michael has always known he was a boy, and always known he didn’t fit in with either the boys or girls around him in the quiet fishing community where he grows up. To escape the insistence of his friends and family that he become a “proper young lady,” he seeks refuge on the island in the bay where the seals sun themselves during the summer.

It’s not until he’s 18 that he realizes he might be able to make the island a more permanent home. Will the seals welcome the young man who’s never felt like he’s belonged?


Title: More Than We Deserve
Author: Nicola Kapron

M/M, Finding a Slice of Hope Amidst Dystopia, Trans Main Character, Spies and Super Soldiers

Every year, the employees of The Winterborne Group have to fill out Form 301-A, checking off boxes related to gender and sexuality to enhance the megacorp’s diversity numbers.

This year, Dice uses this opportunity to finally, after years of passing, tell the company he’s trans.

That’s not the problem.

The problem is that Grey, Dice’s favorite company-owned Horizon super soldier, has asked for Dice’s help completing his Form 301-A.


Title: Live Like There’s No Tomorrow (a short prequel story in the Welcome to PHU ‘verse)
Author: Tris Lawrence

Family Feels, Surviving Cancer, Finding Hope Through Everyday Struggles

Middle-school student Jackson is not particularly upset about his cancer; the doctor’s assure him he’ll recover, and his biggest concern is that his friends will be a grade or more above him by the time he’s able to get back to school.

Well, that and that he’s sure that his mother is keeping a secret from him, but he can’t figure out what that secret is and she’s not talking about it.


Title: Moongatherer
Author: Willa Blythe

F/F, PTSD, Recovery From Trauma, Bonding While on a Quest Together

The Summer Solstice is approaching, the day when the sunlight lasts the longest and the dangers of being out in the world, exposed to the harsh rays, is greatest. As is their way, Clan Firefox has once again chosen two representatives to travel to Moon’s Rest and make an offering to the Goddess to bring the moonlight back.

No one is surprised that Pomegranate will be making the journey.

But everyone is shocked when Honeycomb is selected, and no one more so than Honeycomb herself.

And, as they set out on their journey, all Honeycomb can see is the memory of harsh solar rays and burning fires…

Maybe during this journey, these two young women can find more than they ever thought to seek…


Think they all sound amazing? Well, you should, because they are. And we’ve got you covered – you can buy ALL SIX of these new titles in one awesome bundle – and save 20% off the list price for buying each story individually!

Come on over to the Duck Prints Press webstore and find your new favorite short story! And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the anthology we’re Kickstarting!

Want more stories, and to support our awesome, queer-owned, fandom-based small business indie Press? We rely on your backing on Patreon to keep our prices low and maximize the royalties we pay to authors! Support us, and get free stories every month – the higher your backer level, the more you get!

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WE 💕 LESBIANS! Celebrate Lesbian Visibility Week and Indie Bookstore Day by Checking Out Our Short Stories with Lesbian Characters!

As young as Duck Prints Press is as an organization (just over 2 years of publishing under our belts!) we’ve already got out numerous stories featuring wlw, and many featuring lesbians specifically!

Our anthology She Wears the Midnight Crown features 17 wlw stories that take place at unusual masquerades or in settings where the masks aren’t literal but the secrets are all too real. Some characters are ace, some lesbians, some bi; some are cis, some are trans, some are non-binary. Regardless of how they identify, the entire collection is one delightful, wonderful pile of wlw feels, every story with a guaranteed happy ending.

Other Stories with Explicitly Lesbian Characters:

  • our anthology Add Magic to Taste – a scrumptious collection of queer love stories playing out in magical bakeries, coffee shops, and tea houses – has two (out of 20) stories with lesbians: “The Magic Kin Knows” by Owl Outerbridge and “Something in the Water” by Willa Blythe
  • Clerical Error by Dei Walker (erotica) tells of the attraction between a cleric and the mercenary who has been hired to protect her.
  • Meet C(omm)ute by Violet J. Hayes explores the affection that develops between two women who share a morning bus commute every morning.
  • Best Friends AND… by Tris Lawrence relates how two long-time friends finally overcome their mutual pining to go from friends to lovers.
  • To Fill My Cup by Violet J. Hayes welcomes us to the home of a woman celebrating Passover with her family, and her hope that her girlfriend will be home in time to join them.
  • In the Moonlight by E. V. Dean (erotica) also gives us two long-time friends who share enough to realize that the love they feel for the other is entirely mutual.

AND, you can check out our f/f tag for General Imprint stories and f/f tag for Erotica Imprint stories and find even more wlw stories! There’s also more f/f stories available to people who back our Patreon, such as “Commute” by Eliot Lovell, our latest backer reward story.

AND AND, if that’s not enough – our catalog is small but always growing! We have another wlw story coming out next week, several in our upcoming anthology Aim For The Heart, and even two novels coming that feature wlw relationships! So even if our current offerings aren’t your cuppa, consider following us on social media or signing up for our newsletter!

HAPPY READING, EVERYONE!

Who We Are: Duck Prints Press LLC is an independent publisher based in New York State. Our founding vision is to help fan creators publishing their original works. We are particularly dedicated to working with queer authors and publishing stories featuring characters from across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

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“He Bears the Cape of Stars” and “She Wears the Midnight Crown” Books and Merchandise Now on Sale!

Duck Prints Press’s anthologies He Bears the Cape of Stars and She Wears the Midnight Crown, featuring 34 stories by 34 authors exploring the potential for mlm and wlw relationships growing and changing during unusual masquerades, are now available! From science fiction to fantasy to modern to historical, these anthologies take the reader to many different settings, with larger-than-life characters exploring the world around them, the people they meet, and themselves! The casts are as diverse as Pride itself, and whether they’re looking for love, a second chance, a companion, or a friend, these books have a little bit of everything!

HE BEARS THE CAPE OF STARS, featuring 17 mlm stories, is available for sale on:

The Duck Prints Press Website | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

SHE WEARS THE MIDNIGHT CROWN, featuring 17 wlw stories, is available for sale on:

The Duck Prints Press Website | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

…and many other major e-book sales platforms! And you can request your library purchase it through the e-book lending program of their choice!

AND THAT’S NOT ALL!

Extra merchandise from the masquerade anthologies crowdfunding campaign is now on sale too! Did you miss the campaign? Are you dying for an amazing tote bag, a gorgeous bookmark, an aromatic candle, a glossy sticker or two, a new patch, or some lovely queer art for your walls? You can get this merch, and lots of merch from our past campaigns, from our website NOW!

She Wears the Midnight Crown merchandise: art print | bookmark | dux sticker

He Bears the Cape of Stars merchandise: art print | bookmark | dux sticker

Other campaign merchandise: chibi masquerade patch | scented candle | tote bag

Was there campaign merch you wanted that’s not available on our store? We have very limited quantities left of our enamel pins, and we have a whole heck of a lot of seconds (as in, damaged copies) of the print books! If your interested, feel free to drop us a line on any of our social media platforms or at info at duckprintspress dot com – we’d be delighted to hook you up!

Come now to the Duck Prints Press website and GET YOUR BOOK ON! You’re not going to want to miss these amazing collections or any of the gorgeous merch!

(and if you can help us spread the word by sharing this post, we’d appreciate it a lot, too!)

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, claim free stories, and get backer-exclusive extras when you support our crowdfunding campaigns? Back us on Patreon or ko-fi monthly!

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December Storygraph Giveaway: She Wears the Midnight Crown Anthology!

What’s this? Why, it’s Duck Prints Press doing another giveaway on Storygraph! Our two masquerade-themed anthologies, She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars, will be distributed to crowdfunding-campaign backers in early January, and listed for sale on our website in late February or March. Didn’t back the campaign and want to get a copy of She Wears the Midnight Crown, which features wlw stories set at unusual masquerades or masquerade-inspired settings, before the official release? Well, this is your moment!

What is Storygraph? The awesome independently owned-and-operated alternative to Amazon-owned Goodreads! Working with them as a publisher doing this giveaways has been phenomenal: they’re organized, receptive to feedback, interested in innovative, and responsive. We’re thrilled to continue working with them on giveaways. If you’ve wanted a Goodreads alternative for organizing your reading, posting your reviews, logging your book collections, and more, you should definitely check them out.

What is Duck Prints Press? We’re the indie publisher dedicated to helping creators transition from creating primarily fanworks to creating primarily original works! We especially focus on publishing works featuring LGBTQIA+ characters.

What is She Wears the Midnight Crown? Along with He Bears the Cape of Stars, She Wears the Midnight Crown is one of a a pair of anthologies which share the same theme, but feature different kinds of relationships. For these anthologies, we sought pitches for stories featuring masquerades – the more unusual, the better! While we love classic “historical setting, mistaken identity” shenanigans, we’re looking for stories more out-of-the-box (under-the-mask?) than that. 17 authors contributed wlw stories to this collection, and the works range from heartwarming fluff through dystopian drama!

Want your own copy of this awesome, innovative collection? Enter our giveaway on Storygraph NOW!

Holding out for a copy of He Bears the Cape of Stars? Don’t despair – we’ll be doing a Storygraph giveaway for that one in January, ending February 18th, so keep your eyes peeled and your “enter now!” button click-finger ready!

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 and read your fill!

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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!

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Received Asks: How Did You Pick the Name You Create Under and What Influenced that Decision?

A collaboratively written post by multiple members of Duck Prints Press. The input of every individual author has been used and lightly edited with permission and credited in the way they’ve requested.

Two days ago, a member of Duck Prints Press posed the following questions to our blogging team:

  • Whether you publish under a pen name or your given name, what factored into your decision to use one or the other?
  • Was personal safety the primary reason behind deciding to use a pen name, or were there other reasons? 
  • If you use your given name, do you feel safe? 
  • What’s your advice for [creators] who are thinking about publishing original [work]? 

A number of us replied, and we all felt that the compiled responses would make a good post to share, as “whether or not to use a pen name” is a recurring question we often get in-server, and is likely one many of y’all out there thinking of publishing your original work have pondered as well. 

Do you publish under a pen name or use your given name, and what factors influenced your decision to use one or the other?

@arialerendeair: I publish under a pseudonym and always will! I decided to go with names that riff off my fanfic name (Aria Lerendeair) – Aria L. Deair (for non-erotica) and Aria D. Leren (for erotica) because I’ve built a community and wanted it to be a bit of an in-joke when they find/buy my content. If someone were to find the story organically – they might get the name reference, they might not. It’s a fun way to create not-separation between the names and have one for the different genres! 

boneturtle: I (try to) stay anonymous aside from necessary contracts because of personal safety as regards certain family members. I honestly don’t worry about strangers knowing who I am, but if I am aiming for anonymity I have to commit.

Annabeth Lynch: I use a pen name, but I plan on taking at least the first name as my legal name when possible. I won’t share that or my pen name with my family because 1) they don’t know I write, and I’m not content to share that with them at all, and 2) I don’t want them to know I’m queer. They likely wouldn’t be hellish about it but I would certainly be mocked. Also, now I live in the south and while I live in a liberal section because of the nearby colleges, the place I want to move after my husband’s schooling is ~liberal~ in a vague way but definitely not as good as where I am now. It’s one reason why I’m hesitant to try and get my books in bookstores that might want in-person events.

Dei Walker: I went with a pen name for the erotica I wrote for DPP (and I’ll keep with that), but the first name holds a link with my real name in some ways. My husband’s a teacher at a fairly prestigious private school, and there’s a degree of “yeah my wife writes smut” that’s okay with colleagues but isn’t okay if the parents find out about it if they use search engines to learn more about me.

Willa Blythe: I chose to use a pen name. One, my real name is kind of weirdly spelled and I don’t actually even use my first name because it is a very popular name from the 80s that my parents left a letter out of… I go by my middle name but I spell it differently than what’s on my birth certificate, and I’ve gone by this name since I was 18. Everyone in my life knows me as (NAME) save my family, and they know I go by that. It’s not a nickname, it’s my name, and that’s fine. 

Anonymous: I decided to use a pen name for two reasons: 1) my name is incomprehensible to English speakers – not only is it hard to pronounce, but it also uses special characters; 2) I’m a primary teacher in a small town where gossip goes wild (for example, when I decided to go part-time so I have more time for writing it was going around that I was pregnant ) so I don’t want anyone to find out that I’m queer and write queer romance. There are idiots out there who wouldn’t want me to teach their kids because of that. I eventually came up with a pen name that is a word play on my legal name so it still feels like me, and the people I want to know would recognize it as me but strangers are unlikely to make the connection.

Nina Waters ( @unforth ): I publish under a pen name because people always mispronounce my last name and my understanding is that it’s better to make a pen name people can pronounce. Back when I was still considering trad pub, I was planning to use multiple pen names so I could write across genres. Nina Waters was gonna be spec fic and romance, but I love historical drama type stuff too and like. Those sell better with a male name on them? So I was gonna use either C. P. Houck (so, my actual initials and last name) or Charles (or maybe Chuck) P. Houck, since Charles is a family name (my uncle, my grandfather, and my great grandfather on my dad’s side are all Charles’s). That all said, when I decided to go the small Press creation route instead, there was basically no way to keep my real name out of things since as the owner I have to put it on all official paperwork, which means it’s filed with the government and a matter of public record. Since anyone could access it, there didn’t seem to be much point in keeping it a secret/separate. 

Was personal safety the primary reason behind deciding to use a pen name? What other reasons influenced your decisions?

(some authors included their answers to this in their replies above)

Nina Waters: Not really, though I did originally concoct the Nina Waters name for a really silly version of personal safety? I was writing a thing based on my unrequited feelings for someone and I obviously couldn’t put that under my real name without risking them figuring it out, so I needed a pen name. I never did finish that project lmao and now I would never bother but the pen name stuck. 

arialerendeair: Part of [why I use a pen name] is because I was doxxed (and received threats) from a non-writing community almost a decade ago. I’m not afraid of attaching my real name to my works – I’m proud of them! But with the very real possibility of that happening again at some point in the future, I didn’t want to risk it!

Willa Blythe: There was an additional reason that using a pen name was important to me, though. When I wrote fan fiction, I was the victim of a targeted hate campaign aimed at people who wrote fanfiction about a certain character. I wrote fic that I loved and I stayed in my corner, but I got aggressive and hateful messages constantly about not only myself but also my young son, for the crime of choosing to write about a young man of color instead of the overwhelmingly popular white m/m ship in that fandom. It was alarming, especially when people I didn’t know sent me messages about my workplace and my movements there. Prior to that, I’d been pretty open online. I’m not now. I take doxxing very seriously. My son’s safety, but also my own and my roommate’s, are of huge importance. I write about things people don’t love: complicated queer relationships, critiques of capitalism and white supremacy, critiques of religion and spiritual practices, etc. I have to do what is necessary to create distance between my real life, my fandom life, and my writing life. That said… I’ve done more to separate my fandom and writing identities than my real and writing identities, for a variety of reasons. It’s complicated, but as much as I love fandom, it does breed a certain kind of entitlement that my personal friends and family just don’t have.

If you use your given name, do you feel safe?

@owlishintergalactic: My wife and I had a huge conversation about the implications of me writing under my wallet name. I am quite politically involved in the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education sectors in my county and state. This is a sector where being openly LGBTQ can cause problems with a particular subset of parents and voters. Yet, we don’t believe we should have to hide who we are and that we are LGBTQ – like many other parents in our state. We decided, in the end, that since I don’t write anything more racy than “mature,” it makes sense to build my platform using my real name. My writing is a part of me. It is a part of my advocacy. It’s my profession. But it is a risk, and it’s mitigated some because I live in one of the most open and inclusive communities in the US. For the most part, though, I do almost all of my online work under a variation of Owlish because it creates a layer of protection between me and the internet masses who don’t always have the best intentions.

Nina Waters: I. uh. Mostly? I definitely worry about it. I’ve been thinking about getting a P. O. Box for the business so I at least don’t have to use my real address all the time too. I worry that if someone took offense to the kind of work I do, they could go after my children, and that scares the crap out of me. In retrospect I wish I’d worked a little harder to keep my identities separate, but they were already mostly merged by the time I had kids and I’d have had to completely restart with new screen names and everything, so it felt like it was already too late by the time the business became public.

What’s your advice for [creators] who are thinking about publishing original [work]?

Nina Waters: The advice I give to people in the Press is if they’re even a LITTLE unsure, they should use a pen name. At any time when they decide they’re comfortable they can always switch to using their real name, but once the genie’s out of the bottle there’s no putting it back.

arialerendeair: There are a great many reasons to choose to use a pseud! For your own personal reasons, for reasons involving your spouse, your family, your activism work, because the internet is a scary place sometimes and many grew up in the web safety diligence era. If you are picking up a pseud for any reason at all – great! They can be fun, they can be punny, (is it a coincidence that D is the middle initial for my pseud that I write erotica under? Nope!) and they can be a chance to reinvent yourself for an audience that doesn’t know you yet. There’s a power in being able to shape a persona – and sometimes it’s fun to grab that and see where it leads!

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Do you – yes, you, the person reading this! – use a pen name for publishing your art, fiction, or other types of creations? Have you kept your fandom, creation, and meatspace selves separate? We’d love to hear your answers to the above questions, so feel free to comment and weigh in!

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Have a question? Feel free to drop us an ask any time!

Want to support what we do and get access to extras and behind-the-scenes information? Back us on Patreon or ko-fi!