“Aim For The Heart” Story and Art Guidelines

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The theme of this anthology is Queer Fanworks Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s “The Three Musketeers.” This book will feature 20 stories of up to 5,000 words and at least 20 full-page black-and-white or grayscale artworks. Only authors who are currently working with Duck Prints Press are eligible to contribute to this anthology. Artists who have worked with us previously and those who haven’t are encouraged to apply. Applications are currently open, from now until October 15th, 2022. The links are on the anthology’s main page.

All creators will need to be familiar with some version of The Three Musketeers. However, we’re talking an extremely liberal view of what counts as a “version.” We’ve said, only slightly jokingly, that it would be fine if someone only read SparksNotes, or if someone based their story on their child’s book report, or if someone just read the Wikipedia synopsis. As long as your transformative work is in any way recognizable as related to The Three Musketeers (or either of the other d’Artagnan Romances), we’ll allow it. We want to spread a broad tent and make it easy for people to be involved; we do not want to get all snooty about a classic.

A big THANK YOU to our Patrons and ko-fi backers for selecting this theme from the options we provided them!

To help potential creators and our readers become more familiar with The Three Musketeers, we’ve compiled the following list of resources (note that the creator of this list is in the US and we cannot guarantee that all links will work outside the US):

Free Versions

  • Wikipedia Synopsis with information on characters, adaptations, and more.
  • SparkNotes
  • English translation available from Project Gutenberg
  • 1939 musical comedy adaptation starring Don Ameche and the Ritz Brothers
    • Entire film is available, free, on YouTube.
  • 1978 musical TV series adaptation, with three 90-minute episodes, entitled D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers, starring Mikhail Boyarsky and others. In Russian.
    • All three episodes appear to be available, for free, on YouTube.
  • 1995 live action abridged adaptation starring Wishbone (Season 1, Episode 33 of Wishbone: The Muttketeer)
    • Available for free streaming on YouTube.
  • All for One is a modern retelling TV series made by KindaTV and available here.
  • You can also check a full list of versions of the Three Musketeers in French, some of which are available free, others not.

Available for Purchase, Rental, or via Subscription

Books:

Movies and TV Shows:

  • 1921 silent film adaptation starring Douglas Fairbanks
    • Included with a YouTube TV subscription and on Prime with a Fandor subscription
    • Available for rental on Prime.
  • 1936 animated Disney short adaptation entitled Three Blind Mouseketeers.
  • 1948 film adaptation starring Van Heflin, Lana Turner, June Allyson, Angela Lansbury, and Gene Kelly
    • Included with DirectTV and WatchTMC subscriptions.
    • Available for rental on Prime for $1.99. Rental on other platforms also available. Full list here.
  • 1973 film adaptation in two parts, called The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers, starring Oliver Reed, Frank Finlay, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York, Faye Dunaway, Raquel Welch, and Christopher Lee
    • Included with a BFI Player Classics subscription on Amazon Prime.
    • All streaming rental/purchase options listed here.
  • 1992 pornographic version The Erotic Adventures of the Three Musketeers
    • All streaming rental/purchase options listed here.
  • 1993 Disney film adaptation starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt, Chris O’Donnell, and Tim Curry
  • 2001 film adaptation entitled The Musketeer, starring Tim Roth and others.
    • Available for streaming with a Starz Subscription
  • 2004 Disney animated film adaptation entitled Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers.
  • 2009 animated feature film adaptation entitled Barbie and the Three Musketeers.
    • All streaming rental/purchase options listed here.
  • 2011 film adaptation, starring Luke Evans, Ray Stevenson, and Milla Jovovich
    • Included with Starz, Hoopla, and DirectTV subscriptions.
    • All streaming rental/purchase options listed here.
  • 2014 BBC mini-series adaptation starring Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera, Howard Charles, and Luke Pasqualino
    • All streaming rental/purchase options listed here.
  • 2019 Audible Original Drama, a retelling of the story from Milady’s point of view.
  • 2021 animated film adaptation entitled Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds
    • Steaming on Hulu with a subscription.
    • All streaming rental/purchase options listed here.

Other Adaptations:

  • DOS video game entitled Touche: The Adventures of the Fifth Musketeer. Appears to be information here on how to download and emulate this title.
  • WiiWare side-scroller video game. More information here.

There are countless versions of the Three Musketeers out there, and ultimately which you pick to use as inspiration is/are up to you; this list includes those that are most easily accessible, those that looked especially unusual/interesting, and of course as many free options as we could track down.

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General Rules and Guidelines:

  1. All contributors must be 18 years old or older.
  2. You must be respectful toward your fellow applicants, collaborators, and the anthologists at all times. 
  3. You can apply to be an author contributor or an artist contributor. You cannot apply to be both an author and an artist in this anthology!
  4. This anthology will be published in print and in e-book formats. The print book and the e-book will initially be sold during a crowdfunding campaign that we anticipate holding during the summer of 2023. Subsequent to the campaign, post-fulfillment, the book will continue to be sold on the Duck Prints Press website. Assuming minimum funds are raised, contributors will receive a free e-book copy of the book. Feel free to review this draft of our budget for more information about our projected costs.
  5. This is a paid publishing opportunity. Contributors will be required to sign a contract. As such, you must be willing to share your legal name and address to participate in this anthology, and you must be legally able to work as an independent contractor in your country of residence.
  6. We will primarily be communicating with contributors via e-mail and Discord. All participants must provide an e-mail address they check regularly, and we encourage everyone to create a Discord account as well. Invitations to our Discord server will be included in acceptance e-mails. If you’re new to Discord, you can learn more about setting up a Discord account for yourself here.
  7. Please contact us if you have questions:
  8. Rules violations will result in consequences ranging from a warning through a ban, depending on how many infractions take place and how severe those infractions are.
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Story Guidelines

  1. Only authors already involved with Duck Prints Press are eligible to apply to this anthology.
  2. 20 authors will be recruited to write stories up to 5,000 words long (minimum word count: 2,500 words).
  3. To apply, authors who are involved with the Press will be asked to submit a short (no more than 400 word) story pitch describing what they’d like to write should they be accepted to the anthology. The DPP management team will review these pitches using a simple rubric, compile our collective scores into an overall rating, and use these scores to decide who to invite to author contribute. We will prioritize authors who have not been previously paid to work with us – those who have either not written for us at all (but are involved with the Press) or who have only written stories for our monthly backers. If we have fewer than 20 interested authors who meet this eligibility requirement, we will also accept other interested authors who have contributed to one of our previous anthologies.
  4. Authors will be paid a flat rate, regardless of word count, of $50 USD per story. Crowdfunding campaign stretch goals will aim to raise this amount in $50 increments up to a maximum of $400 USD per author. Even if the campaign doesn’t fund, all authors will receive the minimum payment, but payment in excess of $50 USD relies entirely on our success at crowdfunding and is not guaranteed.
  5. Authors will be asked to sign a contract regarding the use of the story in this anthology, with payment contingent upon completion of the story. Only specific rights (such as English Anthology Rights) are being signed over, and for no longer than a year post-publication of the anthology. After that, all rights revert to the author, though Duck Prints Press reserves the right to continue selling ebook and print-on-demand versions of the anthology on our website. For more information, refer to the sample contract we’ve shared.
  6. Stories must be new and never-before-published. You may use a story written previously, provided it’s a transformative work of The Three Musketeers. This ban on previously published works includes “repurposing” a posted fanfiction – if the story was previously posted/shared publicly as a fanfic, you may not “rebrand” or “scrub the barcodes” in order to make it fit this anthology.
  7. Stories must be in SOME WAY recognizable as related to The Three Musketeers and must include queer elements/characters/relationships. This could mean writing pre- or post-canon stories, alternate universes, original characters in the canon setting, retellings with different characters or in different settings, etc. We’re not going to heavily police what counts as a “transformative work,” but if someone reading the anthology can’t recognize that the story is related to The Three Musketeers, that won’t fly. To help a reader draw the connection, you will be asked to provide a short (up to 200 words-or-so) paragraph describing the inspiration behind your story. This inspiration paragraph is optional but encouraged.
  8. Stories must be primarily in English. Individual words or small chunks of dialog may be in a non-English language. If you use any non-English words, they should either be part of English vernacular (for example, “rendezvous”), or a reader should be able to infer their meaning from context, or a translation should be offered as a footnote.
  9. Stories must be rated either “general audiences” or “teen.” This is not a mature-themed or explicit anthology, though it is primarily aimed at adults (as in, it’s not YA).
  10. Please don’t share your work-in-progress outside of the Duck Prints Press Discord. If you’d like to publish a small sample (no more than 100 words) as part of a meme, work-in-progress update, or similar social-media usage, that’s acceptable – please let us know so we can share and boost your post on our social media accounts!
  11. Teasers and works-in-progress may be shared on our Patreon and ko-fi to offer exclusive early access/behind-the-scenes sneak peeks to our backers. These will only be shared with permission – we will ask for volunteers as part of the check-ins.
  12. Stories will undergo several steps of editing, including at least one “concept” editing run during which we will review for plot and structural issues with the story and at least one “SPAG” (Spelling and Grammar) editing run during which we will focus on grammar, word usage, etc.
  13. Once stories are complete, authors will be asked to select an excerpt from their story for use in promoting sales of the anthology. Excerpts should be no more than 250 words.
  14. Once your story is completed, we will work with you to develop a tag list to enable readers to navigate the collection, find content they’re most interested in, and avoid content that might make them uncomfortable.
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Art Guidelines

  1. This call for artists is open to both artists who are already involved with Duck Prints Press and outside artists interested in participating. We are recruiting 20 artists to contribute an artwork of A4 size (210 mm x 297 mm or 8 1/4″ x 11 3/4″), plus 0.125″ of bleed. Works must be 300 dpi, RGB/SRGB, and submitted in PSD or TIFF format. The anthology will be printed in black-and-white and your works must be created to work within this constraint (black-and-white or grayscale)!
  2. If an interested artist is already working with the Press, they must complete the appropriate form. We will likely be able to accept all already-involved-with-the-Press artists who apply to this project.
  3. Artists who have not previously worked with Duck Prints Press must meet the following minimum requirements to apply:
  4. Interested artists who have not previously worked with us are asked to submit three complete works of art from their oeuvre which they feel reflect an art style they’d like to use in this anthology. We accept both original and fanart as samples, as long as the merit of the work can be recognized without fandom-specific knowledge. We ask that at least two of these three pieces be in black and white and representative of the kinds of works we’ll be able to print in this anthology. Please, no erotica or NSFW pieces (no exposed penises, vaginas, breasts, or butts, including “artistic” nudity) among your three complete works (NSFW works in your linked portfolio are fine). Work samples will be reviewed by the project staff to select artists.
  5. Artists will be asked to sign a contract upon agreeing to contribute to the anthology, with payment contingent upon completion of the artwork. We are requesting rights solely related to the production, development, and sale of the anthology. The rights requested are: the right to display, modify, advertise, and transmit the artwork you produce; the right to produce art prints and other reproductions and the right to create derivative works such as merchandise and accessories. Our licensing of these rights expires either one year after the Anthology is published or on December 31st, 2024, whichever comes first. We reserve the right to continue selling ebook and print-on-demand versions of the anthology that include the artwork, and we may sell extras of produced merchandise, but we will NOT have the right to produce additional prints or merchandise. (Nor will we produce excess simply so we have more to sell; production levels will be geared specifically toward filling actual crowdfunding campaign orders.) If we decide to do future projects involving the artwork you’ve made, we will re-negotiate with you at that time. You can view a sample of the contract here.
  6. Artists will be paid $50 USD per single page of artwork. Our crowdfunding campaign will have stretch goals to try to raise enough funds to increase this amount in $50 USD increments to a maximum of $400 USD per page of art. Artists will be paid the $50 USD minimum even if the crowdfunding campaign doesn’t fund. There may be opportunities for artists to contribute more than one page, depending on how many qualified applicants we get and depending on how many authors and artists we accept. Once we have a final list of contributors, we will determine how many artists we can offer this opportunity to and recruit those interested from among the artists we’ve already selected for participation.
  7. Artwork for this anthology must be new and never-before-published. Re-working existing pieces is not permitted.
  8. Artwork must be in SOME WAY recognizable as related to The Three Musketeers and must include queer elements/characters/relationships. This could mean artwork related to a specific adaptation, an illustration of a specific scene, an imagined instance of canon divergence, a depiction of an alternate universe setting, etc. We’re not going to heavily police what counts as a “transformative work,” but if someone looking at the anthology can’t recognize that the artwork is related to The Three Musketeers, that won’t fly. To help a reader draw the connection, you will be asked to provide a short (up to 200 words-or-so) paragraph describing the inspiration behind your story. This inspiration paragraph is optional but encouraged, and we can help you edit it if you have concerns about your writing.
  9. This anthology is rated general and teen audiences. No works for it can be explicit, though works can be risque and/or depict violence.
  10. Only finished works will be considered for inclusion in this anthology. We understand that many artists have sketchy styles; that’s part of why we ask for you to share a link to your work and a sample on the sign-up survey. Your work for this anthology should be comparable in “polish” to your usual style.
  11. If you work in traditional media, you must be able to provide a print-quality scan or photograph of your work.
  12. Please don’t share your work-in-progress outside of the Duck Prints Press Discord. If you’d like to publish a small sample (such as a close-up of one section) as part of a meme, work-in-progress update, or similar social-media usage, that’s acceptable – please let us know so we can share and boost your post on our social media accounts!
  13. Teasers, sketches, and works-in-progress may be shared on our Patreon to offer exclusive early access/behind the scenes sneak peeks to our backers. These will only be shared with permission – we will ask for volunteers on the check-in forms.
  14. Once artworks are complete, please be aware that the management team will potentially use crops of your image to promote the crowdfunding campaign and the anthology.
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Have a question not addressed in these rules? Check our FAQ, e-mail us, DM us on Twitter, message unforth#6748 on Discord, or send us an ask on Tumblr!