A Truth Universally Acknowledged Story and Art Guidelines

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The theme of this anthology is Queer Fanworks Inspired by Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” This book will feature 20 stories of up to 5,000 words and at least 20 full-page color artworks. Only authors who are currently working with Duck Prints Press are eligible to contribute to this anthology. For artists, we will do internal and external recruitment, and we are planning to post a call for artists on January 1st, 2024.

All creators will need to be familiar with some version of Pride and Prejudice. 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 Pride and Prejudice, 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 for selecting this theme from the options we provided them!

To help potential creators and our readers become more familiar with Pride and Prejudice, we’ve compiled the following list of resources:

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 fall of 2024. Subsequent to the campaign, post-fulfillment, the book will continue to be sold on the Duck Prints Press website. We have not yet drafted the budget for this project, but it will likely be comparable to the budget for our previous Queer Fanworks Inspired By… project.
  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.

Story Guidelines

  1. Only authors already involved with Duck Prints Press are eligible to apply to this anthology.
  2. Up to 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 or published their stand-alone works in our webstore.
  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 $500 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 anthology publication. After that, all rights revert to the author, though Duck Prints Press reserves the right to continue selling e-book 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. 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 Pride and Prejudice and must include queer elements and/or characters and/or 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 Pride and Prejudice, that won’t fly. To help a reader draw the connection, when you submit your finished story to us, you will be asked to provide a short (up to 200 words) 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 dialogue 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 anthology is primarily aimed at adults but is not mature-themed or explicit.
  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 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.

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 up to 20 artists to contribute an artwork of A4 size (210 mm x 297 mm or 8.27 in x 11.69 in), plus 3.5 mm/0.125 in of bleed. Works must be 300 dpi, RGB/SRGB, and submitted in PSD or TIFF format.
  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 art and fanart as samples, as long as the merit of the work can be recognized without fandom-specific knowledge. 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 create; 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, 2026, whichever comes first. We reserve the right to continue selling e-book 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 $500 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 Pride and Prejudice and must include queer elements and/or characters and/or 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 Pride and Prejudice, that won’t fly. To help a reader draw the connection, you will be asked to provide a short (up to 200 words) 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. Artwork must be rated either “general audiences” or “teen.” This anthology is primarily aimed at adults but is not mature-themed or explicit. 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.

Have a question not addressed in these rules? Check our FAQ, e-mail us, message unforth on Discord, or send us an ask on Tumblr!