Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How to say 'no, thank you' to M/M and F/F

It is not often I can draw the do and don't examples from a single publisher--in this case Scarlet Publishing. I fully understand that gay and lesbian romance is a niche that some publishers do not include. For example, it is perfectly reasonable--even rather helpful--to specify:

"We are not seeking M/M or F/F romances at this time."

However a press release for a contest from the same publisher states:

"Entries that include m/m, f/f, bondage, rape, or bestiality will not be considered and will be returned to the author. All genres of romance will be accepted."

(Bold and italics were in the original, not added by me)

All genres of romance, except of course anything relating to perverts. This from a promotional post sent to a gay fiction yahoogroup.

[Feb 10th] Edited to Add: It has been pointed out that the website page referring to this contest used to use similar phrasing but it was changed to remove any mention of m/m or f/f. Might I respectfully suggest just sticking to the perfectly sensible and diplomatic phrase used on their main site: "We are not seeking M/M or F/F romances at this time." Writers of gay romance may not appreciate the way the original exclusion was phrased, but they would also not want to waste their time or that of the editor writing for a contest not open to m/m or f/f material. Publishers not comfortable with gay fiction should, of course, not solicit it. But as with any matter of sexuality (as with race, religion or politics), tact is called for.


Ana Lee Kennedy said...

Sites need to use tact, but sadly, many don't.

veinglory said...

Maybe I am getting oversensitive. That sure does happen.

But it's not like I expect every publisher to be as inclusive as Freya's Bower :) -- it's just that on issue of sexuality (faith or other important matters) thought could be given to phrasing, IMHO

Amanda Young said...

I don't think you're being over sensitive at all. They could have just said they didn't accept them and leave it at that. There was no need to make it bold.

Kis Lee said...

i agree with amanda. the bold print wasn't necessary.

romblogreader said...

It wasn't the bold so much as putting it in the same sentence as bestiality and rape that caught my eye...