Earlier this summer, I saw an anthology submission call on Storm Moon Press’s for a Trans* story. The call was due October 30th and I had a very long percolating idea that I believed would fit it fairly perfectly. Feeling excited and inspired,and finding myself with an unexpected free day earlier in the summer, I banged out around 9k of a rough draft, knowing that I’d need to flesh it out, slow scenes down, etc, by about 10k more words to make the story work.

A few weeks ago, SMP announced in a blog post that they were reorganizing anthology submission calls. Their reasons were understandable and sound, so I support their decision. At the same time, I looked at my little story and thought, “Now what do I do with you? It was on my calendar to have you ready to submit by October. Now the due date has been pushed to June 2014. Do I really want to just put you aside for that long?”

I decided that I would do just that, focusing on what I am supposedly committed to finishing this year: ’90s Coming of Age Novel (real title to be revealed when it’s, ya know, done).

But then a week or so ago a friend asked me, “Hey, you know your Trans* story? Do you think it would work to turn it into a Young Adult book? Maybe expand it out to 45k instead of just the 20k originally planned? Because Harmony Ink is looking for YA Trans* novels/novellas, and based on what you’ve told me about this particular story, it seems easy enough to age them down a bit, de-sexify it in terms of how hot the single sex scene is, and expand the scope.”

So, I took a look-see. And, yes, I could do that. It would be a completely different story in some ways. She’s right that I’d have to tone down the sex scene, but there is only one, and that had been something that concerned me about whether or not SMP would accept it, because (I could be wrong!) I think they are usually a little more heavy on the erotic material.

Part of me thinks, “You should do this. What do you have to lose?”

The other part of me answers, “Time on ’90s Coming of Age Novel for one.”

After all, there is a big time commitment difference between a 20k short and a 45k novella. And, well, that sex scene I’d be toning down is kinda hot and I’d hate to kill it. But it might be for the best. Hmm.

But, here’s another thing to consider, if Harmony turned it down, which, you know, let’s keep it real, is likely to totally happen, then SMP does have a YA imprint, right? Oh, except they’ve closed their doors to unsolicited submissions at this point, I think. Does that apply to their YA imprint? I should email them and ask. That might make a difference for me. If I’m going to expand this thing into a YA novel/novella, then I would want to make sure I had multiple options for submissions. I’ve got self-publishing plans for other books but this particular story was never intended for that and so, as much as possible, anyway, I’d like to keep it in the “to be submitted” pile.

Oh, and that brings up the whole pen name thing. Would I need a new one for YA books? Lord knows the sexy fairy tales aren’t targeted to teenagers.ย So many things to consider! So much priority juggling if I do this!

Thoughts? Opinions? Personal thoughts you’d like to share about your experience with either press? Feel free to email at “leta dot blake dot author at the mail of g” if you want to share anything privately.

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11 thoughts on “SMP, Harmony, and What To Do? To Expand Trans* Story Or Not? #publishing #help #amwriting

  1. Hi there. Happy to connect with you again on another post in regards to transgender fiction. I am already learning more from you than I knew before and writing transgender/LGBT fiction is what I do. I actually submitted a novel to SMP for their Thunder Moon Imprint (non-erotic), and the full manuscript was recently requested. :o) I would love to know more about other publishers interested in this genre as well, so I will be thrilled to keep up with the information you bring. Thank you much. And oh – my novel “Secrets & Lies” โ€ is a multicultural, transgender, romantic, chick-lit drama. One last thing. Who is LT3. Never heard of that one. Thanks. :o)

    1. Hi! I’m happy to connect with you again, too!

      I am already learning more from you than I knew before and writing transgender/LGBT fiction is what I do.

      Super excellent! *high five* Always good to meet another author working in similar areas.

      I actually submitted a novel to SMP for their Thunder Moon Imprint (non-erotic), and the full manuscript was recently requested.

      Well, congratulations! I’d love to be kept in the loop about how your experience with them progresses. ๐Ÿ™‚

      ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ) I would love to know more about other publishers interested in this genre as well, so I will be thrilled to keep up with the information you bring. Thank you much.

      Love being helpful! ๐Ÿ˜€

      And oh โ€“ my novel โ€œSecrets & Liesโ€ โ€ is a multicultural, transgender, romantic, chick-lit drama.

      Very cool! Let me know when it comes out. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’d be happy to host you here on teh blog for promo, btw.

      One last thing. Who is LT3. Never heard of that one. Thanks. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ )

      That’s Less Than Three Press. –> http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/

      I’ve not worked with them before, but I’ve heard they are reasonable to work with and I’ve not heard anything negative about them at all. Of course, I only know one person published with them, so my sources are limited, but she seemed happy! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Hello! I’m Nessa, the YA coordinator at Harmony Ink Press. This post pinged on our blog, so I followed the link.

    I wanted to tell you we do accept stories as low as 15,000 words, so you wouldn’t necessarily have to expand it. (45,000 words is the limit for print. We publish ebooks down to 15,000.) Obviously I can’t say whether we’d accept the story or not without reading it, but I would love to consider a trans* story.

    1. Hello, Nessa! Thank you for stopping in to comment and fill me in on Harmony! This is very helpful information. After rolling the story around in my head for awhile and trying to figure out what it will require, I’ve decided to tell the best story possible and let the length take care of itself. Here’s hoping I have a finished product I can submit for your consideration sooner rather than later. I’ve heard such nice things about Harmony and, if it worked out that you were interested in the book, I’d love the opportunity to work with you. Thank you again for your kind comment!

  3. I was going to say that LT3 would definitely be happy to consider it, but EE Ottoman beat me to it ^__^ But yes, we are def looking for more trans* stories if you need a home for it (though it looks like you’re pretty set, which is awesome. good luck whatever you do!)

    1. Awesome news, Megan. I will definitely keep y’all in mind when I’m looking for a place to sub the story. I need to actually finish it first. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here I go, as usual, putting the cart before the horse. Thank you, though, for commenting!

  4. I just signed a contract with Prizm Books, the YA imprint of Torquere press, and it’s been a pleasure so far. I know they are actively seeking submissions that are anywhere from 3,000-100,000 words, and, from what I can tell, they don’t have any Trans* stories/books yet. Just another option for you to consider when submitting!

    I’ve also worked with SMP in the past, so if you have any questions or concerns about them, I’d be happy to talk to you.

    More info: http://prizmbooks.com/submissions.html

    1. Hi, John! I’m sorry I am just now replying. When you commented, I was on an airplane and I’ve been a bit in over my head ever since getting back. Thank you so much for your offer of information. I would love to talk about your experiences. Can’t have too much information about potential publishers these days!

      Now, back to writing this scene so I can finish this other novel asap! ๐Ÿ™‚

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