An anthology of HOPE

for a brighter future

Friends! I want your gender stories.

Stories about how coming out and living authentically changed your life for the better, despite the challenges.

Not to pretend there are no challenges. And not to downplay them.

But for this project, I want to focus on wholesome, uplifting, empowering stories.

Stories to create an Anthology of HOPE.

Because people need to hear this. Especially now.

There are 2 ways to contribute:

1: A SHORT STORY

I’m looking for up to 1500 words, approx. It’s fine if it’s shorter, though. This should be about your lived experience, and end on a positive note 🙂

and/or…

2: A SNIPPET OF DELIGHT

I’d like to use these short pieces as little highlights throughout the book. This can include a short paragraph, poetry or prose, or even art (ensure it’s reproducible in black and white, though.)

Here are some questions to use as writing prompts or other inspiration:

  • When you were in the closet, questioning, unsure, feeling alone – what messages would you like to have read?
  • What would have soothed you, comforted you, knowing that better times could be ahead?
  • What wasn’t out there that you wish there was?
  • What (and/or who) has helped you along the way? A shoutout to people, books, resources, etc.
  • What would you say to your younger self now?

You can contribute either a story, or a snippet, or both.

Contributors will be credited along with their website and/or social media links. Depending on the success of our upcoming crowdfunding campaign, a small financial gesture may also be offered.

Got questions? See the FAQs below. If there’s anything you’re wondering about that’s not there, let me know!

Let’s celebrate this amazing community and the unique individuals in it, and show how much more we all have in common than we are different.

Lots of love to you all 💜

Esther handwritten signature

Send in your stories by

09/09/2024

Questions?

Find the FAQs below.

Ready to submit your story and/or snippet?

Use the form below.

Are you not looking to submit a story but want to know when the book comes out?
Fill in the form below and we’ll keep you posted.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When is the final submission date?

I need your stories by 09/09/2024 at the latest, please. (That’s September 9th, for those puzzled by the numbers.) If you get a wave of inspiration and get it to me sooner, that would be fab. Then I can get an idea of what we’re working with.

How long should my story be?

I’m looking for anything from a few lines to a short story. 150-1500 words approx. It’s not an exact science.

How do I submit my story to you?

You can send us your words in the following ways using the form below:

  1. Uploaded text document (Word, Pages, PDF, etc)
  2. Online doc or resource (URL/link)
  3. Text pasted in the message box (note: this will lose any formatting)

Alternatively, you can email it to us at info@fiftyshadesofgender.com

Can I use a pen name?

Absolutely. You can use your full name, first name only, or a pen name, as long as the story is about YOUR actual lived experience.

How much does it cost to take part?

It’s free to take part.

(Note: authors may get an advance if they go down the route of traditional publishing, but any other routes to publishing (self/indie publishing, or hybrid publishing) cost time and money. Prices range from not very much (if DIY-ing) to thousands of $$$/£££ for help with any or all aspects of the process, including planning, writing, editing (including proofreading), designing & typesetting, printing, promotion, marketing, best-seller strategies, etc. I’ll be creating an information page to help budding authors understand this process better as I learn about it as well!)

What do contributors get?

Besides becoming a published author (if they’re not already) contributors get their picture, a short bio, and up to 3 (web/social) links on a dedicated contributor page on the (book) website. Depending on the success of our upcoming crowdfunding campaign, a small financial gesture may also be offered (around £10 per person) – priority will be given to those who opt out of being on the contributor page for any reason.

(Note: authors may get an advance if they go down the route of traditional publishing, but any other routes to publishing (self/indie publishing, or hybrid publishing) cost time and money. Prices range from not very much (if DIY-ing) to thousands of $$$/£££ for help with any or all aspects of the process, including planning, writing, editing (including proofreading), designing & typesetting, printing, promotion, marketing, best-seller strategies, etc. I’ll be creating an information page to help budding authors understand this process better as I learn about it as well!)

Does my story have to be new, or exclusive?

If you’d like to use a story you’ve already written (and shared), that’s ok, as long as it’s about YOUR life experience. Anything partly or fully generated by AI will not be accepted.

Do I need to be a professional writer or have a big following or platform to be eligible to contribute?

No, not at all. I do ask that you help promote the book – and possibly the crowdfunder – by sharing this with as many people as possible.

Can I only submit one of the two options? So either a story or a snippet?

You can contribute either a story, or a snippet, or both!

I'm a parent/caregiver of a gender-expansive child or adult. Can I send you my story?

Absolutely, if you have the explicit consent of the person you are referring to in the story to share it.

Is the copyright still mine if I send you my story?

Absolutely. You own, and continue to own, the copyright to your piece of writing. You basically give me permission to reproduce your work for this anthology, and for promoting purposes.

What will you do with the income from book sales?

Once costs are covered, I plan to use the project income in a number of ways;

  • Donations to an LGBTQIA+ charity (as a contributor, you can nominate one if you like)
  • Topping up the funds for future production and promotion of the book
  • Reinvesting into another related or future project for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Transparency note: when you hear organisations say “proceeds will be donated to…” that tends to mean ‘part of the income (from sales)’. It could be 100%, it could be 1%. Or less. It’s a big grey area. That’s why I say the ‘project income’ above. I don’t know if there’s an official word for it but to me that means everything money related to do with the book, including (but not limited to) crowdfunding income, donations, and book sales. I will be transparent about how the money moves in this project, what things cost, what I’m learning, expected and unexpected things, etc. ‘Costs’ includes everything to do with producing a finished book in various formats. I’ll pay myself a wage for the roles I take in this project (project managing and design) and besides that, I’ll be paying for editing, proofreading, sensitivity reading, mentoring and consulting, promotion, ads, marketing advice, and probably a whole lot more I’ve no idea I even need at this stage. 

When will the book come out?

I am hoping by the end of the year, but it may go into 2025. I’m expecting the unexpected. But once I have a clearer idea, I’ll tell everyone about it 🙂

How and where will the book be published?

As for right now, the plan is to publish it on Amazon* and possibly via IngramSpark. The ebook will also be for sale directly on the website in a variety of formats. If I find a way to fund a bigger print run, I could also sell the paperbacks from the website. I’m learning as I go so I’ll have to see what happens!

(*I’m not a fan of Amazon AT ALL, but truth be told, if I want the book to be out there and available to a wide-ranging audience, Amazon is the place for that, so I’ll have to put my personal opinions aside!)

What formats will the book be available in?

I plan to publish it in ebook format, and then paperback soon after. There are no plans for other formats yet (like hardback, audiobook) but who knows!

Will the book include photographs, or text only?

I envision this to be a text-only book, BUT as I start the design, I may want to add some pictures here and there. There’s no pressure to submit a picture, though, but if you do, make sure it’s high resolution. A picture will definitely be an option with your bio on the book website.

SUBMIT YOUR STORY HERE

There are 3 ways to submit your story or snippet:

You can upload a text document, link to a Google Doc or other shared file, or copy and paste it here.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Word, Pages, PDF, or other simple text file are good.
Please be aware that you may lose the formatting, in case you'd like to use bold, italics, etc.

Got more questions? Get in touch via the contact form.

3D mockup created on DIYbookcovers.com