What Storytime is, and how to participate
1) WHAT IS STORYTIME?
- A private, informal workshop for authors who want to improve their skills through critiques and feedback from their peers.
- A supportive community where aspiring authors can take wing.
- A fun place for people who write for the pure joy of it. No pressure, no judgement, no rejection.
Storytime forms include: Short stories, Quickies, Novellas, WIP chapters (Works in Progress), flashers, and poetry.
2) STORYTIME FORMS, WORD COUNT, POSTING RULES
Short Stories (over 1200 words)
Quickies (up to 1200 words)
Novellas (Completed works ranging from 25,000 to 40,000)
Novels (Works in Progress; i.e. novel chapters)
Posting time for stories, quickies, novellas and novels: Thursday through Saturday U.S. East Coast Time (never on Sunday)
Allotment per author: One (1) of each form during above time frame
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Flashers (200 words max)
Poetry (No word restriction)
Posting time for flashers and poetry: Sunday (never Thur-Sat)
Allotment per author: Three (3) flashers and unlimited poems
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Critiques: Anytime, any day, no limits. When responding to any original Storytime post, please include CRIT in the subject line of your email.
- Stories, Quickies, Novellas, & Novels (WIP chapters) are posted Thursday through Saturday, never on Sunday.
Authors are limited to 1 each per week: 1 story, 1 quickie, 1 novella, 1 chapter of a WIP.
Note: Novellas should be complete, and may be posted either all in one day, or over the course of a week. You may also choose to post your novella over several weeks, in which case you must post only one chapter per week, just as with novels and WIPs.
If your work is longer than 4000 words, post it in parts over multiple emails. Subject line examples: Leering Lechers, Part 1 of 3, Leering Lechers, Part 2 of 3, and so on.
Do not post revisions during the same week as the original posting. This will give you time to sift through all the crits for the most useful information.
Categorize stories. A simple ‘this is a sci-fi (romance, horror, lesbian, homosexual, BDSM, etc) story’ is fine. If authors feel a more detailed explanation is necessary, that’s fine also.
In the subject line of your email, please state the correct information:
NOVEL: Title, Chapter #
- Flashers (200 words), and Poetry are posted on Sunday. That means flashers & poetry are restricted to Sunday, and only Sunday. Flashers are stories written in 200 words or less. As an exercise, flashers help authors tighten up their writing by eliminating wordiness. Details at: Flasher & Poetry Sundays.
Authors are limited to 3 flashers, and unlimited poems per Sunday.
In the subject line of your email, please state the correct information:
- Critiques are welcomed at any time.
Important! In the subject line of your email, include the word ‘CRIT’, a catch-all word for comments, critiques, replies, thanks yous, or any response to Storytime works.
If you post works for critiques, you must state so right up front. Otherwise subscribers will assume you don’t want critiques on your works.
BE SPECIFIC! State exactly what you want. Chances are if you ask, you’ll get what you want; if you don’t, you won’t. Do you want tough honest crits, or do you want gentle remarks? Perhaps you want to know if the plot works; if the grammar and structure are correct; maybe a scene needs help; perhaps the Flasher doesn’t flow, or you need help with the poetry form; you’re having problems with the dialogue, or the ending is giving you fits. Maye you want a general overview. Not sure what to say? Here are a few ideas:
- I’m submitting this story to So&So call for submission and would appreciate serious in-depth critiques…
- I’m shy (first time posting a story, nervous, etc), and would like gentle input on…
- I’m posting for the fun of sharing an erotic story (flasher, poem) and would like readers’ comments. No critiques please.
Please don’t ask for critiques if you don’t plan on revising your work, ask for general comments instead. And if you do ask for critiques, please don’t complain when you get them.
Important! Storytime is an informal workshop. It was not created solely for subscribers’ reading pleasure. It was created to help writers improve their work with astute comments and critiques from their peers. If you post works for critiques, please return the favor and help other authors by critiquing their work. Everyone should make an effort to critique at least two works, more if time permits. If you want in-depth critiques, you should give in-depth critiques.
Always keep in mind: You are critiquing the work, not the author. Do not pass personal judgement on authors for the content of their work.
“What you read is not what I wrote. I supply the text, you supply the meaning.” —Mike Kimera
Before participating in Storytime, we strongly suggest every subscriber read the information at:
NOTE: Storytime is not a chat list. Nothing besides prose, poery, and CRITs should appear in Storytime.
By now you’re probably confused and a little overwhelmed. Don’t worry, weekly reminders are posted so everyone is riding the same wave as to what, when and where.
3) PARTICIPATION INFORMATION:
SUBSCRIBE BY FILLING OUT THIS FORM:
- Images and attachments are not allowed. We don’t have anything against them — it’s just that they take up space, and we pay for the mailing lists by the amount of space we use.
- Consider your signature. Keep in mind your email is a professional statement, not a billboard for bios or extensive lists of published titles. Signatures are restricted to a max of 4 short lines.
- ERWA website Erotica Gallery: Many of the stories shared during Storytime are featured in the Erotica Gallery on ERWA website. ERWA editors ask authors privately (off-list) for permission to feature their work in the gallery for three months.
Please Note: Because stories are featured in the gallery for a limited time, editors/publishers generally don’t consider ERWA gallery stories as previously published material. However, editors/publishers of Best Of anthologies do consider gallery stories as published material. It also depends on the call for submission. If the call emphatically states no previously published works, your best bet is to submit the story, and state that it did run in ERWA’s gallery for 3 months (state the months and year), that ERWA takes no rights, and doesn’t require previous publication citation.
Bottom line, it’s always a good idea to inquire, and be honest. Suggested text (thanks to ERWA subscriber Elizabeth Schechter):
“The story was featured for three month in the Erotica Reader and Writers Association Gallery, where it was well received.”
4) STORYTIME GUIDELINES:
- No underage characters: no characters under 18 allowed in scenes where sexual activity occurs. This is a legal issue, so no pushing the envelope on this one.
- No rape: Non-consent is one of those foggy areas where writers can stretch the boundaries if the story line demands it. However, keep in mind our prohibition is against featuring rape for the sake of titillation. Also, no after-the-fact consent, where a character is brutally raped, but then amazingly decides it was the best screw of his/her life.
- No incest: Meaning no brother/sister or parent/offspring sexual activity.
- No bestiality: No domestic or barnyard type animals. However, sentient creatures, fantasy/magical beasts and such things are good to go.
- No Attachments: Place your story in the body of your email.
- No Plagiarism: Never post works that are not yours. Do not post collaborative works that include non-subscribers. No exceptions allowed.
- When responding to a work, delete as much of the original message as possible, leaving only enough to reflect what you’re replying to. Also include the “—-Original Message—-” portion that includes title and author of the work you are referring to. This will establish the date for the original posting, so subscribers can tell if they’re reading a crit for a story posted during a previous Storytime week.
- Always copyright your work! See below for an example of how to include a copyright notice.
- Format Standard: left margin justified, one blank line between paragraphs, copyright notice. See below for an example of how to format your work.
Example of ERWA formatting standard
by (author’s name)
Copyright (include author’s name and email address, year)
Everything left margin justified, no indentations and no tabs. She bitched constantly about formatting errors. Sometimes he just wanted to take her keyboard…
On a final note, one blank space between paragraphs.
Copyright (date) (name, email address). All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.