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Old 07-05-2006, 08:08 AM
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Ruthie's Club


Story Guidelines

Dear Author—

Welcome! When publishing a story at Ruthie’s Club, you will be working with Fiction Editor, Neil Anthony (Neil@ruthiesclub.com), or Operating Manager, Desdmona Dodd (Desdmona@ruthiesclub.com). Please direct questions and comments to Des or Neil.

In this document:

* Author Agreement. The binding agreement between you and Ruthie’s Club.
* Story Themes. What content is acceptable to Ruthie’s Club and what is not.
* Categories of Stories. Which stories fit where, old, new, and lengthwise.
* Special Events. The special issues Ruthie’s Club publishes.
* Submission Process. How to submit a story.
* Editing. Our goals in editing.

AUTHOR AGREEMENT

Stories published at Ruthie’s Club are subject to an author agreement. For all new stories, the agreement states that you own the rights to your work, but give Ruthie’s Club exclusive use for six months, beginning at the date of publication. After six months, you are free to publish your story wherever you like, but the story will remain in Ruthie’s Club’s archives.

There is no exclusivity period for previously published stories that we may accept for publication. Note, however, that we do not pay for previously published material.

The author agreement text is listed in the Submission Process section below. Be sure to include it in the body of the email of your story submission.

We base compensation on the length of the story. See our Story Pay Scale for complete details. Upon acceptance, authors are also given six months of free access to the website.
STORY THEMES
Acceptable Stories

Ruthie’s Club is committed to maintaining a tastefully sexy image in the erotic story community. Our stories are written by adults for an adult audience. Therefore, we will consider only those stories that meet our high standards of quality and readability. We must have the complete work in our possession before we publish any story. Unfinished or “draft” stories will not be accepted for publication.
Unacceptable Themes

We will not accept stories falling into these categories:

* Celebrity/Fan Fiction. Stories describing named celebrities engaging in sexual or non-sexual activity will not be accepted, nor will stories based on popular sources copyrighted by other entities (a.k.a. “fanfic,” “slash,” etc.). We will not use such stories, regardless of quality, because of the serious implied issues of copyright, libel, and right to privacy.
* Real People. Similarly, stories describing actual, living people engaging in sexual or non-sexual activity—even if the activity is purported to be true. It does not matter if you think you have permission to write about these people. We have no way of confirming such permission without undertaking extraordinary measures.
* Pedophilia. Stories dealing with characters less than fourteen years of age, or stories depicting sexual activity between children, or between children and adults, will not be accepted. In borderline cases, Ruthie’s Club management must agree unanimously to accept the story, or it will be rejected.

Themes Conditionally Accepted

We may accept stories in these categories, depending on plot elements and other considerations:

* Rape, Torture, and Snuff. We will not accept stories containing sexualized violence for its own sake. To be considered, such stories must have strong supporting plot elements.
* Inflammatory/Defamatory. We will not accept stories written simply to be inflammatory, racist, or sexist. To be considered, such stories must have strong supporting plot elements.
* Mind Control. We do not discourage Mind Control stories. However, we are seeking the “cream of the crop” from the genre. That is, stories with strong plots and moral depth, not stories in which the mind control elements exist only to allow the protagonist to copulate with as many people as possible.
* Extreme Genres. We encourage authors of extreme genres to build strong plots to support the extreme elements. We will consider these stories for publication providing they meet Ruthie’s Club standards. We will not consider any story created solely for shock value.

STORY CATEGORIES

We categorize stories as new or old, and by story length.
New and old stories

By new stories we mean stories that have not been published anywhere, in any medium. Old stories are stories previously published. Our mainstay is to bring exclusive, first-run fiction, but we also enjoy spotlighting our hardworking authors and their work in our Classics slots.

We will accept an author’s old story for our Classics category only after publishing a new story by that author. Note that we do not pay for old stories.
Story Length

The length of Ruthie’s Club stories ranges from full-length novels (presented over multiple issues) down to Flash stories (shorter than three hundred words). The bulk of our stories fall somewhere between. To give value to our subscribers, we ask for stories of a minimum length, depending on how we plan to publish them.

* Standalone. Stories that are typically 3,500 to 7,000 words and fill one feature slot. They tend to be a complete story from start to finish.
* Short Story Groups. These are typically stories shorter than 3,500 words grouped into one feature slot as a duo, trio, or quartet. For example, a group of three short stories of around 1,200 words each might fill one feature slot under a collective title. These stories may or may not follow a common theme.
* Serials. Longer stories, typically novels or novellas, will be broken up over several issues. Each issue will include an installment of length comparable to a standalone story.
* Flash Groups. At Ruthie’s Club, a “Flash” means a story of no more than three hundred words that fulfils the requirements of plot, character development, and resolution. We normally group five or more Flash stories from different authors to fill a single feature slot. If you are a new to Ruthie’s Club, you will need to send at least three separate flash stories before we accept you as a Ruthie’s Club author.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Ruthie’s Club keeps reader interest high by varying its regular weekly presentations with theme weeks, author festivals, and holiday issues.

* Theme Weeks. Theme weeks typically feature stories focusing on the same general theme. Past theme weeks have included Outdoor Sex, Dangerous Women, Sex & the Old West, Sex & Sci-Fi, Sports Bras & Jock Straps, Erotic Noir, and BDSM Week. We advise our authors of new themes as we dream them up, and you are always welcome to suggest a theme you’d like to write on.
* Author Festivals. Author Festivals spotlight the works of one of Ruthie’s Club authors. These weeks feature a variety of stories designed to display a spectrum of the author’s writing talent—plot, topic, length, etc. If you are interested in having your own Author Festival, please let Desdmona or Neil know about it.
* Holidays and Special Issues. In issues around holidays and other special days—Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, and the Ruthie’s Club Anniversary (August)—we do issues on the theme of the special day. You are welcome to write a new story for any or all of these weeks or suggest one of your old stories that fit a holiday theme.


Here is a short list of important items to check off before submitting a story. Correctly formatted stories help eliminate confusion and keep the editing process running smoothly.

1. Include the SUBMISSION TEXT (listed below) in the body of the email (not in the attached story file).
2. We have a strong preference for Microsoft Word documents sent as email attachments.
3. Only one story per attached file—attach a separate file for each story you submit. Every story must have its own SUBMISSION TEXT.
4. Remove page headers and footers. This includes: addresses, copyrights, word counts, page numbers. On publication, your copyright message will be displayed at the bottom of every page.
5. Stories are sent to artists and editors; for privacy reasons, do not include personal information anywhere in the file.
6. No special paragraph formatting.
1. Left justified
2. Single spaced
3. No leading or trailing space around paragraphs
4. No tabs or other indentation
7. Use normal paragraph marks (type Enter in Word). Be careful to avoid using linefeeds (produced by typing Shift+Enter).
8. Separate paragraphs by a blank line (press Enter twice).
9. Use italics for emphasis. Do not use CAPITALS or underlining or bold.
10. Separate story sections by two asterisks (**) between two blank lines.
11. Use curly (‘’ “”) and not straight (" ') quotation marks and apostrophes. In Word, use Tools | AutoCorrect | Autoformat As you type | "Straight Quotes" with “smart quotes”.
12. Use em-dashes (— not – or --). In Word, use the numeric keypad, Alt+Ctrl+Num– Or see Insert | Symbol. No spaces on either side of the dash.
13. If your story (or story group) is more than 3000 words long, include a Teaser before the start of your story and highlight it in green. Note that a teaser is not a plot summary—it is a sentence or two designed to lure prospective readers. Be short and catchy.
14. If your story (or story group) is more than 3000 words long, include an Illustration Idea after the teaser and highlight it in red. The illustration idea should include a description of the characters and the scene intended for illustrating. You may highlight a scene in the story in blue to help the artist find it.

When making post-edit revisions, please do not reverse any of this formatting.

See our Story Guidelines for information on the kinds of stories we run. See our Story Pay Scale for our current payment scale. See The Ruthie’s Club Stylesheet, compiled by Nat, for a more thorough treatment of style issues. See How to Rite Good, compiled by William Hickey, for many tips on writing erotic stories.

* * *

All submissions must include the following text in the body of the email. Submissions without this text will not be accepted. Replace the underlined items with your and your story’s information.

SUBMISSION TEXT
I, (author name), writing as (pen name, if different),
author of (story title), agree to the
following: I am the original author of this story. I
own this story's copyright. I am legally entitled to
submit this story. I confirm that this story has not
been previously published. I agree to withhold the
story from all publication during its six months
exclusivity at Ruthie's Club. If Ruthie's Club
accepts this story for publication, I agree to allow
the story to remain in the Ruthie's Club archives
indefinitely.
END SUBMISSION TEXT

* * *

Here is an example of a correctly formatted story.

Teaser: (If your story is more than 3000 words) Bob always learns things the hard way—you should never piss off a woman in a full leg cast, especially if you ever want to get laid again.

Illustration Idea: (if your story is more than 3000 words)

Bob: a short, scrawny, bald man with blue eyes. He’s wearing red Speedos and has swim goggles around his neck. He looks a like Dustin Hoffman with no hair.

Jill: A tall, skinny blonde with a plaster cast up to her hip on one leg. She’s wearing a striped bikini top and red short-shorts. She has big tits.

Scene: It’s a hot sunny day. They are on the beach under a big beach umbrella. Jill is hitting Bob over the head with a crutch. She’s angry and he’s cowering. People in the background are looking at them with surprise. There’s a seagull with a gold necklace in its mouth standing nearby.

**

Title
By (your pen name)

Here goes your story, formatted according to our style guide and story submission checklist. Single-spaced with a blank line between paragraphs. Use “curly quotes.” We use an em-dash—which looks like this—for our dash punctuation, and italics for emphasis.

Mark section breaks by a line of two asterisks.

**

It’s a good idea to mark the end of your story with an end mark of some kind, to make sure nothing gets accidentally truncated during editing.

-end-

* * *

Submit stories to Fiction Editor Neil Anthony (Neil@ruthiesclub.com) or Operating Manager Desdmona Dodd (Desdmona@ruthiesclub.com).Story Pay Scale

Ruthie’s Club pays a publication fee to writers on the following scale:

Flash. $10.00 US
Our Flash stories are 300 words or less that fulfill the requirements for plot, character development, and resolution.

Short Short Stories. $15.00 to $20.00 US
$15.00 for stories 1000 words or less that do not fall into the Flash category. $20.00 US for stories more than 1000 words that do not meet the requirements for the Standalone category.

Standalone Short. $45.00 US
These stories are typically 3,500 to 7,000 words.

Two Installment Stories. $60.00 US
Stories 7,000–14,000 words are broken into two parts. Each part must be long enough to fill a feature slot (3,500–7,000 words).

Longer Installment Stories. $75.00 to $350.00 US
We have limited openings for stories more than 14,000 words to run as serials. Exact pricing depends on the length of the serial.

Read our Story Guidelines for full details on our story requirements. All submissions should be formatted according to our Submission Checklist.

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