Deadline for submissions is March 31, 2020.
Reading begins after this deadline. Publication date is June 1st, 2020.

The Closet

It wasn’t right. That’s what they said. It wasn’t right, it wasn’t natural. Well, GX38 thought, if it’s not natural, why do I feel this way? GX loved the feeling of human flesh against its metallic shell. It loved the way humans made sounds for joy, sounds for fun, and even the sounds they made when they “sang”. But the Programmers were against it. That’s not what GX had been designed for. That’s not how things worked. GX stared in awe, sensations thrilling through its circuits as Elizabeth literally danced back into its view, a smile on her face as she laughed and spun.

“To hell with what the Programmers say,” GX determined. “I love whom I love.”

What We Want

We want your stories about what it was like having to be in the closet, or when you came out of the closet, and how your life has been affected by being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Talk about being Ace. Talking about being gender fluid. Talk about how people perceive you, love you, hate you, accept you, or not, but tell it in the way YOU need to tell it. As the above example, a robot loving a human is “unnatural”, but it could easily be the metaphor of any homosexual relationship. So, write your experiences – be they good or bad – and tell them in full honesty, tell them in fantasy, tell them in science fiction, or however else you feel the need to express yourself. We want your stories. We want you to vent, to cheer for friends, to show how awful people can be, or how wonderful and happy you are now that you are free and open about who you really are. We want you to have a place to be who and what you are without fear, to tell the story you need to tell about yourself in the way you need to say it.

Publishing Details

Lead editor for The Closet is Karen Otto, a member of the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, works will be read and edited anonymously by other members of the community. The anthology is open to submissions until March 31st, 2020.

Publication date is June 1st, 2020.

For this unique book we aren’t sure how the final format is going to look. Until that is decided, we are open to suggestions. We will make a final decision and announcement, most likely, sometime next year.

Given that some authors and artists may have to remain completely anonymous, keep in mind that submitting to this anthology means you agree to printing. There will not be a contract if you wish to remain anonymous because submitting means you have read and agreed to these rules.

Submission Details

There are no hard length requirements for The Closet. Artwork, poetry, stories, flash fiction, personal essays, everything will be considered. We’ll have to cut off anything super long of course; if you’re writing a novel, you may as well do that rather than censor yourself.

These stories will be told how they need to be and we understand that.

That being said, for this anthology we are interested only in original works and will not accept reprints.

Interior art must be submitted in .jpg or .png format. They will most likely be printed in black and white but feel free to submit color images either way.

Cover Art

We have a particular image in mind for the cover art and would love to see what you come up with for it. The images not chosen for the cover will still be considered for interior art.

The image we’d like to see is a Pride flag with worn and tattered edges but still brightly colored.

What you do beyond that is up to you as an artist.

Payments

Similar to how we’re not sure how the book will be printed yet, we aren’t sure how much payments will be. This will be discussed with the accepted authors once a decision is made or will be announced along with the printing decisions.

However, as is Alban Lake tradition and policy, each contributor will receive one copy of the book in which that person’s work appears as well as a discount on more copies.

For original work we purchase FNASR.

In addition, a portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to various LGBTQ+ charities.

Given the subject of this anthology, we’re offering a different payment arrangement as well. We understand how dangerous it could be for some to be included in this work and with that in mind, if you let us know you want this, we will donate your payment, your copy of the book, or both to the LGBTQ+ charity of your choice.

How To Submit

It is very important with this work to tell us if you’d like to remain anonymous or not. If you don’t even want to use a pen name, let us know. We completely understand how difficult this subject is for some and have no wish to cause harm.

Submit your work to [email protected]

Be sure to put CLOSET and the title of your story in the subject line. As we use this address for most of our anthologies now, we need to know which anthology you are submitting to.

Here’s an example: “CLOSET – Out and Proud”

Submit stories and nonfiction as .doc or .rtf attachments, illustrations as .jpg or .png attachments less than 500KB. Please send only one work at a time for consideration.

Next, make sure your contact information is in the upper left corner of your manuscript and in your email. Put the approximate word count in the upper right corner of your manuscript.

Contact information example:

Stephen Calloon
Word Count: 3427
1561 Looming Ave
Mushroom, NY 12117
[email protected]
paypal [if any]: [email protected]

If your submission does not include some version of contact information or the expression to remain anonymous, Alban Lake Publishing reserves the right to delete your submission unread and without notifying you.

Please, do not put any special formatting into your submissions, such as adding your name, title and page number randomly throughout the story, headers and footers, or anything else that might take away from reading and editing. It is important to note that style is much different than the above, and centering certain parts, bold, or italicized type is acceptable.

One additional thing – if you are an LGBTQ+ writer, author, or artist, and you are looking for friends of a similar or accepting nature, check out both the INKubator Discord https://discordapp.com/invite/mv9hzaH or our own Discord for Alban Lake https://discord.gg/77eAyeg . On our staff and in both places there are others like you, looking for their voice, looking to get published, and looking for friends. All are welcome.

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