Submission Call: Rachel Kramer Bussel and Cleis Press seek stories for Best Women’s Erotica of the Year - (Expired) Pays $225; due June 1

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Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of more than 60 of acclaimed erotica anthologies, has sent me a new call for short stories for Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 6, an annual anthology series from Cleis Press. The bulk of the collection will be contemporary stories, but the editor will consider sci-fi and paranormal pieces for inclusion.

Please note there are restrictions on who can submit to this anthology, as described in the complete call below: “This anthology is ONLY open to authors who are women, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and/or nonbinary. If you do not fall into one of these categories, do not submit to this anthology.”

Best Women’s Erotica submission call highlights

  • Publisher: Cleis Press
  • Publication type: Anthology
  • Editor: Rachel Kramer Bussel
  • Word count: 2,000–5,000 words (strict)
  • Payment:$225 and 2 copies of the book within 90 days of publication
  • Rights the publisher asks for: Exclusive right to publish your story in the print, ebook, and audiobook forms of the anthology for one year from publication. After one-year, the right becomes non-exclusive and you may publish the story elsewhere.
  • Deadline: June 1, 2019, 11:59 p.m. Eastern (strict)
  • Response date: July 1, 2020
  • Format: Standard manuscript format in Microsoft Word. “If you cannot use Word, submit as both an RTF AND include the full submission in the body of an email, including title, story text, bio, name and pseudonym (if applicable), mailing address and phone number.”
  • Will they take simultaneous or multiple submissions? No. Read more about multiple and simultaneous submissions.
  • Will they take reprints? No.
  • Contact address for questions that aren’t addressed in the submission call:

Complete details below in the unedited submission call sent to me by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Check for updates before submitting.

Rachel Kramer Bussel and Cleis Press seek stories for Best Women's Erotica of the Year. Pays $225; due June 1. Click To Tweet

Complete Call for Submissions: Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 6

Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

To be published by Cleis Press in December 2020

You are free to either reprint this entire call in full, including contract terms and embedded links, or include a mention of the call and link to Any updates to the call will be made here.


Rachel Kramer Bussel is looking for original, unpublished 2,000-5,000 word erotic stories fitting the theme of adventure for Cleis Press anthology Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 6. Authors whose stories are accepted for publication will receive $225 and two copies of the print edition of the book on publication. Please note the following important information regarding this call for submissions: If these guidelines are too long for you to read, do not submit to this anthology. Some information may be repeated in order to emphasize it. They are intended to save time for the authors, editor and publisher and provide useful information to increase your chances of acceptance. If you have any questions, check that they aren’t answered below before emailing. You must follow the guidelines in full in order for your story to be considered. Authors whose work has appeared in previous volumes of the Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series are ineligible to submit to this anthology.

This anthology is ONLY open to authors who are women, gender nonconforming, genderqueer and/or nonbinary. If you do not fall into one of these categories, do not submit to this anthology. The contract terms listed below are non-negotiable and include a one year exclusivity clause from the December 2020 publication date. If you would not be willing to sign these contract terms should your story be selected, do not submit to this anthology. Submissions outside the word count or received after the June 1, 2019 deadline will be rejected.

Early submissions are strongly preferred and will be considered on a rolling basis, but I highly recommend not rushing in order to submit early, which is unlikely to work in your favor. I would rather read a brilliant, attention-grabbing grammatically perfect story on June 1, 2019 than a hastily written, typo-filled story on an earlier date.

While I will respond as soon as possible to all submissions, authors may have to wait for a final response until July 1, 2020 (yes, 2020). If you cannot wait to hear back about your story until then, do not submit to this anthology. If you have not heard back by July 2, 2020, feel free to inquire about the status. Unless specifically requested of the author via email, I will only accept ONE submission of each story; DO NOT send multiple versions of your story or expect to submit a rewritten version during the editing process. Submit ONLY your best, polished, fully proofread work that you would want to be published with the story title and author name you include. In the interest of publishing as many authors as possible in the series, those who have been published in the first five volumes of Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series are not eligible to submit to this anthology. Guidelines may be updated over the course of the open submission period. The call for submissions section of will always contain the most up-to-date version of these guidelines. For occasional BWE submission tips, follow @BWEoftheyear on Twitter and bestwomenserotica on Instagram.


The theme of adventure will pertain to all stories in the book in different ways. I don’t want to tell you what “adventure” means. I want your characters to show me what adventure means to them. I want stories that represent a wide variety of adventures for a wide variety of characters. This means that unless they’re particularly noteworthy, the final collection will likely not repeat adventures. The more unique, creative and memorable your plot and characters are, the more likely your story is to be accepted.

The theme of this anthology is “Adventure” and all published stories will touch on this theme (most without explicitly using the word “adventure” in the story). I strongly encourage you to take that theme and run with it, keeping in mind that what’s “adventurous” to one character will be humdrum to another. The final book will feature a variety of characters exploring their own personal versions of adventure. While stories of sexual adventure and excess are welcome, I’m also looking for stories that surprise the reader regarding the idea of adventure. Perhaps the adventure isn’t revealed until the story’s end, or the form the adventure takes is unexpected. Stories that don’t connect to the theme of adventure in some way will be rejected.


All submissions that fit the guidelines and theme will be considered, but I’m especially interested in the following types of stories, and have noted excellent examples of these types from prior volumes of the series where applicable:

Ownvoices stories. For stories featuring characters from marginalized groups, ownvoices stories are strongly preferred. If your story is an ownvoices story and you’d like me to know, please mention it in your cover letter in the body of your email and note how your story is an ownvoices story, which will be kept confidential unless the author gives permission to share it after publication. Ownvoices means that the story’s protagonist and its author share a marginalized identity; you can learn more about ownvoices here. (See “Body Shots” by Thien-Kim Lam in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3)

Stories written by authors of color

Stories set in and illuminating a particular culture or subculture (see “On the Calendar” by Kate Sebastian in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 2)

Stories starring and from the point of view of transgender women as well as gender non-conforming, genderqueer and nonbinary characters

Stories starring and from the point of view of characters with physical disabilities (see “Wordless Surrender” by Janelle Reston in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 2 and “Falling” by Charlie Powell in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3)

Stories starring and from the point of view of characters with mental health issues (see “Her Invisible Prison” by Jocelyn Dex in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4)

Stories starring and from the point of view of characters in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, etc. (see “Words with Benefits” by Tamara Lush in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4)

Stories starring and from the point of view of queer characters where coming out isn’t a major plot point

Stories about characters who have unusual or interesting fetishes (see “Infused Leather” by Dr. J. in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3)

Stories that touch on social justice issues, feminism and/or body image while remaining erotic and arousing for the reader

Stories featuring humor while also being totally sexy (see “Starstruck” by Lazuli Jones in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1)


Protagonists in the book will range from single to partnered, of varying sexual orientations, races, adult ages (all characters must be at least 18 years old for the entirety of the story), religions, occupations, fetishes, jobs, interests, locations and life experiences. First, second and third person narratives are all welcome.

Stories in the final book will range from humorous and playful to intense and soulful to down and dirty, and will reflect a similar sexual, racial and age diversity as the stories in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4. Story submissions must be unpublished (never published, in whole or in part, anywhere, online or offline). Stories including scat or incest will not be considered; age play will be considered as long as it’s clear in the context of the story that the characters are engaging in roleplay. No poetry will be considered.

In a nutshell: I want stories that blow my mind, that grab my attention from the first line and don’t let go, that say something new and exciting about sex and sexuality, that will appeal to longtime erotica readers and new readers of the genre. Make every word count. As you edit your story before submitting it, I encourage you to make sure each sentence serves a purpose and is advancing the story you’re telling. I also strongly recommend having a beta reader read your story before submitting to help catch any typos or grammar or continuity errors.

I want stories that will make readers stop everything they’re doing and eagerly read every last word to find out what happens to your characters. I gravitate toward unique, creative, memorable characters, settings and scenarios. I welcome science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and historical stories, although contemporary stories will comprise the majority of the book. If you submitted a story to Volume 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 that was rejected, you may resubmit it, but a new story stands a far better chance of acceptance.

To see the types of stories I gravitate toward, I recommend reading or listening to any of the first four volumes in the Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series. As in prior volumes, I want your best, boldest, hottest, most creative and diverse stories. Each story must be between 2,000-5,000 words. All stories must have a clear beginning, middle and end, with engaging characters and scenarios. Stories featuring highly creative plotlines, compelling characters, engaging dialogues and vivid settings have the best chances of being accepted.

In the interest of publishing the largest number of authors possible, writers whose work appears in or will appear in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel will NOT be considered for this volume, but contributors to previous Best Women’s Erotica collections by prior editors are welcome to submit work.


Submit only 2,000-5,000 original, unpublished stories that are not being considered elsewhere. Word count applies to the text of your story, excluding story title, author name and author bio. Maximum two submissions per author. Stories CANNOT be under consideration elsewhere at any point prior to the book’s publication date in December 2020. I want only original work that has never been published, in whole or in part, online, in print or in any format at all, including personal or other types of blogs. All characters must be 18 or over for the entirety of the story. U.S. grammar (spelling, double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) required.

Submit to with “BWE6 Submission: Story Title” in the subject line (substitute your story’s title for “Story Title”) by attaching a Word .doc or .docx file titled “BWE6 Story Title LastName,” using Times New Roman Black font. LastName should be the last name you’d want to be published under. So if Dorothy Smith is submitting a story titled “The Bed” as Jane Doe, her Word file would be titled BWE6 The Bed Doe and her subject line would be BWE6 Submission: The Bed. Each story needs to have its own file; you can submit two story files in one email, or send them separately. If submitting two stories, use this format: BWE6 StoryTitle1 and StoryTitle2 LastName. Example: BWE6 The Bed and Sexytime Doe.

At the top of the first page, include your legal name, pseudonym (if applicable), mailing address, phone (only to be used for urgent communication about your story) AND a 50 word-or-under third person professional biography to be published in the book. Make sure you use an email address that you check at least once a week. If you include a URL in your bio, it should be included in the first sentence in this format:

Rachel Kramer Bussel ( writes fiction and non-fiction.

All stories must have a title and byline (author name) included with the submission (no untitled or unbylined stories) at the top of the first page. Indent half an inch at the start of each paragraph. Use double spacing for the entire file; DO NOT add extra lines between paragraphs or use any other irregular spacing. If you cannot use Word, submit as both an RTF AND include the full submission in the body of an email, including title, story text, bio, name and pseudonym (if applicable), mailing address and phone number. DO NOT SUBMIT MULTIPLE VERSIONS OF THE SAME STORY AS ONLY THE FIRST VERSION WILL BE CONSIDERED. SUBMIT YOUR STORY WITH THE TITLE, AUTHOR NAME AND WORDING YOU WOULD WANT PUBLISHED IF THE STORY IS ACCEPTED. MAKE SURE TO THOROUGHLY PROOFREAD YOUR STORY BEFORE SUBMITTING IT. Your submission should be a thoroughly proofread, typo free document that you want to see published using the byline and biography you’ve provided.

I will confirm that I have received your submission within one week. I will respond with an acceptance or rejection to all submissions by July 1, 2020, at the latest. If you have not heard back from me by July 2, 2020, feel free to follow up at that time. Please note the time frame and if you need a response sooner than July 1, 2020, do not submit a story to this anthology.


Rights:  For this anthology, the editor is buying exclusive rights in all formats for one year from the book’s publication date in December 2020. After that year, the rights revert back to you. The non-negotiable contract terms all authors in the book will sign are below. If these terms aren’t ones you’d be comfortable signing, do not submit to this anthology.

Payment: $225 and 2 copies of the book within 90 days of publication. Payment will be made only via Paypal (strongly preferred and the only method of payment for non-U.S. authors) or U.S check (only for U.S. addresses).

Deadline: June 1, 2019, 11:59 pm EST. In order to facilitate a smooth publishing process, submissions will be considered on a rolling basis and earlier submissions will get priority. ALL submissions received by June 1, 2019 will be considered, but if two excellent, topical, brilliant stories are submitted featuring the exact same scenario, the one submitted earlier is more likely to be accepted. Again, please do not sacrifice creativity, grammar or proofreading in the interest of submitting early, as that will not benefit you. I’m prioritizing earlier submissions because my deadlines have been moved up, so I need to complete my manuscript sooner than in previous years, and working with submissions on a rolling basis will assist me in that task.


For questions that aren’t answered in the guidelines: Email (note that NO word count changes will be granted; stories under 2,000 words or over 5,000 words will be automatically rejected).



Agreement dated ________________ , 2019, between LEGAL NAME (”Contributor”), writing as PEN NAME, whose address is  _______________________________ and RKB Enterprises, Inc. (“Editor”), whose address is _________________________________ for publication of “STORY TITLE” (the “Work”) in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 6 (the “Book”), an anthology to be published by Cleis Press./Viva Editions (the “Publisher”). The parties agree as follows:


(a)  Contributor hereby grants and licenses to the Editor, during the full term of copyright in the Work, and any renewals thereof, the following rights in and to the Work, exclusively until one (1) year from the date of publication of the Book and non-exclusively thereafter: the right to reproduce, print, publish, transmit, distribute, license, sublicense, sell and otherwise exploit the Work as part of the Book in all forms and media now known or hereafter developed in all languages throughout the world, including without limitation the right to license and sublicense the Work as part of the Book in anthologies, magazines, book club editions and reprints; Braille editions; audio, computer disk, all electronic/cyber rights, CD-ROM and microfiche editions; first and second serial rights; dramatic productions of any kind (including without limitation film, television, video and audio productions); commercial and merchandising versions of the Book; and, the right to use all or parts of the Work for advertising, publicity or promotional purposes.

(b) The Contributor grants to the Editor and the Publisher the right to use Contributor’s name and likeness and/or biographical data in advertising, publicity and promotion for the Book.


(a)  Contributor agrees to make editorial revisions to the Work as reasonably required by the Editor and/or Publisher. The title of the Work may be changed only by mutual consent of the Contributor, Editor and Publisher. The final content of the Work must be acceptable to the Editor and the Publisher.

(b) The completed manuscript shall be deemed satisfactory in content to the Editor and Publisher unless within five (5) business days of its receipt by the Editor, Publisher or Editor gives Contributor written notice of the respects in which the manuscript is unsatisfactory. Contributor shall have five (5) business days from receipt of that notice to make and submit such changes.

(c) Editor has no obligation to include the Work in the Book for any reason.  In such event, this Agreement shall terminate, all rights shall revert to Contributor, and Editor shall not owe Contributor any payment.

  1. COMPENSATION:  Provided the Editor accepts the Work for inclusion in the Book, the Editor shall pay to Contributor a fee of $225.00 on or before November 30, 2020.

(a) Contributor represents and warrants that Contributor is the sole author of the Work and sole and exclusive owner of the rights conveyed in this Agreement; that Contributor has not previously assigned, pledged or otherwise encumbered those rights; that the Work is original; that the Work has never before been published or licensed for publication in whole or in part in any form except as otherwise expressly disclosed to Editor in writing; that the Work does not infringe upon any copyright, contains no matter that is libelous or defamatory, or that violates any right of privacy or other personal or property right whatsoever, or is harmful to the user or any third party so as to subject the Editor to liability, or is otherwise contrary to law; that the Work is not in the public domain in any country; that all permissions for any third party materials contained in the Work shall have been cleared and all permissions fees have been paid before publication of the Work; and that Contributor has full power to enter into this Agreement and to make the grants contained herein.

(b) Contributor agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Editor and the Publisher and their respective officers, directors, employees, licensees, successors, agents and assigns, against any and all claims, demands, costs, expenses, and judgments, including reasonable attorney fees arising out of any proceeding alleging a violation of Contributor’s warranties and representations hereunder.


Editor will give to Contributor two (2) free copies of the Book.


This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties, and supersedes all previous discussions, representations, and understandings related to the subject matter of this Agreement.  Nothing in this Agreement shall constitute a partnership or joint venture between the parties.  If either party believes the other has breached the Agreement it shall notify the other that such breach must be cured within thirty (30) days of such notification, or action may be taken by the non-breaching party.  In the event of any breach of this Agreement by Editor, Contributor agrees that Contributor’s sole and exclusive remedy shall be an action at law for damages, and in no event shall Contributor be entitled to interfere with, enjoin, or otherwise restrain Editor’s or Publisher’s rights to use, license, distribute, publish and sell the Book or the Work as contemplated herein.  No modifications of this Agreement shall be binding on either party unless set forth in writing and signed by both parties.  No waiver of any portion of this Agreement shall be effective unless in writing.  The failure of either party at any time to require performance by the other of any provision shall in no way affect the right to enforce that or any other provision of this Agreement.  No waiver of any breach of this Agreement shall constitute a waiver of any subsequent breach of the same or any other provision of this Agreement.  This Agreement shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws, and in the state and federal courts of the State of New York.  Each party consents to the exclusive personal jurisdiction, and waives any objections to the venue, of such courts.  The provisions of this Agreement are severable and if any of its provisions are held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, in whole or in part, the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall remain binding and enforceable.  Contributor may not assign this Agreement without Editor’s prior written consent.  This Agreement shall apply and inure to the benefit of each party’s successors, affiliates, heirs, and permitted assigns.  .

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have signed this Agreement as of the date and year first above written.

RKB Enterprises, Inc.

By: ________________________________

Date Signed: _________________________



Date Signed: _________________________

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