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New AD Story Submission Guidelines

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In what form should I submit my story or chapter?

Submit story in .doc or .htm files, zip only if sending multiple files, separate your chapters into different files unless discussed with TR ahead of time. Do not convert from Word to htm, please use another program to convert to htm or submit in doc form. Each file name should ideally be the title and chapter, installment, or part number, with underscores between all letters and numbers. Include author ID in file name if it is not an installment on a regular chapter or you are not a regular contributor.

Do not send stories in txt/Notepad files/funky formats, or in the body of the email itself. The word 'submission' is not required in the subject header, include only title, chapter # and author name in subject header. Do not leave subject header blank, that only guarantees it will be diverted and die unread in the Story Editor's Junk folder. Do not send lists of titles and/or links without explanation.

Comments and questions should be limited to the body of the email and should be clear and to the point. Exceptions allowed, of course, for personal correspondence to TR using Admin address, though it might be better to use his tr@tragicrabbit.org address for this purpose. So long as the subject header is clear and accurate, there's no problem. Remember that Admin deals with a large quantity of emails every week, and try to assist them in these little timesavers. Don't attach weird things to your email; if they look odd to us, chances are they won't be opened.

When the file opens: title, installment # and author pen name must be clearly visible at top of open file. We should not have to search file to discover if this is the correct file or who wrote it. File end, story, or chapter conclusion should clearly marked or otherwise obvious. DO NOT include repeats from former chapters to 'remind' readers, they can click on the previous chapters if they're so inclined. Author Notes are acceptable if reasonably short, as are disclaimers, and are recommended for story/file/chapter end only. You can include a disclaimer but please understand that by being hosted by AwesomeDude, your words are already essentially copyrighted, and in a sense that is defensible in court.

If Author Notes are longer than story itself, you might reconsider either the story or the Notes.

Leave multiple spaces at top and bottom of story files and reasonable margins. Be neat. Use spellcheck and a readable font. Unreadable, weird, or tiny font will not be read. Include an author email if you desire direct reader response. Make sure Story Editor knows how to contact you; it helps to use only one email address when corresponding with TR as Story Editor. Comply with all Admin requests or provide a reason why you cannot. We don't mean to sound harsh and AD Admin are reasonable people, but have only so many hours in their days. Help us conserve time so that we may better serve you.

What do you need in the email itself?

If submitting chapters in an ongoing serial, nothing need be attached in the email or along with the file, as long as the subject header contains the correct information. Exceptions are if author is sending from alternate email address, then author must identify himself in the email body. Doing so risks the email hitting a Junk/Spam folder, or being stopped/bounced/deleted by other security protocols, so it's not advisable...though it's acceptable. Please try to be consistent.

What if I am new to AwesomeDude?

If you are new to AD and have not been approved as an AwesomeDude Author, please include and repeat author information in all email queries. Please try not to inundate TR with email postscripts as they occur to you. Do not assume we will post your story: we are not your mothers and we are not Nifty (though we are Awesome). Don't be belligerent, rude, or demanding. Tell us if and where the submitted story has already been posted or published. If an AD Author, Admin, Editor or Forum Member has recommended you, tell us that, too, so that we may contact him/her. Please note that we will contact him/her; be honest. Tell us something about yourself, why you write, and why you are submitting to AwesomeDude.

Patiently await the responses of Story Editor and decision of Admin to accept or reject submission. Please respond fully and courteously to all emailed questions from AD Administrators. Do not submit AD Admin email addresses to Chinese spambots, Homeland Security or Fred Phelps, and avoid the use of voodoo to achieve your purposes. We employ multiple and confusing software securities, as well as white magic, to protect our Authors and ourselves.

What kind of stories do you usually accept?

We focus on gay fiction, with emphasis on gay romance, but accept other stories on a case-by-case basis. Proven authors are free to submit on nearly any subject that does not violate our story content restrictions, and even some that do. Quality, originality and style have the potential to trump other considerations. We love a great story, however unusual or weird.

With rare exceptions, content restrictions include, but are not limited to, the following: gratuitous rape, adult-child sex (child=under ten), gratuitous prostitution or drug abuse, sex scenes involving children under the age of ten, abuse of children or animals, bestiality (aside from, say, humor, but we're open to possibilities here and don't want to limit a good writer's creativity), graphic hardcore BDSM ('blood sports', etc), fanfic of any kind, and most especially 'wank' stories (as defined by Admin) wherein the sex serves no narrative purpose and the story exists solely, or primarily, as masturbatory material.

Hot sex is great but only if integrated into a storyline that is believable, consistent and of good narrative quality.

None of the restrictions apply to personal reminiscences submitted for our Drawn From Life section, those are open to whatever is, or was, true for the author.

Work must be original. Please note that we do not accept or read: fanfic, boy-band stories or any other kind of story that is not wholly and entirely original to the author submitting. Don't send us stories about Harry Potter, the Elves of Middle Earth or Captain James T. Kirk. Those characters belong to their authors, living or dead.

If your submitted story is based on, or is companion to, the works of another author, with their permission, make that clear in your first email. Do not use characters from another author's work, scenes, and descriptions or lift whole paragraphs-be advised that we will check. If yours is a parody of another author's work, that should be clearly stated in the email and such submissions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, quality and permissions being paramount.

AwesomeDude absolutely does not accept stories where the author promotes homophobia, racism, or other bigotries, though stories may contain characters that express such feelings if necessary for the plot. AwesomeDude exists to promote self-acceptance and happy lives among our readers, authors, and members, gay or not, and therefore cannot assist in the promotion of hate in any form. This does not mean all stories have a 'happy ending', it means all stories have a happy purpose, which is to further the aims of AwesomeDude. We consider such stories righteous, rightful, and needful in today's society of negativity.

Quality expectations include, but are not limited to, the following: stories must be in English, said English must be readable and grammatically correct (dialogue excepted), story ideas must not be stale or obvious (or unoriginal), and narrative style must be of a caliber we consider consistent with the standards of AwesomeDude. Again, no 'wank' stories, no fanfic; no exceptions.

It is also helpful if your emails to Story Editor are cogent, courteous, coherent and consistent. New applicants in particular, please take note. If English is not your first language and you fear this might make communication rockier, please state that up front, in the initial email contact, and we will work with you. We are not unreasonable, just busy, but mostly on your behalf.

If you are not yet an AD Author, please repeat all basic information in each email correspondence and submit from a single email address. Why? Because Story Editor is a mere human and can't remember who sent what from where, plus all their details, for days on end-that's why he keeps organized files. Help him stay organized by being clear, honest, direct, and to the point, every time you email or reply. Don't use the AD PM system unless no alternative is available. Email sent to Story-editor@awesomedude.com is the preferred contact method.

Visit Writer and Editor Forums for tips, lists and details on what constitutes good writing and the elements of style.

Do you accept stories with sex? If yes, what are the limitations, if any?

See above. AwesomeDude accepts many stories with sex, gay or otherwise, but does not and will not accept 'wank' stories, fanfic or stories which otherwise violate content standards of AwesomeDude. We are a sex-positive website and our feeling is that gay people, in particular, are elevated and empowered by exposure to a variety of characters and storylines involving fictional gay people engaged in sexual, romantic or other ordinary human relationships.

Why was I told that my story with subject matter Y was unacceptable when AD Author X wrote on that very topic? Do you just hate me and not Author X?

No, we do not allow personal feelings to color decisions about editing or accepting stories. If we accepted one story and not yours, which you believe to be similar in some respect, then the similarity is either superficial or nonexistent.

We adhere to our guidelines and accept stories that we consider of a quality and caliber to represent AwesomeDude, a site dedicated to generally upbeat, realistic, and helpful stories for gay people, especially young or questioning persons. We are also dedicated to helping gay writers achieve their potential, which is why we are often willing to work personally with so many authors.

Why can't TR edit all my story submissions?

TR, like you, is an author and needs time to do his own work. In addition, if he edited all of your, and everyone else's submissions, he'd need about 72 hours in each day.

TR is not your Editor, he is The Dude's Editor, and while he sometimes edits for authors in whom he takes an interest, or who ask sweetly, his primary duty is to The Dude and AwesomeDude. He also, despite rumors to the contrary, has an Actual Real Life and would like to take the occasional day off to experience the offline world. Please don't pester, threaten, or harass TR if he is unable to edit your submission(s), if he must reject a submission on behalf of Admin or if he does not respond within a period you consider reasonable. If he does edit your work, be nice, say thank you and carefully consider his edits. Courtesy is its own reward.

It is permissible to remind TR or The Dude, politely, in an email/PM/IM, of some deadline or lack of response, because they do occasionally forget things, but it is not nice to harass, spam, annoy, insult them and let's not submit their email addresses to trolls, freaks, homophobes, pay-by-the-minute webcam operators or online Viagra advertisers. Please be considerate, and rest assured that we are all stocked up on Viagra.

How can I find an Editor? Are they sold on Ebay?

We offer Forums where fantastic and experienced (or brand new!) Editors routinely offer their services, for no charge, and we offer a Bull Pen Forum where you can practice writing skills. Other options exist; you have only to ask nicely.

How can I best use the services of an Editor, if offered?

Follow his or her directives, ask questions, make corrections in a timely fashion and respect their advice, even that which you do not take. Always thank them profusely for their time and efforts. Like our authors, and unlike workers in the sex industry, our editors perform for love, not money. You simply cannot thank them enough. Some authors occasionally (or regularly) edit for one another; again, just ask. Make sure you communicate up front what you expect of your editor and ask him/her what he/she expects of you. Not all authors and editors are meant for each other.

If my story is not accepted, may I resubmit it?


Exceptions are if Admin returns it with edits or specific rewrite suggestions and asks you to resubmit it. Otherwise, confer with your Editor or household gods and only resubmit if major changes are made and a reasonable amount of time has elapsed. Please do not harass TR (or The Dude) and do not demand or expect that either will personally edit your story for content, grammar, or other errors. TR may offer, but he is also an author, and has many other authors to assist each week in his guise as Story Editor for AwesomeDude. He is, of course, also always at The Dude's command.

Be polite, be patient, and be nice. We love nice people.

If my story is not accepted, may I submit a different story?

Yes, unless asked not to.

If my story is accepted, do I retain rights to it?

Yes, without exception or reservation.

If I later publish my story or novel offline, will AwesomeDude remove the web version from online?

Yes, unlike most online fiction sites, and we do not charge for this or set up conditions. We will also help promote your published work. We'd love to see you published!

What do I get for being an AD Author? Is there a decoder ring or club tee shirt?

No tees or toys, sorry, but all AD Authors are eligible for the following at no charge: their own AwesomeDude email address that is accessible online or auto-forwards to their personal email address (E.g.author_name@awesomedude.com), a personalized and individual Author Page with links, photos and other cool options to make Readers take notice (authors are eligible after second story is accepted), AD Forum membership upgrade to Author with extended Forums access, official AD Admin assistance in promoting any and all projects including music careers, book or story publications and, if you are ever cast in a Bel Ami film, a weekend date with The Dude, plane fare included.

Of course, all AD Authors, Bel Ami models or not, receive the undying affection and attention of The Awesome Dude and his faithful Story Editor, TR.

What does AwesomeDude consider an unacceptable story?

Multiple. See above. Bad prose, trite storylines, fanfic, unreadable grammar or narrative style, etc, are not accepted, nor are violations of our content and quality guidelines as listed above.

What does AwesomeDude consider a 'good' story or a 'great' story?

A story that contains gay characters who feel good about themselves and experience some event in their life or lives, then manage to resolve it in a relatively believable fashion. Sad or funny; mystery, adventure, fantasy...we host stories that run the gamut. We especially love to accept stories with beautiful prose, unusual plots or situations and exceptionally likable or believable characters.

We do not require the content, author or characters to 'be gay'; we are looking for quality work from exceptional authors. AD is a boutique site of what we consider the best online, mostly gay, fiction and, as such, we are smaller but we make up for that in quality, talent, and endurance. Size isn't everything.

AwesomeDude: providing awesome gay fiction online since 2004.

Story Editor - TR

Site Administrator - Dude

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