Submissions > Guidelines
What We’re Looking For
Awesome stories featuring casually queer protagonists
Stories should be about a queer person who has an adventure, rather than a person who has an adventure because they are queer. The focus of the story should be on telling an entertaining story, and not on “issues” like coming out, bullying, understanding your sexuality, transitioning, or homophobia.
NOTE: While we want the character’s sexual/gender identity to not be the main focus of the piece, it still needs to be an essential part of who they are. Throwing in one line about them being gay and never bringing it up again, or simply rewriting a piece with same-sex pronouns for the romantic scenes (trust us, it’s obvious – especially when you miss some!) is not at all what we want..In most cases: your plot should function just as well with a straight character as it would with a queer character. Queer, to us, means gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, aromantic, transgender, non-binary genders, agender, intersex, etc. times infinity. All variations of love, sex, and relationships
Any genre is welcome, but we are partial to genre fiction.
Fantasy, sci-fi, horror, mystery, thriller, steampunk, comedy, travel, historical fiction… Whatever it is, bring it on! We are absolutely open to literary fiction, but prefer our stories to be entertaining and fun.
Vitality’s Readership is mostly asexual, attracted to more than one gender, nonbinary, and/or transgender!
We have found that the majority of our readership is NOT homosexual and cisgender! The majority of our readership is either attracted to more than one gender (such as bisexual, pansexual, or polysexual), or somewhere on the asexual/aromantic spectrum. A good portion of them are also nonbinary or transgender. We welcome stories with cisgender homosexual protagonists! But we seek to publish a balance, equally representing all identities, and actively seek out pieces with characters of all genders and sexual/romantic identities.
Work should be a safe space for readers
Works must not feature homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, misogyny, anti-religious sentiments, racism, ableism, bullying, abuse, sexual violence, etc. times infinity. Not even by villains. Your story should have conflict, and can even have an unhappy ending, but it should still be a safe place for any reader to enjoy. Those are all very important topics to discuss and write about, just not here.
No tragic queers!
Literature has a long, long history of portraying LGBT characters only to have them die (see: TVTrope’s Bury Your Gays). While, yes, people die, and yes, not all LGBT people have happy lives, Vitality is absolutely not going to perpetuate this trope. If your story centers around death or grieving or if one or more of your LGBT characters die in the course of the story, we do not want it.
Any medium is welcome
Prose, poetry, comics, art, etc.There are different submission criteria for each kind of medium, so please read the guidelines thoroughly. (If you have a medium we don’t have criteria for, send us an email and explain your work and we’ll see if it fits.)
Up to PG-13 content level
No graphic erotica (although some sexual content is okay). No excessive or overly graphic violence. Coarse language should be relevant to the story/not overused. We judge content on a case-by-case basis, and will work with you if we like your work minus some problematic areas, but keep these guidelines in mind..
Including diversity beyond sexuality and gender is highly encouraged
Work including characters that are racially or culturally diverse, or who are disabled, have a mental illness, or are part of a religion other than Christianity – these are some examples of diversity that would make your piece stand out from the others. Pieces featuring non-monogamy/polyamory are also encouraged, but note: polyamory does not automatically make a character queer. Polyamory between queer characters is great, however, and highly encouraged!
Work should be well-written and interesting
You can have all the diversity in the world, but if it’s boring or poorly crafted, we don’t want to read it.
Technical Guidelines & Pay Rates
- Only submit original work (no fanfiction) that has never been published online or in print.
- Do NOT submit excerpts or portions of larger work.
- Please ONLY submit completed pieces that are fully contained within themselves.
- At this time we are NOT accepting serialized works of any kind.
- Simultaneous submissions are welcome as long as you notify us if your piece is published elsewhere.
- Do NOT submit more than one piece to us at a time. Wait for us to accept or reject one piece before you submit another. (Exception is made for art and poetry, but those should submit all pieces at the same time).
- We accept short stories, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction.
- Prose should be under 5,000 words. In very rare cases, we accept pieces over 5,000 words, but the longer your piece is, the better it needs to be. You really need to justify that extra length.
- There is no minimum length requirement, as flash fiction is welcome and encouraged!
- Creative non-fiction should be entertaining, and read like a fun piece of fiction.
- Please follow manuscript format with one exception – do not underline text meant to be in italics. Changing all of that back to italics for publication is very annoying.
- Prose under 1,000 words will be paid $10. Prose over 1,000 words will be paid $25.
- Submit up to five poems at one time. (If you have a larger collection of poems meant to be read as a group, obviously, submit the entire group, but no more.)
- Be sure your poems are formatted exactly how they should appear. We will assume whatever you submit to us is what the poem is supposed to look like.
- We pay $10 per poem. In the case of very short poems, such as haikus or poetry 5 lines or less, $50 may cover a collection of poems meant to be read as a group.
Art & Comics
- Submit up to five art pieces at one time.
- Art should contain obvious LGBTQ content.
- Comics follow similar guidelines to stories/prose. Submit either five short standalone comics, or one complete story-length comic.
- Art & comic submissions should be .png files that are large and clear, at least 300 DPI, and in full color. Our interest in your piece will drop dramatically if it is in black and white.
- Cover art will be paid $35 an image.
- Comics will be paid $10-$25 similar to how prose is paid.
- Illustrators work completely differently – please see the illustrators page here.
- Guest bloggers are unpaid, as the benefit is mostly to highlight projects, promote your work, and share ideas.
- We’re interested in posts about LGBT representation in media. Some examples:
- Why LGBT characters are so important
- A specific author, group, or work that is doing a fantastic job (NOT your own work, please)
- How to write a _____ character accurately (especially if you share that identity)
- Common tropes/stereotypes
- A LGBT character who has meant a lot to you.
- The importance of intersectionality (especially if you are a part of both communities)
- The general tone of posts should be positive, focusing on people doing things right or ways to improve problems rather than focusing on exactly how bad that problem is. We’re interested in posts about solutions to problems and how others can help rather than focusing on the negative.
- Email us about being a guest blogger. Include some ideas of what you want to write about and information about you, including links to your blog or your work. If you want to do a guest post but have no idea what to write, see the list above. If you still aren’t sure, email us and we’ll brainstorm.
- We are also interested in guest book reviewers. If you are interested in that, please contact us. We will provide the book for you to review.