The following “tip sheet” is meant to provide the author with a general sense of what BSB is looking for in Victory Edition and Liberty Edition works of general LesbianGayBiTransQueer fiction manuscripts. These criteria are not meant to be absolutes – guidelines are just that – a jumping off place for an approach to a work.
75,000 – 150,000 words
This list includes LGBTQ novels of varying length that in some way celebrate and/or deepen and enrich understanding of our lives. Victory Editions are specifically lesbian-centric novels that feature a lesbian lead protagonist; the fact of her lesbianism is not in itself a primary theme—rather a matter of character integrity. Liberty Editions are gay/bisexual/transgender-positive works that may or may not include lesbian characters, but feature at least one G/B/T lead protagonist. While we welcome narratives of distinctively queer sensibility, we do not exclude powerful, well told-stories with lead protagonist who happens to be gay/bisexual/transgendered.
As a general principle, Victory and Liberty novels in all sub-categories have at their heart empowering, meaningful stories that offer the reader both entertainment and affirmation of our queer identity. They will explore the queer experience, in its many forms very intimately, but at the same time tell strong, human stories with universal themes.
Love stories may be found on our general fiction list, but such novels will offer a broader canvas than that of the developing romance that concludes in happy resolution. They may be tragic, for example – however tragic endings should not present as cautionary tales.
We will consider general and literary fiction, family sagas, and historical fiction for both Victory and Liberty Editions.
Contemporary Literature - Literary Fiction
Content must have psychological depth and must speak to contemporary queer experience.
Works often include a more cutting edge narrative style and language may be more complex than in other sub-categories.
Works in this sub-category are likely to be strong on: style, theme, and character. Literary devices – symbolism etc. may be a feature.
Punk Like Me by JD Glass
Punk And Zen by JD Glass
This category includes LGBTQ works the primary themes of which are domestic. These are relationship-focused stories of families/friends spanning years/generations.
The stories may have roots that go back in time, or may be fully set in recent history, but an historical setting is not a predominate characteristic as is true in an historical novel.
Sweet Creek by Lee Lynch
An historical novel with lesbian/queer lead characters. The scope is endless, but we are not looking for dry and dreary faithful retellings of significant events – we are looking for character focused narratives set against high drama historical events.
Style can be anywhere on the spectrum, from highly commercial and to literary.
House of Clouds by KI Thompson
Do big fantasy novels belong in Victory Editions?
No. The speculative fiction category already embraces big-canvas stories in a wide variety of forms, storylines and styles.
What about Liberty Editions?
Traditional fantasy is not sought for Liberty Editions, but we will consider works of speculative fiction.
Does BSB publish magical realism?
Authentic magic realism will be considered. Not any and every work featuring elements of magic or the surreal, or employing slipstream devices and/or special world settings, or symbolism, qualify as magical realism.
Central to magic realism is ambiguity of interpretation. One Hundred Years of Solitude / Gabriel Garcia Marquez is magical realism told in the Omniscient voice.
Does BSB publish novels-in-verse or experimental fiction?
We applaud innovation, artistry, and lyricism in fiction, but works should also be accessible.
When does a romance become general fiction?
There is a difference between a romance and a love story. All romances are certainly love stories, however not all love stories are romances. For Victory Editions and Liberty Editions, we are interested in the works where the story clearly transcends and functions outside the imperatives of the romantic sub-genres BSB publishes. This is often a publisher/editorial decision based on multiple factors, including marketing considerations.
Would Rubyfruit Jungle be a Victory Editions title?
Absolutely – it would fall under “contemporary/commercial fiction”.
Can a heterosexual character be a central protagonist?
Only if s/he is one of several in an ensemble cast, and the queer characters are prominently featured.
Do settings have to be American?
Not necessarily, but BSB novels must speak to American readers.
Would BSB publish a novel by a man?
We expect many Liberty Editions novels will be written by men. If a man turns in a work featuring a lesbian lead protagonist that is absolutely faithful to our requirements, we will also consider it. For all categories and imprints, BSB considers submissions on their merits.
Is there any kind of mystery that would ever be a Victory Editions or Liberty Editions title?
The crime/mystery genre has many sub-genres and very flexible parameters. Most works featuring a lesbian lead protagonist would be suitable for the BSB category fiction crime list. We will consider general fiction works that could also be described as “crime drama” for Liberty Editions.