We have a big ol' set of submission guidelines for stories and for art that detail pretty much everything you'd ever want to know about contributing to Shousetsu Bang*Bang. However, we realize that sometimes that's a lot of reading for when you just have some very simple questions. Thus, behold our Quick Answers For Authors:
Who can participate?
Anyone! We've had contributions from published authors, first-time writers, and everywhere in-between.
What are the basic requirements for a story?
Stories should be between 1500 and 25,000 words long and contain characters that are either original or thinly veiled enough for plausible deniability. Stories should contain at least one explicit sex scene. Stories may not have been published publicly anywhere else first. Happily-ever-afters are not mandatory, but are strongly encouraged.
What kind of sex?
Starting in 2019, SSBB is going all-queer for all issues. The zine and the community were originally founded to showcase m/m pairings, with separate special issues for f/f content and Yes, And specials for queer and genderqueer arrangements that didn't quite color inside the m/m or f/f lines. Now all issues are open to m/m, f/f, and Yes, And content.
Where do I send my story?
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We strongly encourage you to create a text document in Google Docs and share it with that address (and make sure you give us permission to edit).
When are submissions due?
Issues always come out on a Monday (usually the fourth Monday of the month). Text submissions are due the Tuesday thirteen days previous (usually the second Tuesday of the month).
Can I have an extension?
If you think you're going to need some extra time, please contact us as soon as possible so we can arrange something.
Do I have to use a pseudonym?
You can put whatever name you want on your stories, up to and including your full legal name. However, because this project was originally "intended as an online, English-language text equivalent of one of those All Yomikiri Bimonthly Summer Special 100 Extra Pages!! manga phonebooks" (as the project's creator put it), the running joke has been to adopt strange and sometimes nonsensical Japanese mangaka names, often with silly kanji puns. You don't have to have one of those, but if you see other people with them, that's why.
Does my story have to match the theme?
Short answer: Nope!
Longer answer: The themes are there for inspiration and a sort of issue-wide uniformity, but they're certainly not mandatory. If you do choose to stick to the theme, you can interpret it as strictly or as loosely as you like.
What's your story acceptance rate?
We want to run every story we get. However, on occasion we will give a story a 'bounce' -- i.e., send it back to the author for specific editing before it can be considered print-ready. Bounces usually only happen in cases where the story needs technical attention greater than we editors have time to give. We want stories to run as the authors intend them to be, so the most common feedback we give goes something along the lines of, This story is ready to run as it is, but here are some things we think might make it better... Once we declare a story print-ready, whether or not the author decides to make those subsequent edits in the weeks between deadline and issue street date will have no bearing on whether or not the story will run in the issue.
If I sign up, do I have to write a story?
Nope! Signups are non-binding! We will not come chase you down if you don't have something in by the deadline.
If I don't sign up, can I still turn in a story?
Yes! While there are many good reasons to sign up, what matters most at the end of the day is what winds up in our inbox.
Do I have have a LiveJournal account?
Nope! LJ is our traditional homeland, but you can sign up by commenting anonymously or through a number of OpenID options, and you don't need an LJ account to work Google Docs.
How do I submit a story?
Create a Google Doc and share it with the email email@example.com -- just make sure to give us edit permissions.
Now I've read all this, do I still have to read and follow the full submission guidelines?
While pretty much everything up there applies to illustrators too, we've got some additional Quick Answers For Artists:
When are submissions due?
Issues always come out on a Monday (usually the fourth Monday of the month). Art submissions are due the Saturday two days before that.
Where do I send my art?
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. It's fine to host the art somewhere else, but please also send us a copy so we've got a backup in case the original ever disappears.
Does my art have to be pornographic?
No, though we sure do love it when it is.
What do you mean by 'standalone'?
It's what we call a piece of art submitted for an issue that isn't intended to accompany a standard story entry.
Do I have to use a pseudonym?
You can put whatever name you want on your art, up to and including your full legal name. In the past, artists have been credited with LJ usernames, but contributors are welcome to choose to be called whatever they like! Artists who are also authors may use a different pseudonym for each role (if they want).
How do I find someone to illustrate for?
The best way to find interested authors is through the relevant issue's signup post: you can make a general offer to illustrate anyone's story, or you can ask specific authors who've signed up if they'd be up for having you illustrate their stories. You can also ask around on other social media platforms, but that's a little more hit-or-miss.
I read a story that's already been published in an issue, and I liked it so much I made an illustration for it. What now?
We love it when that happens! We'll double-check with the author, and if we get permission to include it in the story itself, we'll HTML it in and give you illustrator credit. If the author declines or is unable to be reached, we'll add it to the end of the issue as a standalone piece.
What if I've got a question that isn't covered in the Guidelines For Art Submissions?
Ah, see, there you've got us -- we're writers, not artists, and thus we often don't know what we don't know when it comes to art. We do, however, know many artists, so if you come up with something that stumps us, we'll put it to our panel of experts.
And that's what we've got! These aren't intended to be full substitutes for the information contained in the Mission Statement, Submission Guidelines, or Guidelines For Art Submissions, though, so if you're planning on participating, you definitely want to read through the relevant pages. They are, however, the most frequently asked of the questions out there, so we figured we'd save our time and yours by collecting them on one page for easy reference.
If you've got any other quick questions you think need Quick Answers, let us know and we'll be glad to add them to the list!