When Esther and I were first starting to write, Esther had an opportunity to speak with a published author. Upon hearing that we collaborated on our series as a couple, that author very politely informed Esther that we needed to stop. We would doom our relationship, our marriage, and extinguish our love entirely during the writing process.
The advice was sincere, strongly felt by that author, and wrong.
Writing with your friend, your partner, or loved one? It’s fun. And it’s effective.
But it requires a healthy, respectful, communicating relationship to work.
That author mistook an unhealthy relationship and communication dynamic for “Collaborations like this don’t work, and will give you a hell-like, horrible experience that torches your whole life.”
That author had experienced, consumed, and bought into all the unhealthy ways relationships are portrayed. Relationships are either a romantic bubble followed by happily ever after, or (on the other end of the spectrum) an endless source of despair and conflict for the characters. Both of these fantasies are entertaining and interesting. But they perpetuate myths.
A real, lasting love is built on trust, respect, and mutual support of each other’s goals and dreams. Esther and I are a team as we move through life. That’s as true when it comes to writing as it is when it comes to raising our daughter or figuring out our taxes. We’re there for each other—where one is weak, the other is strong.
But you very rarely see stories about those relationships, because flawed, harmful relationships are such easy conflict fodder.
We think that sucks because stories shape expectations..
We’re putting our money where our mouth is on this one. We believe, firmly, that collaborating with a partner is a great way to make a story better. And we believe that amazing stories can be told about real, solid relationships built on trust and teamwork. So that’s what we’re looking for.
We want stories about strong, healthy couples in established, stable relationships, who work together, complement each other’s strengths, and cover for each other’s weaknesses, while they solve the story’s main conflict together. Just because there’s superheroes in the main image, don’t think you’re limited to that–any form of fiction in which a relationship operates in this way is welcome.
Every story needs to be co-written between two authors. The authors don’t necessarily need to be in a relationship—honestly, we don’t need to know your personal life–but you need to be working with a partner, and not destroying your relationship in the process. IF that’s not your norm, we encourage you to try it out and get a feel for it.
But every story must feature a strong, healthy relationship as described.
We don’t want stories about how people meet. We don’t want stories where part of the tension or story problem is whether the relationship will survive solving the main conflict. Send us those stories, and you will get an automatic and very polite form rejection.
Payment will begin at $.03/word, and will increase to pro rate based on Kickstarter stretch goals. LGBTQ+ stories welcome and encouraged. Polyamorous stories also welcome, but all members of the poly unit must conform to the above description. Please use manuscript format.
We are looking for stories of between 2,000 and 6,000 words. Keep them PG-13, please. Authors will retain all rights to the work, and will only be asked to grant a license for publishing. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable so long as author retains the rights to license the work. Please submit by e-mailing a .doc or .rtf file to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line COUPLES SUBMISSION.
Reading period for this begins Jan 1, 2023. Expected Kickstarter fall of 2023. Goal is an anthology roughly 80,000 words in length.