In 2011, Lethe Press queered the Sherlock Holmes canon with A Study in Lavender, and now we’re putting together a new collection on the theme, A Scandal In Gomorrah. The first volume explored the queer aspects of Doyle’s characters in Victorian society and introduced us to a realm of hidden gay characters and stories. In the sequel, we’re looking to expand the scope of stories into new realms.
I’m looking for stories that fall into one of two categories:
- Victorian-set period pieces that queer the familiar characters or stories of the Holmes canon. As the first volume was solely period stories with queered characters, I am seeking stories that address this setting with some invention, or take on the bountiful eccentricities that can be found in the history of Victorian-era sexuality.
- I’m also seeking stories that have an original or unusual take on the subject. Holmes has become far more than just gas-lit mystery stories. I’d love to see stories that transpose the time, setting or genre; gender-queering or –swapping; metafiction; stories that explore the myriad iterations and pop-culture associations of Sherlock: television/radio/cinema adaptations, animal detectives, iconography, ‘shipping’, fanfiction, imitations, art… (Some examples of where this sort of thing can go: the One Hundred and Twenty One Baker Streets anthology; Hal Duncan’s The Disappearance of James H, Will Self’s Dorian, Alan Moore’s Lost Girls. These aren’t direct models to copy, but examples of the way you can expand from an existing literary canon.)
A few things to bear in mind: i. readers of this anthology will already expect queer aspects within the stories, so stories that, for example, rely on a ‘reveal’ of gay characters, don’t always quite work in this very specific context–especially mystery stories. ii. Although we realise the historical context of Holmes wasn’t exactly easy for those who would now identify as LGBTQ, we are looking for positive queer portrayals. iii. Holmes/Watson pairings are fine, but bear in mind they are a well-trodden approach (especially if they are of the first story variety) and stories whose only or primary content is just about getting Holmes and Watson together are a tough sell.
Payment: 3c per word (Ideally seeking original fiction, but reprints considered at a rate of 1c per word)
Story length: 2k-6k approx. No iron-clad upper limit, but pay cap at 6k.
Submissions or queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please feel very free to query with questions, suggestions or concepts for a story prior to submission.)
Closing date: New Year’s Day, 2017
[Extra note: if you are aware of existing Holmes/Holmesian stories with queer content (yours or otherwise), it would be great to be pointed towards them so we can read to consider for reprint. There’s a lot of existing stories for me to search through out there, and a nod in the direction is very helpful.]