by Pup Matthias
We are in the heart of summer. The pools are open, the grills are cooking, and for us writers, Sofawolf’s long running anthology Heat is OPEN FOR SUBMISSION for their fourteenth volume. One of, if not the longest, and the most prominent, anthology in the fandom; Heat is once again open for all of your erotic encounters. But outside of being an erotic anthology, Heat never does a yearly theme like its contemporaries like Roar, Fang, or Trick or Treat.
Heat does not, and has never had, a theme beyond “furry erotica.” Heat occasionally develops themes post hoc, like the Americana theme running through Heat 13. We didn’t choose those stories for being related to Americana: we chose stories because they were good and it turned out that the stories we chose had a lot to do with Americana.
Write the hot and sweaty or sweet and sensual furry story that you want to write. It doesn’t need to–and shouldn’t and can’t–be tailored to what we want.
There is only one thing the people on Heat want?
In brief: short, well-written furry erotica of all orientations with an emphasis on good story.
That is what we want to see in general, but there are certain things we want to see more of. A lot of the stories we get are straight or gay, have a male protagonist, have a young protagonist, have a canine protagonist, are set somewhere in contemporary America, or are fairly straight-forward romance story. Anything that moves away from this would stands out among our submissions.
We’d love to see more stories with a lesbian or bisexual focus. We’d love to see more transgender characters. We’d love to see more female protagonists. We’d love to see middle-aged or older characters. We’d love to see ourselves visiting different time periods or different locales or transported to whole other worlds. And we always love when our writers can mash together erotica with an unexpected genre. (I still think one of my favorites for this is Tempe O’Kun’s “The Case of the Gelatinous Gemstone,” which mixed erotica, comedy, and mystery.)
While kinks are allowable, remember that most of our audience is not likely to share that particular kink and therefore it should not be the primary focus of the story.
However, the editor of Heat, Dark End, points out that there are many common mistakes made when people submit to Heat. He recently posted a detailed blog about it on SoFurry, but if you choose to write for Heat, keep these things in mind to avoid these common mistakes. One of the biggest being, don’t make your erotic story just about the sex.