General advice before submission
At Lush, we want you to get your story out; we don't like rejecting them, and even go to great lengths at times to get it on the front page. That said, we want to ensure your story is one that you can be proud of, and that others can enjoy. Lush maintains a high quality of erotica by insisting that stories be literate before they are published. We are certain that you would not want that to change. Browse some of the Editors' Picks or Recommended Reads to get an idea of the standard of stories we'd like to see submitted.
We receive a lot of story submissions every day and our moderating volunteers have day jobs. There are many things you can do to make things easy for moderators, which increases throughput for all authors: save a mod job, save the world! So if you want to see your story published on its first submission, here are some tips:
This is very important: make sure your story is compliant. Certain scenarios and sexual practices are not allowed. Cardinal sins are rape, sex - or implied sexual overtones - with an underage person (under 16 years of age), violence and bestiality. Submitting a story containing any of those could see your whole account terminated.
Use a spell checker
But do not depend on it to catch everything. Read the story carefully to check your spelling because spell checkers will allow misspellings that are words, often with hilarious results, e.g. "I put my arms around her waste." Yes, that was in a story submission!
Pay attention to formatting
Please format your story into paragraphs of roughly between four and seven sentences or where the narrative should logically break. All dialogue should be formatted into separate paragraphs each time someone speaks. A mass of prose with few or no paragraph breaks will be returned to you.
Check for technical correctness
Your title should be in Sentence Capitals Case, not in all caps, and should not include text speak or emoticons. Do not repeat the title in the body of your story. Notes to the reader should be at the end of your story.
Read the Writers' Resources about the use of apostrophes if you are not sure. They are used either for contractions or to signify possession. They are not used to form plurals, unless to signify possession for a plural. Please take a look at the proper form for punctuation, formatting, and capital / lower case letters for dialogue in published stories and follow that example in your story.
Do not overuse exclamation marks, semicolons or ellipsis. They lose their power if used repeatedly.
Please check your verb tense throughout your story to be sure it is consistent. Many submissions have tense shifts from past to present and back again, which will usually be returned for editing.
Do not use text speak/emoticons in your story or short forms like &, or ok, or lbs. Use the entire words unless it is absolutely necessary to the plot that the shortened forms are employed.
Please express all numbers in your story as words unless they refer to measurements or the time of day.
Read your story
It sounds obvious, but read it. Then wait and read it again – out loud if you can – paying attention to where you pause. If it is a phrase, there should be a comma there. If it is a complete thought, use a full stop.
Be prepared to walk away from your story for a few hours, or as long as a day or two. When you keep rereading your story, you see what should be there because you know what you have written. Time and distance will give you the perspective to pick up mistakes.
Please do not expect that you can spend an hour putting your thoughts in writing and that it will be published. The writers whose work is most admired here on Lush spend time editing and improving their stories before they are submitted and published. If you put in the time and effort, you will have the satisfaction of only minor edits being done by the mods and your story will be posted on its first submission.
Listen to advice
If your story is rejected and you are required to amend it, please carefully read what the moderator has said and make the necessary changes directly in the Lush editor. Do not delete the original story, nor resubmit your story as new with no changes after it has been returned to you for editing. This is a waste of the volunteer moderating team's time, as well as your own, and risks a suspension from publishing if you continue to do this.
Editing stories within Lush serves two important goals:
- The moderators can see previous editorial notes on your resubmitted story.
- The changes alone are highlighted in your story so moderators only need to skim the alterations in order to verify it.
Both these points help the moderating team to work more efficiently, leading to shorter queues and faster story turnaround for all authors.
Finally, a thank you when you have been helped by a moderator is always appreciated.