If you’ve poked around through our submission pages, you’ve probably seen this floating around:
Hybrid Ink will not, under any circumstances, publish content that portrays any of the following without justification or in a positive light:
- Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or other forms of discrimination
- Pedophilia or sex with characters under the age of 18
- Rape, torture, dubious consent, or forced seduction
- Gratuitous violence, gore, or death
At Hybrid Ink, we understand the literary and historical purpose that drives stories, real or otherwise. There are lots of reasons for people to write things, just as there are lots of reasons for people to read them.
As a publishing company, editors play a unique role in that they stand between the two. The editors, in their own way, dictate who gets to read what. It’s a tough position to be in, as we never want to be the ones to say no to something. Sometimes, though, we have to make an editorial decision based on our own stance, as well as on the publishing house’s.
Hybrid has decided on the above stance. There are just things we will not accept without justification.
What is “justification”?
Justification means that we will not publish a story which contains rape without that rape being justified by the plot — and not just as a cheap dramatic tool. Justification means we will not publish an essay which contains transphobia without that transphobia being justified by the content, usually through a quote or as a topic of exploration.
Another way to think of our “nope” box is that we will not accept anything listed with in portrayed in a positive light. If your plot can’t justify child abuse, it gets perilously close to glorification, either as titillating or as disaster pornography. The same goes about the your essay on snuff: if you can’t justify it, it can veer towards pornographic.
We know that this is a complicated and blurry question. Because of this, we do not say “do not send us any of this”. If you are in doubt as to whether your work falls into any of these categories, please do send it in! We can work with you from there.
And, as always, if you have a question about this, please feel free to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ The Hybrid editors