Author Topic: Accepting Submissions for a Donald Trump Flash Fiction Anthology, publish 1/20  (Read 14401 times)  

Offline Bill Hiatt

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There could be two or more. There are a lot of different parodies and versions of "A Christmas Carol". Depends on what you do with it.
Very gracious of you! My plan was very different from yours, so there shouldn't be a problem.


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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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This is just a reminder that, despite the fact that satire is protected under Fair Use, if Trump decides to sue, you will need to foot the bill for your own defense. And this man has a history of suing.

More importantly, one angry tweet from him could send all of his "fans" after you. Alex Baldwin and the cast of Hamilton have the resources to protect themselves. Do you?

Ye gods know I'm not a shy person and I've never "backed down" from an argument, but I have also been on the receiving end of death threats and needed to get restraining orders against people. YOU CAN BE FOUND. And Trump has a history of going after people who offend him. More frightening, there are factions within his fandom that will take matters into their own hands.

At the minimum, you can expect all of your books to end up flooded with one-star reviews. That is the best-case scenario for you. I just had to ask Amazon to remove some reviews because someone took offense to something I said on Facebook about Trump. Fortunately, I could prove the reviews were retaliatory and get them removed. But that was just from a few anti-trump posts on FB.

Just really think through the current political environment and consider it before moving forward. As we say in gaming, it is all fun and games until someone loses an eye.


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Offline George Donnelly

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Those are good points, Julie, thanks for sharing that. I do appreciate it.

Any author who wants to submit anonymously, please feel free. You can even get an anonymous email address and communicate with me that way. Let me know if you need any pointers on that.

Tutanota (has a free option) is a service I have not myself used but have heard good things about and would consider using if I needed secure/anonymous email.

https://tutanota.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/511572-can-i-use-tutanota-anonymously
https://tutanota.com/

So, in short, my fellow authors can protect their identities, if need be. Just use a pen name and an anonymous email on the submission form instead of giving me your real name. If you're at all concerned, please take this route.

As for myself, I intend to consult with a lawyer before publishing. But I'm not that worried about it.

Also, the intention is to make fun of the man but not to savage him. I hope I will get an equal number of Trump superhero stories as I do Trump-being-tortured-in-taco-grease stories.

Bottom line tho, I think this is protected speech and I'm not going to permit fear of a lawsuit and 1-star reviews to chill my free speech, especially not now, especially not by Mr. Trump.

Finally, I'm not doing this to provoke a response but simply to have some fun and fill a market need. I just wanted to be clear about that. I didn't vote, I'm not a member of either major party and personally am on the fence about the man.

BTW, if there are any lawyers who might like to provide some light pro-bono consultation for this non-profit project, that would be most appreciated.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 07:39:24 AM by GeorgeDonnelly »
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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Bottom line tho, I think this is protected speech and I'm not going to permit fear of a lawsuit and 1-star reviews to chill my free speech, especially not now, especially not by Mr. Trump.

That is commendable. I am just pointing out that "Free Speech" doesn't mean "No consequences." I have been on the receiving end of attacks over things I have said online. I've had people call my home and threaten me over something as mundane as negative reviews. Women, in particular, are often far more viciously attacked for things that are said online than men. This is simply reality. If you have never experienced it, it is very easy to simply claim "well, free speech" and go about your business. And again, I am not saying anyone should not do something. But what I am saying is that people should make sure they understand the real risk and take the appropriate actions when moving forward. Particularly if you are a woman or a minority, because you will be the most savaged by those that take offense to the project. Using a pen name not tied to your normal books is a good start, but then how do you promote the book? Talking to a lawyer up front is a good start, so you understand the actual price of defending a defamation suit.

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Offline George Donnelly

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I have been the subject of attacks online and in the mainstream media. I won't go into the details here. Indeed, I might have an easier time being a caucasian male.

Any author who wishes to be anonymous can be exempted from the requirement of promoting the story.

Thanks again for sharing your concerns. I do appreciate it and hope you'll continue.
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Offline George Donnelly

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We're up to 3 submissions!
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Offline MarilynVix

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That is commendable. I am just pointing out that "Free Speech" doesn't mean "No consequences." I have been on the receiving end of attacks over things I have said online. I've had people call my home and threaten me over something as mundane as negative reviews. Women, in particular, are often far more viciously attacked for things that are said online than men. This is simply reality. If you have never experienced it, it is very easy to simply claim "well, free speech" and go about your business. And again, I am not saying anyone should not do something. But what I am saying is that people should make sure they understand the real risk and take the appropriate actions when moving forward. Particularly if you are a woman or a minority, because you will be the most savaged by those that take offense to the project. Using a pen name not tied to your normal books is a good start, but then how do you promote the book? Talking to a lawyer up front is a good start, so you understand the actual price of defending a defamation suit.

I've thought over the going another pen name on this. I'm still on the fence on what to do. But I kind of feel that the country needs some humor right now, whether they supported him or not, to except him as a President. Making fun of the current president has been going on for decades. Just look at SNL. From Chevy Chase doing Ford to Alec Baldwin playing Trump, it's going to happen. People are going to be making more fun of him because he is the president now. Comes with the job.

As long as it is all in humor and no real defamation, it will probably be ok. Of course, I could be wrong. George is the editor, so it's his call on what stories will make it. But to not do it because we are scared of Trump is not the right thing. We have to do it more because he is our president. If I met him in person, I'd be respectful, but I don't share his ideals. But I would take heart with the humor that Stephen Colbert throws around and SNL. The most he's done about other things he's disliked is tweeting out his disapproval. IF he would actually find out about our little project among all the stuff out there right now and tweet about it, WOW! The downloads that would happen.

And yes, you're right about the one star attacks. I've had that happen on other pen names for posting on this board. But you can't stop that. I saw how many 1 star attacks were happening on Hillary Clinton's book when it was out. It got to be a drama just to watch how reviews came down, and kept coming up. But that's a whole other story.

The world needs humor. It almost would be against democracy not to supply some chuckles to people whether they voted for Trump or not. I have another anthology for charity interested in my story too. (Side Note: I don't think you need this to be exclusive submission, right George?) So, I think there seems to be an interest in this kind of thing right now. I checked on Wattpad, and found several stories about Trump, almost as much as a fandom. There's all kinds of stories, some even writing him up as dashing while others with titles like "I Hate Trump". So, it's already out there. We might be lucky if we get noticed in the sea of stories that are flooding the internet right now.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 09:27:25 PM by MarilynVix »

Offline AngryGames

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Here's some pen names:

Hillary Sanders
Bernie Clinton
Barack Obiden
Joe Obama
Ruth Kagan Kennedy
Honorable Senator Mitch Sessions
Honorable Senator Jeff Ryan

(seriously, the list could be endless)


Edited.  PM me if you have any questions.  --Betsy/KB Mod
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 04:02:22 PM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Offline Bill Hiatt

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I must confess that Julie's point has left me somewhat on the fence. I think for me there's a difference between my actions as a private individual and as a business. As an individual, I have no problem being very public with my political opinions. As a writer of fiction with a fandom that stretches across the political spectrum, I tend to stay away from explicitly political commentary, though someone would certainly be free to draw political inferences from some of the moral messages.

Relying on George's common sense as an editor, I'm not worried about being sued. Frankly, a political figure has pretty much zero chance of winning a lawsuit like that, as the bar for defamation is pretty high. Anyway, had Trump been inclined to sue over a fictionalized portrayal, he would surely have gone after the gay porn piece that hit #1 on Amazon briefly. (I checked when this anthology was announced, and it was still up.) As someone else pointed out, he didn't sue SNL either.

All of that said, some of Trump's less discerning followers might indeed retaliate. I wouldn't let that stop me from speaking out as an individual, but the business brand is, as I've said, a different issue. (People display lawn signs at their homes and bumper stickers on their cars, but small businesses don't usually put up signs on their storefronts.

I could take the anonymity option, but isn't the purpose of a cross-promotional anthology to help build the author brand? How does writing anonymously or under a penname really serve that purpose? I guess it could be worth it to express my political perspective that way, though.

Sigh! I'll have to give it some more thought.


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Offline George Donnelly

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Hey, if this one doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for you.

I'm doing it for fun. It's topical, it's timely. Trump's going to be in the news on Jan 20th. It could get press coverage. It could go nowhere.

I think it's important not to let fear creep into the creative process too much. We could produce some really funny stuff and a lot of people could love it.

Anything that I sense is intended to savage the man without sufficient redeeming humor, I'm not going to publish. This is about having fun, not making political points - tho there is room for making political points below the surface once a good story and the humor or satire element exists and is successful.

The man was already a cultural icon. He's going to be a major cultural force for at least the next 4-8 years. He could continue for decades if he doesn't completely screw up. That makes this a topic of enduring interest that could serve as a reader magnet for decades to come.

The idea is to take the general Trump vibe and make it your own in some entertaining way. If you want this business-focused, you could make him a side character in an existing world. Or you could create a new character with similarities to Trump. Anything is possible.

Anyway, that's my pep talk for today. :)
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Offline George Donnelly

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BTW, if anyone wants to help me with the cover, I think I'm going to take advantage of GoOnWrite's sale and get a custom lite commission for $50 (donations accepted!) and I need two things:

1. a really good image from Shutterstock on which to base the cover.
2. another existing cover that has a similar vibe as to what we're going for

I just got the idea at this moment for a Get Smart vibe. Anyone remember that TV series from the 70's? Like a bumbling patriot kind of thing.

Anyway, ideas welcome!

Here's my lightbox. Feel free to make and share your own, as well.

https://www.shutterstock.com/lightboxes/52390080?verification_code=d05fdc4818c88e7eac2674a27f194f94
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 08:10:15 AM by GeorgeDonnelly »
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Online she-la-ti-da

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George, you're killing me! I've skipped over this thread, but I finally could resist no longer. Ack.

I'm a little on the fence not because I fear being sued (I rather think Trump has a lot more on his mind that more parody about him -- which I suspect he probably loves anyway), but more that the genre I write tends to have conservative readers and I'm not sure how it'd would go over. It's a quandary.

That said, I got an idea and just wrote it out. Not sure if I'll send it or not, but I've got time before the deadline. It's a bit short, only about 350 words, which is really short for me.

Oh, and when someone says "yooooge" or "yuge", I think Bernie, not Trump. That New York accent, ya know.
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Offline George Donnelly

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George, you're killing me! I've skipped over this thread, but I finally could resist no longer. Ack.

Hahaha, it's a fun idea. I got lucky with it. And it could go to the mooooooon!
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Offline horst5

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I can't believe this thread, and that it is still going on.
After all, this is a public forum.
Julie, is absolute correct with her pertinent comment.
Some posters have all their books in their signature line and seem to forget that many forum members are also serious Trump supporters.
 

Offline George Donnelly

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If the moderators wish to close this thread, that's their prerogative and I'll be the first one to respect it.

Until then, this is a serious indie publishing project proceeding full steam ahead. :)
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Offline geronl

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That could be fun

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Folks: feel free to comment regarding whether or not you want to participate and ask George questions about how it's going to work.

But this is NOT the place to comment pro or con on the election results. . . . There are lots of places to do that; KBoards is not one of them.

Some posts have been removed/edited. Thanks.

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Offline geronl

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every other post in this thread should emphasize the point....

For the Love of God, No Trump Erotica!

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Offline wearywanderer64

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How many submissions now? When's the cut-off date.

Offline George Donnelly

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How many submissions now? When's the cut-off date.

I keep the first post in the thread updated with that info. The deadline is Jan 13th so you still have 7 weeks. We've got 3 submissions so far and many more promised, including my own. This is going to happen.
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Offline Bill Hiatt

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every other post in this thread should emphasize the point....

For the Love of God, No Trump Erotica!
I think George's guidelines always include a "No Erotica" warning. I certainly agree with your position. If the idea is kidding around (gently poking fun rather than viciously attacking), erotica could be seen as mean-spirited in this context, as an attempt to degrade. Even non-Trump supporters might find it offensive.

Obviously, all of us have strong feelings about the election. Some of us may want to use satire to make a political point (as good satire normally does). We all need to keep in mind that really biting satire may be good for riling up people who already agree with you, but it isn't necessarily the best tool for persuading those who may be on the fence. There is a natural tendency for your to leap to the defense of the person being attacked if you hit too hard. (Among other things, I taught rhetoric for over twenty years.)


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Offline Spinneyhead

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I keep the first post in the thread updated with that info. The deadline is Jan 13th so you still have 7 weeks. We've got 3 submissions so far and many more promised, including my own. This is going to happen.

CAn I just check that you got my submission. I'd hate to miss out on this.

Offline George Donnelly

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CAn I just check that you got my submission. I'd hate to miss out on this.

Yes, indeed, got it. Thanks!
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Offline George Donnelly

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We're up to 5 submissions folks. It's definitely happening!
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Offline MarilynVix

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So just sent in my story. Sorry it took awhile. I was really putting it through a lot of beta readers and cleaning it up a lot.
Let me know if you need anything. I submitted through Google Docs, and have a pen name set up for it. ;-)
Looking forward to seeing this anthology release, mostly because I want to read it. ;-)
-Marilyn