An important note about content featuring minors.

In our Submission Guidelines, we have a section which says, “We cannot accept content featuring characters under the age of 18 engaged in sexual practices of any kind. This is a legal issue. This means no flashbacks, detailed memories, or dream sequences in which a character is experiencing underage sex. References to underage sex and childhood sexual abuse are acceptable, provided they are not written for purposes of titillation.

Despite that, we’ve been getting a fair number of submissions featuring sexual content with minors, so I’ve decided to go into a bit more detail about why we won’t accept that kind of content, and why there are no exceptions.

Here’s why:

In Canada, where Freaky Fountain Press is legally located, content featuring minors under the age of 18 having sexual relations (with each other or with adults) is legally considered child pornography. The applicable section of Canada’s criminal code can be found here. Here are the important parts: (1) In this section, “child pornography” means (b) any written material or visual representation that advocates or counsels sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act. There’s also a section which says: (6) Where the accused is charged with an offence under subsection (2), (3), or (4), the court shall find the accused not guilty if the representation or written material that is alleged to constitute child pornography has artistic merit or an educational, scientific or medical purpose.

In short, stories about minors having sex are child porn. While artistic works are exempt under the child pornography laws, the onus would be on us to prove that the works were artistic, and in this case it’s guilty until proven innocent. If we agreed to publish your story featuring minors having sex, and we got nailed under Canada’s child porn laws, our names would be the ones getting splashed across the newspapers. Our money would be spent defending your story in court and trying to prove it’s artistic. And if the jury was unsympathetic and didn’t feel it was artistic, we’d be the ones facing the consequences for disseminating child porn.

That is why we will never publish a story featuring sexual content with minors. It doesn’t matter how brilliant your submission is, or how integral the minor-sex is to your story, or if it’s two mature and intelligent seventeen-year-olds in a tender and loving scenario; we still won’t accept it. We don’t care if you’re the next damn Philip Roth, we still won’t accept it. Period. We don’t even finish reading those submissions; once we realize where the story is going, that email goes straight into the Rejected folder.

So stop sending stories featuring minors having sex. Not only do you have a 100% certainty of receiving a form rejection letter, I guarantee that sending us that kind of content will seriously hurt your chances of ever publishing anything through Freaky Fountain Press.

And if it’s content featuring children – not mature teenagers, but children – consider yourself permanently blacklisted. Yeah, we’re freaky around here, but sex with children isn’t freaky. It’s disgusting and horrific.

Now I’m off to go compose a harsh form letter for the handful of people who are still stupid enough to send us these kinds of stories. For all the rest of you, who are capable of comprehending the guidelines, please carry on as you were. Thank you.