Firefly Southern Fiction the historical and contemporary Southern fiction line of LPC Books
Extended Definition of Southern Fiction: Southern fiction is about story, driven by characters who are distinctly southern and/or characters who move to southern settings (which are also characters). Southern characters fall into several categories and should not be stereotyped.
Writers of Southern fiction understand the diversity of the foods of the South.
They also understand that Southerners—even those without strong religious tendencies—will often “rest” in the South’s religion, no matter how diversified that may be.
Writers of Southern fiction should have a grasp on how characters within Southern Fiction novels might play, sing, and dance to the music of the South. Writers under the FSF banner should understand the politics of the South—the history of it and the way it changed and stayed the same.
They should understand that Southerners can be called an “aristocrat” or “old money,” a “redneck,” or described as being “back woods,” and “good ol’ folks.” Southerners—and therefore writers of Southern fiction—know the difference between a good good ol’ boy and a bad good ol’ boy, and they never fall into turning their characters into a cliché.
Writers of Southern fiction understand that Southern characters may think nothing of the sometimes/oftentimes bizarre behavior of her people and their deeply-rooted superstitions, even within the church. Southern characters in FSF novels know the landscapes of the South and the cultural and language differences that lay within her various regions. This is not to say that every character will hold every quality; there should be diversity in the author’s portrayal of their characters.
The Civil War is featured, overtly or as the source of attitudes and ideals, in nearly all Southern fiction because, somehow, those four years affected everything that came before and continues to affect events today. Many Southerners still refer to it as the War of Northern Aggression. Southern fiction within the Firefly Southern Fiction line should understand the causes of the war, slavery, how the South’s defeat affected the region and her people, Jim Crow laws and their ramifications on Southern blacks, the Civil Rights Movement, the Klan, and desegregation. But writers should never attempt to justify any poor behavioral choices made during those eras which, in the light of history, were misguided and cruel.
Southern fiction is strong in family, family history, and family values. Her characters include people as well as small towns, big cities, houses with wrap-around porches, plantations, farmhouses, and shanties. Landscape is as important to story as plot and character.
Southern fiction can be as deep in angst as it is in humor. It can be as haunting as it is hilarious. Within its pages one is likely to find the “big house” and the “outhouse.” The faith, family dynamics, tragedies, and triumphs of Firefly Southern Fiction characters must ring true to life.
Southern Dialect: As most Southerners know, dialect changes from location to location in the South. Those who live in the Appalachians do not speak in the same dialect or with the same idioms as those who live in the Low Country of South Carolina and Georgia. Dialect within region should ring true and should never fall within stereotype. The flow of dialect and, therefore, dialogue, should come naturally from character to character, location to location.
Southern Locations Include: those states commonly called “Dixie” (North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas), and may include Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia. Southern locations sometimes includes West Virginia and Missouri.
The Writing: At Firefly Southern Fiction we believe that first and foremost, a story must entertain. Stories should be strong in plot, character development and change, and include elements of family and faith. Any romance within the stories grows organically, naturally. Sex should be understated and not gratuitous. While the use of “four-letter words” is not encouraged, if the use of certain words lends itself to character and plot development, we will be open-minded and look at each, case-by-case. Violence should not be a part of the plot for the sake of shock value but only as it adds to the story line and character development. Above everything else, the work should be heartfelt and real. Southern readers know true Southern situations and characterizations and are able to identify with them and recognize when they are contrived.
Southern Fiction works accepted by FSF are those with words that captivate from the first page, the first paragraph, the first sentence, the first word, and the first syllable. This cannot be emphasized enough.
Word Count: Word count for works of both historical and contemporary Southern Fiction should run somewhere between 65,000 and 90,000 words.
Submission Guidelines: Submissions must include a theme, short synopsis (1 paragraph, single spaced), full synopsis (1-2 pages, single spaced), at least 5 reader benefits, marketing plan, competition analysis, author bio, and first three chapters (double spaced).
Submit proposals* in a single Word document and e-mail as an attachment to:
Eva Marie Everson
Acquisitions and Managing Editor
Firefly Southern Fiction, Imprint of LPC
*At this time we are considering submissions only from respected CBA literary agencies. We will accept submissions from authors we meet at writers conferences.