Turn Me On

By Julie Mayhew

It started off as an argument on a short story course.

Men tend to put sex into short stories when it isn’t relevant at all to the plot, characters or mood, I said.

It was a sexist line to take. I know.

Adam Marek our brilliant tutor at Berko Writers had urged us to read the latest Murakami story in The New Yorker.

I had and then I had scrolled through other stories in the archive, with The Berko Speakeasy in mind. Could we read this story aloud at a future event?

Often the answer would be ‘no’ because a story would be ticking along nicely, brilliantly, and then there would be a gratuitious and graphic sex scene.

There’s no rule to say we won’t read sex scenes aloud at the Speakeasy – we’re not prudes and neither are our audience – but there’s a certain dynamic in that room, with reader making eye contact with audience, that asks that if we are going to describe graphic sex it has to mean something. In a lot of these stories I felt it didn’t.

I brought this argument to the table at our next workshop.

It got heated.

Don’t female writers write bad sex in their own unique ways too? suggested one.

Probably.

Is sex ever any good when it’s on the page? asked another.

Oh, it must be, sometimes, surely…

BadLiterarySex_Feb15

So that’s what led us to organising Turn Me On, a night to discuss the sex scene, good and bad, from Lady Chatterley to Christian Grey.

We’d love you to come and join the debate – and bring along your favourite sex scenes from literature.

Let’s put this argument to bed.

Turn Me On: A night of good (and very bad) literary sex
7pm, Tues 10th Feb, Upstairs at Here Cafe, Berkhamsted
For more information and to book go to the Berko Writers website.

Ann Summers’ Erotic Fiction Writing Competition

AScompetition

To celebrate the upcoming film release of Fifty Shades of Grey, Ann Summers is running an Erotic Fiction Writing Competition.

How to enter

As a brand focused on female empowerment, Ann Summers has reversed the roles and want to hear what happens when women take charge in steamy stories inspired by personal experiences or fantasies.

Your story will need to be within 750-1,000 words based on the above theme.

See Ann Summers site for more details on how to submit your entry.

Prizes

The overall winner will receive a £1,000 cash prize  and two runners up have the chance to win £500 each – plus Ann Summers goodies to make some of those bedroom fantasies reality! The winning stories will also be shared with thousands on the Ann Summers site.

Judges

On the judging panel are Ann Summers CEO, Jacqueline Gold; erotic fiction author and editor of Cliterati.co.uk, Emily Dubberley and founder of KillingKittens.com (club for the sexual elite), Emma Sayle.

 

The deadline is 23rd January 2015 so put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) and write us your steamy story.

 

Good luck!