CFP: Stories by survivors of sexual trauma

Call for Submissions

*further details for interested contributors*


I’m Good. No, wait. I’m Great:  

Survivors of sexual trauma tell their stories of claiming

pleasure, intimacy, and great sex


Editors: Catriona McHardy, Cathy Plourde

Publisher: Contract in negotiation with Animal Mineral Press,

under their imprint Portlyn Publishing


Estimated publication date: 2016



Cathy Plourde <>

Catriona McHardy <>


Please find below:

  • Book premise and mission
  • Submission guidelines
  • Salient starter questions
  • Editor Bios


Marketing and sales will include a portion of the proceeds to be donated to a violence prevention or survivor support organisation.


I’m Good. No, Wait. .I’m Great

Survivors of sexual trauma tell their stories of claiming

pleasure, intimacy, and good sex

Every 107 seconds another American is sexually assaulted. Every year, there are about 293,000 victims of sexual assault—in the US alone. Whether violated by strangers or by those who betrayed trust, many victims do in time heal their hearts and bodies, and join the thousands of others who can call themselves survivors. But what would it mean to not just survive, but to flourish?  To find pleasure in intimacy and sex? To feel powerful and confident in one's’ own body and within relationships? This collection of celebratory stories of identity, sexuality, intimacy, and more, serves as a moving testament that that while a tragic event changes your life, it doesn’t have the power to limit you forever.

This collection is being curated and edited by Catriona McHardy, a nationally known, well-loved sex educator and former Vice President of Education & Training for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and Cathy Plourde, writer and activist who is expert in addressing socially sensitive issues with compassion and nuance.

This is a call for people to share what has inspired them in their recovery process, how they have discovered their own strength. The editors believe that strength and success can be found in small moments as well as large; that everyone’s journey is different; that the journey itself is not linear; and that by telling your story it is possible to better interpret/translate it for yourself and in turn be an inspiration for others.

  • Contributions in the collection can be a result of interviews with Cathy and Catriona; or, written by the contributor; or written in collaboration with the editors.
  • The collection will not offer in-depth recounting of the past trauma.  This is not to minimize what happened.  Rather, this is to offer an under-represented aspect to finding a full recovery or discovery of one’s self having survived such trauma.
  • People of any age, race, ability, identity, gender, orientation, sexuality, religion are encouraged to contact the editors for possible inclusion.
  • Contributors may choose to remain anonymous or be identified as they wish.
  • The book will be made into an e, audio, and POD book and hopefully will also be found on bookstore shelves.
  • We are beginning to explore interest in international publishing including translations.


If you are interested in knowing more about this project, please contact either Cathy or Catriona!


Cathy Plourde <>

Catriona McHardy <>


Submission Guidelines


  • Please be in touch with your interest as soon as possible as we are trying to get a sense of how much content we may have, how many contributors, how hard to shake the trees for more, etc.
  • Deadline and publication schedule to be available shortly.
  • 500-7500 words
  • 12-pt Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins all around
  • As little formatting as possible
  • Must send with cover letter, to include:

Name & contact info

Preferred name for authorship

Brief history of publishing (if any)

1-3 sentence summation


Note: We require worldwide print, ebook, and audio rights on all work.


Important: The focus of the narratives and the book as a whole is not on the events/trauma of the past. The following salient questions are neither exhaustive nor required for everyone, or may not even be relevant to you! But, this list should offer guidance as to whether this is the time and vehicle to tell this part of your story and journey. We are looking for participants who are leading and guiding their own lives, and doing with a sense of being sexually alive, with regenerated or found sexual desire, and a restored sense of possibilities


  • Why do you say you are flourishing and have mended your spirit?
  • How are you revived and restored your sense of worth and self esteem in the world today? How or when did that happen?
  • What pleasures and joys do you find in your daily relationships that help you see how you have restored yourself?
  • How did your consciousness and cognizance change and promote your current positive sexual expression?
  • How has the revealing of your sexual trauma changed as you have continued to move to a flourishing place in your sexual life?
  • How has sexual intimacy and pleasure improved for you? In general or over time?
  • What are the three words that you would use to describe yourself now that you could not have used in the past?
  • What have partners, friends, family or other supporters done to help you in your journey?
  • What do you never want to hear again – and why?  
  • How intentional was your change? Was there a catalyst?


Thank you for considering participating in our project. We expect that we’ll find other questions as well!

Editor Bios:


Catriona McHardy:

Catriona McHardy has spent her life studying human sexuality and formally spent a 32-year career in the field.  She led a team of “sex experts” who provided sexuality education and training to professionals, teens, and parents regionally, nationally, and internationally.  Catriona and her colleagues have been awarded three prestigious national awards and have written several curricula that are used in and beyond the borders of the United States. Their renowned curriculum on Sexual Violence in Teen Lives, one of the first in the country, and one that addressed the difficult and misunderstood topic of consent has been widely used by educators and sexual violence professionals for twenty years.  Catriona is currently a consultant and trainer on issues pertaining to sexual expression and that work towards building a sex positive culture. Catriona is also a faculty member at Community College of Vermont where she teaches courses in communication, race, ethnicity, class and gender, and of course, human sexuality.


Catriona loves to teach, talk, listen, and learn as long as there is humour and curiosity in the mix.   

Cathy Plourde:

Cathy’s background is in education and using theatre and arts for social change. She founded Add Verb Productions in 1999, sending touring productions into schools, colleges and communities across the US to address eating disorders (The Thin Line) and engaging bystanders in violence prevention (You the Man).  She’s had commissions from such groups as Maine Women’s Fund, Hardy Girls Healthy Women, Boys to Men (Maine), and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.  Cathy has presented on her work across the US and internationally, with You the Man and The Thin Line being culturally translated for use and research in Australia. Under her leadership two volumes of Out and Allied: An Anthology of Performance Pieces Written By LGBTQ Youth and Allies have been produced, featuring plays, monologues, poetry, and spoken word alongside production and activist tools. Although no longer focusing on Add Verb, the programs continue.


Cathy resides in England and splits her time between writing, gardening, foraging, and having adventures with her wife.