CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS Stories from the Polycule

Stories from the Polycule: Real Life in Polyamorous Families

Are you a member of a poly family and willing to share your story (anonymously) with the world? Consider writing a brief entry for an upcoming edited book. Submissions can range anywhere from a few sentences to 10 pages long, depending on the age of the submitters, the format they select, and how much they have to say. You are free to submit essays, short stories, poetry, drawings, and photographs, or whatever else you can think of. All submissions will be anonymized, so no one will know who you are when they read the book.

If you wish to submit something or have any questions, please contact Elisabeth Sheff at

Topics you might consider include (but are not limited to):

Small Children
• Draw a picture of your family
• What is the best thing about being in your family?
• What is the worst thing about being in your family?
• What do you think about your family? The adults in your life/your parents’ partners?
• Any cute stories or quotes the adults in your life remember you saying about your family?

Older Kids and Teenagers
• Do you tell your friends, kids at school, teachers, or other adults about being in a poly family? Why or why not?
• What do you think about your parents’ partners?
• Can you talk to your extended family members (like grandparents and aunts or uncles) about being in a poly family? If yes, how does it go? If no, why not?
• Do you think you will have polyamorous relationships when you grow up? Why or why not?
• If you have tried dating at this point, how did it go? Was it monogamous, poly, or something else?
• Are you happy your family is poly, or do you wish they were monogamous (or something else)?
• Some people think polyamory is bad for kids. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
• How did you find out that you lived in a poly family, and how did you feel when you first found out? How do you feel now? Why?

• What relationship do you have with the children in your life?
• How do you think polyamory has affected your family?
• How did your family get together (ie. How did you get started in polyamory, what is your family like now, and how did it get that way)?
• What are the best things about your poly family? The worst?
• What is one of the best things that have happened to your family? The worst?
• Some people think polyamory is bad for kids. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
• Have you experienced any discrimination because of your status as a member of a polyamorous family? What happened, and how did you deal with it?
• Why have you split up with partners in the past, and how did it go? Why do you have the partners you do now?
• Do you have any advice on how to do polyamory “right” or pitfalls to avoid? Ways to do poly “wrong?”
• Did you come out as poly to your kids? Family of origin? Friends? At work? Why or why not?
• If you are not the biological parent of a child (something Sociologists call a social parent) in a poly family, but have a close relationship with that child – how does it go? What does the child call you? What do you do together? How are you treated in public? By other family members?

• Do your adult children know you are poly? If yes, how do they react? If no, why not? How do you keep it hidden?
• Please describe your poly family and how it came to be.
• What are the benefits of being poly now? When you were younger?
• What are the disadvantages of being poly now? When you were younger?
• Looking back, what do know now about polyamorous family life that you wish you had known when you were younger?
• Some people think polyamory is bad for kids. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
• Are you out as polyamorous to your friends? If yes, how do they feel about it? If not, why not?
• Have you experienced any discrimination because of your status as a member of a polyamorous family? What happened, and how did you deal with it?

Dr. Elisabeth Sheff, PhD, CASA, CSE

One of a handful of global experts on polyamory and the foremost international expert on children in polyamorous families, Dr. Elisabeth Sheff has studied gender and
families of sexual minorities for the last 16 years. Sheff’s television appearances include CNN, and the National Geographic, and she has given more than 20 radio, podcast, print, and television interviews with sources from Radio Slovenia to National Public Radio, the Sunday London Times to the Boston Globe and Newsweek. By emphasizing research methodology and findings in her discussions, Dr. Sheff presents the kind of public intellectualism that encourages audience members to think critically regarding gender, sexualities, and families.

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  1. Does “family” include families without children, or is this only for poly parents and their kids?

    1. Hi Dandy,

      I mean anyone who self-identifies as a polyamorous person and as a member of a family and has a family-related tale, anecdote, photo, poem, drawing, et. that they wish to share. All-adult families interest me as well. For instance, how do poly elders deal with their family members passing away? I think that would be very interesting to hear, and I am aiming to represent whatever poly families see themselves as being. So if there are families of all adults who have something to say, I want to include it in the book.

      Thanks for reading and responding.

      Cheers, Eli

  2. When do you need submission by?

    1. Hi Autumn,

      Thanks for your interest in the book, I appreciate you considering submitting something.

      How would July 15 work for you as a submission deadline?

      Cheers, Eli

  3. Celestial Being says:

    I submitted my story but heard no reply yet. When and where will we see these posted? I’m also interested in reading stories from others.

    1. Hello Celestial Being,

      It will be quite a while before I come out with the book. Submissions are just beginning to come in and I will need to organize and edit them before I put the book together. The book will most likely come out in 2015 or 2016, depending on how the publication process goes. I will keep posting about my progress on this project to keep you all informed.

      Thanks again for your interest in this project!

      Cheers, Eli

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