Statement on the Attack on the US Capitol and FWG’s Stance on Hateful Ideologies

Yesterday, the United States Capitol was overrun in what can only be called a terrorist attack by fascists attempting to overthrow the US Government. The Furry Writers’ Guild is in no way a political organization. However, during times like these, the Guild must take a stand and speak out against hateful ideologies.

The Furry Writers’ Guild is an inclusive organization. Our members come from many countries and many walks of life — and we celebrate that diversity. It is one of our greatest strengths.

As our Code of Conduct says: 

The FWG welcomes and supports all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to, participants of any age, experience level, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, ability/disability, gender identity and expression, sexual identity and expression, or level or type of participation in the furry fandom.

We oppose — and will take action against — any behavior that supports hatred. We will not accommodate hate speech, for doing so is no defense of free speech. It only silences the speech of others, and we cannot and will not turn a blind eye to bigotry no matter how artfully it is coded.

To make it perfectly clear: If you would denigrate or demean another person based on ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexuality, gender, disability, or lack of means, the FWG is no place for you.

Our Code of Conduct includes a section on reporting inappropriate behavior. I will personally guarantee, if I receive a message regarding dangerous conduct from someone currently in Guild spaces, that our staff will take it seriously and will be swift to act.

We have shown support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the past and will continue to support authors, publishers, and anyone else who is a part of a marginalized community. We always want our members to feel safe and to do our best to uplift their voices. If the Guild can do better in this regard, please get in contact with me or any member of the Guild Administration right away — it’s a top priority.

We know the world is a scary place right now so we want to make sure good stories can keep being released into the world. We hope our members and all furries will do their best at this time to support one another and speak out to support those who need it most. Stay safe out there, friends.

– FWG President Linnea “LiteralGrill” Capps

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Interview: Dajan Tafari on Spin the Bottle and Writing Vore

Content Warning: This interview contains discussions about adult works that include the topic of vore content.

Welcome back everyone — it’s time for our first interview of 2021! Today we sat down to interview Dajan Tafari, the author of the recently released Spin The Bottle from Fenris Publishing. Dajan is a lion furry who joined the fandom back in 2012 and was once the type to lurk while making pencil drawings in the fandom. Five years ago he began writing and drawing vore content and the rest is history.

With our introduction out of the way, let’s get to that interview!

FWG: What do you think makes a good story?

Dajan: Well I guess that depends on what you mean by “good.” I’ve read stories that were badly written that I enjoy, and I’ve read well-written works that were a slog to get through. When I write, I tend to prioritize the emotional arc. I know I’ve done a good job with a story if I’ve made my readers feel something: happiness, relief, grief, laughter, anger. I ask myself, what contributes to that final catharsis.

Everything is just one brick in the road that takes the reader to that moment to maximize the emotional impact. I want to read a story that affects me similarly. I want to be moved. The stories that move me are the most memorable, and I’d say that is the most important thing for me when judging if a story (either mine or someone else’s) is “good.”

FWG: You wrote what is likely the first vore focused novella out for the furry market. What got you interested in writing a vore story?

Dajan: Well personally liking vore is a big part of it. Most of the stories I’ve written for FurAffinity were in the vore kink, and I’ve done a fair number of commission vore stories. There’s a lot of great vore art out there, but a good vore story is harder to find. Because vore is such a niche community, often times people have to take what they can get. So you see a lot—and this is more true for non-furry vore writers than furry vore writers by my estimates—of flash fiction single scene stories that are made quickly to satisfy quickly. You get a lot of carbon-copy flashes without much substance.

The problem with that is you miss out on all the stuff that can make erotica so engaging: the tension, the anticipation, the relationship itself. A good vore story has that. Some of the best vore stories I’ve ever read are actually quite long; ten thousand words or more.
I write the kinds of stories that I want to read myself. Most of my works available on FurAffinity are pretty long for short stories. I like to take my time building up to the actual indulgent scenes.

Erotica is all about feelings: arousal, tension, suspense, anticipation, and release. And so writing erotica in general lets me really focus on that emotion-centric writing process. My long stories earned praise that told me that I was doing something right. People would comment on the length and say in one way or another that it contributed to the enjoyment.

I think vore is an especially unique kink that can become incorporated into the world of the story itself. The way the rules of vore operate in a given scenario can influence the genre of the story. The way the society treats it can open up so many doors for plot. I’ve always been fascinated by the unique pred-prey relationships that can be afforded by furry fiction that you can’t see in human stories.

Vore lets me tell unique stories, and so after having moderate success in my freelance work, going to furry conventions and seeing people unashamedly buying vore-related art packs and merchandise from other artists, and then managing to have a vorish story published in Rechan’s and KC Alpinus’s “Thrill of the Hunt” anthology, made me want to go all the way. It made me realize that there’s not just a market for longer stories in the vore fandom. There’s a market for vore in the furry fandom.

When I started writing “Spin the Bottle” I imagined it would just be a short one-off story, maybe six to ten thousand words, but I became really invested in the characters while writing their earlier scenes, and I wanted to see how far I could take this. Once I was about thirty thousand words in, I knew this was the piece that I could take all the way. So I added some more vore scenes to help with the pacing, added a couple more characters to flesh out the arcs, and after a few months of rigorous edits and helpful feedback from my boyfriend, I had a working draft that I started to send to various furry publishers.

FWG: What challenges came with writing about a niche kink? Were there any concerns on if a publisher would pick it up?

Dajan: Oh there definitely was that concern. The furry fandom is wonderfully sex-positive in most regards, but you don’t want to push kinks on people, especially unsuspecting editors. So I started by reaching out via email to the various furry publications. They all have those emails listed to ask for submission guideline clarifications for a reason after all, so I started by just reaching out to see if it was even something they’d accept. It saved everyone a lot of time and potential discomfort. In the end I found two that were willing to publish vore writings at all, so the project basically had to get shelved until they opened for submissions. It’s just like writing any other book, except a single rejection would cut your prospects in half.

FWG: With those kinds of challenges in mind do you think it’s worth it for other authors to try and take on other specific niches similar to vore in their writing?

Dajan: I definitely think they should if for no other reason than to prove that niche material sells. The entire furry fandom is a living example of the good that can happen when people with a niche interest can come together and inspire each other to make great things. I doubt that what I wrote will do for vore what 50 Shades of Gray did for BDSM, but it’s a nice pipe dream. The furry fandom gets stronger when we share more unique stories not less.

When I submit non-erotic stories for publication in the fandom I often see that little blurb in the submission guidelines of “No foxes at Starbucks.” There’s already a desire to break away from clichés. What better way to do that then to open up more publications to these kinks? If more people are writing those stories, and more people are supporting those writers, I think the spaces will be made in one way or another to let non-traditional kink erotica have its place in the fandom. The furry fandom is already such an immense buffet (pun not intended) so why not strive to add one more side dish?

The barrier to entry is high right now, but I hope that if other erotica writers try to carve out the space for their work then maybe that barrier can whittle down over time. I hope that this is the start of a trend and not a lucky outlier, but time will tell. Personally I would love to fill my bookshelf with vore books by the authors I like. Writing is writing, but having something bound in paper adds a certain amount of legitimacy that I’d like to see extended to more furry authors

FWG: So do you have any other future projects in the works? A sequel to your already successful story?

Dajan: I always have future projects. “Spin the Bottle” IS going to get a sequel. The working title is “Truth or Dare” and it will pick up where the first book left off. As I mentioned before, I love exploring pred-prey relationships, and I’m looking forward to fleshing out—or I guess you could say fattening up—the world and side characters as well as exploring the notion of consequences, the effects and aftershocks of the first book’s events.

I also have a book of vore short stories in the works as well as adapting an old unfinished miniseries of mine into a book. And that’s just the erotica. I’ve got plenty of short stories, poems, and non-furry books to write that will keep me busy for a long time to come.

FWG: Would you have any advice for people who might want to write a vore story for the first time?

Dajan: I guess that depends on if the writer is into vore or not. If you’re into vore, you’ll know what you like (and there’s a lot of versatility to the kink). And because there’s so much versatility, if you aren’t into vore, if you’re approaching the kink as an outsider, you want to do your research. The aesthetics of vore tend to be obvious: big bellies, belches, bulges; you know, the three Bs. If you don’t know the nuances of what makes those things sexy (or comforting for my asexual vore-lovers), then you’ll step into the cliches that won’t spark joy.

In erotica, emotion is so critical. To go back to those infamous single-scene stories with no sense of build-up, I don’t typically come away feeling much of anything, especially arousal or satisfaction. So many of them are just, “Mean guy stomps in, says something demeaning to the prey, gulps them down, and then says something else demeaning.” It’s superficial. I’m not saying that those stories are made by people who aren’t in the vore community, but there are a lot of people in the vore community who wouldn’t make those pieces their go-to content, and outsiders who want to try their hand at the craft of vore stories would need to do their homework BECAUSE many people want more than that out of their vore stories.

I think any successful vore story needs to have some sort of arc to it (even if it’s something simple). It doesn’t need a big extravagant plot, but there needs to be a set-up, conflict, and pay-off whether physical, ethical, moral, societal, etc. Talk to vorephiles and come to them with a sense of curiosity. Even if you’re already into vore, talking to other vorephiles is critical. What one person might find sexy, another person might find offputting. Knowing turn-ons and turn-offs is especially necessary when doing freelance writing for others. And learning about the ins and outs of the fetish from other people can often enrich your own appreciation of it. Try to build a sense of community if you don’t have that. Make friends who you can talk to about it. Sharing and bouncing ideas off each other is great for inspiration and developing stories in the early stages.

Spin the Bottle wouldn’t have gotten as far as it did without my boyfriend and other good friends in the vore community to help edit and expand it. Talking to people about your ideas and desires, the things you want to try, other ways to approach the kink, and what you both love about other stories you’ve read is one of the most important things you can do to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the kink and its community so that you can create works that will bring satisfaction to others. No writing can happen in a vacuum, and that’s especially true for vore.

FWG: Any last things you’d want to tell our readers?

Dajan: So as I mentioned above, one of the things I love the most about vore is the versatility of it and the unique affordances that such predatory dynamics can add to the world and the story. If you aren’t into vore, definitely do some research and learn more about it. I think the kink is widely misunderstood. So I actually would encourage non-vore furries and non-vore non-furries to read vore.

The anime Beastars has been making waves in the furry fandom (and outside the furry fandom), and while I would argue that that isn’t vore, it does create a tense and intriguing story that can only be told with the predator/prey dichotomy of a furry world where civilized people consume each other. Vore can put a less grotesque spin on those dynamics.

I’m happy to say that two of my best friends who are not into vore or even furries at all both read my book and even though they don’t share the kink or even fully understand it, they enjoyed the story for what it was. One of them was even kind enough to write a glowing review about its plot and characters for my publisher’s newsletter (anonymously of course). Because vore is a kink and also a unique storytelling device, I would love to see it garner more legitimacy in the furry fandom rather than pushed aside as “the weird fetish.” I’m sure it will be a long time coming before it’s acceptable in the mainstream, but even if you aren’t aroused or comforted by the content, I think there’s a lot to be gained for “normies.”

I set out to publish the first printed vore book (that is to add not self-published), and now that I succeeded, what I want most of all is to see other people enjoy it for the merits of its story and characters that exist beyond the kink, and so it gave me great pleasure to see the Furry Writer’s Guild advertise Zarpaulek’s Vore Anthology (in which my next short story “Coming Out” will appear) over the summer and give more public attention to this sort of content, and I’m incredibly thankful that you took the time to sit down and have this chat with me.

Vore is a kink, yes, but (at the risk of sounding cheesy) there’s something magical and unique in the way it brings people together. After all, my boyfriend and I met online because he liked my vore stories and wanted to talk to me about them, and now we’ve been a couple for four and a half years. Somehow, writing in this niche kink on the internet has yielded some of my proudest successes and profoundest happinesses, and I look forward to keeping the momentum going and seeing not just where the vore fandom takes me but where I can take the vore fandom.

We would like to thank Dajan once again for sitting down with us for this interview. Digital and physical copies of Spin the Bottle are on sale now from Fenris Publishing. You can find Dajan to keep up with his future stories over on Twitter. If you’re a fan of vore be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the release of “The Vore Studio” when it likely releases sometime in 2021.

FWG Newsletter: December 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR FWG MEMBERS! Congratulations, we all survived 2020 and made it into 2021. We’re glad that everyone has been able to keep safe, keep writing, and keep reading this year. Here’s hoping the next one can be a bit better. With that in mind…

The 2020 Cóyotl Awards Nominations Are Now Open!

This year, nominations will be open from January 1 until March 15 at midnight, Pacific time. Voting will take place from March 20 until April 30 at midnight, Pacific time. We highly encourage guild members to check out the Cóyotl Awards Reading List then go and nominate. Nominations can be done on the awards website.

We would also like to make people aware once more that discussions have been taking place about eligibility requirements for the guild on our forums and on our Discord. As it stands currently, the proposed requirements look as follows:

  • You’ve had one short story, poem, or novel published in a paying qualifying market
  • You’ve had two short stories or poems published in a non-paying qualifying market
  • You’ve had sustained income from a self-published work, written commissions, comics writing, visual novel or interactive fiction writing, and/or a writing-based crowdfunding presence.

This will not be brought to an official vote until elections but we would like feedback before then so come join the discussion!

Remember, we now have our Promotion Tip Line to submit to if you have new releases coming out, so don’t hesitate to fill that out so we can feature your book in our next newsletter! This month we have a couple of new releases to share with you:

We also have two books to share with you that are up for pre-order:

You can find all of the open markets for furry writing in our Furry Writers’ Market! Currently, these markets are open.

Fenris Publishing is currently open for submissions and Goal Publications will be opening for submissions on January 15th.

One last thing this month: we’ll be at FurCon 2021! We’ll be hosting four panels on writing for the convention as well as hosting another Flash Fiction Competition! The stories must follow the convention theme: FurCon Goes To Hollywoof and must be 250 words or less (titles not included). The winner will receive $25! Anyone interested in submitting should do so here before the panel takes place on Sunday, January 18th. Hope to see your stories there!

– FWG President Linnea “LiteralGrill” 

FWG Newsletter: November 2020

Hello there FWG members, it’s time for another monthly newsletter! Let’s get right down to business, shall we?

Usually, I save the part where I directly talk to you all until the end but we’re switching things up this month. I don’t want to talk about money, but I’ve got to bring it up. It isn’t free to keep the guild running. We are moving to becoming a 501©(3) and between running a convention and the Cóyotl Awards costs add up. Plus we have web hosting and a new logo… You get the picture.

The guild has never made mandatory dues and does not have plans to do so in the future. However, the guild keeps going thanks to donations from our members. A lot of you enjoyed Oxfurred Comma and the guild having more activity this year, and hope you will consider showing some support if able (2020 has been a hard year, we all know it).

If you can, please consider donating to the guild. We accept donations on paypal.

That’s all from me folks, we’ll show off the open markets and such as usual but until next time, stay safe, stay well, and I’ll see you next month. 

– FWG President Linnea Capps

Pre-Orders This Month:

Remember to submit to our Promotion Tip Line to have your books included in this section.

You can find all of the open markets for furry writing in our Furry Writers’ Market! Currently, these markets are open:

FWG Monthly Newsletter: October 2020

Hello there FWG members, it’s time for another monthly newsletter! We have a lot fewer releases and other bits of our usual news to cover this month, so let’s make our focus be on important guild activity.

First, we’ll make this quick: It’s NaNoWriMo! Want to try and write a novel in just a month? The FWG Discord has an official channel for the challenge and we’ll be trying to run some writing sprint challenges as well. Be sure to check it out if you’re interested!

Second, some of our most exciting news to date: It was one of the biggest promises I made when running for guild president, and thanks to a stunning donation to the guild to cover costs, the Furry Writers’ Guild will be becoming a 501©(3)! We intend to keep you all as updated as we can throughout this process, but the short version is this will allow us to offer a LOT more services potentially to members of the guild.

Things like helping provide discounts to certain writing-related services, offering a NetGalley program (similar to the SFWA), potential blog book tour services developed, and potentially even publishing guild anthologies. This is of course the VERY shortlist and not a promise yet, just things that look possible to do. We promise to offer more details as they are available.

With this in mind, we thought it was a good time to get some feedback on the guild. We have done a lot this year from our Suggested Reading List to Promotion Tip Line and even Oxfurred Comma! Still, we as a guild want to do more. We want to know what kinds of things guild members want so we have a better idea of what we can provide and to figure out where to put resources or recruit volunteers to help make things happen.

So we have created an official Guild Feedback Form we wish for you all to fill out (this includes non-members of the guild as well). It begins with a few very basic questions on guild activity followed by more direct questions on potential programs or fun activities we have considered running. You can skip the latter questions if you simply want to provide direct feedback, but we would love to hear what you think!

Here is the Guild Feedback Form. We will be looking at submissions for this through the end of November, so make sure to get your thoughts in soon!

Guild Feedback Form

One last thing, don’t forget about our ongoing discussions on requirements to join the guild.  We invite you to discuss this on the forum as well as on Discord in our guild feedback channel and on Telegram. We want to manage guidelines to support all the furry writers we can, so help us make that a reality!

Have you backed and/or submitted to Difusity 2 on Kickstarter? Let’s support BIPOC furry authors and make sure this gets funded.

Remember, we now have our Promotion Tip Line to submit to if you have new releases coming out, so don’t hesitate to fill that out so we can feature your book in our next newsletter! 

You can find all of the open markets for furry writing in our Furry Writers’ Market! Currently, these markets are open:

I’ll close this with a little talk about Oxfurred Comma. For the guild’s first-ever attempt at an online convention, all of the feedback you have shared so far has told us we managed quite the success! There are of course hiccups for us to iron out as well, but one of the most common questions we received was: Will this happen again next year even if conventions return in person?

We want to let you know this is a resounding YES. In fact if possible, this may become a twice a year online writing retreat of sorts as many people requested we should attempt to do something like it more often. We discuss this in the feedback form so don’t forget to fill that out!
Also, all of the panels minus one (we’re working out exporting issues) are now available on YouTube. If you couldn’t watch a panel live, we highly reccomend you check them out!

With so much happening in the world this month and COVID-19 cases on the rise in many places, now more than ever be sure to keep safe and allow yourself time to rest when you need it. We want to be able to read your stories for years t come and that can only happen if you’re cautious and we all help one another. Stay strong, do your best, and reach out if you need some help. Let’s all meet here again next month.

– FWG President Linnea “LiteralGrill” Capps

Oxfurred Comma Begins TODAY!

That’s right folks! We’re keeping this one short and sweet. Oxfurred Comma begins today and we want to see you attend the first ever online convention that focuses purely on furry writing. Let’s hit the quick bullet points!

That’s it! We hope to see you all there enjoying this fun weekend of furry writing!

FWG Newsletter September 2020

Hello there FWG members, it’s time for another monthly newsletter! Let’s dive right in because we’ve got a lot to cover!

If you’ve somehow missed it, Oxfurred Comma, an online convention for furry literature, will be taking place from October 17th to 18th in conjunction with Furry Book Month. Here are some of the other important dates you have to look out for:

We want to especially encourage panel submissions currently for the convention. We have the opportunity to take more specific writing panels than most conventions can offer. So share with the world your expertise, let us hear you read from your latest book, or do whatever else you can think of! 

We also want to let you know that NSFW panels WILL be accepted so long as they follow Twitch guidelines. The short version: if you’re offering educational content and not showing pornographic materials on screen? You’re likely good to go!

We are also proud to announce that Oxfurred Comma will also be presenting the Oxfurred Comma Inclusivity Award (OCIA). This award will be given to a person that has done work to advance recognition for marginalized peoples and groups within the furry writing community. We hope this will be a strong step in the guild’s continued work in uplifting marginalized voices within the furry community.

Finally, we have one last reminder about our ongoing discussions on requirements to join the guild.  We invite you to discuss this on the forum as well as on Discord in our guild feedback channel and on Telegram.

With guild business out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff! We featured another two members this month on the blog for interviews that we hope you check out.

We’d love to take this opportunity to mention we would love to feature more interviews like this, as well as potential guest posts on writing tips for our blog. Please contact a guild officer if you would be interested.

We saw a few new releases cross our path this month you might want to check out including:

There’s also a kickstarter currently running for Difursity 2! Let’s support BIPOC furry authors and make sure this gets funded.

Remember, we now have our Promotion Tip Line to submit to if you have new releases coming out, so don’t hesitate to fill that out so we can feature your book in our next newsletter!

You can find all of the open markets for furry writing in our Furry Writers’ Market! Currently, these markets are open:

We also want to let people know we need more stories for Microfiction Monday as we’re almost out! So get those submissions in here

I would like to end this month’s newsletter with a special request. Both Can You See Us Now? and Difursity 2 opened for submissions this month. For BIPOC writers reading this, I would love to encourage you to submit. For those that aren’t, I want to ask that you promote the submission calls in any spaces you can. Here is a tweet about Can You See Us Now? and one for Difursity 2

I want the word spread to as many people as possible so that the resulting slush pile will be massive beyond all reason. Let’s all take this time to help uplift marginalized voices and help them share their stories. Keep well, stay safe, and keep on writing.

– FWG President Linnea “LiteralGrill” Capps

FWG Interview: Khaki on The Voice of Dog and Recording Stories

Welcome back to another FWG interview. Today we’re featuring Khaki from the Voice of Dog. Don’t know the Voice of Dog is? Ever wanted to learn a bit about recording your own stories? Then read on and enjoy the interview!

FWG: For those that may not know you, tell our readers a bit about yourself.

Khaki: Hey! I’m Khaki. I used to go by “Alex Vance”, and I’ve done a lot of things in this here fandom, except Fursuiting and Con Staff.

I founded Bad Dog Books, FANG and ROAR, wrote and produced the graphic novel series Heathen City (and won an Ursa Major for it!), guested on the Furry Basketball Association and Bad Dog Book Club podcasts, and was privileged to be asked as Guest of Honour to Rusfurence in Moscow, JFTW in Bristol and CesFur in the Czech Republic.

Nowadays I’m a professional photographer, and at furry cons you’ll always find me with my trusty camera and a big dumb grin.

FWG: What do you think makes a good story?

Khaki: Oh dear. What makes a good meal? Not the wine or the dessert, though they can diminish or lessen the experience!

I think the thing that a story is most dependent on is its characters. They don’t have to be “people”, but they have to be interesting, comprehensible, and real — which is to say, as a reader, you can feel when a character only exists to further the plot, and isn’t fueled by internally consistent motivations, even if you don’t yet know what those motivations are.

Now, if only it was that easy to recognize while you were writing them…

FWG: From your introduction, it’s clear you’ve been involved in the world of furry literature for a long time. Can you tell our readers about The Voice of Dog and what inspired you to start the project?

Khaki: I retired from writing some years ago — nothing dramatic, I just fell out of love with writing. I still missed it in the years that followed, but I realized it wasn’t the writing itself I missed, but rather the furry writing community. And I’d also enjoyed doing story readings for the Bad Dog Book Club, but when that podfaded, I didn’t really have an outlet or impetus any more.

The Voice of Dog was, however, born from the COVID-19 pandemic. Early March, we were all feeling uncertain, and powerless, and stuck at home and isolated, and I knew some folks were feeling that much more than I did, and I felt powerless to help them.

It was rather spontaneous, honestly. I told my friend Rob Baird “Hey, I want to Make Something today. Can you give me a story to read?”

I was looking for something to do with the extra time I got now I didn’t have to commute every day, and specifically to do something that could give people a sense of hope, community and courage, however small.

I shared my reading of Rob’s Story, which was “Bad Dog!”, and an excellent story about defiance and courage in the face of systematic oppression. And I wanted more. I asked other writers for stories, anything they wanted to share, as long as they ended on a high note.

I picked the cheapest, easiest podcast host I could find to spend more time making it and less on overhead, and started releasing stories every day. I wanted my fellow furries to have something to enjoy, or to look forward to, or at the very least, to know that someone out there cared enough about them to make something every single day.

Of course, it was also a great way to give furry writers a boost and broaden their audience, so even after two months of 7-days-a-week podcast episodes, and the New Normal started to become clearer, I knew I wanted to continue.

Now there’s three stories a week, but they’re still passionate, excellent, diverse and, crucially, there’s no bummers.

FWG: Can you tell us a bit about the organizational process needed to put out multiple episodes a week?

Khaki: Certainly! Obviously I care about gear, like a good microphone and pop filter, but the challenge for this project wasn’t just cleanliness or even narration quality. I had to be able to produce multiple episodes a week, so comfort and convenience were also high priorities.

I’ve made submission templates, which authors fill out when they submit a story to The Voice of Dog, which includes stuff like their introduction, links to their credits, pronunciation guides and character voice descriptions, which saves a lot of overhead.

I have my recording set-up refined so that I can speak into my microphone while reading comfortably from my screen, with good posture to aid breathing.

FWG: Recording so many episodes must take a lot of editing. Do you have any techniques to help reduce the time it takes?

Khaki: I make a lot of errors! Mispronunciations, or losing my place in the sentence, a wee catch in my throat or the eternal struggle to do character voices consistently and authentically.

To save myself from the overhead of editing each recording afterward, I do the editing while I record; a technique called punch-and-roll recording. When I make a flub, I move the playhead in my recording software back to the beginning of the sentence. When I hit record, it first plays back the last five seconds of audio, so I can mouth along, and remember my intonation and breathing rhythm, and then immediately start speaking.

The edits aren’t always perfect, but they’re quick; I can record a single story in a single one-hour session, and that’s important when you have to produce several a week, every week.

FWG: What is one of the biggest challenges when trying to record the podcast?

Khaki: The biggest challenge is… quiet. Outside my room there’s a street, where there are often children playing, or adults talking, or cars driving past. Most of my recordings are early in the day, before it gets busy.

FWG: Can you offer any advice to someone interested in recording stories?

Khaki: When people ask me for advice, as a photographer, on which camera they should buy, I usually advise “one that you’ll have with you every day” and that’s the same for anyone who wants to learn to do this. If you have a budget, don’t spend all your money on the most expensive microphone; consider investments that make your life easier. An extension cable for your headphones, a desk arm so you can easily position the mic. A riser to put your computer’s screen higher, so you can read it more comfortably while recording.

All those things are sources of stress, and the listener can feel those in the recording, even if they can’t hear them explicitly. When I record a story, I’ve made sure I’m physically and mentally comfortable, and ready to enjoy the story. I’m in a headspace where I’m genuinely eager to talk to the listener again, and I’m excited to see how the story will go.

I believe that makes story readings enjoyable to listen to. Just like music, as a listener we’re empathetic to the experience that the narrator or musician conveys, both through their performance and through their actual emotions. When I sit down to record, I do so with genuine love in my heart, for the story I’m reading and the listener who’s going to enjoy it.

FWG: So do you think anyone reading this, with a little effort and research, could record their own audiobook or story if they wanted to engage that way with readers?

Khaki: Certainly! I know several writers who’ve done just that — of course Mary E. Lowd, who reads short pieces on her Deep Sky Anchor podcast and recently Madison Scott-Clary started her podcast Makyo Writes, for the same purpose. Oh, and Huskyteer, Altivo Overo and Rob MacWolf have all read their own stories on The Voice Of Dog.

I know some people are uncomfortable with the sound of their own voice, or worry about speech impediments (I have a slight stammer myself), or that they don’t think they’re good enough actors to do character voices and accents.

It takes practice and exercise and a love of learning — much like writing itself! But I’m pretty sure that anyone reading this can make great readings of their stories that are a delight to listen to, if they’re willing to put a little time into refining and practicing.

Nobody starts out great, but as writers, we know that all too well. But it’s fun to do, and very rewarding.

FWG: Would you consider doing voice work for any authors who might still feel too intimidated to record for themselves?

Khaki: That’s one of the purposed for The Voice of Dog! That’s my baby, so I’m selective about the stories I accept; their length and tone in particular.

But I’m in talks with at least one writer, to do an audiobook version of their in-progress novel later this year. And I made an open offer on Twitter regarding the upcoming Oxfurred Comma furry writing convention: if there are writers who want to do a panel that includes a reading of their work, but they’re uncomfortable or uncertain about doing it themselves, I’m happy to do the narration for them, either live or pre-recorded, depending on when their panel is.

I always want consider stories before I narrate them of course, even outside of my podcast. It is, after all, my voice speaking those words, and I wouldn’t want my voice associated with something I don’t stand for. This goes for professional voice-over work I’ve done as well, for commercials and training resources. I’ve turned down paying jobs because there were things in the script that I didn’t want to say.

But I’ve done some 120 episodes of The Voice of Dog now, and I’ve never rejected a story for being “objectionable”. I’ve been amazed at the furry writing scene’s maturity and responsibility, and the breathtaking diversity of perspectives and stories, it’s truly wonderful.

But yes, to your question — yes, I’d certainly consider doing voice work for other authors.

FWG: Any last things you’d like to tell the readers?

Khaki: Getting back in touch with the furry writing community after a decade or so has been so wonderful, and I want to thank you all for being part of that. The young folks and the old folks, the patient and the passionate, the carefree and the contemplative, I’m proud to be among you and make another modest contribution to furry fiction.

I can tell it’s been too long since I retired from writing, because I struggle to find the right words to convey just what you all mean to me. So I’ll take advice I’ve given often myself, and steal someone else’s. In the words of Michael, the angel from The Good Place:

I’ll say this to you, my friend,
with all the love in my heart
and all the wisdom of the universe:
Take it sleazy

We would like to thank Khaki once again for the interview! Be sure to check out The Voice of Dog and if you’d like to hear more of Khaki’s wonderful voice you can check out Cover My Ass where Khaki and his friend K pretend to review a book they haven’t read every week. Until next time, may your words flow like water.

Oxfurred Comma: An Anthropomorphic Literature Convention (October 17th-18th)

Oxfurred Comma Is Comming Soon!

You’ve been hearing about Oxfurred Comma, but now we have all the details! Oxfurred Comma, an online anthropomorphic literature convention, will be taking place on October 17th-18th. We’ll be talking a bit about the convention here, and full details can be found on the Oxfurred Comma Website.

Convention panels will be streamed live on the official FWG Twitch account. We will also be hosting special chats and dealer’s den rooms on the FWG Discord. We have several features, panels, and events to consider submitting to including:

We hope to see many signups for our events, panels, and features. Please be sure to share this with all of your friends, fans of furry fiction, and any other furry you think might be interested. It’s up to us authors to help promote this big event, be sure to do your part. We look forward to seeing you all at the event!

FWG Interview: Ana Valens on Furry, Reporting, and Patreon Guidelines for Adult Content

Welcome back for another FWG Interview! Today’s interview discusses adult content, so those that avoid things relating to erotic content or may be sex averse consider this your content warning before we continue.

Patreon has been cracking down on adult content which could directly affect income streams for furry writers. To help explain the situation and help writers prepare, we interviewed an expert on the subject: FWG member Ana Valens! Not only has she done a lot of reporting on the subject, but she’s also written many reports for mainstream media on the furry community while being a furry herself.

We sat down to discuss these changes to Patreon, her reporting, and her history with the furry community. Enough with the introductions, let’s get to the interview!

FWG: For those that might not know you, tell everyone a little about yourself.

Ana: Hello! Thank you so, so much for having me. My name is Ana Valens. I’m an NSFW reporter for the Daily Dot, a sex worker, an adult content creator, a leatherdyke, and, of course, a furry. I’m also a trans lesbian (she/her pronouns). That’s a lot of identities!

I first started writing professionally around 2012, but I really started to build a career for myself in 2014 when I started writing an LGBTQ column for a friend’s gaming site. In 2017, the Daily Dot brought me on as a freelancer, and it was there that I started to really write the hard-hitting stories about sex, gender, gaming, and trans rights. That’s also where the lion’s share of my reporting on the furry community began, including my piece on Bad Dragon, my guide to fursuits, my vore and giantess porn articles, my explanation on yiffing, etc etc etc.

FWG: What do you think makes a good story?

Ana: I have two answers to this as a fiction writer and a journalist!

For fiction, the most important thing is to create characters that readers care about. They don’t have to be similar to the reader (although I’m a huge advocate of this as a queer writer), but above all, what characters do, say, and feel need to make sense and have some sort of consistent logic, even if it appears illogical at first. I don’t believe good fiction comes from conflict (there are a lot of bad stories with good conflicts and a lot of beautiful stories with no conflict), but rather bringing characters together and seeing how they relate, interact, and grow (or don’t grow). This can be as simple as a main character understanding the world around them, or as complicated as, say, thee political drama between furry monarchs, dukes, and generals in a fantasy world under a scalie invasion. Conflict or not, characters have to have feelings that are understandable and relatable, feelings that flourish through storytelling. Achieve that, and the rest will follow.

As for journalism, a good story has to be newsworthy – that is, it has to speak to some sort of pressing issue or current event that others should know about. A lot of my furry coverage written by and for the furry community discusses issues they should know more about to make informed decisions as community members. Two good examples are my Bad Dragon story and my Mastodon story. My introductory guides to furry topics are technically for those outside the furry community, but they’re still for the community in the sense that they’re resources we can use to help educate non-furs.

In both of these cases, I believe what happens to the furry community both internally and externally is important, and it’s why I cover our community so passionately: because being a furry matters, and what happens to us matters. If you walk in to a furry story with that mindset, you’re halfway to a good story.

FWG: You have written several articles discussing furry topics from the history and issues of Bad Dragon to discussing the dfferences between mursuits and fursuits. What first inspired you to start reporting on furries?

Ana: Ahh, great question. The furry community’s history is so tightly connected with the internet, so as an internet-based reporter, the fandom has always interested me. But the thing that really turned me on to covering the furry community was the queer visual novel Anthrotari, which I wrote about for Kill Screen back in 2016. Anthrotari is an adorable game about the ‘90s queer furry IRC world, and it touches on everything from online connection amid offline isolation to the sort of playful, erotic energy that flowed (and still flows) through queer furry spaces. Just a few months earlier, I had covered Jae Bearhat and Rory Frances’ Little Teeth for Bitch Media, which I adored for its handling on the messiness of queer community (which, by the way, really came through in the full release). Anthrotari spoke to a lot of the same issues around queer belonging that made me gravitate toward Little Teeth in the first place, and so both titles planted that initial interest within me.

But my passion for covering the furry community really came out when I started learning more about the furry world and meeting other furs. So around late 2018 and 2019? I felt an innate sense of belonging among trans feminine furries in particular, like they understood and accepted me. That’s partly because I’m a leatherdyke, and there’s just this feeling of connection that comes between leather and queer furry spaces: we’re “others” ostracized both for our hobbies and interests as well as our systemically marginalized identities. One thing led to another, and well, here I am today!

FWG: Part of why you became a furry yourself was because of the reporting you did on the community. Can you tell us that story and a bit about your fursona?

Ana: I’m a ‘90s kid (‘94 to be exact) who grew up with the internet and knew about the furry community from a very, very young age. Unfortunately, I first learned about furries through anti-furry sentiment on sites like 4chan, Encylcopedia Dramatica, etc. The biggest and earliest “resource” for me was God Hates Furries, which popped up in 2001 and became a well-known anti-furry site during the 2000s. I must’ve stumbled across that site when I was 10 or 11, maybe? And as an impressionable kid struggling with a fuckton of internalized homophobia and transphobia, I believed God Hates Furries – for a time.

That changed dramatically as I started coming out as queer and meeting queer furs in 2015 and 2016. The furries I met were more often than not wonderful, accepting, and non-judgmental people. Reading Little Teeth in 2016 really opened my eyes to how there are many different ways to be a furry, including incredibly queer and political ways, but also aesthetic ones too. I’m far more a fan of Rory Frances’ style than the traditional funny-animals and Don Bluth-esque looks popular during the ‘90s and early 2000s.

So by the time I really started dipping my toe into furry subculture (2019) I had a lot of furry followers who became furry friends, and I fell in love with what I saw in the modern furry fandom: queer inclusion, sexual freedom, plurality in furry aesthetics, creativity and autonomous self-expression, so many other things. I came out proper as a furry this past January, and when quarantine started, I became very close with a number of lovely, wonderful queer and trans furries who really kept me going and gave me social connection when I was at the most risk of isolating myself from others. The furry community still has its problems for sure, but I think many parts of the furry fandom are lovely places to express onself. I certainly feel right at home in the little community I’ve carved out for myself.

As for how I came into creating my own fursona. My friend campmonday does a lot of furry artwork, and I fell in love with a doe girl they created in 2019. Their doe reminded me a lot of myself in certain ways, so I reached out to monday about commissioning a doe girl fursona design for myself. One thing led to another, and that spring, I had my first official fursona.

She’s supposed to be a reflection of myself down to a T: she’s not an idealized version of myself, but more like what I would be like if I was in an anthropomorphic cartoon or comic (Little Teeth? haha), flaws and all. I adore her and the design monday did, it still feels like such a fantastic representation of who I am IRL.

FWG: What is it like not only doing standard reporting but navigating that while doing sex work and creating queer adult content?

Ana: Ooh, great question. It’s as exciting as it is challenging. There are many sex workers in media, but there aren’t many that are out and open about doing sex work. The ones that are out are generally the exception over the rule. Our identities are fluid, too. There are many folks who come out only to withdraw their disclosure for their own safety or privacy. There’s no right way to be a sex worker with a public-facing civilian job, just many different ways to do it, but being bluntly out and open about it is… quite a lot to navigate.

As for the specifics of being a sex worker and an adult creator, it requires strong boundaries between your sex work, your personal life, and your civilian job(s). There’s a lot of threat modeling involved too. Every day I have to ask myself questions like, “what happens if my OnlyFans nudes leak? What happens if harassers find my sex work accounts?” I don’t think I would have come out as a sex worker if I didn’t already have a strong, stable career that could withstand whorephobia from within and without the editorial industry. Games in particular is really bad about this.

FWG: Quite a few furries write for independant news websites strictly about furry news or book reviews. Do you have any suggestions on how to pitch ideas for these sorts of articles to mainstream publications for anyone wanting to branch out?

Ana: Yes! First off, by writing about the furry community independently (whether for an indie publication, Medium, Substack, or even Dreamwidth and Tumblr), you’ve already fought half the battle: building your portfolio. This gives you a strong advantage when pitching publications because you have examples of your writing in action, and, hopefully, proof that you have a trustworthy voice within the community you want to write about (or at least discuss).

Beyond that, do some research into the different publications out there and whether they have prior furry or online subculture coverage. Then, pitch to places that are friendly to new voices: write a 300 to 400 word email to the submission editor detailing your past work, what you want to cover, and why it matters. On the queer and feminist side of things, Bitch Media, Autostraddle, and, of course, Daily Dot are all great picks. In terms of geekdom and gaming coverage that converges with the furry world, Fanbyte, Unwinnable, and Gayming Magazine are all friendly to new voices and pay decent rates as well.

FWG: Let’s move on to our main topic. It’s no secret that there are many erotica writers in the furry fandom. Plenty of these writers use Patreon to help get paid for their writing within the furry community.

Patreon has recently begun to crack down on adult content, even content posted to other websites. You have been reporting on these changes as they happen. Can you discuss why Patreon is doing this?

Ana: I used to believe Patreon’s recent censorship wave all came down to credit card companies and banks dictating what kind of content can be posted where and when on Patreon. I still think that’s the biggest contributing factor, but I don’t think that’s the sole explanation. There are high-risk payment processors out there that Patreon could have partnered with, but chooses not to. And if Patreon really cared, it would find ways to make room for the kind of content it’s now banning, just as it would have found ways to make room for the sex workers it deplatformed.

As Veil Machines’ E-Viction pinpoints so well, Patreon is engaging in something called digital gentrification: The site became popular because it provided adult content creators and sex workers with an avenue to collect money without a middle-man (i.e. a publisher, a studio) facilitating the exchange. Patreon now wants to change its image and branding so it’s influencer-friendly, so it’s cleaning out the porn and remaining sex workers. Now, YouTubers squeamish around hypno smut and murrsuits don’t have to feel uncomfortable using the site! Hooray! /s

TL;DR: Patreon is facing external pressure from its payment processors, but it’s also trying to change its target demographic, so they’re engaging in the same cruel cycle that happens all the time in Silicon Valley: a new start-up says sex workers and adult creators are welcome, raises investment money off our backs, becomes stable enough to no longer require us, spits us out, and invites in a more “respectable” crowd.

FWG: Some might be worried that getting their customers to move off Patreon, where they are already comfortable, might result in a serious loss of support. What can authors do to protect their sources of income through this?

While Patreon is the most popular, should furry writers consider switching to a different platform now to save time building a base there?

Ana: The sad reality is that we don’t know what’s going to happen next. I think Patreon will continue slowly picking its battles by carefully censoring and deplatforming the folks it knows it can get away with censoring and deplatforming: fetish creators, kinky erotica writers, adult artists doing anime content, furry porn writers and artists, etc. If it’s non-normative smut and likely to squick out a random person on the street, it’s a target.

Furry writers on Patreon should book a day to audit their online presence and figure out which platforms are the most important to them financially and socially. Then, use that report to create a backup plan that prepares you for the worst. If you rely on Patreon for most of your income, and if it’s the sole way you communicatee with the majority of your fans, start to branch out and monetize your base elsewhere. Twitter is a hot mess, but it’s where most people are these days, so I highly recommend hopping on there to start. Consider creating a Discord server and inviting your patrons and non-patrons alike to it: that way you can engage in direct communication with your fans and even create monetization solutions via your server. I don’t think it hurts to create a SubscribeStar right now either, although I would continue monetizing your content on Patreon for as long as you can to prevent potential income loss.

One closing thought: When the Tumblr NSFW purge hit, artists and writers that already had a strong following off-site on Patreon, Discord, Twitter, Mastodon instances, etc were in a much better position than those who did not. The key right now is to see where your target demographic hangs out and plant your feet there. But I wouldn’t run away from Patreon quite yet, because the purge process is still very slow: it’s better to be prepared than to uproot suddenly.

We would like to thank Ana once more for sitting down to talk with us! You can keep up with her and her work by following her on Twitter (NSFW). You can also check out her creative writing by checking out her trans lesbian BDSM erotic game Blood Pact on We hope this interview was as informative as it was entertaining! Until next time, may your words flow like water.