Prose & Lore: The RedUP Literary Journal

Issue 5 was released with a launch party at Bluestockings in NYC on Thursday, February 12.

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Buy your very own copy of Prose & Lore Collected Issues 1-5 here. This 422 page book contains all the stories from the first four issues as well as 18 new stories.

Prose & Lore is the Red Umbrella Project’s literary journal, which collects memoir stories about sex work in two issues per year (Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer). The stories are original to Prose & Lore, and about 75% of the authors in each issue are previously unpublished. Many of the contributors participate in our memoir workshops and drop-in writing sessions.

“[The stories] that comprise this journal are straightforward without a lot of literary tropes or tricks yet their harsh and sticky realities pull readers in. A testament to Red Umbrella’s workshops, from which most of these works hail, they’re entertaining and edifying, even enlightening, at times. They are not by any means self-pitying stories but come from perspectives that are often humorous, seductive, pissed, confused, and psycho-sexually indignant.” – The Review Review

“It is not uncommon for the media to skew the perspective of those who have worked in the sex industry, painting a picture of bad and dangerous people, with real life stories often going unheard. But since 2009, the Red Umbrella Project, a nonprofit group based in Downtown Brooklyn, has been providing a venue and an outlet for unheard voices of American sex workers.” – Downtown Brooklyn

“Gutsy wisdom permeates these pages. Prose & Lore brings together a keen array of lived experiences and authentic voices.” – Amber Dawn, author of How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir

“In this collection of creative nonfiction, people who’ve tangled with the sex industry write about the complications that arise in the mix of sex and money. From the accounts of love and loss, occupational hazards and tricks of the trade to personal stories of hope, resistance and survival, Prose & Lore is a fiery collection of narratives by people who have walked the walk, and are now telling their tales.”
– Daily Loaf, CL Tampa Bay “Top 10 Most Provocative Books”

“The Red Umbrella Project… works to give a voice to those who are in the sex business — prostitutes, strippers, dominatrix and fetish professionals, porn performers, and anyone who trades sexuality for money or survival…”
– Susan Donaldson James, ABCNews

“…the best reason to pick up Prose & Lore is for the writing, and the stories. Like them or hate them, they are voices we need to hear…”
– Cory Silverberg, – Sexuality

“…it is incredibly refreshing to see that the cover… of Prose & Lore is an amalgam of faces… a small detail that reflects the work that this journal does to humanize those in the sex industries.”
– Jessie Nicole, Anonymous Heels

We are also interested in getting the journal into classrooms and drop-in centers. Please email editor and RedUP founder Audacia Ray at audaciaray [at] if you are interested in purchasing multiple copies.

Becoming a Contributor

We gather writing for Prose & Lore in two ways: stories are developed in our memoir writing workshops in NYC and we accept pitches from people who live outside of NYC and want to contribute. For distance writers, we offer mentor editing from folks who have been through the workshop in New York. We prioritize people who have never been published before!

The second deadline for drafts for Issue 6, which will be published in December 2015, is July 15. Full info and details about submitting a draft is HERE.

We value interesting stories waaaay more than good grammar and spelling (that’s what editing is for), so draft a story you want to get out into the world and we’ll help you develop it. Accepted drafts will get paired with a mentor editor who will support you through the process of revising your piece.

Successful pitches are stories that are true and happened to you. We want stories, not essays about a theme. If there is a particular idea you want to write about, think about an example of this in your life and pitch a story about that.

We only publish previously unpublished work (blog posts are previously published). You maintain copyright, and we get first publication rights as well as the right to republish. You are welcome to sell the work to other publications once it had been published in Prose & Lore. We are unable to pay writers at this time, but writers get one free copy of the journal and can buy additional copies at 50% of the cover price (and you’re welcome to give them away, resell, etc).

Subscribe to Prose & Lore

Prose & Lore is the Red Umbrella Project’s literary journal, which collects memoir stories about sex work in two issues per year. The stories are original to Prose & Lore, and many of the authors are previously unpublished. Your subscription supports the Red Umbrella Project’s creative programs directly: all of the writers published in our journal take our memoir writing workshops in New York or are mentored by our member leaders from a distance. The programs are free to the participants.

Your support helps to make our biannual journal, writing workshops, and other work possible. Plus you’ll be a part of our community and receive ebooks, print versions of the journal, a tote bag, and recognition in the journal depending on your level of contribution. Donations are tax deductible.

If you live outside of the US, please subscribe at the $50 (or higher) level to cover postage.

$30 Subscriber includes two printed issues of our literary journal (Spring/Summer & Fall/Winter), ebook versions of both issues, plus a Red Umbrella Project bookmark. This subscription is for one full year and can be renewed thereafter.

$50 RedUP Friend includes a one-year subscription and one of our awesome ‘I [red umbrella] NY’ canvas tote bags

$70 RedUP Supporter includes all of the above, plus a name of your choosing will be printed in each of the issues in your subscription as thanks for your support for RedUP.

$150 RedUP Advocate includes all of the above, plus you’ll make it possible for us to gift 10 copies of the journal to low income people in the sex trades.

$250 RedUP Patron makes it possible for one sex worker to participate in our eight-week memoir writing workshop at no cost to them.

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I (red umbrella) NY Tote
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Be super stylish and carry around all your books with our new tote bag. Cotton canvas with 21 inch red straps.

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