A couple of days ago, a writer was complaining that he was afraid he had lost readers because he wrote fiction from a political point of view. I feel for him. Conservatives and conservative-leaning libertarians are Not Welcome in the publishing world, in every genre. Without some sort of celebrity name appeal, we can forget about traditional commercial publishing, and when we self-pub, we risk liberal “activists” bombing our reviews. Social media platforms are increasingly unwelcoming, and there are literally zero bricks-and-mortar outlets we can distribute to other than hand-selling directly to business owners.

At the same time, we have agents and publishers actively seeking “woke” fiction. From some of their guideline specifications:

” . . . would love to see a wide variety of diversity in the gender, sexuality, presentation, race, and mental/physical abilities of characters.”

” . . .  interested in reading new adult, adult contemporary, LGBTQ, and multi-racial narratives with complex and compelling characters. Modern, multi-dimensional characters that defy societal conventions and take roads less traveled intrigue her.”

” . . . seeks to publish a wide range of voices and stories, because we believe that it is the duty of the science fiction and fantasy genres to be inclusive and representative of as many diverse viewpoints as possible. . . . is actively seeking new works of science fiction and fantasy writers by and/or featuring people of color, Native people, disabled people, neurodiverse people, LGBTQIA+ people, and those from other underrepresented or marginalized communities.”

You know what I see missing? Books that openly promote defensive gun ownership, pro-life positions, pro-capitalism positions, small government positions, etc. The diversity is all the same: victim as hero. Victimization as a story conflict. Heroes that are marginalized because they are different in some surface-only way, rather than made admirable because their personality is heroic. Writers, in other words, who are sought out because of some surface trait rather than because they are great writers, and characters whose minority status is more important than their authenticity and humanity.

But I digress. The point is, it IS harder for conservatives to publish books that are conservative in theme or plot, that have white male masculine heroes, that have feminine or traditionalist heroines. So how do you sell books with conservative-friendly plots and themes?

There are two routes you can take. The first is to just lay it out there. Be bold. Write your non-PC brash masculine hero just the way you imagine him. Or write your plot just as conservative as you wish – the hero who protects his home from intruders with a gun and proudly defends himself in court. The heroine who chooses life for her Down Syndrome child and encourages others to do so as well. The young family that moves into a neighborhood and resists the fascist homeowner’s association – another layer of government! – they were not informed of. The business owner who learns his best employees are illegal aliens and must struggle with doing what’s right even though it could cost him his business. Deplora Boule wrote the terrific book The Narrative to lampoon the hyperwoke life of a young, ambitious reporter, for instance, and Col. Tom Kratman’s excellent Caliphate postulates an Islam-controlled Europe.

The other, somewhat more challenging style is what my writer friends and I call “stealthcon.” That means to tell a good story – but pack it full of conservative messaging underneath. Roy Griffis wrote his romantic historical By the Hands of Men series around the idea that those hands deliver both the tenderest love and the greatest evil. On the surface, it’s a romance between a British officer and a young Russian nurse during World War I; underneath, it reveals the evil of communism, not just in the political structure but in the way it twists men and the way evil men can twist it further.

So you have overt and covert. Neither is better; both are necessary to the conservative fiction movement as a whole. Overtly conservative books that are well-written can give hope to conservative readers that not all fiction is “woke,” and may be able to bring back readers who gave up reading new fiction entirely. Stealthcon, covertly conservative books, draws all readers, delighting conservatives and stealthily delivering a political point of view to liberal readers that they might never hear otherwise. (I call it a theme virus – your conservative ideas invading their minds to deliver a little payload that, over time, may encourage them to think a little differently.) Both types, over time, can build a decent audience if the stories are good and you stick with it.

So I Wrote It. Now What?

Get involved. There are a number of organizations, formal and informal, that have sprung up around conservative narrative art. Comicsgate, for example, is ideal for people with comics and graphic novels that meet a brick wall in the current industry; it’s not a formal organization, but it’s easy to find the community by searching #comicsgate on Twitter. The CLFA, Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance, supports conservative-leaning writers of all stripes; the writers there tend to be conservatarian and Tea Party types, but people with philosophies from Christian conservative to Objectivist are welcomed. Pulp Revolution #pulprev focuses on bringing back old-style storytelling from the mid-1950s and earlier, but with modern stylistic updates.

Get informed. I’m not the only person writing advice for conservative writers. Once you’re involved in conservative writer organizations, ask around. Check out the Baen Bar at Baen Publishing, if you like science fiction. Ask publishers and editors and writers of conservative fiction where they recommend looking for help with writing, editing, and marketing. There are resources. They are findable.

Get published. Ten years ago, conservatives had literally no place that would publish their stories. Today, there are multiple magazines and anthology series that actively seek conservative stories. Don’t expect to get rich from these. Do expect to get a couple of writing credits and strong encouragement from those publishers and editors to create novella- and novel-length work.

Get a platform. Yes, social media stinks for us. People are getting deplatformed all the time. Use it anyway. But diversify. Use Facebook, but also MeWe. Use Twitter, but also create your own website. Use your platform to create a public image – if you’re an overtly conservative writer, go ahead and talk politics, and if you do stealthcon, take a more neutral public stance or use a pseudonym. Teach yourself how to market directly to people. And when you start publishing books, sell them to people one at a time. It’s slow at first, but there is no fast way for us to do this.

Now get going.


Part 1: Point of View: Whose Story Is It?

Part 2: Healing Wordiness and Making Yourself Clear

Part 3: Political Writing 101: Start With Theme

Part 4: Political Writing 101: Creating Compelling Epic Heroes

Part 5: Writing Stealthcon 101: Plots That Don’t Preach

Part 6: Characterizing Through Appearance

Part 7: Nine-and-Sixty Ways: When Writing Advice Conflicts

Part 8: Characterization 101: Characterizing Through Dialog

Part 9: Doing Dialect Right

Part 10: Beats, Said, and Quipped: Who’s Talking?

Part 11: Scene & Sequel: Thickening the Plot

Part 12: Characterization 101: Characterizing Through Action