NC Literary Hall of Fame



Aphrodite's Pen: The Power of Writing Erotica After Midlife by Stella Fosse

North Atlantic Press
$15.99, paperback / $9.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-623174057
September, 2019
Nonfiction: Writing / Erotica
Available from your local bookstore or

“Writing erotica is powerful—it can entertain, empower, and excite the writer as well as the reader. If you’re over fifty, you have wisdom and experience to share, and you’ll find Aphrodite’s Pen a lively and motivating erotic writing course. This book offers instruction, prompts, interviews with published post-midlife erotica writers, and samples of erotica to inspire you and help you create your own.”
—Joan Price, advocate for ageless sexuality and author of Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex

“Women in midlife and beyond are often sexually marginalized, yet we are in a great position to call on years of passionate experience. Stella Fosse shows us how to write erotica through step-by-step instructions and exercises. Writing erotic literature, like fantasizing, is a great way to explore your sexuality and stay safe at the same time.”
—Barbara Keesling, PhD., author of Crazy Stupid Sex: Dr. Barb’s Guide to Keeping It Safe and All Night Long: How to Make Love to a Man over 50

“When we think of erotica, we don’t usually link it together with middle-aged wom- en. In fact it is middle-aged women who are finally liberated to fully experience the sensuous delight of erotica. They have reached the point in their lives when they are no longer encumbered by the risk of pregnancy nor zapped by the physical ramifi- cations of menopause. This is a groundbreaking book that so many of us have been waiting for...empowered women writing erotica!”
—Kathleen A. Barry, PhD., co-editor of Unmasked: Women Write about Sex and Intimacy after Fifty

With concrete tools for writing bawdy, fun, and empowering erotica, Aphrodite’s Pen celebrates sexuality and creativity. The book includes approachable activities designed for novice and seasoned writers and guides readers in creating saucy characters and plot, sensual dialogue, poetry, memoir, and more. Author Stella Fosse, founder of the Elderotica Writers group, offers games and fun writing exercises to spark your imagination. She also provides expert advice for creating a writing circle, getting published, and reading in public.

Stella Fosse is a writer in her sixties whose erotic life bloomed in her fifties. Stella captured this surprising—to her—turn of events in short fiction, which she shared at the Dirty Old Women reading series at Octopus Salon in Oakland, California. She chose the pseudonym, Stella Fosse, to spare her adult children the embarrassment of a mother who writes erotica. By now the children are more or less resigned, but Stella keeps the name just in case.

After several years of erotic exploration, Stella developed a committed relationship, and these days much of her short and erotic fiction captures the spirit of domestic bliss.

Stella leads erotic writing workshops based on the idea of creativity as play. Her book, Aphrodite's Pen: The Power of Writing Erotica after Midlife, leads the reader to writing erotica through anecdote, playful exercises, interviews and writing samples, the book encourages ripe women to explore erotic writing as a joyful practice.

Stella has discovered many terrific resources, which she shares on her website at Her plans to publish more stories and poems are also described there.

In 2016, Stella and her friend Lynx Canon founded a writing group called Elderotica for women over fifty. With monthly meetings to share story writing and friendship, Elderotica became a great support for San Francisco Bay Area women exploring their creativity and sexuality. Stella intends to expand this concept to other locations, including her new home state of North Carolina.

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