What We’re Looking For: Fiction Editor

Guys, gals, those who identify as neither—when did fiction get so boring?

When did it become cool to return to the established well of content and voice, style and syntax? The proverbial dog and its vomit? Why do we continue to wander this roped-off area, churning out content designed to please a decade’s worth of close-minded editors? When did we decide that the only type of decent fiction is stuffy and stiff-necked, arriving in the inboxes of our potential publishers with the starch and polish of someone interviewing for an entry-level position at a Fortune 500 company?

What the hell happened?

Writing that seeks to reaffirm a norm of any brand is useless. If it doesn’t unseat us, force us to empathize, or reconsider, then why bother?

We want writing with a little more blood in its body, a little more heat in its touch. We want stories that land like a fist on the jaw, stories that radiate past the last bit of punctuation. Give us your risky, your crude, and unseemly. Your big, your weird, and your bold. Make us wince and forget to breathe. Leave the easy peasy on your hard drive. We want stories we haven’t heard, told in ways that would make The Paris Review sick to its stomach. Find Robert Frost’s “road less traveled” and take in with a monster truck.

But, make sure your work is ready. Think it’s a hundred percent? Good to go? Give it another read-through. Typos don’t say anything flattering about the time you put in. We unfortunately don’t accept novel portions unless they can weather scrutiny as a complete unit. Keep it under 5,000 words. Be mindful of tropes and the toes you’re stepping on. Aside from that, we read with an open mind and are down for most anything. Just come with an axe, because that frozen sea is getting pretty thick.

Thanks for your time, guys, gals and those who identify as neither. We look forward to whatever you send our way.

Steven Wolf
Steven Wolf, Fiction Editor, Vol. XV
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