This is Janet Frame. This post is a permutation of her story, My Last Story, which was, in fact, not her last story. Click the image to read the story on Electric Literature.
I’m never going to write another blog.
I don’t like writing blogs.
I don’t like typing I read I saw or saying my endless opinion of the weird book I read, the thing it was like, a metaphor a simile and I have almost grown to hate the internet after 15 years, how I know all the office workers have 35 tabs open and are watching a video and reading an article at the same time and mentally composing a tweet about it or wondering about how Roxane Gay is going to say it better and Blake Butler is going to say it weirder or if we’re supposed to like or hate Tao Lin right now or whether or not the novel is living or dead or who cares or which author we should interview or if that galley of that novel is worth reading or reviewing and how is it that those publishers still send out all those galleys to all those people who ignore all those galleys, and that’s called work and earning a living, well I’m not going to write any more blogs like that. I’m not going to blog about author news or how publishing houses are hemorrhaging money or how eBooks are stabbing people in dark alleys or about how eBooks are Jesus or how eBooks are just Books with a little ‘e’ hanging on. I’m not going to write another blog after this one. This is my last blog.
I’m not going to write about that piece I read on another blog, another online magazine, that article that essay that story that tweet that video that everyone is talking and how can anyone figure out anything if they still have those 35 tabs open and I suppose that’s called an experience of Life. READ MORE >
Behind the Scenes & Web Hype / 9 Comments
February 18th, 2013 / 11:45 am
It’s disheartening and necessary to see the same VIDA numbers every year, but I’d also like to see three different (and more difficult to obtain) statistics next time.
1. A gender breakdown of articles and stories submitted & pitched to magazines. In my experience with slush piles, they can be quite male-heavy and I’ve heard the same from editors.
2. A gender breakdown of books submitted to agents and publishers. (See above)
3. A breakdown of how many books written by men are marketed as “literary” or serious works versus how many by women are marketed as such. This, I think, is the one of the biggest and harder to tackle problems. Books written by women get a picture of a bare shoulder or a pair of legs on it and then men don’t buy it and “serious” reviewers don’t want to review it. Pretty simple. Pretty much a bummer.
4. A gender breakdown of how many male writers are solicited by these magazines. Because, you know, your short story probably isn’t going to make it out of the The New Yorker slush pile. It just isn’t. We know the major magazines (hell, even a lot of the smaller ones) are made almost exclusively out of solicited material. We know that. And because of the same problems that the VIDA numbers point out each year, editors know less women they want to solicit. So, yeah, it’s a vicious cycle, blah blah blah, but one thing you can do about it is be a woman and work hard and submit everywhere until you cannot be ignored.
Behind the Scenes & Web Hype / 36 Comments
February 28th, 2012 / 4:13 pm
Discussed: Academic Harakiri, Writers as Plumbers
Well, it’s finally started happening. Penn State’s MFA program decided to commit harakiri rather than go on forcing its students to go into debt over a degree to no where. I don’t think it will be the last we’ll see to go. I don’t even know if it’s the first (and it seems likely that it isn’t.)
What I do know is that we have too many MFA programs in this country. And the ones we have are often too big to succeed in giving their students what they need/want.**
Consider this: Let’s just say that this country needed 250,000 new plumbers every year. That’s the number of plumbers we would need for all plumbers to get enough work and for all pipes to be fixed and for all the water to flow into the correct places water should go. Let’s say we had 5,000 plumber schools in the country turning out 500,000 plumbers a year because plumbing started sounding so glamourous and enjoyable and some people discovered they deeply enjoyed turning on a really good faucet or flushing a Pulitzer Prize winning toilet. What we’d have if that was the case would be cafes chocked full of unemployed plumbers dreaming of the pipes they could someday plunge, or sad-looking Mario-ish plumbers walking in and out of bathroom fixture stores just to run their hands over hot and cold knobs. We’d have would-be plumbers writing cover letters to total strangers, begging to let them plunge a toilet for free.
Vicarious MFA / 94 Comments
February 3rd, 2012 / 10:30 am
[Matchup #38 in Tournament of Bookshit]
Central question: Can everyone be a writer?
Slogan: Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!
Duration: One month (but up to 1/12th of a person’s life if they get trapped in some hellish circle of annual NaNoWriMo’s.)
Overall effect on literature: High probability of resulting in shitty novel.
Contains a pronounced pseudo-acronym
Likelihood of sanity loss: High, but momentary READ MORE >
Contests / 5 Comments
December 14th, 2011 / 3:21 pm