Wonder is accepting manuscripts March 15 – May 15 for our first annual Wonder Book Prize, judged by Macgregor Card. We are accepting full-length manuscripts of any genre. The author of the selected manuscript will receive a $300 prize and publication.
Please send a cover letter, your manuscript and a $10 submission fee ($15 if you would like a final copy of the selected book). Please do not include your name in the manuscript. Each submission will be read blindly by the judge.
Do You Want to Win Frank Stanford’s Beautiful Short Story Collection Because You Yourself Write Good Stories?
You can do that. You can also win a copy of The Minus Times Collected (I’ve got one, it’s amazing) signed by three of its authors: Hunter Kennedy, Sam Lipsyte, and Jeffrey Rotter.
What, what’s going on. What’s going on is: The Short Form—a site that stylishly celebrates good-ass stories by excerpting them and asking guests to talk about their favorites—is giving away these books in its first ever short story contest. Three finalists will get featured on the site and all will win a copy of Stanford’s Conditions Uncertain and Likely to Pass Away, which is pretty much just as good as his poems except it’s stories, so—I was about to do that Gawker thing where they just end a sentence with “so” or “because” but then I wondered if Frank Stanford would do that and I decided he would probably beat me to death with all the empty Smartwater bottles littering my carpet if he showed up, like, in my living room, reincarnated, risen, made of carpet dust.
The point is one grand prize ultimate winner will also receive The Minus Times Collected, signed. I like The Short Form, they’re good in people ways, this contest seems fun, do it if you like contests. Deadline: March 31st. Details: this is the third time I’ve linked to the same link in this post which can’t be good for SEO. Also above us there is a picture because pictures!
Last weekend, I invited Matthew Salesses to show up and rock out at this reading series in DC. The room was poorly lit, and the readers had to stand on a rickety wooden stage. The venue made the whole thing feel like we were at some sort of half-assed comedy show, but Matt and the other readers (Laura van den Berg, Dan Gutstein, and Sarah Burnett) were utterly incredible—especially considering that there was this obnoxious improv group stomping on the floor above us because they thought they were at basketball practice, or something.
Anyway, there’s nothing all that funny about Matthew’s new Book, I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying. At its surface, Matthew’s book is about the predicted failures and slow learning curve of a nameless new father. But deeper down, it explores how our actions and desires are intrinsically linked to our identities and our understanding of ourselves. I’m personally a big fan of Matthew’s terse, controlled prose, which almost always looks this beautiful:
I’m Not Saying is a short book with short chapters, but it’s worth reading slowly. I’m always inspired by how dutifully Matthew matches tone and subject matter in his writing, and there’s more than enough proof out there that I’m not the only one inspired by it.
But I’ll stop gushing and get to what’s important: Matthew has agreed to give away two signed copies of I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying. Quote the weirdest/funniest/strangest thing your father has ever said (and try to avoid being offensive) in the comments by Tuesday, March 5th and Matthew will pick two winners. Get’it’gurl.
Michael Seidlinger is giving away 5 copies of MY PET SERIAL KILLER, which is out today. Comment to enter, check back in a week to see if you won, you know the drill:
If any serial killer could “be yours”, who would it be?
Hot new shit all over the place coming from Radioactive Moat : Most recently Lonely Christopher’s CRUSH DREAM : Of which CAConrad said “DON’T BE STUPID you know as well as I do these poems boil to the top of the gravy!!” : And of which RM has kindly offered to giveaway a copy along with copies of Ji Yoon Lee’s IMMA and Lucas de Lima’s GHOSTLINES , both also from RM.
All one has to do is : “Write Three Sentences About Your Worst Crush.” : Leave your sentences as a comment and a winner will be selected by Lonely Christopher : in ~48 hrs
The most inflammatory sentence in the comments wins the 70 UDP books from their Full Moon Sale.
The winner will be chosen by either Blake or myself. I’m not really sure who. We just made this contest up a few minutes ago over email, and didn’t really plan that far out.
Good luck, and R.I.P. Gore Vidal! Loved that Caligula!
*UPDATE 8/02/12* I’ve picked a winner, and that winner is Scott McClanahan. Congratulations, Scott! You’ve won some books! R.I.P. Gore Vidal!
[matchup #63 in Tournament of Bookshit]
If I just reword the debate, you will see there is no question here:
The story of the homeless man who recently got his face eaten off vs. Humanure
As you can see, even the most banal, average human story easily trumps a sewage treatment technology. But as language is a game in which I play really good, I will expand my argument with a memory thus bludgeoning you with my sweet opinion. Picture a small child, gazing up at her grandmother, her eyes wide with anticipation and respect for the matriarch, her attention clinging to her grandmother’s every word. Now picture a child listening to her grandma go on and on about growing up next to a PF Chang’s as grandma sat on the toilet and every once in a while demanded 8 squares of 2-ply—I could have listened to those stories for hours. The smell of crab wontons and northern style spare ribs still issuing from her soft, old-ass lady skin. Listening to those stories of a shared past, I felt a great sense of familial warmth like a curly hair in massage oil. It wasn’t just the historical facts of my grandmother’s stories that kept my attention for hours—that as a baby she escaped some horrible genocidal type thing in Europe or the mid-west or the time she rode on this big, huge boat that crashed into a glacier and sunk or actually, that was a blimp, I think—what kept me at attention was the amazing power of language to build vivid, infinite worlds in my mind, that and her fists were the size of hams. She wasn’t the most eloquent of story tellers, in fact she suffered from swollen tongue so often that most of the time it sounded like she was rolling a golf ball around in her mouth, but I could feel the urgency and emotion in her every word. Her life was the accumulation of her stories, and this defines our human condition. In comparison, sewage, treated or otherwise, ain’t shit. Septic tanks? Fine bubble diffusers? Froth flotation? Expanded granular sludge bed digestion? I’ll take my grandmother’s story about meeting my grandfather during the Great Sensation or watching the first Jewish president get knifed on cable any day.
[matchup #62 in Tournament of Bookshit]
Calling anything you write a manuscript, known as the Billy Collins approach or the Ron Silliman method in contemporary poetry circles, is not only popular with poets (David Foster Wallace immediately springs to mind, too), but nobody does it better than a poet. No one else has the narcissistic tendencies, nor the free time. But these very same tendencies led to one of the most beloved pieces of literature of all time: The Bible. Can you think of another book with words and sentences arranged less arbitrarily? Can you think of another book that’s inspired as much killing in its name? Yet it was conceived during a flight of whimsy and written on the back of a cloud as a half joke.
[matchup #61 in Tournament of Bookshit]
If this were the S.A.T., I’d go with my gut and say, alcoholism. Sure, everyone has a story, but most of those stories are as boring as policy debates on CSPAN. In service of our egos, we subconsciously construct our identities so that everything we say, wear, eat and do reinforces the illusion that we know everything, and totally have our shit together. “Let me tell you about the time I was right—again—because I know important people at the Wall Street Journal.” Snoresville.
Give me epic tales of humiliation, shame and ignorance. For example: “My fat camp counselor discovered my cache of hidden candy bars and let everyone in the cabin give me titty twisters for a week, and now I can’t come unless candy bars are hidden under my mattress and I’m on the top bunk.” William Burroughs said, “Pity the young lawyer who’s never lost a case, the doctor who’s never killed a patient. He doesn’t know the score. I trust him little in the commerce of the soul.” Ditto. READ MORE >
Alcoholism vs. “everybody has a story” [Judge: Jennifer L. Knox]
Calling anything u write a manuscript vs. Sewage Treatment Technologies [Judge: Jason Bredle]
TBD vs. TDB [Judge: Sommer Browning]
O WHO WILL WIN?!?!?
[matchup #60 in Tournament of Bookshit]
“Funny how new facts pop up and make you doubt that there’s any goodness in life.”1 An ewer of wisdom. “The first baby of the new year, her arrival had been announced in all the papers as if she were heir to a throne or a fortune instead of the daughter of a sometime fisherman and fulltime gambler, and the best waitress at the Garden Cove Pancake House on U.S. 1.”2 There are times when your connection to humanity is self-evident, joyously overwhelming. “She had to take a shower, like, immediately.”3 Who doesn’t know the bright snap of day, and welcome it? “Most people think about age and experience in terms of years, but it’s really only moments that define us.”4 Could it be any sweeter? “The club will not run out of tequila until I get my hair right. So shut the fuck up.”5 Forms like dew, inevitable as the sun. “One of the things I hate most about this book is that it is all about me.”6 Alas, we are all selecting principles. “Surely this babe would be impressed by his résumé.”7 Alas.
- – - READ MORE >
[matchup #59 in Tournament of Bookshit]
This being my first venture into sports writing, I think what I’ll do is recap alcoholism’s inevitable rise to power before tonight’s “game,” then we can all pop some High Lifes and pull them hot wings out of the freezer.
Alcoholism was on a tear until HTML decided to drop Tournament of Bookshits and review books. Shame, because there were some real gems in there. Take these gems from the Giancarlo Ditrapano-moderated Facebook status updates re: present MS word count vs. Alcoholism:
If you write 5,000 words, chances are that 4,950 of them are shit
I miss workshops already. READ MORE >
[matchup #58 in Tournament of Bookshit]
Well, I really wanted this one to go the other way. I know I’m meant to be impartial, but really: everybody has a story? Um, no they don’t. (See, you can’t even talk about it without getting into the whole pronoun thing.) Everybody has a skull, sure, and a pet fish, but a story? Most people have neither beginning, middle, nor end. They just sort of float out there waiting to get stabbed.
Whereas, daily Facebook updates of what you ate? Yum! More please. You had kale? You pig, you did not! Bonus points if you braised something, because I don’t know what that means. But it sounds delish. READ MORE >
ToBS R4: Sewage Treatment Technologies vs. middle age white male self published sci fi novel pt 1 of 4
[matchup #57 in Tournament of Bookshit]
Waste, do you know the word. Often it comes at night when I’m combing my lines in the dark. When I’m mouthing the name of a woman, or fucking myself, or wondering why I carry on being American. Waste means whatever waste wants. In the middle of my life I searched for myself in the engine. I’m not dead links and waste and zero results, I told myself. I wrestle the ancients and yell their names when I’m blackout. I unleash myself on myself and fuck the crow from my book. But waste means here comes the shepherd’s crook. Ask me anything I’m the bellwether nobody tags. Waste and my instant telegrams of perennials and teacups and my shoes in the cities I love they will vanish. I’ve failed to convince myself to subscribe to myself. I stand before the wall on which nothing’s written. Waste means I’m following. I came here to waste in the box but everyone called it life. Waste finds me new addresses, new names every day. A red name, a green name, then orange. Like the colors that hang from the wires that tell me to drive. Waste means traffic. Waste means more invites. Waste means I interview Salt, my friend in his twenty-sixth year because his father manages waste to make money. I remember one day a dozen years ago he came home smelling like shit, Salt writes me. Are you like him do you watch the river of waste to make money. Waste the river of fishbones and scumbags and hair and bloodrags it’s blackbread with the crust come alive. Waste I’m disabling my family filter. Shit definitely one of the top three smells. READ MORE >
[matchup #56 in Tournament of Bookshit]
Real talk. Facebook “like”ing this page would probably do more than releasing an anthology of contemporary poetry about it. And claiming that your writing is experimental and divorced from politics doesn’t just mean that you write white identity poetry. It is also an acknowledgement of poetry’s inability to affect change in contemporary America.
Additionally, The New Yorker published a long-form expository essay about Facebook-based political activism. The New Yorker has never published a long-form expository essay about poetry.
At first, it seemed so clear. The facts led this judge solidly in one direction. But then a close friend of mine brought to light a new and intriguing piece of research. It’s called the Penis Defense. In this six-page manuscript, the author lays out a whole new theory behind calling anything you write a manuscript. READ MORE >
[matchup #55 in Tournament of Bookshit]
Midwest Round of 16, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
After a mathematically efficient run through the opening weekend of the tournament, “Everybody Has a Story”, the First Day of Your Undergraduate Intro to Creative Writing Course Skyriver Conference Champion, faces off against perennial underachiever Literary Marriage, an at-large team from the Contributor’s Note America-12 Conference in what promises to be a contrast in styles. “Everybody Has a Story,” the number-one seed in the Midwest Bracket and Bookshit Final Four mainstay got to Omaha with a tactical waxing of “Show Don’t Tell” in the opening round of the tournament, followed by their devastating disposal of “Following 1000s on Twitter”, whom despite their up tempo “40 Minutes of Hell” defense were eventually overwhelmed by the methodical pace of “Everybody Has a Story”. Literary Marriage, on the other hand, squeaked out a dramatic win against potential bracket buster Child of Famous Author’s Novel in the 5 vs. 12 matchup in the opening round followed by a hard fought victory over favored NaNoWriMo, who had a large early lead in that game but eventually ran out of steam, which led to an awkward finish in which NaNoWriMo (#12 in the AP poll) publically celebrated their victory on various social networking platforms despite falling short by at least 13,000 points. READ MORE >
(This is my first post here in a while, ugh, and it’s lame that it’s about PGP, but dang I’m all wound up in excitement for this, so why not, and plus it’s a good deal.)
To celebrate The June Issue, Everyday Genius’s first ever print issue, I’m giving a prize to three people who order it before Friday, June 1 (previous orders are being entered to win as well). The prize is a PGP care package, which includes recent books Falcons on the Floor by Justin Sirois (review at The L Mag), Meat Heart by Melissa Broder (review at The Rumpus), Rachel B. Glaser’s Pee On Water (just reviewed brilliantly at The Nervous Breakdown). ALSO included will be Joe Hall’s Post Nativity and Stephanie Barber’s book/DVD these here separated. ALSO also included, Joseph Young’s Easter Rabbit and David NeSmith’s El Greed. Finally ALSO also also included, a PGP tote and a PGP koozy cuz why not cuz it’s summer. READ MORE >
ToBS R3: Daily facebook updates of what you ate while writing today v hating on Jonathan Safran-Foer
[matchup #54 in Tournament of Bookshit]
Last night I had a dream that I was talking to a really attractive girl at a bar in an airport. We were having a great conversation, and I felt really good. Somehow I had already seen the movie version of whatever J.S. Foer’s novel is called, and somehow this came up as a topic of conversation. I laughed to myself and said, “You know what? I liked that movie. I really enjoyed watching it.”
The girl stared at me and said “why are you laughing?”
I said, “You know… because it’s that novel… by that guy.” READ MORE >