October 27th, 2009 / 12:34 pm
Mean & Snippets

Submissions I receive most often and I’m most tired of reading are:

Stories about heterosexual sex (often violent) (usually written by women)
Stories about drugs/drinking (often cruel) (always by men)
Stories about having bad jobs and being proud of it (mostly narcissistic) (always by men)
Stories about detached husbands (mostly domestic issues that don’t seem that difficult to overcome) (usually by women)
Stories about breaking up (usually based on sex) (usually by men)
Stories about not really getting God (usually involve parents) (usually by men)

It’s very hard to handle these topics in an interesting way. 

It’s too bad there’s nothing else in the world to write about.

94 Comments

  1. davidpeak

      i think that what the world really needs is more books about two couples (two men, two women) and their exploits in the big city. i would like to see “variations” on this theme written by both me and women.

  2. davidpeak

      i think that what the world really needs is more books about two couples (two men, two women) and their exploits in the big city. i would like to see “variations” on this theme written by both me and women.

  3. Amber

      Since this is mean week: not submissions but published stories: too many stories about cancer. I am so fucking bored of reading about cancer. Usually women and cancer, and they’re really learning about/becoming familiar with their bodies for the first time ever. Sometimes this story overlaps with stories about detached husbands (mostly domestic issues that don’t seem that difficult to overcome) (usually by women). Gah.

  4. Amber

      Since this is mean week: not submissions but published stories: too many stories about cancer. I am so fucking bored of reading about cancer. Usually women and cancer, and they’re really learning about/becoming familiar with their bodies for the first time ever. Sometimes this story overlaps with stories about detached husbands (mostly domestic issues that don’t seem that difficult to overcome) (usually by women). Gah.

  5. barry

      i wonder about this statement. the word “about”. do you mean any story that contains these elements or stories that are specifically “about” them. huge difference i think.

  6. barry

      i wonder about this statement. the word “about”. do you mean any story that contains these elements or stories that are specifically “about” them. huge difference i think.

  7. Amber

      Now I feel bad that I wrote that. Because I know people with cancer, and I’ve never had cancer, and who am I to say that most people don’t want to read about cancer? I mean, I can just skip the story, can’t I? Why am I such an asshole?

      Damn. I’m no good at Mean Week.

  8. Adam R

      Good question. Usually they are about the lack of connection between Americans and the subject is a failed device.

  9. Amber

      Now I feel bad that I wrote that. Because I know people with cancer, and I’ve never had cancer, and who am I to say that most people don’t want to read about cancer? I mean, I can just skip the story, can’t I? Why am I such an asshole?

      Damn. I’m no good at Mean Week.

  10. Adam R

      Good question. Usually they are about the lack of connection between Americans and the subject is a failed device.

  11. Adam R

      Yes, cancer is another good one. I dont get a lot of subs about this, but I have seen plenty of them elsewhere.

  12. Adam R

      Yes, cancer is another good one. I dont get a lot of subs about this, but I have seen plenty of them elsewhere.

  13. Blake Butler

      e gad. i’m having flashbacks

  14. Blake Butler

      e gad. i’m having flashbacks

  15. Amelia

      Never feel bad about saying that cancer is boring

  16. Amelia

      Never feel bad about saying that cancer is boring

  17. stu

      I’m tired of reading stories by emasculated males which feature nondescript characters who utter ridiculous dialogue in a clipped deadpan style reminiscent of the worst kind of art films.

      I would like to see more poetry in the key of Thomas Shadwell.

  18. stu

      I’m tired of reading stories by emasculated males which feature nondescript characters who utter ridiculous dialogue in a clipped deadpan style reminiscent of the worst kind of art films.

      I would like to see more poetry in the key of Thomas Shadwell.

  19. Shane Jones

      awwwwww snap! breaking out the Thomas Shadwell….hard.

  20. Shane Jones

      awwwwww snap! breaking out the Thomas Shadwell….hard.

  21. Lincoln

      Stories about breaking up (usually based on sex) (usually by men)

      really? I’ve mostly read these by women. Otherwise, right on.

  22. Lincoln

      Stories about breaking up (usually based on sex) (usually by men)

      really? I’ve mostly read these by women. Otherwise, right on.

  23. Matt Cozart

      Ridiculous dialogue is the best kind. Oh well, different strokes.

  24. Shane Jones

      maybe we’re just all tired of reading.

  25. Matt Cozart

      Ridiculous dialogue is the best kind. Oh well, different strokes.

  26. Shane Jones

      maybe we’re just all tired of reading.

  27. BAC

      I want to read a story about a detached divorcee who kills himself with cancer in Connecticut while taking alot of drugs and participating in anrgry heterosexual sex in the break room at his really bad job, which is, conicidentally, a bible manufacturing plant, and he often reads phrases from the bibles and grows confused, but in a proud way.

  28. Clapper

      These, yes. Also, as Amber pointed out, Cancer. Even more: dead babies. Or dead mothers. Really, any dead relatives.

  29. BAC

      I want to read a story about a detached divorcee who kills himself with cancer in Connecticut while taking alot of drugs and participating in anrgry heterosexual sex in the break room at his really bad job, which is, conicidentally, a bible manufacturing plant, and he often reads phrases from the bibles and grows confused, but in a proud way.

  30. Clapper

      These, yes. Also, as Amber pointed out, Cancer. Even more: dead babies. Or dead mothers. Really, any dead relatives.

  31. Adam Robinson

      nice, write that one

  32. BAC

      I think dead babies are delicious.

  33. Adam Robinson

      or, just tighten that comment up and you’re good to go

  34. Adam Robinson

      nice, write that one

  35. BAC

      I think dead babies are delicious.

  36. Adam Robinson

      or, just tighten that comment up and you’re good to go

  37. Clapper

      Stories about eating dead babies are excellent. Blythe Winslow rocked this in Night Train a while back.

  38. Clapper

      Stories about eating dead babies are excellent. Blythe Winslow rocked this in Night Train a while back.

  39. Nathan Tyree

      Dead second cousin twice removed is okay

  40. a moorad

      Bravo

  41. Nathan Tyree

      Dead second cousin twice removed is okay

  42. a moorad

      Bravo

  43. Clapper

      The meat’s a lot tougher than baby, though.

  44. Clapper

      The meat’s a lot tougher than baby, though.

  45. Pete

      How about tales of the trials, tribulations and relationship woes of struggling, unrecognized writers?

  46. Pete

      How about tales of the trials, tribulations and relationship woes of struggling, unrecognized writers?

  47. Amber

      Bonus points for scenes of struggling, unrecognized writer writing. Double bonus points for including long excerpts of said writing in the story.

  48. Amber

      Bonus points for scenes of struggling, unrecognized writer writing. Double bonus points for including long excerpts of said writing in the story.

  49. audri

      baby hummus being the ideal culinary preparation
      om nom nom

  50. audri

      baby hummus being the ideal culinary preparation
      om nom nom

  51. Matthew Simmons

      Everyone dies of cancer.

      I’m looking forward to the inevitable mad cow disease short story glut.

  52. Matthew Simmons

      Everyone dies of cancer.

      I’m looking forward to the inevitable mad cow disease short story glut.

  53. Justin Rands

      that might be it. who will save us? Guess it’s you since you don’t fit into that genre. You made it! (this is sincere).

  54. Justin Rands

      man am I fucked.

  55. Justin Rands

      that might be it. who will save us? Guess it’s you since you don’t fit into that genre. You made it! (this is sincere).

  56. Justin Rands

      man am I fucked.

  57. Ryan Call

      yeah, dont hold your breath. SARS stories never caught on.

  58. Ryan Call

      yeah, dont hold your breath. SARS stories never caught on.

  59. Justin Rands

      pretty sure you just bitched slapped Tony O’neill in the cock.

  60. Justin Rands

      pretty sure you just bitched slapped Tony O’neill in the cock.

  61. Tony O'Neill

      Heh.

      My cock will rip their fucking head off.

  62. Tony O'Neill

      Heh.

      My cock will rip their fucking head off.

  63. Justin Rands

      haha. yeah!

  64. Justin Rands

      haha. yeah!

  65. Matt Bell

      I’ve gotten swine flu submissions already.

  66. Matt Bell

      I’ve gotten swine flu submissions already.

  67. Tadd Adcox

      To return (briefly) to cancer: my general rule is that any story with the word “cancer” or “dog” on the first page immediately goes to the rejection pile. It hasn’t failed me yet.

  68. Tadd Adcox

      To return (briefly) to cancer: my general rule is that any story with the word “cancer” or “dog” on the first page immediately goes to the rejection pile. It hasn’t failed me yet.

  69. jereme

      well of course it hasn’t failed you yet. you don’t ever read the story to see if it will fail your system.

  70. jereme

      well of course it hasn’t failed you yet. you don’t ever read the story to see if it will fail your system.

  71. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      friend tadd, I used to be very anti-dog as well, but my mind has been changed on this matter.

  72. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      friend tadd, I used to be very anti-dog as well, but my mind has been changed on this matter.

  73. Mike

      Stories with no insight into the human condition.

  74. Mike

      Stories with no insight into the human condition.

  75. james yeh

      all of what you said, along with:

      -stories using names of celebrities or famous people or semi-famous people doing trivial and/or banal things
      -stories using language in new ways that are actually stories just aping someone else’s use of language in a new way
      -stories written by people with hard-ons (both literally and metaphorically)
      -stories written by people who can’t get it up (also both literally and metaphorically)
      -stories, in general

      of course there are exceptions to all of these

  76. james yeh

      all of what you said, along with:

      -stories using names of celebrities or famous people or semi-famous people doing trivial and/or banal things
      -stories using language in new ways that are actually stories just aping someone else’s use of language in a new way
      -stories written by people with hard-ons (both literally and metaphorically)
      -stories written by people who can’t get it up (also both literally and metaphorically)
      -stories, in general

      of course there are exceptions to all of these

  77. Tadd Adcox

      therein lies the beauty. hooray mean week!

  78. Tadd Adcox

      therein lies the beauty. hooray mean week!

  79. Tadd Adcox

      in fairness, my friend john sealy has written some damn fine dog stories. or at least one.

  80. Tadd Adcox

      in fairness, my friend john sealy has written some damn fine dog stories. or at least one.

  81. Adam Robinson

      Totally. I feel like I’m in good company.

  82. Adam Robinson

      Totally. I feel like I’m in good company.

  83. jacob

      I would add:

      -stories in which adolescents face difficult choices, make them in a possibly messy manner, and then realize that they aren’t so young anymore.

      -stories in which the narrator needs to confront a crisis but, right before doing so, closes his/her eyes and takes a small step forward.

      -stories of men drinking while fishing that do not end in a drowning

      -stories of men and fishing that do end in a drowning.

      -stories of men fishing that end with one man hooking another’s shoulder after drinking.

      -stories that do not prominently feature hookers.

      -stories with untreated gonorrhea.

      -stories that do not feature hookers with prominently untreated gonorrhea.

      -stories of men drinking and fishing that end with one man hooking a prostitute with prominently untreated gonorrhea yet failing to contract it himself.

      -stories that do not recognize that spit is ‘god’s lube.’

  84. jacob

      I would add:

      -stories in which adolescents face difficult choices, make them in a possibly messy manner, and then realize that they aren’t so young anymore.

      -stories in which the narrator needs to confront a crisis but, right before doing so, closes his/her eyes and takes a small step forward.

      -stories of men drinking while fishing that do not end in a drowning

      -stories of men and fishing that do end in a drowning.

      -stories of men fishing that end with one man hooking another’s shoulder after drinking.

      -stories that do not prominently feature hookers.

      -stories with untreated gonorrhea.

      -stories that do not feature hookers with prominently untreated gonorrhea.

      -stories of men drinking and fishing that end with one man hooking a prostitute with prominently untreated gonorrhea yet failing to contract it himself.

      -stories that do not recognize that spit is ‘god’s lube.’

  85. Garett Strickland

      — Stories about fathers are always a hard sell for me. There are a lot of them.
      — Stories that have any overt political agenda.

  86. stu

      Replace fishing with fisting, and it’s even better.

  87. Garett Strickland

      — Stories about fathers are always a hard sell for me. There are a lot of them.
      — Stories that have any overt political agenda.

  88. stu

      Replace fishing with fisting, and it’s even better.

  89. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      my friend meg pokrass as well. Also lydia davis. “But I bark at him: ‘No! No!'”

  90. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      my friend meg pokrass as well. Also lydia davis. “But I bark at him: ‘No! No!'”

  91. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      I don’t believe there’s a ‘human condition’

  92. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      I don’t believe there’s a ‘human condition’

  93. Mather Schneider

      This post started out funny but look what happened. Leave it to the HTML Giant crowd to eliminate love, death, family and loss as viable themes to write about. What remains? Baby-eating? Word juggling? Oxycotin daydreams?

  94. Mather Schneider

      This post started out funny but look what happened. Leave it to the HTML Giant crowd to eliminate love, death, family and loss as viable themes to write about. What remains? Baby-eating? Word juggling? Oxycotin daydreams?