November 10th, 2011 / 11:50 am
Vicarious MFA

How to Say It — Lit Scene Edition

If Paris Review Daily is running some of your shit…

Don’t say: I am going to be published in The Paris Review!
Say: Paris Review Daily is running some of my shit.

If your boyfriend is printing out copies of your poems and distributing them around Portland on his fixed gear bike…

Don’t say: I have a book coming out!
Say: My boyfriend is printing out copies of my poems and distributing them around Portland on his fixed gear bike.

If your agent is showing your novel to Melville House…

Don’t say: It’s all happening for me!
Say: Nothing. Or maybe post a picture to fbook of your baby looking at its first tree, because somehow that is less annoying.

If you’re still talking about Breece D’J Pancake…

Don’t say: Breece D’J Pancake.
Say: Ryan D’J Breakfast Taco.

If you just wrote 10 million words of your novella…

Don’t say: Just hammered out 10 million words of my novella!
Say: Let’s go see A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.**

If you (or your protagonist) are engaged to be married…

Don’t say: My fiancée.
Say: Anything else.

If you (or your protagonist) are a sophomore in college…

Don’t say: During the Spring of my Sophomore year,
Say: Anything else.

If you really dig a book…

Don’t say: This book is a gut-punch-face-ripper-offer-slayer-thrasher.
Say: Anything else.


**Please! No spoilers, folks. Really excited for this.


  1. drew kalbach

      i like how this is tagged vicarious mfa

  2. Ryan Call

      misread that tag as vicious mfa

  3. M. Kitchell

      seriously chuckled at the CTFO/Smiley-Pancake photo

  4. Melissa Broder


      really hoping for a fight about the semiotics of french toast.

  5. Darby Larson

      ryan dj breakfast taco universe

  6. Colin


  7. drew kalbach

      they signify ‘chill’ duh

  8. Ray Rice

      I enjoyed this post.

  9. Emma

      Barry Hannah in leopard suspenders burps and it is great advice

  10. Melissa Broder
  11. Erik Stinson

      crushed it 


  12. deadgod

      Vicuna MFA

  13. deadgod

      If you don’t want a future experience ruined…

      Don’t say:  **Please!  No spoilers, folks.  Really excited for this.

      Say:  I know Harold and Kumar “don’t die”, fucker.

  14. Leapsloth14

      Liked it

  15. Adam Robinson

      Nice one

  16. When's Mean Week

      Broder is going to leave so many folks bankrupt during mean week. 

  17. MJ

      What does CTFO mean? I refuse to google that.

  18. MJ

      Dude, ok, I’ll just say it cuz I’ve been thinking it for quite some time. That profile photo is erotic as hell. I don’t know why. I haven’t thought about the why. Sure, it has something to do with the eyes being covered. I dont know. I feel like a fuckin freak everytime I see that damn thing.

  19. BmrsMstD

      Cut those fingers off

  20. BmrsMstD

      If you’re still talking about your famous professors

      Don’t refer to them by their last names

      Drop dead instead

  21. deadgod

      Chut The Fuck Op

  22. shaun gannon

      let’s all kill ourselvse itt

  23. shaun gannon

      jk still waiting for skyrim to unlock

  24. Amber

      New favorite thing ever. Especially the last one.

  25. Mark C

      i really appreciate Melissa’s earnest enthusiasm for Karold and Humar.

  26. Kevin Sampsell

      Good job, Melissa Broder.
      Another one:
      If you’re nominated by a friend for an award
      Don’t say: My book is up for a (insert state name) Book Award!
      Say: Nothing. Unless your book is actually on the short list.

  27. Melissa Broder

      awesome! sommer browning says it looks like ralph macchio at a spa.

  28. Chris

      re: engagement terminology. What about saying “My betrothed”?

  29. deadgod

      If you’ve been nominated by a friend for an award and find yourself on the short list…

      Don’t say:  I’m on the short list for a/the [insert award title]!

      Say:  We-e-e-e-ll . . .–of course, it’s being on the long list that’s the real honor.

  30. bobby

      Chill the eff out and Google that shit, bro. 

  31. bobby

      Jesus, a friend of mine just posted that on fb for his novel (which I didn’t read, don’t give a shit!).

  32. Ray Rice

      yessss. death by hamburgers is the only way to go.

  33. New York Hydrant

      Funny, though the Pancake one is bullshit. Say his name correctly. Unless you’re deejaying a party and for the night you go by D.J. Pancake.

  34. Mr. Ian M. Belcurry

      obvs I’m missing the inside of the joke. It seems if you are being published in the Paris Review, you would yell it from the roof tops. Or “threw down 100,000 words on a novel draft”, or something; even if 50% is crap, you’d be pretty stoked. Just saying. I enjoyed the comic version. Props for the Harold and Kumar reference. I’m unchill, I guess. “CTFO” self

  35. shaun gannon

      that’s okay, i think it’s pretty unchill to tell people what to say

  36. BmrsMstD

      What about posting NaNoRiMo totals… 35.245K bro

  37. Merzmensch

      Hehe, so true, so true…

  38. drew kalbach

      that would be cteo

  39. deadgod

      twb cteoaGtsb

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