September 25th, 2009 / 12:14 am
Mean

Glimmer Train’s Best Start

logo01.jpgThe more creative editors get, the less writers have to. I’ve noticed a lot of send this type of thing in submission guidelines, which can be effective when applied as a formal constraint, but it seems, with the exponential increase of content everywhere, that we (as writers and editors) grow less and less concerned with writing than we are with creative publishing. Editors, who may be themselves writers, are more and more conceptually proactive, and no longer just “edit” in a subtractive sense, but impose an editorial narrative on the aggregate of work they publish. This can be, and is often exciting, but sometimes just, um.

Of their “Best Start” fiction category: “[…] is different from our others in that the piece should be an engaging and coherent narrative, but it does not need to be a complete story […]”

And you thought flash fiction was the easiest way to write, now you don’t even need to finish a story. They then go on to say, “All pieces should be original fiction and not have appeared in a print publication.” If the piece is unfinished, how the hell would it have appeared elsewhere? Then they say, “No fiction for children, please.”

What the fuck is juice? And what the fuck is “fiction for children”? I assume they mean Children’s Fiction.┬áHere’s a little fiction for children: Kids, one day if you ever become a writer (cough — major in Business or Econ), there will be these things called “Literary Journals” run by crazy cat ladies (or “Editors”) who use submission fees from desperate writers to finance their cat lady lifestyle, which includes spaying and neutering — the latter which, when applied to male writers, is called “castration.” Metaphorically, this is when you get rejected. This will all make sense at the end of this little fiction, which you’ll never find out since all the stories are unfinished.

It costs $10 dollars to read each piece, so yeah, “it’s fine to submit more than one piece.” They then go on to describe tiresome logistics of submitting protocols and award allocation. $50 bucks for each winner. I guess this means winners can say they got a grant.

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29 Comments

  1. david erlewine

      Hmm, all my fiction is written for children. At least it looks like GT’s chilled about the sim subs. They used to have something like “Please don’t submit elsewhere b/c if we call you to accept and you tell us it’s been taken elsewhere it’s going to break our hearts.”

      Oh and I heard (turned out to be a bad joke) that the two main ladies of GT were killed in a car crash. Tim J-Y, didn’t someone tell us that on Zoe back on April 1?

  2. david erlewine

      Hmm, all my fiction is written for children. At least it looks like GT’s chilled about the sim subs. They used to have something like “Please don’t submit elsewhere b/c if we call you to accept and you tell us it’s been taken elsewhere it’s going to break our hearts.”

      Oh and I heard (turned out to be a bad joke) that the two main ladies of GT were killed in a car crash. Tim J-Y, didn’t someone tell us that on Zoe back on April 1?

  3. alec niedenthal

      i feel like the glimmer train logo would encourage me to submit fiction for children

  4. alec niedenthal

      i feel like the glimmer train logo would encourage me to submit fiction for children

  5. reynard seifert

      haha, who the hell is that white guy?

  6. reynard seifert

      haha, who the hell is that white guy?

  7. Roxane

      I saw this the other day and thought it was the stupidest thing I’ve heard in recent memory but writers are often very willing to part with their money. It’s weird how Glimmer Train has devolved into what is, essentially, a vanity press.

  8. Roxane

      I saw this the other day and thought it was the stupidest thing I’ve heard in recent memory but writers are often very willing to part with their money. It’s weird how Glimmer Train has devolved into what is, essentially, a vanity press.

  9. david erlewine

      Ha! Alec, that is so apt and funny. It’s like wtf…have they no sense of irony?

  10. david erlewine

      Ha! Alec, that is so apt and funny. It’s like wtf…have they no sense of irony?

  11. Drew

      The movie Glimmer Man was terrible.

  12. Drew

      The movie Glimmer Man was terrible.

  13. Mike

      People gotta eat, I guess.

      Though how many contests can you run in a year? Maybe they should run a contest for people to come up with new contest ideas. Enter as many times as you want. $100 reading fee.

  14. Mike

      People gotta eat, I guess.

      Though how many contests can you run in a year? Maybe they should run a contest for people to come up with new contest ideas. Enter as many times as you want. $100 reading fee.

  15. Mike

      Or the fact that they run baby pictures of the authors.

  16. Mike

      Or the fact that they run baby pictures of the authors.

  17. chris

      While this is a shitty idea creativly, it’s absolutely genius from a capitalistic standpoint. Glimmer Train is going to rake it in by taking advantage of lazy, delusional, self-diluted people. I want to say GT will burn in hell for it, but if anyone is dumb enough to go for this, don’t they kind of have it coming?

  18. chris

      While this is a shitty idea creativly, it’s absolutely genius from a capitalistic standpoint. Glimmer Train is going to rake it in by taking advantage of lazy, delusional, self-diluted people. I want to say GT will burn in hell for it, but if anyone is dumb enough to go for this, don’t they kind of have it coming?

  19. david erlewine

      take that back

  20. david erlewine

      take that back

  21. david erlewine

      (nodding)

      I like the self-diluted/deluded angle. nicely played.

      see, and now it all fits, tying this with roxane’s post. writers are paying their $10 for this quicksandian submission instead of buying issues of good journals to help improve their own writing.

  22. david erlewine

      (nodding)

      I like the self-diluted/deluded angle. nicely played.

      see, and now it all fits, tying this with roxane’s post. writers are paying their $10 for this quicksandian submission instead of buying issues of good journals to help improve their own writing.

  23. Aaron

      cool, fifty bucks too.

  24. Aaron

      cool, fifty bucks too.

  25. HTMLGIANT / Glimmer Stain

      […] Their newest contest, for the Best Start to a story, quickly prompted an appropriate amount of ridicule and yet we all know people will continue to submit their stories and entry fees ($10-$20 per entry) […]

  26. Sam

      It sure doesn’t look like a vanity press. The fact is that in the last Best American Short Stories, more writing came from Glimmer Train than the New Yorker or any other literary magazine. And three of the writers were first time authors. This says to me that GT actually reads new authors, and identifies the best ones, ones that get identified later by other editors as being excellent. If this kind of analysis costs me 15 dollars, I’m willing to spend it. It beats sending a manuscript off to the New Yorker, knowing that it will never ever ever ever ever no way no how be accepted.
      A vanity press takes your money and publishes your work, no matter how good/bad it is. GT assesses the quality, and then publishes it if it is really good.

  27. Sam

      It sure doesn’t look like a vanity press. The fact is that in the last Best American Short Stories, more writing came from Glimmer Train than the New Yorker or any other literary magazine. And three of the writers were first time authors. This says to me that GT actually reads new authors, and identifies the best ones, ones that get identified later by other editors as being excellent. If this kind of analysis costs me 15 dollars, I’m willing to spend it. It beats sending a manuscript off to the New Yorker, knowing that it will never ever ever ever ever no way no how be accepted.
      A vanity press takes your money and publishes your work, no matter how good/bad it is. GT assesses the quality, and then publishes it if it is really good.

  28. Stu

      Their name sucks.

  29. Stu

      Their name sucks.