Saturday, July 5, 2008

Seeking A Literate, Educated Audience

Look what I found:

The Rejected Quarterly
 (Featuring Fine Literature Rejected At Least 5 Times) is a semiannual print magazine with the following mission: "We want the best literature possible, regardless of genre. We do, however, have a bias toward the unusual and toward speculative fiction. We aim for a literate, educated audience. The Rejected Quarterly believes in publishing the highest quality rejected fiction and other writing that doesn't fit anywhere else. We strive to be different, but will go for quality every time, whether conventional or not."

According to guidelines: "Fiction that doesn't fit anywhere else. To 8,000 words. All fiction submitted must be accompanied by at least 5 rejection slips (Xeroxes okay). TRQ desires stories that are as unique as possible. We want unusual stories, but high quality writing and a story to tell and/or a coherent idea/ideas to express are the most important criteria. We will consider just about any type of story, but remember, we are looking for originality."

Maybe our friend, author of "A Change of Season" should give it a whirl? Contact Daniel Weiss and Jeff Ludecke, fiction editors, at P.O. Box 1351, Cobb CA 95426 or e-mail 


pr said...

Thanks, w,r, for remembering me/my story. And for the tip.

lobster tuck said...

This probably doesn't belong here, but I wanted to mention that I just saw "Julie and Julia"-that book by that blogger in NY who was one of the first to get a publishing deal out of her blogging notoriety-anyways, I just saw that in the bargain bin for $5.

The world has become such a strange place.

Diana Raabe said...

It's amazing what ends up in that bin, isn't it?!

rmellis said...

The best thing to happen to me in publishing (almost) was my book landing in dollar stores. I finally found my audience!

Anonymous said...

The home page of TRQ is interesting. Check it out. It makes me want to get a copy, to see what stories they have come up with. (I wish I could find a sample of something they published; I've wasted enough money in my life on journals, reviews, quarterlies.)
I don't believe in unicorns or angels, but I do believe in a premise of this blog: that very good work is being rejected. TRQ seems to be putting that premise into print. I hope they have found those overlooked gems.

John said...

But get real; how many stories are published, at prestigious places, after only five rejections? The premise is basically tautological. And why on earth do you have to send the actual rejection slips, or facsimiles thereof? Can't someone take your word for it that the story's been rejected five times? I'm not really sure what kind of fraud you could perpetrate under false pretenses this way. . .

Anonymous said...

You make some good points, John. That's probably why I'd like to see a sample of what TRQ publishes.
But I think you agree with their premise. Because I clicked on your name (above), then went to your blog (In the Shadow of Mt. Hollywood); then I clicked on the Atlantic article by B.R. Meyers (which you liked very much). It's about the failings of modern literary fiction. It's kind of long -- he gives a good spanking to some celebrated authors and critics (readers may choose to skim parts, but read the opening and the ending sections). I agree with his main points.
I've also read most of the books that he cites at the end, as alternatives to what's being written now. Books that MOVE, damn it.
What if TRQ published that kind of work?

John said...

What interests me is that, as far as I'm aware, nobody's representing their material as stuff that Myers would like. Now, assuming this were an acceptable move, why would rejections come into it? Unless you're Amy Tan or somebody, you're likely to get some rejections, of even your best stuff.

All submissions, good or bad, are going to be rejected. Sometmes this may be because student readers are out of control, sometimes because the editors are tone deaf, or whatever. I'm not sure what it says about a piece that it's been rejected, five or 50 times.

I agree, I'd like to see what the zine prints, but I'm still scratching my head that the whole idea is tautological.

Anonymous said...

Your first sentence is a puzzler, John.
I don't know if Myers would like my stuff, and I sure don't know how to find out. Ie., I don't know how I would "represent my material" to him. As I wrote above, I like some of the books he cites. And I believe that, if a writer describes a tree, it should be because that tree falls on a character's head. I think Myers would agree.
Myers' whole point was that what is being published and praised and given awards today is not worthy. The alternate literary fiction -- the kind he likes -- may exist, but, since another type of writing is valued, it never sees the light of day. Because it's rejected.
It used to exist -- I still read it, but the copyrights are from years gone by.
Strange: how I can relate to people from another time, sometimes from another country, better than I can to the phony concoctions being served up today. But then, human nature, when portrayed with authenticity, remains the same.

John said...

What I mean is that there have been at least two zines in recent years that claim to be serving the community of rejectees, but none that claims to be publishing stuff Myers would like.

What's odd is that a concept like Rejected Quarterly starts off a little behindhand, since it's saying "even though this stuff has been rejected, it's actually good" -- when almost everything has been rejected.

On the other hand, nobody's saying "we believe in the B.R.Myers school of criticism, and the writers published here tell clear stories unpretentiously." But wouldn't that be a better place to start?

(Full disclosure, I submitted to Rejected Quarterly several months ago but have yet to hear from them/him.)