Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Seems like I’m all about The Disappointed Housewife lately, and that’s because new stuff is coming in like gangbusters. Why? Well, thanks to the recommendation of Cinthia Ritchie, I posted a call for submissions on the Yahoo Creative Writers Opportunities List, where writers learn of outlets like The Housewife that are actively seeking new material.
What have a I learned? Well, there’s no shortage of people out there writing their ever-lovin’ hearts out.
As you know, I’m building The Housewife around writing that stretches boundaries and asks the reader to break out of traditional, or at least overused, patterns. And much of what I’m seeing in the inbox now is just that kind of writing, such as William Jackson’s poetry, Hanuszkiewicz Marcin’s text collage “Bodies,” and Marion Deutsche Cohen’s hilarious “The A.M.E.B. Newsletter.” Great parodies, like Mike McGowan’s “Rejected Personal Ads From the New York Review of Books,” are always welcome at The Housewife, and I’d love seeing more graphics like C.B. Auder’s board game, “Double Truth Deals.”
But a lot of writers see a call for submissions and go, “Hey, I have something I could submit!” Most often stuff comes in that’s just not in the idiosyncratic spirit of The Housewife. I’ve seen a lot of dystopian stories, a lot of genre material, but, as I say in the submission guidelines, I’m interested in that kind of tale only if it breaks the genre mold somehow. In poetry I’m seeing a lot of perfectly nice traditional verse, the kind of work you’ll find in any literary journal, so that doesn’t fit here either. I’m getting fiction that’s too long, sometimes twice as long as the guidelines specify, though I’m willing to stretch the 1500 word limit to 2000 or a little higher if the material warrants it. But most surprisingly I’m getting quite a bit of poetry with very dark and violent themes and imagery, as if the mood of the country is getting into the writers’ subconscious and coming back out in visions of bloody mayhem.
Who knows? Maybe that’s appropriate, but it’s not the kind of stuff I want to see in The Housewife. I’d rather publish work that confronts the absurdity we find ourselves in right now with absurdity-cubed. For instance, tomorrow we have a great piece lined up in the Faux Forms & Genres category called, “Angry Black Guy Looks: A Guide for New Employees.”
You’ll love it. Meanwhile, stop by The Disappointed Housewife and wolf down some offbeat lit.