Recently I went through The Writer’s Market, the famous directory of magazines and newspapers accepting freelance submissions. It was most educational. In the event of Splarks.com ever becoming an independent small press, I will craft and save the following entry for the Writer’s Market:
Email: BegForConsideration@splarks.com. We review unsolicited submissions quarterly. During these times, we crowd into our hip, overpriced loft office and feast on trendy takeout and wine from a country you probably can’t place geographically. We read your submission aloud and point out all your editing errors. If we can’t find any, we’ll make some up so that everyone else in the room will admire our sharp eye. Then we will denounce your work as loathsome tripe and invent phrases of derogatory terms to apply to your writing technique, which is unrefined, banal, and obtuse. On slower months, we go to the rooftop garden and bring an easel and charcoal pencils. We then sketch the loser that we imagine you to be, based on your horrific attempts at writing. Invariably, your portrait will resemble a crazy cat lady, a dour parking lot attendant, or creepy children’s television show host. Finally, we will build a little fire in our sink or the rooftop fire pit and ceremoniously toss in the crumpled pages of your manuscript.
Nonfiction: We love confessionals and memoirs, as they help us further determine your pathetic approach to living. We are particularly interested in your failure of a love life, high school trauma from which you have not yet recovered, parents who never loved you, and your quaint loss of religious faith. We love hearing about the Self as a Lame Stereotype, which is likely all you’re capable of writing.
Fiction: Send us genre fiction with the hero or heroine thinly-disguised as you. Please spell “heroine” wrong; it amuses us. Unlike those other literary magazines that claim to accept only the best of contemporary fiction, we take only crap since no one but we and our favored associates can write well. Go on, send us your hackneyed blathering.
Poetry: Please don’t send rhyming poetry typical of greeting cards–it’s too easy to criticize. Challenge us! Try to really touch our hearts and make us feel something. That’s always so hilarious.
Tips: Don’t query us about the status of your manuscript or ask when the next issue will be published. Please refer back to this entry for the answers, which are “We burned it in the sink, and then Pablo drunkenly puked on the ashes,” and “As nothing meets our standards for quality literature, the journal will not be published. Again.”
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