Recently the Chicken Soup people did a book on dysfunctional families, and you know them--it's all nicey-nicey. I want to publish an anthology of stories on the same topic but with edgy humor and a bad-ass attitude. This will be a collection of first-person essays about how it's possible to survive your childhood and turn out just fine despite your nutty upbringing. No mean-spirited rants or sad stories of survival (though you know I love the blend of humor and poignancy). I'm looking for irony, originality, a distinct voice, high quality writing, and a story that'll crack up me.
My working title is How Am I Normal? but I’m totally open to suggestions. I also need to come up with a subtitle.
I really want to give first-time writers a shot at being published, so don’t be shy. There’s no entry fee, reading fee, or cost for editing—all you have to do is tell a funny story.
IMPORTANT: Your story MUST be true, though exaggerations for the sake of humor are acceptable. Here's an example in this passage from Bastard Husband: A Love Story.
I grew up in Albany, New York, where I lived for the first forty-three years of my life. I’m the oldest of five kids spaced over a fourteen-year period, which means I was in ninth grade when my little sister was born. My mother and the girl who sat next to me in French class were pregnant at the same time. Yuk.Of course, my mother actually did wake up for things besides Jeopardy and the six o’clock news. That’s an example of an acceptable exaggeration. Everything else is true, though. You get it. (And this also begs the “How am I normal?” question.)
Maybe because she always had a new baby to be home with, Mom became increasingly comfortable staying in the house, eventually to the point where she couldn’t leave. She developed agoraphobia and was often doped up on “nerve pills,” which kept her sacked out on the couch for most of the day, waking up for only two things: Jeopardy and the weather during the six o’clock news. Considering she never left the house, the obsession with the weather seemed a bit peculiar. Perhaps she wondered, “Will I need the heavy afghan over me tomorrow or just a light cotton blanket?”
Deadline for submission is August 1, 2010. I expect to have this ready in time for holiday gift giving. I've posted full submission guidelines on www.agingnymphsmedia.com, so go take a look. And help me spread the word!
I think this is going to be a really fun project, and I am committed to making this a high-quality publication that you’ll be proud to be a part of.
Questions? Shoot an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now get writing!