Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Dear Whatever Your Name Is:

Thank you for writing concerning your recent novel submission to the Greater West Covina Transgender Publishing Collective. We regret to inform you that your manuscript has been incinerated.

Our incineration adjudicator this year is that Grand Old Dame of Literature, Carla Bright. Carla started writing last year when she retired from her golf club chairwomanship (ladies' committee). She doesn't ask for much, but she likes a big font, alas. She says to tell you she's a sunny individual.

Your novel was destroyed because you went with fourteen point Arial instead of twenty-four point Hattenschweiler, and because Carla’s guidelines state that submissions must not contain any overt racism, gender bias, improper verb-pronoun agreement, references of a sexual nature, or linguine. Also, all manuscripts must be submissive, as she is dominant. However, your novel may feature characters who are prone to discriminate against others based on shoe size, and may describe no more than five (5) kicks to the testicular region of a male character's anatomy - provided these kicks do not take place in a bedroom.

Last year, the senior Collective administrator, Agnes (no relation to anyone) cut her finger on a staple when removing an entry from the mail. As a result, no manuscripts are now permitted to be bound via staple. Only Idiot-Proof Brand Paper Clips (size: JUMBO) are accepted as a means of binding your work. All other submissions will be rejected, regardless of standard. Of paper clips.

This new guideline has led to questions from applicants about contingency plans in the absence of jumbo paper clips. Best method: If you are sending your entry via the postal service, we suggest that you manually punch a hole in the top left corner of each sheet of paper, and run a string of cotton wool or used dental floss through the story. 

In keeping with last year's restrictions, any envelopes containing anthrax dust will be returned unopened.

You may perhaps be curious concerning the fate of your $250 submission fee. All transactions related to these submission fees have been erased due to a hacking incident plausibly attributable to Al Qaeda. We have reported the incident to Interpol, the FBI, and the West Covina Chamber of Commerce. Please do not make inquiries to these or any other law enforcement agencies. We will keep you up-to-date via smoke signal.

Sorry it didn't work out this time. There's always next week. 



And submit again. 

(Note: This was composed in collaboration with the alleged Richard Gibney, whose continuation of my blog's stated theme this month is clickable here. Thank you, Rich. We brought you the grapes.)