I took a long time debating whether to launch this new literary journal. I wondered whether there’s really a need for another online gazette of literature and image, when readers hardly have time to read their friends’ Facebook pages much less an actual book now and then.
But I got to thinking, there are an awful lot of writers out there, looking for places to share their work. And while blogs offer a kind of outlet for works of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, they are generally personal, a lot like online diaries in many ways, and most of all they aren’t curated. The editor of every blog is the blog’s writer.
I’ve also found, as a consumer of writing on the web, that I have a hard time finding much of the kind of material I’m really interested in. As a reader and a writer. After a lifetime of reading, I have a taste now for something different. Stories that are made differently, that play with form and presentation. You read enough New Yorker short stories and they all start to smear together in a strange way. The MFA style has planted deep roots in our literary culture, so that trying something new isn’t usually well-received in the established journals and little magazines where I cut my writing teeth as a young man.
Publishing, as a business, tends to incentivize writers to produce what they think will sell.
Yet there is a place for “high risk” writing, fresh, creative, experimental, idiosyncratic, idiomatic, iconoclastic writing. Writers should be allowed to have their quirks. They need blank canvases that don’t have predetermined dimensions. When they set out to write a story, they don’t necessarily have to think in terms of a few leaves of paper with double-spaced text on them. Maybe they’ll write it on actual leaves and photograph them.
So I decided to forge ahead with this project, to see what comes in over the transom when writers are given the flexibility to “think different,” as Apple used to say.
I’m afraid that many writers will be disappointed that The Disappointed Housewife declines their work. But it will only be because the editors envision another way the piece could be a better fit, a way that better conforms with the journal’s proclivities. It’s not you, it’s us. Don’t be discouraged. We might suggest some possibilities to you, or you can try again with something that you write with us in mind.
Just remember, this is the place to find writing (in all its manifestations) that you can’t find anyplace else.
The Disappointed Housewife