So gross, and yet I wish to share.
July 30, 2010 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any venue suggestions for trying to publish a really gross short story?

There's this true-life story I occasionally tell at parties. I always lead off by warning that it's a presentation of the worst day of my life, and yet people invariably love it. Through telling this tale over and over, I've figured out ways to build up anticipation, play up the laughs, and make it a really well-told story. After a recent telling, a friend compared it to Palahniuk's "Guts" and suggested I type it up and seek publication.

I generally understand how the publication scene works. For what it's worth, I've published a few academic articles, so I'm more than ready for rejection. But with that said, I'd like to take up my friend's suggestion and see how it goes. Normal advice in a case like this is to cast a wide net and hope for the best, but I don't imagine most editors would be interested in spending their working hours reading about my shit-related misadventures. So, do any of you have journal or magazine recommendations? I don't have too many requirements, other than it be a legitimate publication, not a "publish yourself" outfit.

Thanks in advance.

(Two for the price of one question: ... would I list this on my CV? Maybe I should look into a pseudonym!)
posted by anonymous to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You're looking for someone who publishes bizarro fiction. Years ago, Eraserhead Press was at the forefront, but I don't know what the scene looks like anymore, although they seem to be doing pretty well for themselves. And, yeah, pseudonym is probably a good idea w/r/t explicitly transgressive fiction if you're not making a career of it.
posted by griphus at 7:53 AM on July 30, 2010

This is not exactly what you asked, but if your story works so well as a humorous anecdote, there are lots of comedy clubs where on amateur night anyone can come and try their hand at stand-up comedy. Of course, you can't build a career on a single routine. But who knows, perhaps you have a gift for stand-up. And you need have no fear that the material is too dirty. The old taboos have fallen long ago in the field of stand-up comedy. Lenny Bruce fought those battles for you.
posted by grizzled at 7:54 AM on July 30, 2010

Or The Moth.
posted by Madamina at 8:11 AM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

If it's good, then the literary journals will want to see it. Even if it's about poop from beginning to end. Honestly.
posted by 256 at 8:11 AM on July 30, 2010

Seconding The Moth. Or This American Life if you can render your story in radio-friendly terms.
posted by ColdChef at 9:27 AM on July 30, 2010

This American Life often leads off their episodes with anecdotes or brief interviews on that show's theme. This sounds like it could fit a bunch of different themes. If your strength is in the delivery, I'd suggest the radio route, since humour on paper can be a very different beast.
posted by nicoleincanada at 9:32 AM on July 30, 2010

Or Risk! It's a bit, er, riskier than the Moth!
posted by ozgirlabroad at 1:52 PM on July 30, 2010

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