Friday, March 03, 2006

Fourth Genre are my new friends

So, I got a rejection letter from Fourth Genre today, which prints essays. Why are they my friends then, you ask? Well, they sent me two comments in a nice letter, from readers, about the first literary essay I've ever sent out. One said, "There is some interesting architecture and insight displayed here." The other said, "An authentic piece that draws me in as a reader. However, I wonder if the italicized segments are too much of a literary device." I'm working on digesting that one, since I think I might agree but can't think what to do about it.
The essay was written for my grandmother's birthday, but I tried to make it edgy and meaningful in a literary way. I had a real issue with transitioning, and also wanted to make the essay somewhat lyrical. So, I have these italicized segments recounting how it must feel to be chased and bitten by a dog (which is what the essay is about) placed throughout. They are a literary device, because I wanted to make the essay at least somewhat poetic, since that's my life. I don't want to do without them, but am wondering if the placement and arrangement are making me rely too much on them for those transitions between sections.
I don't know. This was sort of an experiment, and I was really encouraged by FG's letter, especially since they said to keep trying them as they'd be glad to look at other work. If only I had other work to send. That's the only essay I have! I'd like to try more places, but am not sure where to send, and am not sure if I should do some work on the essay first. So, FG rules, and made me feel good, even if it was a rejection (and I've gotten several of those lately...one of my Spring Break goals is to get more work out).

2 comments:

Paula said...

Abs does nonfiction!!!
Now THAT rocks!!!

garylmcdowell said...

Abs -

There are a couple places that take creative nonfiction. How about Quarter After Eight or River Teeth? (River Teeth is one of my new favorite mags... great prose poems and lyrical essays). Those two are amazing mags. Then there's always Tin House. There are more. Lemme think about this. I'll get back at ya.

Great news on an encouraging note!!

Gary