I’ve been circling Graywolf Press for years. It was Notes from No Man’s Land that did it for me. That and many years ago I probably tried to get a job there. They were (deservedly) the darlings of AWP last year. It was lovely to see people mob their table and ignore the bored-looking sales rep. at HarperCollins.
They have a contest ending in less than a week. And I do love me some ridiculous deadlines. But they are looking for innovative literary nonfiction. I asked everyone who has read my MS if I am innovative. I don’t really think I am, but sometimes other people know things that I don’t know.
I asked DP whether I should submit, whether my work is innovative. He has not read my work, but he knows what it is about.
“What does innovative even mean? Do you like the press?”
“Yes,” I said with my heart in my throat.
“Then submit. Did you get the mail today?”
And then Downith said, “I doubt a man would be worried his work was innovative enough.”
And so I’m going to do it, as you folks are my witnesses. I keep thinking of the Barbara Kingsolver line in Animal Dreams. The main character watches a man drink half a beer (or soda, I forget) in one gulp and reflects that thing that annoys her the most about men were the things they did without even realizing they could.
What annoys you?