Flannery O’Connor once said, “Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.” We founded this journal on the belief that every person has a messed-up past worth rehashing. We are not looking for rhythmic prose, sentence-level musicality, or even particularly compelling stories. We love fiction with no forward action and way too much dramatic interiority. We are all for voyeuristic displays of misery. Our mission is simply to tell every permutation of the trauma plot possible.
Send us your most repressed memories under a thin veil of fiction. Or lift the veil, because we also take creative nonfiction. Poetry submissions are open for the theme “High-Functioning but Spiraling,” and for the first time, we are also taking screenplays. Send us origin stories rewritten to shed light on a supervillain’s undiagnosed neurological condition that caused them so much social anxiety that they became a murderous assassin, or just send us a broadway adaptation of A Little Life. Even if we don’t select your piece for publication, we are excited to feel better about our lives in comparison.
Our journal is proud to support emerging literary talent from all contexts and backgrounds, including those who have had a shallow, frictionless life. Feel free to mine your less talented marginalized friends for their worst memories. Write and submit their stories. Don’t ask for permission. This is NOT cultural appropriation. It’s the noble work of bringing a voice to the unheard.
We want stories that dig deep. Bond with grandma over your shared intergenerational trauma. Go to hypnotherapy. Ask your mom why you had to talk to a doll in front of your therapist at age four.
Here are some favorites from our recent publications:
- A love story set in the fallout of post-WWII Japan after both main characters lose all their limbs
- A story told in flashbacks about an immigrant grandmother who escaped civil war only to live in a country where her grandchildren refuse the lunches she lovingly packs because the food of her homeland is “too smelly”
- A stream of consciousness narrated by a bourgeois woman who hibernates from life rather than face the eating disorder her mother encouraged
In your cover letter, please list every one of your marginalized identities so we can decide for you if your submission is #OwnVoices (not because we will prioritize these stories, but so we can project your trauma back onto you). Also, please do not include content warnings. Our sensitivity reader, Emma, is in the process of absolving her white guilt and will write them. Stories she thinks warrant at least three warnings will make it to the next round. They will then undergo a rigorous editorial process to holistically exploit your traumas. We will ask intrusive questions and gaslight you if anything does not personally make sense to us. This is the objective process for trustworthy art.
Our submission fee is twenty dollars to cover overhead costs, including text-based therapy for Emma. We currently accept submissions only through our online portal, though we are in the process of installing a mailbox to include incarcerated writers.
Thank you for submitting. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to flood our readers’ inboxes with tragedy. The tears we shed for your stories are genuine, even if our empathy is not. Our editorial board can’t wait to accept or reject your trauma.